My name is Bethany Dyck, and I am a second-year student enrolled in the Forest Technology Program at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). I live in Edson, Alberta with my partner and our six-year-old daughter. We are a very active family that enjoys recreating outdoors in all seasons. I am an Air Attack Officer (AAO) for the Government of Alberta. My career in wildfire began in 2008, as a rappel crew member. I continued working up the ranks to sub-leader, then crew leader until I began my training as an AAO in 2015.
I chose to pursue a Forest Technology diploma as my career path in Alberta Wildfire was limited without being able to register as a Professional Forest Technologist (RPFT). However, my interest that developed in GIS was unexpected. Outside of assignments and projects, I have found additional ways to include GIS into practical aspects of this program. This includes creating geo-referenced maps for use in Avenza or Field Maps for field labs and data collection.
I have always enjoyed maps as a concept; however, I had never thought to pursue mapping in post-secondary education. Using GIS to collect and interpret data has grown my interest. The Forest Technology Program contains two GIS courses: GPS/GIS I and GPS/GIS II. The first-year course used ArcGIS Tutorials that provided the foundation to use ArcMap confidently in projects. Throughout the Forest Technology Program, there have been numerous opportunities to use ArcMap and ArcOnline for projects and assignments.
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