UBC Forestry co-op provides us with students who have greater field experience and increased knowledge of environmental issues. Students in the program have the upper hand when trying to connect with employers like us who can offer the technical experience needed to help build their career. This year we are particularly impressed by our co-op student’s ability to work both independently and in a team as well as her communication skills and the professionalism she brings to our Water Wise program.
– D. Erin Enns, Water Wise Program Coordinator
Langley Environmental Partners Society
Our main guy in the field is a Co-op Graduate from UBC’s Natural Resources Conservation program and an integral part of our team. We have hired several UBC Forestry co-op students over the years and they bring us a solid background in conservation and science. I recognize the importance of UBC’s Conservation program as it provides students with the skills we need in reclamation. In fact our current co-op student has consistently performed above my expectations. As someone who graduated without co-op, I can see first-hand the benefits the program has to offer. Everyone has a degree – only co-op students have the experience to back it up!
– Tom Wiebe, Fort Hills Reclamation Manager
Suncor Energy Ltd.
Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership (SNAP) brings together three local non-profit societies with the City of Surrey to restore and enhance natural areas and promote environmental stewardship across Surrey. Aside from myself, SNAP is run completely by students and so without their involvement, the partnership would not exist. Having the students come on board each year is a huge boost to the capacity of Surrey’s Urban Forestry and Environmental Programs Parks section, especially in the summer months when there is a large increase in natural area restoration projects and outreach activities. In addition to the support SNAP provides for the City’s existing programs, the students also benefit our non-profit partner groups by acting as hands-on stewards of their parks and increasing the exposure of their organizations to the public. A key aspect of SNAP is to provide students with valuable work experience in natural area management and environmental outreach and education. Students like the ones we’ve hired this summer from the Faculty of Forestry work on either habitat restoration or environmental outreach projects to not only build career experience, but work towards the shared goals of the partner groups. Working with us is a really great stepping stone for co-op students interested in careers in urban forestry and environmental stewardship and many of the City of Surrey’s own Urban Forestry department employees started in SNAP
– Nathan Ross, Program Coordinator
Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership
At Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, I offer a variety of research based tasks to co-op students. Some research involves computer and analytical work but students also have the opportunity to make field observations, take samples of soil, water, plants, and manure, and conduct laboratory analysis of these samples. Because I have a small program, with limited staff resources, I am able to get the co-op student involved in all of our activities, so they get a lot of variety. My program also involves a variety of agricultural issues including soil nutrient and manure management, and analyzing adoption trends of a variety of environmentally friendly farming practices. Other scientists at our Centre focus on research at a small plot scale, whereas my work investigates the feasibility of new practices at the field scale on real farms. This provides an added value for students – by participating in the practical application of research to the real world. This involves talking with farmers about the real life issues they face every day and discussing the potential benefits and possible obstacles when considering the adoption of new practices. Without a co-op student, I would not be able to accomplish my project objectives.
- Dennis Haak , Senior Soil Specialist
Agri-Food Canada – Agassiz, BC
One of the things that I like about the UBC Forestry Co-op Program is that we are able to hire students for longer terms. By the time a non-co-op student gets up and running and fully trained, their 4 month term is over and they leave us. Hiring co-op students allows us to get more out of the experience by investing in an 8 or 12 month term as opposed to just one summer. This also benefits the student because we are able to give them more in-depth tasks and responsibilities over time, giving them a more complete understanding of timber planning operations and the ability to physically see forestry in action.
- Janine Gervais, Field Operations Coordinator
Canfor – Prince George, BC
Assisting with the co-op program has been very positive and challenging as we train and teach our co-op students as well as learning for ourselves. The UBC co-op program gives us the opportunity to have students who are very eager to learn our process. They are able to challenge the “status quo” and help us do more in depth-studies in areas where we can contribute more value to the company, suppliers, and customers. Their positive attitude and willingness to participate in the business is always going to lead to a win- win situation for both our company and the students.
- Ray Wium & Sajjan Minhas – Co-op Workplace Supervisors
Canfor - Prince George, BC
We are happy to see that UBC has launched a new Urban Forestry program and have already started interviewing some of these students for co-op positions this summer. Co-op students bring fresh ideas and new energy to the City of Surrey and are a welcome addition to our team. When co-op students join the team we actively engage in teaching them the skills they need to be successful this profession. Some of the training we provide includes workplace safety, working with specialized equipment, trail pruning, invasive plant removal and natural area restoration. Student’s academic training is enriched by the opportunity to apply skills in a practical setting. We are happy to be a partner in this educational process and look forward to working with many more co-op students from the Faculty of Forestry in the coming years.
