Sarah Law (Natural Resources Conservation)

TLEF Undergraduate with UBC (Malcolm Knapp Research Forest) in Maple Ridge, BC

UBC Forestry Co-op student, Sarah Law, is standing in a forest while wearing safety clothing.

For my co-op term I am working as a TLEF Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest. Throughout my work term so far, I have been measuring tree height, DBH, live crown height, and calculating the defoliation percent of Douglas-fir trees that have been separated into eight plots, and entering this data onto MS Excel. They are separated into plots with varying densities to find out which spacing will produce an optimal yield of timber for future silvicultural plantations. This is important as British Columbia’s timber industry provides such a strong contribution to Canada’s economy, however as we harvest more of our old growth forests, we need to find alternatives that will be able to satisfy our economy while also being able to conserve our natural landscapes. I am looking into defoliation because it is suspected that this plantation is infected by Swiss needle cast which causes the stomata of the needles to be blocked, and results in the trees shedding their needles prematurely, so it is important to try and identify this now. I have also been working on plans and budgets to build a trail through the plantation, and building a trailhead kiosk for hikers to be informed of the plantation after measuring all of the trees. 

By the end of my co-op I should have accomplished measuring over 800 trees, built a trail and a kiosk, and have written a report on the procedures, results and future management recommendations for this study

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