Fran Ferster

“The great thing about a Forestry degree is that it is such a diverse degree that it is difficult to take only one essential thing I have learned from it. You learn biological skills such as plant identification, soil science, entomology, hydrology and ecology. Then, however, there are the other skills that are very useful but not biological. These skills would encompass economics, business management, transportation and hauling, computer programs such as ArcGIS, and on and on. If I were forced to pick one thing from the long list, then I would have to pick dendrology (plant identification) as I absolutely enjoy it. After harvesting, it is the responsibility of forestry companies to ensure that hydrological components of the forest, soil and vegetation, among other things, are to be maintained at an acceptable standard. There are checks in place by the government to ensure these standards are met. As for when I graduate, I don't have my mind set on one thing. I have so many choices spanning either working for industry (where harvesting takes place), or for the Government (where checks are in place), or even for research. The research would be anything that can improve harvesting methods or silviculture methods, just to name a few. Working for Parks and Recreation, as well as urban forestry, must be considered. Forestry practices focus on sustainability by the employment of methods such as reforestation and silviculture for example – there are just so many options!

Fran is currently working towards a MSc degree in Forest Biology and Management in Renewable Resources under the supervision of Janusz Zwiazek.

Updated 23 February 2011