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Forester

Foresters apply scientific expertise to land and natural resource management and are responsible for implementing and supervising natural resource programmes in forestry and land use. They combine their knowledge of the biotic components of a forest, namely the trees and other vegetation, with the abiotic components of air, water, and soil to make sound management and planning decisions.

Job duties:

Duties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter as a forester:

1.Work with other professionals in an integrated management approach to balance the different demands in the forests.
2.Use forest modelling to ensure sustainability while planning for harvests to meet future demands for wood, including preparing management plans and reports.
3.Tender and review annual management plans for harvesting and silviculture.
4.Monitor the health, growth, mortality, and volume of forest components, including counts of live and dead trees and the state of groundcover and vegetation.
5.Protect forest ecosystems from insects, disease, and fire.
6.Oversee the harvesting of trees, including supervising staff, budgeting, and managing materials.
7.Manage planting crews and seedling and fertiliser stock requirements and monitor the health and growth of re-planted stands.
8.Contribute to the development of legislation, regulations, and policies related to natural resource management and ensure forest quality standards and environmental guidelines are met.
9.Provide input to inquiries and environmental impact assessments.
10.Communicate with the public and provide information on forest management and sustainable practices, including presentations on standards and guidelines and how these are being met.

Work environment:

Foresters work in a variety of locations, including:

In the field:

1.Monitoring the state of forests, including taking measurements and forest surveys
2.Monitoring harvest operations and supervising technical staff and work crews

In the office:

1.Analysing data on the computer, including database management
2.Working with other professionals to develop long-term management plans and prepare reports
3.Communicating on the phone and in meetings with clients, government departments, and the public
4.Responding to information requests from the public, as well as making presentations
 
In the lab:

1.Researching soil capability for growth
2.Researching forest health, including pathology, entomology, and tree physiology

Career opportunities:

1.Federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal government departments
2.Conservation authorities
3.Logging companies
4.Oil, mining, and hydro companies
5.Colleges and universities
6.Forestry and environmental consulting firms
7.Management co-operatives

Qualificaton:

If you are a high school student considering a career as a forester, you should have strong marks or an interest in:

1.Biology
2.Mathematics
3.Physical Education/Outdoor Education
4.Computer Science
5.Economics

In most cases, the minimum education requirement to work as a forester is a university undergraduate degree. If you are a post-secondary student considering a career as a forester, the following programmes are most applicable:
 
1.Ecology
2.Forestry
3.Environmental Science
4.Natural Resource Management
5.Environmental Studies

In most provinces, in order to work as a forester you must be a Registered Professional Forester with the province’s professional foresters association. The requirements for this designation vary among provinces.
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