Course Overview

Interior Field School (aka Fall Camp) – FRST 351

Saturday August 26 – Saturday September 2, 2017  (website updated August 15, 2017)
Notes for 2017:
Due to the large class size, we have divided Fall Camp registrants into two field schools, under SSC course numbers FRST 350 (run by Dr. Patrick Culbert), and FRST 351 (run by Dr. Steve Mitchell). This website is for FRST 351.
With the ongoing wildlfire situation in the BC Central Interior, we have had to change FRST 351 to a Vancouver-based camp. In addition to the updated information on this site, we will communicate with FRST 351 registrants using the email that you put on your Departmental Course Registration Form. Please check this website for periodic updates.

Calendar Description:

351  (2) Interior Field School – Field study at an interior B.C. location concentrating on land use, management and silviculture. Fees will be assessed to meet expenses. Prerequisite(s): FRST 201.
  1. FRST 351 is a required course for all forestry students enrolled in the Forest Resources Management, Forest Operations, and Forest Science Major programs.
  2. FRST 351 is a prerequisite for FRST 305.
  3. Students in the Natural Resource Conservation programs and other sustainability programs at UBC are welcome to take this course as an elective. (You will be waitlisted until the students who require the course are registered – we’ll let you know if we have room by the end of May).


1.      To develop an understanding of the diversity of BC forests, forest management and conservation practices and community issues.

2.      To provide background and understanding for conservation and management courses taken during the 3rd and 4th year of the students’ academic program.

Dates and Duration:

We will begin camp at 8:30 am on Saturday August 26 at the entrance to the UBC Farm, 3461 Ross Drive, Vancouver BC. Field school finishes at 12 noon on Saturday September 2, 2017, in the Forest Sciences Centre at UBC.

General Schedule and Daily Travel:

We will have a fleet of 15-passenger vans for the field trip days. Here is the draft schedule, return times are approximate:

Saturday August 26        UBC Farm, Pacific Spirit Park – meet at Farm entrance at 8:30 am, return 4:30 pm

Sunday August 27            Malcolm Knapp Research Forest – meet at UBC FSC at 7:30 am, return 5:30 pm

Monday August 28          Malcolm Knapp Research Forest – meet at UBC FSC at 7:00 am, return 5:30 pm

Tuesday August 29          Malcolm Knapp Research Forest – meet at UBC FSC at 7:30 am, return 5:30 pm

Wednesday August 30   Whistler, D’Arcy – meet at UBC at 7:30 am, return 7:30 pm

Thursday August 31        UBC FSC, Stanley Park – meet in FSC 1310 at 9:00 am, return 5:30 pm

Friday September 1        BCIT/Kwantlen Woodlots – meet at UBC FSC at 7:30 am, return 5:30 pm

Saturday September 2   UBC FSC – meet in FSC 1310 at 9:00 am, finish by 12:00 noon.


The following topics will be presented by professors and local experts:

  • Ecology/Silvics
  • Entomology
  • Fire/Pathology
  • Silvics/Genetics
  • Silviculture
  • Wildlife
  • Operations
  • Community Forestry


Your grade for this course will be determined as follows:
Field Exam                                                          20%
Plant ID Quiz                                                      10%
Entomology/Pathology Specimen                  10%
Field Notebook                                                   25%
Site Assessment Defense and Report             25%*
Professionalism                                                  10%
* Crew Grade, all other grades are individual

Please take the opportunity to interact with and ask questions of the numerous instructors and resource people available during this course. The relatively high “teacher-to-student” ratio should be to your advantage! We expect everyone to contribute to group discussions, and every individual has to present some element during the field examinations.

Your field notebook will be submitted for assessment by your classmates during camp and will be submitted to the TA for marking at the end of camp. Keep it neat, organized and complete. This is good practice in developing professionalism in structuring and recording your observations and activities. In particular, make sure your notes are organized by date and place, and that speakers are correctly identified. Indenting, sketching, and labels all help to make your notes more meaningful for future reference.  Write the answers to questions included in the daily exercises in your field notebook under that day’s entry.

