Hundreds of students from around the county gathered in Shingletown for the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference In Woods Day.
Employees from Sierra Pacific Industries manned stations around the Lake McCumber site to explain what area of the company they work for, what type of work they do and why it is important to the environment as well as the company.
“My favorite part was when they told us about the specific jobs they have,” said Anderson High senior Jose Raya. “Like with the biologist, I didn’t think it was that detailed.”
Students from Cottonwood Union, Evergreen Union and Anderson Union High School District came to learn more about the forest and logging industries. According to Carol Perea, a teacher at Anderson High, her students were learning about areas of the logging industry they would like to get into after college.
Perea added that the logging conference has been paying transportation costs for schools interested in having their students learn more about the logging industry for the past seven years.
“It’s important for the students to meet the professionals who are doing” jobs they are interested in, said Perea.
The professionals talk to the students about their background and how it is applied to what they do in their current job. They also tell the kids about the degrees they hold and the classes they need to take.
One of the professionals, Jim Antos a tree faller, told students about the various jobs he had, including teaching. Perea asked her students if they would have ever guessed he had a teaching credential, and all said no.
Antos told students that he loves his job and being outside in nature, explaining how math, especially geometry, plays a big role in what he does.
Anderson senior Ben Cox participated in two things Sierra Pacific Industries sponsored for students – the GIS/GPS Map It Day, as well as In-Woods Day.
“In-Woods was my favorite,” said Cox. “I watch ‘Ax Men’ and have never seen (logging) in real life. I thought it was interesting.”
For senior Makayla Kuhnke, the GIS/GPS Mat It Day gave her a taste of nature and showed her how she could combine her interest in mechanics with forestry.
“Everything you document,” said Kuhnke. “If you see a bone by a tree, you put a mark on your map and then write it in your journal, that way you know that mark 56 is where you saw the bird bone.”
According to Perea, students who attended the mapping day went to Shasta College the following day and created maps based off the coordinates they had gathered using a software program called ARC.
Because ARC is similar to Adobe’s Photoshop program, students with a background in Photoshop picked up ARC quickly and now have a usable life skill, said Perea.
She added that Sierra Pacific Industries and Anderson High have had a working relationship since the 1950s and have been going into the woods learning about the logging industry for 18 years.