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By Sydney Goward on June 12 2017
I am incredibly excited to be writing to you all in my second year as a Green Dream Blogger! I hope there will be some familiar faces reading these posts, but even more so I hope my writing is able to reach many new people. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Sydney and this fall I will be heading into my fourth and final year in the Natural Resource Science degree program at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC.
Last year I had the opportunity of working at West Fraser in my beautiful hometown of Williams Lake, BC. I did mostly planning and silviculture work but also did some exploring on the operations side of forestry (you can catch up on all my posts from last summer here: http://thegreenestworkforce.ca/index.php/blog/blog-intern/sydney-goward/ . Even though I had a fantastic field season, I decided that as a student, it is important to diversify both your experience and education, so I didn’t commit to returning to West Fraser for a second work term, and instead began my pursuit of more biology related work.
In December I received a call from another division of West Fraser, Hinton Wood Products, offering me a position as a biologist’s assistant. As an extremely passionate individual for the Cariboo-Chilcotin region, it was the hardest decision of my life to accept my current position in Hinton, Alberta, especially since the relocation takes me 645 km from home! Since making the move, I have been amazed at the incredible opportunity before me and proud of myself for putting my education and career first. This is something I would highly recommend to anyone who is unsure about a new or scary opportunity. You should always go with the decision that scares you the most because that is the one that will help you grow!
Now for the exciting part – my job! I am working on several projects under the direct supervision of the Habitat and Wildlife Biologist, who by the way is incredible; I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about her later! My biggest project this summer is designing and conducting a study on stick nest structures (permanent nesting structures commonly built by birds like hawks and ravens but utilized by many other species). I am responsible for the background research, the study design, collecting the field data, logging all the data, analysing the data, preparing a publishable report, and doing a presentation for the company.
Some of my other involvements include: Harlequin duck capture and tagging, mountain goat surveys, fish habitat assessments at stream crossings, Trumpeter Swan surveys, developing an uncommon plant community guide, working on a bat box project, spending a day visiting grizzly bear predation sites, and so much more.
As a worker in the forestry industry for the past four years, I see this job as a perfect bridge between my past forestry experience and my desire to engage in biological work and research in the future. One of the best parts of my summer is that you guys can be there with me through it all, thanks to the Forest Products Association of Canada! I hope to post one blog about every major or exciting project I work on, loaded with great pictures. I’d really like to encourage everyone to ask me any of your questions that might come up as you read my posts and I’ll be sure to do my best to answer them! Thank you for your support!