Tree Sparks interviews Jocelyn, a Forest Management student from the Scottish School of Forestry in celebration of International Women’s Day 2019.

What do you study?

I’m currently in my 4th year of Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Forest Management at the Scottish School of Forestry, Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands.

Why forestry?

I started off as a climber working in arboriculture on the side and then followed that into academics. After 3 years of study in urban forestry and arboriculture, I branched out into forestry so that I could work in more rural environments.

Favourite Tree?

Tie between Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) and Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum). EWP has 5 needle bundles that are super soft and a very beautiful overall shape. Sugar Maple has beautiful fall colours and Maple Syrup (Canadian. Can you tell?).

What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing forestry today?

Forestry is in a sweet spot right now as a brand because wood is one of the ultimate renewable resources. In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing the sector is to continue down the renewable path and make sure we don’t get to greedy and plant trees in inappropriate places or groups in order to make the biggest profit. Essentially, ensuring everyone is keeping their ethics in line. 

What next?

I want to work in communication and use forests as a means to help people. It might be risk management or health and safety or recreation…I’m not sure of the specifics but I know that teaching and helping people is my goal.

Advice for future female foresters?

I live my life by two quotes from two women. They are applicable to anyone, in any career.  “The most effective way to do it is to it.”  – Amelia Earhart “I don’t care if you like it” – Amy Poehler