You will be expected to collect some data during each day of the field school. The data collected on Day 4 at Malcolm Knapp Research Forest will be the basis for your site assessment report. Small teams of instructors will carry out oral field exams of individual students on Day 4 to test your level of observation and understanding. While a mark is assigned, this field exam is not intended to be intimidating. Field exams are a teaching tool to enhance your skills at site and stand diagnosis.

The Plant ID quiz will be held in FSC 1310/1325 on Day 6. There will be 10 plant samples of species we have seen during our field days. You will identify each sample using the common or scientific name, and answer one question about the ecological or managerial significance of this species. This will be a timed exercise. Please bring your copy of Pojar and McKinnon – Plants of Coastal BC to field school with you.

We expect all students at Fall Camp to demonstrate professionalism, by being punctual and prepared for the days activities, by fully participating in activities and discussions, and by contributing to the well-being and educational experience of everyone at field school. Marks will be deducted for inappropriate conduct or lack of engagement.


Safety Information Form

To improve your safety while at field school and for you to benefit fully from the course, we ask that you read the following points and communicate any necessary information or concerns to the teaching staff. Disciplinary issues during field school will be decided by the head instructor.


Many of our field sites are at least a one hour drive to the nearest hospital. During field school you will be required to walk considerable distances in rough terrain. You need to bring clothing, rain gear and boots suitable for bush work. We will be touring harvesting and sawmilling operations which are inherently hazardous, be alert and follow instructions. Wear the personal protective equipment that is issued to you. Work with your crew, not alone, and make sure you are signed in at the end of each day. Inability to follow instructions or unsafe behavior may result in your expulsion from the field school.

There will be a first aid attendant present at field school. We will have standard first aid kits with us, but it is up to you to carry any specialized medication or equipment you may need. It is important that we know of any food allergies, allergies to bee and wasp stings, or other health conditions that you may affect you while at field school.  Please inform the Forest and Conservation Sciences Department when you register of any medical conditions which may affect your safety or ability to perform in this course. If you are unsure of your medical fitness to participate in field school please contact your doctor.

 Destructive, abusive or threatening behavior, or use of alcohol or drugs will result in immediate expulsion from the field school.

Smoking is not permitted in the bush, on worksites, or in UBC vehicles. If you are a smoker, check with an instructor before lighting up. Bring a metal container for any cigarette butts.

Please do not bring dogs (or other pets) to field school.


Only appointed drivers can drive the rented vehicles. If any student feels that a vehicle is being driven in an unsafe manner, this should be reported to an instructor.


We will purchase Student Accident Insurance from UBC for each of you to cover the period from August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018.  This coverage is specifically for students doing field work.  It provides a $50,000 maximum benefit for death or severe injury while doing course work.  It does NOT provide 24 hour coverage (e.g. if you go hiking on your own and fall off a cliff, you are not covered).  You MUST be covered under BC Medical Plan or another province’s plan.  For more information, contact UBC Treasury at 822-5850 or see the linked document.



The Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, established in 1949, is an area of 5157 ha of private forest land located near Maple Ridge BC.
The general objective of the research forest is to manage its forest lands to provide an optimal environment for education, research, and demonstration in integrated forest resources management.

Agencies involved in research projects on the forest include UBC Faculties of Forestry and others, Simon Fraser University and others, B.C. Ministry of Forests, B.C. Ministry of Environment, Canadian Forest Service, and a variety of other private corporations and individuals.  To date, over 800 research projects have been initiated on the forest.


Items Required for Forestry 351

  • field gear (waterproof boots with a good grip, work gloves that you can write with, rain jacket and rain pants etc.)
  • warm field clothes that you can layer, gloves for field work, it is often cold first thing in the morning, and sometimes it rains hard!
  • water bottle, plastic container to put your lunch in, bring 2 lunches on Day 5
  • day pack or cruisers vest
  • hard hat (if you have one, otherwise we will supply it)
  • school supplies (pencils, rulers, calculators, paper, etc.)
  • please bring your copy of Pojar and McKinnon – Plants of Coastal BC to field school with you each day
  • if you have a phone or tablet with a GPS, please download the free Avenza Maps Mobile app

Here is a document with Field Trip Clothing Tips and Suppliers.  

Here is the Cultivating Forest Stewardship – Learning Resources Website, including a digital herbarium