UBC Faculty of Forestry Co-op Newsletter - New Co-op Coordinator, Co-op Updates, Student Stories and Co-op joins Instagram!
Faculty of Forestr Co-op Newsletter

New Co-op Coordinator

Please join us in welcoming Sanya Sivic to the Faculty of Forestry. Sanya is the new Co-operative Education Coordinator and Recruitment Officer for the Wood Products Processing Program. In addition to working closely with employers in the Wood Products Sector, and marketing the program to local, national and international employers; Sanya will provide career advising to co-op students and facilitate Pre-Employment and Career Management workshops. She will also provide recruitment and student advising services to prospective WPP undergraduate students. Sanya holds a BBA in Human Resources and a joint major in Psychology from Simon Fraser University and has solid previous experience working in Co-operative Education.

Sanya is replacing Sudeh Jahan who is relocating with her husband to New York.  A very big thank you goes to Sudeh for her work particularly with the Wood Products Processing students and employers.  Sudeh’s professionalism and dedication have been matched by her caring manner and wonderfully friendly personality.  We will miss Sudeh and wish her well in the next stage of her career.

Co-op Updates

Summer 2015 numbers:
  • Positions posted: 1137
  • Employers: 231
  • Applications sent: 2049
  • Interviews: 336
  • Hired: 128 (75%)
  • International work terms: 20
    • 1 Australia
    • 3 Chile
    • 3 China
    • 1 Finland
    • 1 Germany
    • 2 India
    • 1 Indonesia
    • 2 Japan
    • 1 Nicaragua
    • 2 South Africa
    • 3 USA
Summer Site Visits
Part way through each work term, Co-op Coordinators check-in with employers and students to discuss the current work term. These meetings are used to provide ongoing support to co-op students & employers while gathering important information about the work site and the student’s progress. Students will be contacted during the summer to schedule these meetings with their Coordinator and work supervisor. Students are responsible for booking site visits for their employer with the Co-op Coordinator. A link for booking site visits and/or E-Visits will be sent to all Co-op Students in June.
Forestry Co-op Survey
Co-op students from the Forestry, Forest Sciences and Conservation disciplines are currently providing feedback via the Forestry Co-op Survey. This information will help us meet the needs of our students while addressing expectations and targeting areas for growth and/or restructuring. After the survey has closed (June 3, 2015), we will develop S.M.A.R.T. objectives to address the results. Findings will be shared with respondents later this summer and we will begin implementing improvements before the beginning of the next intake period in September 2015.

Student Stories

Luca Marsaglia - Chacocente Wildlife Refuge, Nicaragua
My work is divided between the morning and the night. In the morning I have been planting trees in the tropical dry forest in the area of Chacocente according to the reforestation project initiated by LCI Nicaragua. This morning work site includes screaming monkeys and crazy looking trees. The work is challenging sometimes because it gets very hot but the landscape and the wildlife make everything worth the effort. At night I have been collecting sea turtle eggs in order to prevent predators and people from getting to them. We collect the eggs in bags full of sand where the baby sea turtles are born. Once the babies are ready, we release them back into the ocean. I had never seen a sea turtle before in my life but I am now beginning to know and understand these beautiful creatures with the help of experts in the field. So far this Forestry Co-op work term has been unreal.

William Dao - Pacific Rim Cabinets, Delta, BC
My time with Pacific Rim cabinets has been one of both personal and professional growth. As a member of the finishing department, I've had my boots on the shop floor all summer, participating in the meticulous hands-on work required to turn an idea into a finished product. Whether I’m at a bench staining pieces, or in a spray-booth painting, my day to day duties present an array of interesting challenges. There has been no shortage of opportunities to gain new skills, and every day of work has deepened my understanding of the wood products industry. Being in co-op has really bolstered my abilities and confidence in where I’m taking my career, and I can say with certainty my future is all the better for it.

Chloe Williams – Stellenbosch University, South Africa
In January 2015, I left Canada’s icy landscape and moved to Stellenbosch, South Africa, to complete my last three co-op work terms. Under the mentorship of Dr Pierre Ackerman, I am working as a research assistant for the Department of Forest and Wood Science at Stellenbosch University. For the past three months, I have been involved with studies that focus on maximizing harvesting operations’ productivities and optimizing the wood supply chain. Coming from a conservation background, this has been an immense learning experience for me. Not only have I been exposed to theoretical material on timber harvesting, but I have also had the opportunity to go to the field to collect data on harvesting machines as well as help teach courses on the subject. In addition, I have written and edited articles for the department. From a personal viewpoint, living and working in a foreign country for the first time has been an invaluable opportunity for growth and inspiration. So far, South Africa has been a whirlwind of unpredictable and wondrous events. I am excited to discover what the rest of the year will bring! 

Employer Testimonial

Dr Pierre Ackerman, Senior Lecturer/Researcher - Stellenbosch University, South Africa
We have been receiving UBC Forestry co-op students here in South Africa since 2007 and this year marks the arrival of our twelfth co-op student in the Department of Forest and Wood Science at Stellenbosch University.  Over the years, each student has contributed to our projects and enabled me to delegate tasks with the confidence that the jobs will get done properly and without the need for me to constantly follow-up. From running field projects independently and supervising other undergraduate students to proofreading and writing technical reports, UBC Forestry co-op students are equipped to make a real contribution to our research. In addition to the help they provide me on a daily basis, these co-op students enrich the experience of our local students by providing them with opportunities to interact with peers from another culture, different political system and who have different perspectives. I am thoroughly impressed with the UBC Forestry co-op program and the students we have worked with over the years and we are happy to share in the development of practical skills that these students will take with them throughout their careers.  

Co-op on Instagram

A new way to stay connected...
In addition to the stories we post here and on the co-op website, there is a new way to see what’s going on in the Co-op Program. Last month we launched the UBC Forestry Co-op Instagram page @forestrycoop where students have been actively sharing their adventures across the province and around the world. If you want your co-op related pictures featured on our page, just tag “forestrycoop” or send your photo to Tony at


Call for Stories and Testimonials

Share your story...
Summer marks the beginning of a new cycle for the co-op program, and with this new season comes new stories from students and employers. For employers this is a chance to show UBC students the variety of work available in the field and possibly to attract co-op students to work with you in the future. For students it is a way to highlight what they have learned and to stay connected with their co-op peers. Just send us a picture of yourself and a paragraph (along with a signed consent form) and we will share your story in this newsletter and on our co-op website. If you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact Tony at
604-827-5196 or at    

Cover photo by Khalil Walji while on a Co-op work term in South Africa
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Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

Tony Loring
Co-op Coordinator - Faculty of Forestry
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: 604-827-5196