Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Alberta, Canada, are designated as threatened due to their reduced distribution, a decrease in the number and size of populations, and threats of continued declines associated with oil and gas extraction and forestry industries. Assessing and managing cumulative effects of human activities on caribou and providing adequate habitat to allow for its persistence is of critical importance.
Strong winds approaching 150 km/hour in October 1975 caused widespread spruce blow-down and breakage in the upper Bowron river valley and to a lesser extent, in adjacent valleys. Several warm winters with heavy snow packs and early springs set the conditions for one-year life cycle spruce beetles. Overlapping one and two-year cycle beetles resulted in huge beetle flights and dramatic expansion and intensification of the infestation.
Bitumen mining in Alberta is considered one of the largest economic vehicles in Canada, but the assessment of this industry's environmental impacts is incomplete. The region downwind of this pollution source is occupied by an Indigenous population concerned for the health and viability of their territory.
Dr. Opio's research interests include forest management and policy, silviculture, environmental aspects of harvesting systems, land reclamation, woodlot management, tropical forestry and agroforestry.
After 11 years as a regional soil scientist in the BC Ministry of Forests, Dr. Sanborn joined UNBC in 2002.
Information for Transfer Students
The Forest Ecology and Management degree provides students with a thorough understanding of the science, philosophy, and practice of managing forested ecosystems. Through study and active learning experiences, students obtain a consistent and broad background in coursework that encompasses foundational and integrative topics.