Grace. Forestry.

How did you get into forestry?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school, so I took a gap year and did Camp America. We visited Yellowstone where a park ranger told us all about forests and trees. I thought it was so exciting! My mum suggested forestry science so I decided to give it a go.

What have you enjoyed most about your degree?

The field trips have been amazing. In first year I took a paper where we did a field trip every Friday. We visited nearby forests and did planting days. In second year we went to the West Coast for a five-night field trip. We studied forestry ecology and did insect trapping in the native forest. I really loved it.

You've been on exchange to Canada as well? Sounds amazing!

Four of us went to university in Vancouver for four months. We did fun stuff too, like skiing in Revelstoke. After the semester finished, my partner and I bought a van and travelled around America for a couple of months. We visited so many national parks. Seeing Yosemite was just insane. Looking up at those giant sequoias I couldn't believe that trees could grow so large.

It sounds like a very hands-on degree.

It is. It really helps my learning to be able to go into the lab or the forest and put theories into practice. We also need to get jobs in the industry every summer to fulfil the work requirements of the degree. It’s great experience for your CV.

"My time at UC has inspired me to become a passionate environmentalist and to care more for all things nature."

What would you say to young women thinking about forestry?

Women are a lot more suited to forestry than they might think. It's not just about being a lumberjack or doing a physically tough job. The degree is so in-depth. It’s about much more than just growing trees, cutting them down and selling them. You can do biosecurity or native forestry... there are loads of options.

What's your personal ambition with forestry?

I'm really passionate about conservation and ecology. I want to be that person who comes into the industry and says, “we can do this better, we can protect the environment more”. I think we need more of those voices. I want to come up with new ways of doing things and really make a difference.

How would you sum up UC?

UC has been the most welcoming university. It's such a great environment, the lecturers have been fantastic and the services are wonderful. It's provided me with a world-class education as well as a wonderful university experience. My time at UC has inspired me to become a passionate environmentalist and to care more for all things nature.