- Nadia Chan, Natural Areas Coordinator
City of Surrey
Co-op students bring enthusiasm and professionalism to our work environment. They are keen to share their knowledge and skills and to develop new ones. The UBC Forestry co-op students have knowledge and skills learned in their program that can be directly applied to the field of conservation.As an employer, it is rewarding to provide work experiences that complement a student’s learning objectives and promote the practical application of their skills in a professional workplace environment. As a co-op alumni myself, I can attest first hand to the positive impact my co-op job placements had on the development of my skills, knowledge and confidence. And when I graduated, I had a fantastic resume filled with a variety of experiences relevant to my field of study that helped to propel me into the work force.
-Carla Ahern, Director of Communications
Creston Valley Wildlife Management Authority
We’ve hired several UBC Natural Resource Conservation co-op students and generally they come with the kind of strong and diverse backgrounds we need here at Dillon Consulting. Their knowledge base in plant identification, science and sustainability is important to our water conservation programs. We are very satisfied with the performance of our current co-op student from the Faculty of Forestry. He is very professional and represents both himself and our company very well.
- Jessica Devlin, Program Coordinator, Operation Save H2O
Dillon Consulting Limited
Over the years, Forsite has hired a notable number of UBC Co-op students. They have joined our teams in offices throughout the province to be mentored in silviculture as well as all aspects of multiphase timber development which includes timber reconnaissance, field engineering, riparian and ecological assessments, and GPS traversing. Longer work terms have proven to be more beneficial to both our company and the students we hire. Longer work terms allow students time to not just learn new aspects of the job and industry, but to have time to gain the much needed confidence necessary to implement their knowledge and skills. Longer work terms also permit time to train Co-op students on more intricate tasks that better suit their interests and abilities. We always look forward to the Co-op students joining our team and will continue to seek them out in the future.
- Patience Rakochy
Assistant Manager, Forsite Consultants Ltd.
We value co-op students and seek them out to fill temporary positions on our Team. We are a group that promotes development and we enjoy being part of the training that will help them progress in their career. We find that co-op students are generally flexible and, thanks to their diverse academic training in school, they come to us with a strong ability to learn and problem solve. This is one of the things that attracted us to the UBC Forestry co-op student we hired this summer, her well-rounded background and ability to learn. She isn’t afraid to take the initiative to learn what she needs to produce the deliverables we ask of her. In addition to several small projects we have her working on this summer, she is helping to develop a GIS system and database to inventory watercourse crossings, this in turn will help us better manage these environmentally sensitive sites. We benefit from having co-op students on our Team!
- Jason Wilkins
Senior Hydrologist, Husky Energy Inc., Calgary, AB
Everyone at Interfor enjoys working with UBC Forestry Co-op students. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious. They are eager to apply what they have learned in the classroom, they are knowledgeable about the BC Forest industry and we make sure we give them lots of opportunities to add to their knowledge. From our sawmills and woodlands operations to our sales and marketing division, at Interfor, we’ve had UBC Forestry co-op students take on assignments in almost every area of our business. UBC students are willing to go the extra mile, and many of them have found promising careers with our Company.
- Rick Robertson, Mill Manager
Adams Lake Division, Interfor Corporation
Hiring UBC Forestry co-op students brings a fresh sense of energy and relevant education to our workplace, and has helped to inspire other young people in our community to prioritize their schooling and career goals. Forestry co-op students bring a strong academic background; it did not take long for the students to develop the practical skills needed to get on with the forestry work. In addition to doing regen surveys at our Community Forest, our co-op students passed their S100 and S185 Fire Suppression and Safety certification, their Level 1 First Aid for Industry, and their BC Workplace Transportation Endorsement while working with us. The students quickly grasped the importance of our company safety plan. The co-op students were very helpful at the Coastal Silviculture summer workshop and Community Forest Association provincial conference. The students have had a huge impact on our ability to tackle the backlog of work at our Community Forest. The students work very well with our silviculture crews, and also perform very responsibly on their own. I am enjoying being a mentor this summer to these students. I am pleased to share my varied background in forestry, and I can sense that the students are constant learners, and generous in their appreciation!When these students return to school their whole forestry education will be enhanced as a result of the practical experiences they received this summer. The entire staff here at the Khowutzun Forest Services is very pleased the professionalism and courteous manners of the co-op students.
