Are you the type of person who thinks about the future of our environment? Do you want to participate in making a plan that ensures that we will always have thriving forests in Alberta? Foresters do just this. There are different kinds of foresters who work together to ensure a balance between the needs of humans, animals, and all other aspects of the environment. In this Forestry Job Profile, Kandis Dickhaut will tell us about her role as a Silviculture Forester.
Tell me about your job. Who do you work for? What is your role in the organization?
I am a silviculture forester for Weyerhaeuser-Pembina; I work out of the Edson, Alberta office. I am one of the foresters in the Pembina Region that grow and cultivate trees.
What role do silviculture foresters play in the forest industry?
My role as a silviculture forester comes after harvest. I deal with reforesting the areas we cut and making sure they establish and grow so that we can have healthy forests for the future.
What is your training background? What made you decide to take this career path?
I graduated with my diploma from the renewable resource management program out of Lethbridge Community College (LCC). It was there, in my forestry class at LCC that sparked my interest. This, along with my love of nature and being outside, is what made me pursue a forestry career. Then I obtained my degree in forest management from the University of Alberta in 2006.
What does a typical day looking like for you?
I split my time between the office and the field. A typical day in the summer consists of being in the field checking on contractors, making sure they are working safely and understand the directions they were given. A typical day in the winter is in the office planning the programs that are implemented over the summer months as well as making sure this information gets captured and reported correctly to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD).
What sort of impact does your work have on your organization?
As a silviculturist I believe making sure our regenerating forest meets provincial reforestation standards. Seeing how this impacts the timber supply for the future has huge impacts to our organization.
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
Some challenges most foresters face in their career would be wildlife encounters, working in adverse weather conditions, and work alone.
What qualities make up an ideal candidate for a position like yours?
Silviculture requires a good mix of qualities. The individual has to be comfortable working independently outside and in remote locations. I deal with a lot of people and contract management so having people skills is an asset. Having data management skills is important since silviculturists are always dealing with large amounts of information.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
I love that my job is diverse and is never boring. I love that this job takes me outside and that I have a hand in making sure that the forest is sustainable. Some interesting aspects of my job are I get to work in helicopters, drive quads in remote areas, and see some amazing terrain.
Click here to learn more about the Silviculure Forestry profession. Also, have a look at these post-secondary forestry programs in Alberta:
University of Alberta: Forest Science & Management
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT): Forest Technology