Forestry sees first graduates

Jun 12, 2003, vol. 27, no. 4
By Diane Luckow



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For Victoria Stevens (left), there's nothing more interesting than a stable, well-managed road in a logging cutblock.

Stevens grew up on Vancouver Island where her father is a forester. She has seen the results of poor roadbuilding practices - washed out roads and landslides. Now, she hopes to help prevent such mishaps as she embarks on a career in the forestry sector.

A physical geography major, Stevens will be well-prepared - she's one of the first graduates of a new SFU certificate program in forestry geoscience.

Established as part of the $3.4 million Forest Renewal B.C. endowment to SFU, the program prepares students for a geoscience career in the forest industry. Stevens says the program's specialized classes in forest harvesting techniques, slope stability and forestry geotechnics will be extremely useful.

“The certificate opens the door into the geotechnical side of forestry resource management,” says Stevens, who graduated from the United World College of the Adriatic, in Italy, in 1996. “With the new forest practices code and the push for sustainable forest management, there will be a greater demand for geotechnical consultants to ensure that logging operations won't initiate landslides or damage fish streams.”

Stevens, who won a 2001 bursary competition sponsored by the Engineers and Geoscientists in the Forestry Sector, a division of the Association of Engineers and Geoscientists in B.C., convocates with a bachelor of physical geography in addition to her certificate. Then she's off to her first job as a field assistant collecting soil and water samples and providing environmental assessments for an Ontario firm.

Ultimately, however, she hopes to return to B.C. and help promote lower impact forestry practice through effective geotechnical planning.

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