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.

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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. 

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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).

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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.

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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. 

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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

Comments

  1. Yaser

    Hi, l am from Iran and I want to work as a forester in your country. Please help me.

  2. annnormand

    Hello,

    To be a Forester in Alberta, you must hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Forest Management. If you do not have a Forest Management degree, you can attain that at a few Canadian universities, including the University of Alberta. If you hold a Forest Management degree from outside of Canada, it may be recognized in Canada.

    Once you have your Forest Management degree, you must register with the College of Alberta Professional Foresters (CAPF) in order to work as a forester.

    After registering with CAPF, you will be eligible to work as a forester in Canada. At this point, you can search through our Job Postings page to find vacancies for foresters.

    Let us know if you have any questions. Best of luck to you!

  3. billy

    Hi, i am concerned about the wildlife encounters. I have noticed this issue is just brushed off to the side, I feel like more attention should be given to this. I would not feel comfortable working knowing a bear/cougar might pounce on me anytime!

  4. annnormand

    Thank you for your comment, Billy. While wildlife encounters are rare, they are taken very seriously by forestry professionals. When Foresters and Forest Technologists go through their training, they are required to undergo wildlife safety training. They also carry protective equipment such as bear spray when working in the wild. Many companies also have “Working Alone Policies”, requiring their forestry workers to be in groups of at least two when heading out. Wildlife is unpredictable and we are not able to control the actions of wild animals, but we take many measures to lessen the likelihood of incidents.

  5. Olalekan

    Hello, I’m from Nigeria and I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry and wildlife Management. I currently work as a Forest Research Officer in the Ministry of Environment in my country. I have field experience and I will like to have my graduate degree in Canada and also work if permitted. can you be of help, please.

  6. annnormand

    Hi Olalekan,

    The Canadian Institute of Forestry lists the Canadian universities that offer graduate studies in forestry here: https://www.cif-ifc.org/university/

    If you plan to work in Canada as a forester, you will be required to register with the College of Professional Foresters.

    Once you are qualified to work in Canada, you can search our job postings page for forestry jobs across Alberta.

    I hope this is helpful for you!

    Ann

  7. Jose Mulino

    Hello,
    I am an Environmental Technician graduated at Keyano College in Fort McMurray. I also have 4 years of Veterinary Medicine from Venezuela and I am currently a Canadian Citizen. I wondered if I could pursue a career in forestry as I am interested to increase my knowledge in the area.

    I appreciate your help.

  8. Ann Normand

    Hi Jose,

    Most of our Forest Management positions require candidates to be Registered Professional Foresters or Registered Professional Forest Technologists. In order to register, you must hold a Degree in Forest Management or a Diploma in Forest Technology.

    From time to time we post jobs that include other Environmental Science backgrounds. Presently, we have a couple of positions which might be a fit for you, including: http://workwild.ca/jobposting/2015/11/23/forest-health-technician/ and http://workwild.ca/jobposting/2015/11/30/alberta-wildfire-wildland-fuels-inventory-lab-technician/.

    Check our Job Postings page regularly to see if other positions come up that might work for you.

    All the best to you in your search!

    Ann

  9. umar

    hello i am forestry graduate in my country nigeria but i need field knowdlege . I have H N D

  10. Ann Normand

    Hi Umar,

    If you want to acquire forestry field experience in Alberta, you will have to check with the College of Alberta Professional Foresters or the College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists to see if your education will qualify you to work here. You will also have to acquire a work permit for Canada.

  11. Nicole

    Hello! I’m interested in becoming a Forester, specifically a Silviculturist. I’m not too sure on how exactly I get there however! I know I want to work in Alberta though. I also know that I must get a Bachelor’s in Forest Management, but I cannot find where in Alberta I can achieve this.

    Thank you for your attention!

  12. Ann Normand

    Hi Nicole,

    It’s great to hear you’re interested in becoming a forester. The only Forest Management degree program in Alberta is offered at the University of Alberta. Once you graduate from a forestry program, you’ll have to register as a professional forester with the College of Alberta Professional Foresters in order to work as a forester in Alberta. Once you are registered, I recommend monitoring these 3 websites for silviculture positions:

    http://workwild.ca/jobpostings/
    http://www.findaforestryjob.com/
    http://www.canadian-forests.com/job.html

    All the best in your career plans, and let us know if you have any questions.

    Ann

  13. i finished bachelor of science in forestry outside canada, im currently working as landscapping labourer here in calgary alberta, i want to work/apply in the feild that i want (any forestry job) but idont know where to start. any advice……

  14. Ann Normand

    Hi Joey,

    If you plan to work in Alberta as a forester, you will be required to register with the College of Alberta Professional Foresters.

    These 3 websites are also a good place to browse and apply for forestry jobs:

    http://workwild.ca/jobpostings/
    http://www.findaforestryjob.com/
    http://www.canadian-forests.com/job.html

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Ann

  15. Mark Roland C, Balibalos

    Hi! im mark. i am a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Forestry here in the Philippines. I’ve experienced working for 1 year at DENR ( Department of Environment and Natural Resources ) here in the Philippines as a Forest Ranger. Hopefully im planning to work in Canada as a Forester or any job for forestry. Can you give me some advice?

  16. Ann Normand

    Hi Mark, thanks for getting in touch! Having your degree is a step in the right direction. In order to work in Alberta as a forester, you’ll have to register with the Association of Alberta Forest Management Professionals (AAFMP). Given that you studied outside of Alberta, you may have you take some courses to qualify to register as a professional forester in the province. If you want to learn more about registering as a forest management professional, you can visit the AAFMP website. The other important piece is that you’ll have to ensure you are eligible to work in Canada. Once those are sorted out, our Job Board is an excellent next step, as forestry companies from around the province post vacant positions regularly. I hope this is helpful, and let us know if you have any questions.

  17. Sherlin Jose

    Hi, i finished my bachelor degree in Forestry and i am an Indian and i studied at India. and i wish to work in Canada. can you please hep me.

  18. Emma Kniel

    Hi Sherlin,
    Thank you for reaching out! There are some steps you will need to take in order to work within the forest sector in Canada, and having your degree in forestry is a step in the right direction already.
    You will need to ensure that you are eligible to work in Canada first. There is lots of information available to help you complete this step on the Government of Canada’s website.
    Many forestry positions in Canada will also require you to register with a provincial regulatory board. Here in Alberta, you would need to register with the Association of Alberta Forest Management Professionals. On their website, you can find all the information on how to register.
    Once you have completed these steps and are beginning to look for positions there are many great job boards focused on the forest sector. We have a job board where you can see current work opportunities within Alberta. The Canadian Forests website also has a job board which is a great resource if you are looking for forestry work in other provinces.
    I hope this is helpful, and please let us know if you have any other questions we can help you with!

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