UBC Forestry Co-op news, NSERC funding, updates and deadlines!
Faculty of Forestr Co-op Newsletter

Co-op Recruits

So many applications!
This year, more students applied to Co-op than ever before. With 140 applications received, approximately 57% of students eligible to join co-op have decided they would like to join this important program. 
In the coming months, students that have been conditionally admitted to Co-op will begin their employment training workshops. In addition to learning how to make tailored resumes and cover letters, they will participate in mock-interviews to hone their skills before meeting with actual employers. 

To get the inside scoop on Co-op, follow our students on Instagram @forestrycoop!

Co-op Updates

Final fall 2016 numbers
  • Scheduled for a work term: 51
  • Positions posted: 77
  • Applications sent: 70
  • Interviews: 14
  • Hired: 44 (86% employment rate)
    • Conservation: 17
    • Forestry: 11
    • Forest Sciences: 3
    • Wood: 13
  • International work terms: 6
    • Bolivia
    • Germany
    • Japan
    • Nepal
    • South Africa
    • United Kingdom 

Winter 2017 numbers (to date) 
  • Scheduled for a work term: 59
  • Positions posted: 41
  • Applications sent: 114
  • Interviews: 46
  • Hired: 14 (24% employment rate)
    • Conservation: 2
    • Forestry: 2
    • Wood: 10
  • Seeking: 45
  • International work terms: 2
    • Bolivia
    • Germany
Job search begins...
Students are actively looking for jobs that start in January and/or May of 2017. Employers interested in hiring Co-op students can send us their job postings or use our job posting form to get the ball rolling! To find out if your job qualifies as a Co-op position, consult the Employer Partner Guide or contact a Co-op Coordinator.

Students should keep in mind that independent job searching will increase your likelihood of getting hired. Check with your Co-op Coordinator before approaching an employer so we are not duplicating efforts. Not sure how to get started with your job search? Check-out these tips! 
Co-op Nights
We would like to thank those who came out to our Co-op Presentation Nights in September!  Our Co-op Night for the Conservation, Forestry, Forest Sciences, and Urban Forestry programs had over 100 guests, including 18 employers. The event also underwent a major overhaul to respond to the desires of students and employers who wanted more time for networking (and better food!). The feedback we received from the post-event survey indicates that our guests are loving the changes! There is still room for improvements so let us know what you think.

Our Wood Co-op Night was also a big success with 131 guests in attendance and 10 excellent presentations from intermediate and senior students. The one hour intermission gave everyone an opportunity to network, to view the posters from 8 junior students and to enjoy the appetizers and refreshments. With 48 industry and employer representatives and 8 other distinguished guests, we had one of the largest industry presences for the Wood Co-op Night! We hope to see you again for both of our Co-op Nights in January 2017! 
Poster Prize
Student posters were judged by faculty members on a range of criteria including content, structure, language, and overall impression. Congratulations to Emma Cunningham for winning first prize! Your next co-op work term course fee will be paid by the Dean's office. View Poster

We also had the following students receive top marks for their poster assignments
Need funding for research?
We have a total of 7 remaining NSERC USRA quota spaces available to students for the winter (January – April 2017) term.  Please let Tony know by November 15 (or sooner) if there are any eligible student/faculty pairs who would like to apply for the award next term.  Awards will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. Please submit an on-line NSERC application and then notify tony.loring@ubc.ca that you have submitted an application. NSERC eligibility criteria.
Welcome Hayley!
A warm welcome to Hayley Gong, this year’s Forestry Co-op Assistant! Hayley is a third-year Forest Resources Management student and is also enrolled in the Co-op Program.  She’ll be completing her work term requirements by assisting the Student Services staff as well as working closely with Tony Loring, Co-op Coordinator, in planning events, finding job opportunities for Co-op students and updating the Forestry Co-op Instagram page. Hayley is excited to help the Faculty of Forestry make your experience at UBC memorable! 
Contact: hayley.gong@ubc.ca, 604-822-3547

