June 10, 2019 2:45 pm 1 Comment
My name is Calvin Jensen. I am an Environmental Sciences Summer Student at Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. (Al-Pac). The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) has provided me with the opportunity to share a bi weekly blog about my experiences in the forest industry. I’m very excited to share the work I’ll be doing with you each week. Before going into further detail about my position and experiences, I will tell you a bit about my background and decision to join the forest industry.
I grew up in Central Alberta in the foothills of the Rockies. I would spend my summers hiking in the forests by Sundre and swimming. After high school, I spent a year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student in Norway; where I became more enamored with the natural world and its beauty. Once I returned to Canada, I enrolled in the Bachelor of Biological Sciences and Scandinavian Studies program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. After some minor academic struggles and soul searching, I transferred into the Forestry program and have never looked back.
The past few years in the Forestry program have been some of the most informative and best experiences of my life. During my degree, I worked for the University of Alberta Botanic Garden and the Tree Improvement Lab. I delayed graduation to pursue an internship opportunity at Ducks Unlimited Canada. I also worked with the Canadian Wildlife Service before being offered this position at Al-Pac.
I couldn’t help but wonder what I was getting myself into before I started my first field position with a forest company. So far, it has been a great and enlightening experience. My position allows me to learn how to harvest timber from the land base in an environmentally responsible manner from experienced and intelligent industry professionals.
In my position, I am required to develop monitoring reports for the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification, monitor fish and stream crossings, and study seismic line regeneration. I hope to eventually help out with the other units (planning, operations, and Poplar Farms) to round my experience this summer. I might even have the chance to help out with the Alberta wildfires in a support and logistics role if needed.
I have created a small list of personal and professional goals for the summer including:
- Increase my understanding of the forest sector and its activities on the land-base
- Become competent at driving an ATV in all conditions
- Visit provincial parks in the Boyle area (Sir Winston Churchill Park and Long Lake)
- Plan a canoeing trip with my friends
- Develop monitoring reports for FSC® certification and become better acquainted with FSC®
- Receive a tour of the Al-Pac mill site operations
- Learn about the Poplar Farms
- Catch a fish
- Learn to bushwalk without constantly falling down
- Assist with the firefighting operations in Northeast Alberta
- Network with and learn from my fellow summer students
Thank you for reading my blog this week! Check out my blog next week to learn about my progress in reaching my goals for the summer. I can’t wait to share my exciting experiences and many wildlife/plant/wetland photos with you.