- Margaret Symon, Planning Forester
Khowutzun Forest Services
So far in our group Anne Day (BSc. Natural Resources Conservation) has been the second co-op student we've received. Thus far, both have been able to assist with several tasks at various levels of technical difficulty. This allows our professionals to have the assistance needed to complete tasks to schedules and at the required technical level of delivery required by the current Australian market. In addition, with her slightly different background, Anne has brought some new skills and insights into our group that has made her an asset to the project managers in the group. This is an excellent example of a mutually beneficial program. Based on my experience to date UBC is to be congratulated on the manner in which the program operates to produce more rounded graduates.
- Brent Usher, PhD, PrSciNat - Manager Geosciences, Senior Hydrogeochemist, Associate
Klohn Crippen Berger - Brisbane, Australia
UBC co-op students from the Faculty of Forestry provide us with an opportunity to share knowledge and provide training while benefiting from much needed help in the field. Co-op students bring a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and save us money in the long run. So far they have helped us with silviculture surveys, data collection, post-harvest assessments, ecosystem classification, road inspections and boundary layouts. We are very satisfied with their performance and hope to hire more Forestry co-op students in the future.
- Mike Francis, RPF
Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society
Co-op students have a positive effect on our workplace. In Finnish forestry almost all of the workers are Finns and foreign students give our employees a possibility to work with people from different backgrounds. Hiring UBC Forestry Co-op students means that our foresters need to explain their work, and answer questions from a new angle which helps us to further examine current practices. Working with foreign students brings new ideas and enables our staff to further develop their English language skills. Having this international connection also exposes our forest specialists, who may never have worked abroad, to new ways of working in forestry.
- Dr. Kirsi-Marja Korhonen
Regional director, Metsähallitus, Finland
This natural resource district is overwhelmingly busy and usually understaffed. Besides the obvious extra help that the students give to achieve goals, the students bring a fresh perspective. The energy and cheer that students bring with them liven the place up. Also, because the majority of us have been out of school for a while, the knowledge the students share or a new way of doing things, helps refresh or widen our own knowledge.
- Susie Anderson, RFT
Compliance & Enforcement Supervisor, MFLNRO
I am a huge supporter of hiring co-op students here in the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations because I see both short and long-term advantages. We recently hired a UBC Forestry co-op student to assist with a research project established 15 years ago to examine the effects of juvenile spacing on growth, yield and economics of young stands of mixed western hemlock and amabilis fir. The results of her work has already been very useful for our operational programs and will soon be published as a journal manuscript. In addition to helping us with our immediate needs, hiring co-op students provides an opportunity for us to introduce young people to the important work that we do and hopefully pique their interest in pursuing academic learning that leads to a career in our research programs. Our recent co-op student experience has been so positive that my colleagues are considering hiring their own co-op students!
- Louise de Montigny, Research Leader
At the Ministry, we aim to fit co-op students with the type of work they are interested in learning. Working within the ministry allows students to access all the specialized areas that are available and gain the practical experience that speaks to them. The Faculty of Forestry Co-op Program is a great option for students who are learning the academic side of things but who need the practical experience to back up their knowledge. The technical knowledge that UBC Co-op students bring to the table is beyond valuable and we rely on them to bring these new ideas to our workplace. If you had asked me a few years ago I would never have thought we would be collecting data using iPads but for UBC co-op students, working with technology comes easy and they come prepared. We hope that by working with Forestry co-op students we are helping future generations to discover that they are good at and what they can do for a career. Our current co-op student was thinking about entomology and we worked to place her with an entomologist so she could see what it is like. This is one of the advantages of doing a work term with a ministry as big as ours is that co-op students get access to so many specialized areas.
- Michaela Waterhouse, Silvicultural Systems Researcher
Outdoor Living Mfg. has been very pleased to be a participant in the UBC co-op program. The students, upon their arrival at our facility, brought with them a positive attitude, great work ethics, as well as a fresh unbiased outlook. We feel that we have been able (with a bit of training and direction) to harness this energy in a manner that has certainly been beneficial to our company as well as hopefully providing a lasting experience for the students!! It did not take long to integrate our students, we started out with some basic organization, time studies and production analysis within targeted production centers. Moving forward they were asked to provide innovative ideas for improvement to both procedures and infrastructure. To round out their time at OLM one of the students has become involved in the complicated process of analyzing our material and labour cost on each of our wide array of products! The other student has been moved into a longer term role as a supervisor of day to day production within our plant. In both instances the results have been excellent! I am looking forward to being able to work through the fall with our remaining student, we have a very long list of tasks ahead. As OLM general manager I am definitely looking forward to hiring more co-op students in the future!