Student Stories

Zhiyun Cheng - Nanjing Forestry University, Jiangsu, China
For my first co-op work term I worked as a research assistant at Nanjing Forestry University. I worked on a research project named “Agroforestry and its impact on soil carbon storage”. I was supervised by Dr. Guibin Wang, professor of NFU college of International Education and guided by his graduate students. Most of the time, I was involved in labs and doing experiments. But what I learned most from this research experience was data analysis skills, which is a key step of doing scientific research. I learned how to use SPSS, a more professional software than Microsoft Excel, to deal with experimental data. During the first half of my co-op term, I worked together with a summer research group from Alabama Agricultural & Machanical University (AAMU), and I served as a translator for them. I am so glad that I helped them solve many problems that they could not deal with themselves. My trans-cultural communication skill was improved during this process. At the end of the work term, I completed a research paper and gave an oral presentation in front of NFU leaders. My Co-op experience allowed me to learn some real and practical hand-on skills, which is what most employers are looking for. I am confident that co-op experience makes me more competitive in job markets after my graduation.
Hayley Gong - Prince Albert National Park, Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan
Prince Albert National Park consists of two ecoregions: Mid-Upland Boreal and Boreal Transition. It is home to a large variety of plant and tree species, which provides food to support larger organisms such as the bison. One of the keystone species at this park, the free-roaming plains bison, helps shape the land by stomping and wallowing on the ground, hence eliminating the suckering aspen from taking over the grassland areas. I learned about the ethnobotany of the plants found in this park where I was able to practice my plant identification skills. During my work term as an assistant park interpreter, I got to work with the most welcoming interpretation team. Their utmost support had motivated me to be an active learner and be confident when speaking to the public.  I was also involved with the process on how to plan and execute interpretative programs at a national level. There is a lot of consideration in creating a program to include people of all ages so that everyone is aware of the importance of keeping our ecosystem healthy and lively.  If it weren’t for Co-op, I would have never gotten the opportunity to travel independently outside the province and see other environments outside the comfort of my hometown.

Ben McKinnon - Pacific Building Systems, Vancouver Island, BC
Over the course of my work term, I was designing floors, decks and truss systems for Pacific Building Systems prefabricated homes company of Vancouver Island. I spent most of my days at work using a computer program called Mitek Sapphire to convert architectural and engineering plans to 3D models of houses. I then used the 3D model that I created to test whether the structure would stand, or if certain beams or floor joists would fail under the weight of the building. My official title was Floor Technician as I was mostly responsible for designing and creating material lists of floors. The floors that I design are then cut to length in the yard, and sent on ships and trucks all over the world to be unpackaged and assembled on site. At one point, a floor and deck I designed was sent up to Harding Lake Alaska to be built on site. While designing these houses on the computer, I have learned a lot about how these engineering centered programs work. I find it to be both extremely powerful and efficient once I gained an understanding of how it works. I was given the opportunity to go out to some local job sites and see how these floor systems are built. Seeing this first hand has helped me in the office, as I can begin to make connections between what I do in design and what effects it has on the contractors and tradesmen at the work site. This work term experience had been educational and eye opening and will no doubt help me as I move forward into future Co-op positions.

Employer Testimonial

Barb Johnston, Ecosystem Scientist - Waterton Lakes National Park
Here at the Waterton Lakes National Park we very much appreciate the high energy and positive attitude that co-op students bring to the workplace. As an organization that works on a number of ecological projects throughout the summer, we count on our UBC Forestry co-op student to assist us with conducting field surveys in wetland ecosystems, maintaining social media feeds and monitoring red listed songbird species. We have noticed a difference between co-op and non-co-op students in that co-op students have already considered their career goals and know how this job will help them achieve their long-term goals. It is important to me that we give these rare field based positions to students who need this kind experience for their field of study. Not only are co-op students often the cream of the crop, with relevant technical skills and the ability to learn quickly, they are crucial to the success of our summer projects.

Co-op Debriefings

What? So what? Now what?
In late-September, we completed our Co-op debriefing sessions which involved small groups of students critically thinking about aspects of their co-op experience. This process allows students to gain awareness of different jobs available and hopefully create a better understanding on the path(s) they would like to pursue in their career. During the discussions, they summarized their skills and updated the Co-op Coordinator on the types of work they performed. Reflecting on work terms helps to build our students' understanding of the importance of their co-op work experiences. Students were asked to summarize their work term in one word and their responses are captured in the word-cloud below:


UBC Forestry Research

Check out our faculty's new Urban Forestry website! The site is designed to highlight our key Urban Forestry research initiatives within the UBC Faculty of Forestry as well as provide a resource for those looking to find articles and other information on this growing field.

Get Hired

Mark your calendars!
Meet a different employer every Tuesday in FSC 1005 at 12:30 as part of our highly successful "Get Hired" series. This is a great opportunity for employers to recruit students and for students to learn about opportunities in their field! This event is open to Co-op and non-Co-op students. 

Please RSVP and email Hayley if your plans change and you are no longer able to attend.

*Due to a scheduling conflict, Wood students will have separate events - contact Sanya Sivic, sanya.sivic@ubc.ca.
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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
Email: tony.loring@ubc.ca