Jack Burgess

'It is special to be a part of a programme that is focused on student involvement to solve Forestry issues...'

  • Jack Burgess

Certificate in University Preparation

Bachelor of Forestry Science with Honours

Studying towards a Master of Forestry Science

With studies contributing to stronger growth of forestry plantations in New Zealand, Jack looks forward to his future career having even more effect on industry produce.

‘I have a passion for alternative forest species to Pinus radiata so I hope to be involved in the forest industry pursuing this for many years to come. I hope that with the help of others, we can make an impact on the New Zealand forest industry and make New Zealand a competitive player globally for durable wood,’ he says.

His master’s research is part of the New Zealand Dryland Forest Initiative (NZDFI) along with other postgraduate Forestry students. The programme aims to improve the adaptability and wood quality of ground-durable eucalypt species to provide alternative sustainable land-use options for dryland regions in New Zealand, which could produce durable timber for building and agriculture sectors.

Jack’s focus investigates the growth rate of eucalypt tree test sites using GIS modelling, with funding support through a UC Master’s Scholarship from the School of Forestry.

‘It is special to be a part of a programme that is focused on student involvement to solve these issues in a short timeframe when compared to historical achievements of Pinus radiata,’ he says.

‘In the beginning, I spent three months travelling around the country measuring trials, and since then I have collated the data and used statistical software to interpret my results. Day-to-day, I run tests on my data and try different approaches to see what will help give me a clearer picture of what is going on.’

As a person who likes ‘generally being outside’ camping and hiking, Jack first developed an interest in Forestry through the Certificate of University Preparation after a gap year from study.

‘One of my courses (Environmental Science) had a Forestry aspect to it which I thoroughly enjoyed, and as luck would have it, there was a School of Forestry at UC (the only one that offers a degree between Aus/NZ).

‘Once I began, I just never looked back, the School is a great environment to work in, with plenty of field trips and many lectures given by industry representatives which always sparked interest.’

Jack’s undergraduate years built up his connections with UC’s Forestry community, with numerous field trips and events.

‘I enjoyed the social side of forestry, both through the students that studied here – the famous FORSOC community – and the friendly industry reps that would come and talk to us.

‘When my third year rolled around, I suddenly became very involved with FORSOC and its members, and I got a lot of satisfaction through setting up and organising social events for the Forestry students because it provided the opportunity to develop relationships with people that I still maintain today.’

Because of these experiences, Jack has already secured a role after he graduates his master’s degree as a Forester with The New Zealand Redwood Company.

‘The School often consults with industry and asks what they want out of their graduates so they can better tailor their courses and prepare the students for the future industry. The lecturers are incredibly knowledgeable in their field, so they provide their students with the best preparation for the working life that follows student life.’

He’s looking forward to starting his role, especially in a company that is still growing young forests. Jack will be involved in planning, budgeting and mapping, setting up research trials, and collecting and analysing data.

‘I actually really liked the sound of this job because it wasn't one set position, for example, tree growing and establishment management, or silviculture management. I know there are many things that I will learn on the job and I'm looking forward to developing my forestry skills with a company that has a focus on redwoods, as they are a tree species I have been fascinated with for some time.’

Hazel Swanson

Hazel Swanson

'The degree can lead you down a number of different career paths all over NZ and around the world...'

Stephanie Fong

Stephanie Fong

'I love that the courses focus on local, national and international examples, and go in-depth...'