YFA Diaries

On 16th September 2013 the winner of the CFA Young Forester Award, Tololupe Daramola from Nigeria began his work placements with the the University of British Columbia, Canada.  You can read his work diary here.


Week 13 marked the end of my YFA placement.  While enjoying the beautiful downpour of snow I spent most of the week outside in the field doing layout and measuring the designated stand for the education demonstration site.  The site will be planted by spring 2014 with the hope to be physically concentrated, easily accessible to large groups, and show a range of conditions with enduring value to teaching and learning.


Continued assisting in the planning of forestry education and demonstration sites project, and joined the student volunteer team in trail work.


I joined the team working on the planning of forestry education and demonstration sites at the research forest. I assisted the team in data inputs and analysis of scenarios of different management options. The project will replace outdated demonstration sites and provide an environment for integrating student learning with contemporary examples of sustainable forest management and silviculture practices. The project will optimize the layout and implementation of new and existing forestry demonstration sites with regard to accessibility and usefulness into the future.


Vacation week, traveling.


I completed an extension document for the potential of UBC research forests to generate carbon offsets. The document examines the potential for the Alex Fraser Research Forest (AFRF) and Malcolm Knapp Research Forest (MKRF) to offset the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Carbon emissions.

In its fair share of responsibility, the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2010 announced aggressive greenhouse gas emissions targets for UBC’s Vancouver campus. As an established leader in energy and climate management, UBC reached its Kyoto protocol targets in 2007. The university reduced GHG emissions from academic buildings to six per cent below 1990 levels as directed by the Kyoto protocol despite a 35 per cent growth in floor space and a 48 per cent growth in student numbers. Compare to 2007 levels, GHG emissions of the UBC will be reduced: to 33 per cent by 2015, 67 per cent by 2020 and 100 per cent by 2050.

The quest toward meeting these commitments mandated the UBC to include offsetting emissions through carbon sequestration captured from the UBC research forests. The extension document analyzed the preliminary study sponsored by the UBC sustainability office which was conducted in 2012 and examined the potentials of the two research forests whether or not they are viable for forest carbon offsetting projects and what this means to the two entity.

Overall outcome of the study shows that the UBC emissions can be offset between 61% to 74% by the year 2050 at both research forests combined, on the other hand, the cost of project implementation shows between 3 to 4.7 times higher on purchase from the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) at $25 per carbon credit. The use of ex-ante between the UBC and PCT is an option to be considered in order to maximize the carbon credits generated from both forests, provided agreement is reached.


The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2010 announced aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets for UBC’s Vancouver campus. The quest toward meeting this commitment mandate the University to include offsetting emissions through carbon sequestration captured from the UBC research forests. This week, I started working on providing extension document for the study that was done last year on potential of UBC research forests to generate Carbon offsets. The document will be provided in a layman language and will be distributed amongst colleagues and visitorscoming to the research forests.


I commence the second phase of my work placement at the Malcolm Knapp research forest. I began with reading and getting to know about the organization, history and current projects. The Malcolm Knapp Research Forest (MKRF) is a 5,157 ha forest estate located in the foothills of the Coast Mountains, approximately 60 km East of Vancouver, British Columbia. It falls entirely into the Coast Western Hemlock, with the Southern half in the dry maritime subzone, and the Northern half in the very wet maritime subzone. Wildfires and logging have created a mosaic of even aged stands, with the Western half being covered by 120 year old stands and the Eastern half by 70 year old stands, and some small patches of 400+ year old stands are spread throughout the Northern portion of the forest estate. In addition, forest harvesting since 1949 has led to a range of second and third growth age classes from 1 to 40 years. I look forward to my experiences in the weeks ahead.


This week, I focus on improving skills for developing proposals for research funding and I participated in the German Research Foundation (DFG) reception that was held in Seattle on Tuesday. The reception was organized to connect researchers, including early stage researchers interested in collaboration with German researchers or institutes for different projects.


The week 5 took a turn on getting my hands on the new technologies available on mobile devices for forest operation  and research work. I participated in the mobile technology workshop organised by Susan Mulkey from the British Columbia Community Forest Association. The workshop enlisted participation of forest professionals around williams lake and trainned on making use of different apps. available on mobile devices like phone and ipad for different forestry activities.

