Taylor Popyk: FPAC 2021 Green Dream Internship Program

Taylor Popyk
July 27, 2021

I am so excited to have been selected as a Green Dream Intern and to share my adventures with you for the summer, a HUGE thank you to FPAC for this opportunity! I’ve decided to start with an introduction to who I am and how I got here for my first post.

I am Taylor and was born and raised in 100 Mile House. It’s a pretty small town surrounded by bush in the South Cariboo region of British Columbia. Outdoor activities are a must if you live here as there is not a lot to do otherwise. Many people here enjoy quadding, hiking, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, you name it.

A nice little waterfall found in Centennial Park of 100 Mile House.

Right out of high school I was eager to pursue post-secondary education, funny enough, I didn’t originally select forestry as a major. I got accepted to the University of Northern BC in Prince George and started my first year in 2017 majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Fun, right? My first year had a bit of a rough start. I was enrolled in Math, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics (with labs!) in my first semester, and I felt out of place in my program. I didn’t feel particularly passionate about my program and was nearly flunking physics. Into my second semester was round two of this, but it was also the point where I began critically thinking about my degree and what I hoped to do out of university, and I realized and needed to shift directions. The Forest Ecology and Management degree at UNBC is very prominent, and I started to become friends with some of the students in it. Hearing about their courses interested me and I had to know more! I ended up introducing myself to some of the professors and talking with them about the degree as well, and by my second year, I was majoring in Forest Ecology and Management. From there, I started excelling at my courses because, hey, I really enjoyed what I was learning! In my second year, I also took a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course as part of my Forestry degree, and I LOVED it! Shortly after, I had declared my minor in GIS. I recently finished my fourth year of university completely online. The online format was, as I’m sure you can guess, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online delivery for a lab and field-oriented program was interested, but I believe my professors made the most of it and were able to deliver great content. Being surrounded by bush where I live made going outside and applying my knowledge from class very easy. I have one final semester and by December this year, I will officially be graduated from UNBC.

This summer I am working as a Silviculture student here at West Fraser in 100 Mile House. It is really great to be working in my hometown and surrounding forests. One of my posts this summer will be a “Day in the Life” with me at work, so stay tuned for that, as I will go more into what my job looks like and the many things I’ve learned along the way. As far as forestry goes, I really enjoy silviculture work. It really is more than just getting trees in the ground, you’re planting the forests of the future and many considerations go with that, particularly when facing climate change. I enjoy taking many photos while in the field so I will be sure to share those along the way.

Frogs are my favourite animals, when I see them it is always a good day!
A lynx seen on the way into a block.
I hiked a steep block, but the view at the top made it all worth it.

I hope you enjoyed my first post!

Taylor Popyk

For more information contact:
Kerry Patterson-Baker
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
Follow FPAC on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC
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