- Grant Daum – Operations Manager
Outdoor Living Manufacturing
I really enjoy working with the UBC Forestry co-op students. They give me a chance to focus on special projects with the students, and then collaborate with many international customers. As an international log and lumber company, we have to remain innovative and fresh. Bringing in bright, young, and eager co-op students into our company help even an experienced sales and marketing guy like me look at business with an inventive point of view. I certainly have had some other students from different educational institutions work at our company, but I felt that their background wasn’t adequate to “get up to speed” in international lumber marketing. UBC’s Forestry co-op students have the training, education and a multicultural/multilingual pool to select from. As these students can easily “get up to speed” in our company, I was more confident to introduce them to our many suppliers and customers from around the world.
- Eric Boycott, President
Pacific Forestry Inc
Our experience hiring UBC Forestry Co-op students from the Natural Resources Conservation Program has been very successful. The students we have been able to find through co-op has advanced our projects and received an amazing response from the public they work with. As ambassadors for Parks Canada, co-op students have the work ethic, professionalism and energy to make a meaningful contribution to our activities. One of the big benefits for us is that co-op students come in with high expectations for what they will learn and as an organization we can help them achieve these goals. UBC Forestry Co-op students are enthusiastic and we are confident in their ability to represent Parks Canada.
- Paul Botha
Urban Outreach Officer, Parks Canada
Co-op students are very keen and to learn as much as possible while they are here working with us. Coming from an academic environment, they are already thinking about research and bring fresh ideas about new research projects that we might attempt. Co-op students have real enthusiasm and they are really excited to work for Parks Canada and an organisation that gets them outside. They really work hard and are looking to make connections in their field of study. Hiring a co-op student is a way for us to attract urban youth who in turn go back to their institutions and act as ambassadors for Parks Canada. We have had a very positive experience with the Faculty of Forestry Co-op Program and will definitely be hiring a co-op student again.
- Aimée Pelletier, Resource Management Officer II
Parks Canada Agency
We have been receiving UBC Forestry co-op students here in South Africa since 2007 and this year marks the arrival of our twelfth co-op student in the Department of Forest and Wood Science at Stellenbosch University. Over the years, each student has contributed to our projects and enabled me to delegate tasks with the confidence that the jobs will get done properly and without the need for me to constantly follow-up. From running field projects independently and supervising other undergraduate students to proofreading and writing technical reports, UBC Forestry co-op students are equipped to make a real contribution to our research. In addition to the help they provide me on a daily basis, these co-op students enrich the experience of our local students by providing them with opportunities to interact with peers from another culture, different political system and who have different perspectives. I am thoroughly impressed with the UBC Forestry co-op program and the students we have worked with over the years and we are happy to share in the development of practical skills that these students will take with them throughout their careers.
- Dr Pierre Ackerman, Senior Lecturer/Researcher
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Hiring a UBC Forestry Co-op student as a Junior Forest Technician this summer has been a great fit for our company. We were impressed with the skills he learned from school and he fit right in from day one and didn't miss a beat. He came to us with a really good field based skills set as well as GIS and mapping skills which allowed him to hit the ground running. Because of the co-op student’s ability to adapt, we are able to have him work on a bit of everything; from timber reconnaissance work to head cruising and working on a research paper. We are project based and have a wide range of clients which makes each day exciting for young people and a great environment for co-op students to learn. We look forward to growing our relationship with the UBC Forestry Co-op Program and providing more opportunities for co-op students to develop in their career.
- Tyrone Johnston, RPF, PAg, RPBio
TJ Consulting LTD., Williams Lake, BC
UBC Co-op students from the Center for Advanced Wood Products Processing provide a fresh perspective, unbridled enthusiasm for learning new skills and willingness to share their technical skill set with existing employees. In particular, I have been very impressed with our student’s analytical skills and ability to quickly understand our dynamic Export business. She has been able to take on problem with minimal instruction and provide innovative solutions for our team.
The Co-op program is an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience in the industry in both a variety of different companies as well as a different areas of the wood industry. As a WPP Co-op alumna I can attest to the valuable experience gained from this program and the excellent opportunity to develop important contacts at the beginning of your career.
- Dianna Embleton - Team Lead, Export Product Coordinator
Tolko Marketing and Sales, Vernon BC
UBC co-op students from the Wood Products Processing Program provide Tolko with the opportunity to expose students entering the job market with valuable industry experience. Students in turn provide prospective employers with a strong academic baseline along with practical, applicable on the job skills for today’s market. Students are able to take on various projects and initiatives which could include process improvement, business analysis, market research, customer support and a multitude of other responsibilities from the mill to the customer. Ultimately, the co-op program enriches companies who choose to support the program by providing a different, new perspective on how to undertake business and innovate.
