Three organisations currently provide forestry education and skills training courses in Ireland. These courses are full time, and are aimed at preparing students for a career in the forestry sector.
Almost 11% of Ireland is under forest, supporting a vibrant and export-oriented forest products sector. The forest industry comprising, growing, harvesting and processing of forest products makes a significant and growing contribution to the Irish economy.
You have options available in Ireland to study forestry at all levels, for one to four years. Start by reading the information provided on the courses in Teagasc, UCD and WIT.
John Liston is a Project Manager with Treemetrics Ltd. The work placement John undertook in his degree has proved very important for his job now.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
How did you go about getting your current job?
Describe a typical day?
Morning routine includes downloading satellite and GPRS data from all machines working on contracts for clients. Analysing the production data and looking at all communication messages from the machines to ensure all Treemetrics devices installed in the machines are working correctly. Ensure that all machines have the correct satellite imagery and shape files, and request the correct shape files from our clients if required.
After this, I will review the schedule for the day and follow up on any machine installations or machine maintenance that are required. Depending on the day, I will have meetings with clients to discuss the progress of their projects and to plan future requirements for the client. Other days may require travelling to visit contractors, harvesters in the forest or clients.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
What are the main challenges?
Monitoring a large number of machines working all over the country in everything from first thinnings to clearfells can be tricky. The stem files and production data coming from these machines can be very different. Keeping the machines up to date with the latest software and ensuring the machine has the correct shape file for each harvest unit can be difficult. Also having multiple projects, especially when they are international, can make this extra challenging.
What's not so cool?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I bring my communication and interpersonal skills to the work place, which are very important for this job. On a daily basis I deal with contractors, machine operators and foresters who all can have different demands. I have to be able to communicate issues and technical information to each person differently as they all see an issue different to the next. An important skill I learned in WIT was data analytics.
The ability to interpret and organise raw data is very important when processing harvesting data. Also having an understanding of the productivity of harvesters on different site conditions in first thinning to clear fells allows me to read production data and display it accurately.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
The most rewarding event of my career so far was in my last job coordinating and running a large-scale field trial between Medite, Coillte and Waterford Institute of Technology. This project was a big undertaking and was commended by Medite and Coillte. Another rewarding event was being invited to visit the Bord na Mona energy plant in Edenderry and being only one of a handful of people granted access to see the turbine and boilers in the energy plant.
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?