I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to share my experiences this summer with all of you! If you’ve had the chance to see my introductory video, you’ll already know that my name is Mark Tennant and I’m spending my green dream summer as a Silviculture Summer Student with EACOM Timber here in beautiful Northern Ontario! With this being my first post of the summer, I’ll be taking the opportunity to share a bit more about myself.
For starters, I was born and raised way down in “the forest city” of London Ontario. Yep, you heard that right! I’m both a southerner and an urbanite; so naturally, you might be wondering how in the world I ended up choosing a career in forestry, and that’s what I’ll be writing about today. The classic story you’ve probably heard from coworkers and forestry students is one of growing up surrounded by nature. Hunting, fishing, quadding and other outdoor traditions are probably what brought many of you to consider a career working in the bush, but this was not even close to the case for me! Growing up in London, a city of 400,000 people, nature was anything but close by! I grew up with nature as a kind of rare treat, and for someone who’s always looking for new experiences, this is exactly what attracted me to look for a career in managing natural resources.
In Grade 11, I had the amazing opportunity to be part of my high school’s Environmental Leadership Program; a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) meant to get high school students out of the classroom and into the outdoors. This education also helped me score a student position as a Stewardship Youth Ranger with the Aylmer district office of the Ontario MNR the following summer. During that summer, I had the chance to work with various professionals from all kinds of resource management departments. I gained experience in everything from invasive species removals, to planting trees, to releasing baby snapping turtles; but the most influential of these experiences for me were the ones I had working alongside foresters managing stands of the native Carolinian forest. I was utterly fascinated by all the rare and interesting species of trees that grow in southern Ontario, and also by all the processes that went into their management. It was during this summer that I decided to make my career in forestry.
Fast forward to today, and I’m headed into my third year of my Bachelor’s of Science in Forestry at the University of New Brunswick and loving every minute it! (Aside from all the stress of online learning that is… haha…) I’m also back for a second year with EACOM Timber where I work as a Silviculture Summer Student, assessing the quality of our treeplant operations and monitoring site preparation. (I hope to share more of these projects in future posts.)
If there’s anything I would want to say to young people considering a job in the forest industry, it would be that as long as you’re interested and willing to put in effort, you don’t have to come from the same communities or have had the same experiences as everyone else. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve still got loads to learn, but for now this city boy is doing just fine!
Lastly, I also want to offer a huge thank you to Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) for giving me such a great platform to share all my experiences this summer. I’ve got a lot in store and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.
Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!