- Jean-Michel Broschart, North American Lumber Sales Manager
Tolko Marketing and Sales
As an organization that is in the education business, co-op students bring something extra to our workplace because they generally have more relevant work experience, as well as a strong work ethic. It is important to us that students learn the best practices in the industry and that they understand the reasons why we do things the way we do. Our current co-op student has worked with forest fire prevention, fire weather data collection and reporting, and GIS software to do road and cutblock layout. We frequently hire UBC Forestry Co-op students and appreciate their drive to learn while they are on a work term with us.
- Ionut Aaron
Research Coordinator, UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest
How has our workplace benefited after taking on a UBC Forestry co-op? Countless ways! Coming from the best Forestry faculty in the world, these student ambassadors consistently live up to their reputation. They brought to us an up-to-date knowledge of the forestry industry, professionalism, and impressive problem-solving skills--not to mention an unparalleled positive energy! This collaboration benefits both sides, as we were able to enrich our co-op students' education through problem-based learning and by giving them a first-hand look at current challenges and opportunities in forestry. If you're uncertain about whether to hire co-op, we encourage you to go out on a limb - you'll knot be disappointed!
- Amanda Johnston
Scientist, UBC Wood Science Advanced Renewable Materials Group
We have a Forestry program at the University of Alberta but not a Faculty devoted to the field so we have had a tough time finding people with experience or interest in working in the forest. In the past, we have hired Biology students but none of them really had much experience being in the bush. So for our research project, I suggested that we try finding a student from the UBC Faculty of Forestry and the results have been great, especially when it comes to the field work. The UBC Forestry co-op student has been more prepared to take on field work than students we have had in the past and this has been a real benefit to us and our research. For this particular project, so much of it is hard-core field work that it has been crucial for us to get the right candidate thanks to the co-op program. We have also taken the time to share the biology of work with our co-op student so he can develop these professional skills. For example, if his supervisor in the field happens to pull the bark from a tree and sees fourth instar mountain pine larvae, pupae and adults all in the same tree she will call him over and make sure that he can see all of the different life stages and learn more about the biology of this important forest pest.
- Dr. Maya Evenden
Professor, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Here at the Waterton Lakes National Park we very much appreciate the high energy and positive attitude that co-op students bring to the workplace. As an organization that works on a number of ecological projects throughout the summer, we count on our UBC Forestry co-op student to assist us with conducting field surveys in wetland ecosystems, maintaining social media feeds and monitoring red listed songbird species. We have noticed a difference between co-op and non-co-op students in that co-op students have already considered their career goals and know how this job will help them achieve their long-term goals. It is important to me that we give these rare field based positions to students who need this kind experience for their field of study. Not only are co-op students often the cream of the crop, with relevant technical skills and the ability to learn quickly, they are crucial to the success of our summer projects.
- Barb Johnston
Ecosystem Scientist, Waterton Lakes National Park
We recognize the value in hiring UBC Faculty of Forestry Co-op students and having them working with us has helped us to complete projects that will last for years to come.Our return on investment in this venture has been great – allowing co-op students to get the field experience they need while helping us accomplish work we normally would not have the time or resources to touch. I am glad to have an opportunity to help shape the next generation of forestry professionals and I can see the students truly benefit from this experience.
Another benefit to hiring co-op students is that they are a lot closer to the workforce – the hit the ground running with their boots on, arriving with more skills and they understand the basics needed to get to work. I would hire another co-op student can easily recommend that others do the same.
- George Brcko, General Manager
Wells Gray Community Forest
West Fraser, BC Westline
The co-op program in UBC’s Forestry and Wood Products Processing programs has provided our company with an opportunity to train and develop full-time employees that we hope will continue long careers within our organization. Co-op students are eager, educated, and willing to put in the time to learn how our industry and its processes work. Although inexperienced, many of these individuals bring a unique approach to problem solving and these innovative new ways of thinking are a great asset in the field. As these students learn more about their day-to-day obligations at work they become more independent and are able to provide us with much-needed help.
- Jordan Rippon, Quality Control Supervisor
West Fraser Lumber Co., Williams Lake, BC
Co-op programs provide a unique opportunity for students to complement their education with the practical skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce, while providing employers access to out of the box, cutting edge knowledge. Weyerhaeuser continues to see the benefits of the UBC Wood Products Processing program and routinely posts for a diversity of positions. Students are partnered with strong mentors and work on a portfolio of challenging projects aimed at honing their skills. Having completed the WPP co-op program myself, I experienced firsthand both the skills learnt and the invaluable industry contacts made by completing this program.
- Graeme Dick, Senior Technical Director, Engineered Lumber Products