The peak organisation representing some 1,000 professional and scientific forest land managers in Australia is urging women and girls to embrace the opportunities available in the sector.
As part of International Day of Women and Girls in Science (Friday, February 11) Forestry Australia is celebrating the work of its female scientists.
Forestry Australia Vice President Dr Michelle Freemansaid the forest sector provided women with a wonderful opportunity for a science career in the natural environment.
“Forestry is such an exciting sector to work in because it requires creative thinking to bridge science with community values, innovation with communication and technology with nature,” Dr Freeman said.
“I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this scientific community that is genuinely passionate about the art and science of ensuring the sustainability of our forests.”
Dr Freeman said by using their scientific expertise in our forests, women were providing innovative and creative solutions.
“We want to encourage the next generation of women to engage in STEM subjects and embrace the opportunities that science has for them,” Dr Freeman said.
“Female scientists are at the forefront of helping to solve problems around climate change, renewables and carbon capture.”
Tegan Brown is a PhD Candidate with Forest Hydrology Research Group at the University of Melbourne.
She said working in forest science was both challenging and rewarding.
“Women make great scientists, land managers and leaders, bringing diverse skills and lived experiences to their work,” Ms Brown said.
“Sustainably managing forests for all people and values in a changing world is a huge task and is such a rewarding sector to work in when you can make a difference.”
Kathy Lyons, Forest Scientist at Forestry Corporation NSW, said females had played a critical role in the management of our forests throughout history.
“Women were traditional care givers of our forests for many thousands of years. As we encourage more women into roles to care for the land, we help to restore the traditional balance of looking after the land while it provides for us,” Lyons said.
Postdoctoral Fellow at Australian National University School of Regulation and Global Governance, Depi Susilawati, said she was immensely proud her studies have contributed to improving timber legality and sustainability.
“I am proud to be able to contribute to improving timber legality and sustainability in the Asia Pacific wood value chains,” Ms Susilawati said.
“This work ensures that timber sourced from sustainably managed forests is legally harvested, transported, processed, and exported to international markets.
“Working as a female researcher in this area can be very challenging, but also exciting at the same time.”
Zoe Ryan, Executive Manager – Business Development, Climate Friendly said the challenges of the sector brought together advanced technologies and more traditional social science approaches.
“Implementation of landscape-scale carbon farming requires application of remote sensing technologies and field measurements. This technical data is coupled with land management data collected using social science methods such as discussions with landholders at the kitchen table over cups of tea,” Ms Ryan said.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an opportunity to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.
The day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened.
Research has found that educating girls is the 6th most effective way to combat climate change.
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