Jamie Burton

Current Master of Forest Ecosystem Science student, Jamie Burton, reflects on her time studying Forest Science during her Bachelor of Science degree.

I have always had an interest in the natural environment and forests in particular, and wanted to learn more about forest ecosystems and be able to apply that knowledge in a management context. I completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Forest Science in 2015 and am currently enrolled in the Master of Forest Ecosystem Science.

The forest science major comprises a range of subjects from botany, ecology and environmental science. My favourite elective subject was Field Botany, a third year summer intensive with a one-week field trip to the Bogong High Plains near Falls Creek. We got to explore the stunning Alpine National Park and learnt valuable skills in plant identification, vegetation assessment and report writing.

Forest Systems is an awesome core subject for the forest science major. It has a great balance of lectures and practical tasks. We covered many topics such as forests and fire, silviculture and conservation. The assessment tasks provide valuable skills in writing reports, oral presenting, analysing data and researching issues.

The two-day field trip in the mid-semester break to Creswick was worthwhile and fun. We were given a fictional scenario, looking at the feasibility of harvesting a mature Pine forest to provide funds for a local management group. We got to measure the carbon capacity of the forest stand and interview various stakeholders in the community. This culminated in writing a short feasibility report.

This subject and others in the Forest Science major have prepared me well for a future career in forest management and conservation. It has equipped me with the knowledge and the skills to design and implement sampling procedures as well as develop management plans. The forest science major also provided a great platform to launch into further study in the Master of Forest Ecosystem Science.

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