The University of Northern British Columbia will be the administrative centre for one of four research areas within the nation-wide Network of Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Forest Management. The administrative centre is moving from UBC to UNBC.
UNBC will oversee the Planning and Practices theme, which will work to design and evaluate planning tools and management practices for implementing sustainable forest management. The Network of Centres of Excellence has three other research themes: ecological basis for sustainable forest management, minimal impact techniques for forest materials processing, and socio-economic sustainability.
The Network has a particular focus on the boreal forest, which supports about 60% of Canada's forest industry jobs. The Centres of Excellence program was created in 1995 and funds university researchers to develop new strategies for forest management. There is a strong focus on involving graduate students in the various research projects. UNBC has masters degree programs in Natural Resources Management and Biology, and a new PhD program in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies.
"This administrative centre will work to strengthen links with industry," says Dr Winifred Kessler, UNBC Program Chair of Forestry. "It will be forest planners and practitioners who use the results of our research, and a strong link with forest companies will help to ensure practical application for NCE research." Dr Kessler will be co-leader of the Planning and Practices theme, along with Dr Christian Messier of the University of Québec at Montréal. Advertising for a theme research administrator has been placed, and it's expected the position will be filled by August.