Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Traci Leys-Shirok

Grad Class of 1998

Immediately upon graduation with a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science in 1998, I was employed with the Ministry of Forests as a Regional Range Ecologist for the Prince George Forest Region. The main duties of this job involved implementing a large research program in representative plant communities through-out the diverse ecosystems of the Prince George Region. Armed with the skill sets of the degree program and work experience, I became a Resource Planner with the Ministry in the Fort St. James and Vanderhoof Forest District. The requirements for this job, truly "put into practice" the philosophy of the NRS degree. I was involved in a multitude of projects ranging from Access Management, Lakeshore Classification, Caribou Managment, Timber Supply Review, Scenic Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation. The highlight of the Resouce Planning job included implementing the provinces "Old Growth Strategy" in the Vanderhoof District. I was responsible for identifying and establishing areas on the landbase that would be conserved for old growth retention over time. This involved creating a methodology that was defendable and measurable using field sampling and GIS analysis. Most recently, I was involved in presenting technical information on current forest management practices to the Chief Forester during the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) determination for the Prince George Timber Supply Area.

Currently, I am a Strategic Land Use Planner with the newly created Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM) in the Prince George Region. This is a unique opportunity to develop partnerships with industry, the create economic certainty while maintaining ecological integrity through the development of strategic land use plans.

While employed with MSRM, I am working toward my Masters in Environmental Planning at the University of Northern BC. I am focusing on the development of a conceptual model that will guide criteria and indicators selection to measure success in achieving sustainable forest management goals for forest certification requirements.

In closing, the UCC NRS degree program is greatly valued and appreciated among colleagues, various resource agencies, and stakeholders for providing highly trained, skilled and diversified candidates. Multi-disciplinary training and experience is a requirement of today's practicing professionals, as to meet the demands of the "new era" of resource management.

Traci Leys-Shirok