Who, How and What

June 24, 2019 1:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

How do trees access the internet?

They log on.

Welcome back to the blog, and thank you for joining me. In this instalment, I’d like to provide a biography of myself, including the experiences that have led me to where I am today – a member of the Greenest Workforce. We will conclude with a brief discussion of some of the topics I’d like to cover in my upcoming instalments. My goal is to focus on the innovative technologies being utilized in the forestry sector.

I am currently enrolled in my fourth year of studies in the School of Environment and Geomatics at Selkirk College, in my hometown of Castlegar, British Columbia (BC).

In 2018, I graduated with a technological diploma in Recreation, Fish and Wildlife (RFW). My RFW diploma provided me with a diversified knowledge base and suite of practical skills. During which time, I learned about managing outdoor recreation, ecosystems, wildlife and fisheries. Other educational experiences through RFW in botany/plant identification and surveying techniques helped me gain a co-operative (co-op) education position with the Range Branch of the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. I ended up being an assistant for the Invasive Plant Program for two field seasons. With this position I travelled across BC surveying and treating invasive vegetation on crown land. As such, I saw harvest operations throughout different regions in BC, including: the East and West Kootenays, Okanagan, Columbia-Shuswap, and Cowichan Valley.

After completing my two co-op seasons with the Invasive Plant Program, I returned back to Selkirk College to continue my studies in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) undergraduate degree. I anticipate completing my degree in April 2020. Thus far I’ve learned about the theory behind GIS and the many applications thereof. Data management, cartography, remote sensing, satellite and global positioning systems (GPS), un-manned aerial vehicles (UAV), computer programming and web development were all covered by the program in the third year. GIS and its technologies can be applicable in nearly any industry, but our program focused primarily on environmental, health, and social sciences.

These experiences helped me gain employment with Canfor in the Woodlands Information Management (WIM) department as a GIS co-op student. The main purpose of this position is to provide accurate and reliable data products to better inform woodlands business decisions. On a daily basis, I interact with cut-blocks, roads, streams and other landscape features in the digital realm. For example: after field operations use GPS receivers to mark the locations of woodlands assets, our team uploads that data to the database in the form of spatial and tabular records. From this data we help inform the cruising and permitting stages of a cut-block. On a daily basis the software I interact with the most is Esri’s ArcGIS for Desktop, as well as a custom-designed Land Resource Manager platform made by Trimble. With these two pieces of software, I am able to edit such spatial data as: the polygons that make up cut-blocks, the lines that make up streams and roads, and the points that make up reach breaks and wildlife points. Tabular data refers to the attributes of those features, like: the area of a cut-block, the length of a road, or the classification of a stream.

As I become more immersed in this industry, I am grateful to be learning more about innovative technologies that are being utilized to inform decisions made about our forests. These technologies will be the focus of my upcoming blog instalments. Topics include:

  • What LiDAR data is and how its products are being used in the industry.
  • How mobile applications are changing field data collection.
  • Different methods of visualizing and analyzing forestry data.
  • And more!

Thank you for tuning in to my Green Dream Job Blog.

– Leeza Perehudoff

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