Jocelin Teron is no princess – she spends her days out in the woods and her crown is a hard hat – but she has been known to spend time with royalty.
At 24, Teron, a Registered Professional Forester, is already making waves in the forestry industry.
Just last year she won the Canadian Institute of Forestry’s first ever Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry.
Teron travelled to Newfoundland to receive the award and then this spring she got to meet her award’s namesake, Prince Charles, while he was doing a tour of Prince Edward Island.
“That was the best part of that award,” Teron says from the Strategic office where she works as a consultant. “We got to sit down for 45 minutes and have tea and biscuits with him. He was great. He was really interested and had so many questions for us.”
Next year, Teron will visit the United Kingdom for a tour of the forest lands owned by the Prince of Wales.
They’re perks Teron had to work hard for. The honour was in recognition of all the volunteer hours she has put in to promote and further her industry.
While studying at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Teron was involved in several recruitment fairs for forestry projects at area high schools. She was also a part of a student group that organized orientations for new students, fundraised for a school timber sports team, and helped run a symposium speaker series for students.
She was also an integral part of the fundraising team for her school’s ring ceremony where graduates of the forestry program receive the keepsake token from the Canadian Institute of Forestry.
Teron is now a part of the institute’s Vancouver Island branch and helps organize ring ceremonies for Vancouver Island University forestry students.
When she’s not volunteering, she’s working out in the field.
For three years Teron has been with Strategic, where she works almost exclusively with a client who owns private forest lands.
“I basically coordinate all of their post harvest activities for their North Island operations,” Teron says. “Basically everything north of Buckley Bay.”
That means Teron organizes tree planting for the client and does an assessment of how the harvest went, if it went according to plan, and as per the proper regulations. She also works with the client on plans for re-generation.
“Anyone who does forestry in B.C. is legally required to re-plant what they took,” Teron says. The consultants also have to ensure that what’s been planted, which is mostly Douglas fir, and western red cedar, aren’t having to compete with other species such as alders or maples.
Teron says it’s work she wouldn’t trade for the world.
“Some of the places I get to see is the best part of the job,” Teron says. “Sometimes we go to some really remote places and that’s probably the most rewarding – just being able to be outside. Some days you just get this perfect weather and it’s so beautiful and calm where you are.”
It’s what attracted Teron to forestry in the first place.
Growing up in northern Ontario Teron enjoyed camping trips with her family and knew from a young age she wanted a job where she could be outdoors. In high school she joined an environmental leadership program geared towards wildlife management. When it was time to start looking at post-secondary schools, she happened to stumble upon a university fair with representatives from Lakehead University’s forestry program.
“I didn’t originally plan to do forestry,” Teron says. “There’s very little forestry in northern Ontario and I imagined lumber jacks and log drivers. All I remembered from my childhood was the Log Driver’s Waltz.”
But after a little research and realizing there was more to forestry than the animated characters in the Canada Vignettes Series, Teron enrolled at Lakehead and four years later graduated with an honours Bachelor of Science in Forest Management.
Teron knew there were little forestry opportunities near her family so she made the decision to move out west.
After a year in Alberta, Teron moved to Campbell River to accept a position with Strategic.
She says it was one of the best decisions she’s ever made.
“When I applied at Strategic it was going to be a one-year experiment but it’s been three (years) and now I own a house and I’m engaged,” Teron says. “I love Campbell River. It’s so nice and it’s so different from everything that I grew up around. I still feel like a tourist sometimes; when I see things it’s a novelty still.”
And she’s still loving every minute of her job, though it’s not always easy.
“It’s bittersweet because we see a lot of places before and after they’re harvested, but then again it’s part of a cycle and it’s cool that we get to see that progress, from harvesting to re-generating those areas,” Teron says.