  WEEK 4

I participated in a week long data update of the long term research project on the performance of ponderosa pine and western larch planted north of natural ranges. The research project started in 2005. The rationale is based on the growing concern and prediction that  climate change will outstrip the ability of vegetation to move by natural distributionand the methodical movement of tree species and genotypes from the south towards the north of the British Columbia province.

The main objective of the study is to compare the growth of ponderosa pine and western larchoutside of their range to each other among three biogeoclimatic subzones in the Cariboo region.




It was another exciting week of work, learning and meeting new people. We welcomed group of students from the Vancouver Island University for a day tour round the facilities and ongoing projects at the research forest. The tour which lasted the whole day on monday was held at the Gavin Lake forest site. We went through different management practice for each block depending on species, soil type and exposure to climate. Covering 6,315ha, located adjacent to beaver valley near quesnel lake. The site is mainly dominated with mixed stands of Douglas-Fir, lodgepole pine, trembling aspen, western redcedar, hybrid spruce and subalpine fir.

The second day, tuesday, was another field visit to the Knife Creek site, mainly to markout young trees for bio-energy use by the city. This spurred my interest in visiting Atlantic Power Corporation at Williams Lake. The Williams Lake Project is a 66 MW biomass-fired generating facility which commenced commercial operations since April 1993. Williams Lake sells energy to BC Hydro under a long-term PPA expiring in 2018. Biomass fuel is mianly provided to the project under short-term and long-term wood waste supply agreements with various suppliers and sawmills in williams lake. The rest of the week was spent at Gavin Lake forest, tagging wetland zones for further management plans.



I began the second week with an in office project. With the help of Mircea Rau, the planner and silviculturist of the research forest, I had the opportunity to work on mapping out the riprarian zones of the research forest sites using ArcGIS. The task help to improve my skills on advance GIS tools and better understanding of the geographical distribution of all types of forest plantations around williams lake. The  project lasted for three days before i joined Don Skea, the operations supervisor of the research forest in monitoring the heli-logging operation that is  going on at the shelterwood forest site, mainly using helicopter to airlift logs from the stump site to landing.  I wrapped up the week activities following up on IPCC 5th assessment report, reading the summary report for the policy makers that was released on Friday. 


I was excited when i received the warm message that i have been selected for the 2013 CFA Young Forester Award. The news came at the right time of my career when i long for more hands-on technical and scientific prowess to address the growing environmental concern in Africa and around the world. I obtained my bachelor's degree in forestry and wood technology at the Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria and masters degree in Global Change Management at Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany. As an early stage professional, i have established foundation across range of interdisciplinary networks that is gear towards forest management and sustainable activities around Land Use Land Use Change and Forest. However, my skills are dominated by theoretical knowledge and the needed field experience to function as a seasoned forestry professional are limited.

I was particularly excited when i learnt that the work placement attached to my mandate as the 2013 Young Forester Award winner would be carried out at the research forest of the University of British Columbia (UBC). UBC is a top notch higher institution of learning ranked number one in Canada and among the tops around the world in forestry education. So it was a refreshing week with mixed feelings centered on my goals and what is expected from me as I took off to Canada. I arrived the British Columbia on the 13th September, my first stop was the Malcolm Knapp research forest of the UBC at Maple Ridge where I spent the first weekend at their Marc House and on Monday the 16th September I proceeded to the Alex Fraser research forest at Williams Lake where I will spend the next two months working with staffs and visiting researchers before returning to the Malcolm Knapp research forest for the third month.

The week started off with an introduction to the organization, the people, safety, research forest operations, policies and a tour round the facilities of the organization by the research coordinator, Cathy Koot. I was introduced to the staffs and later visited ongoing projects at the two main sites of the organization in Gavin Lake, where forest operation is ongoing and knife creek where forest fire outbreak has just been suppressed. The week was concluded with discussions about my project and work schedules and I am excited to learn about different projects on my calendar which I will be reporting in coming weeks.