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Over The Edge

Graduate student spotlight

Graduate student spotlight

UNBC’s Graduate Programs have almost doubled in enrollment in recent years to
encompassing 15% of the student body. With such an increase in numbers Over the Edge
wanted to showcase some of the students and their research.

Name: Jessica Shapiro
Age: 25
Program: Environmental Studies

1. Who is Jessica Shapiro?
Jessica Shapiro is a writer and a traveler from Toronto. Her first solo trip was to Montreal,
where she escaped to do an undergraduate degree. Her next stop was Barcelona, Spain on a
summer study exchange, where she learned Spanish. Later she traveled to Israel and then to
Vancouver for the first time. She partnered up and left to Argentina for a while, and finally ended
up in Prince George.

2. What are you studying/researching?
I am studying forest values surrounding the ancient cedar stands located just east of Prince
George. I look at the Ancient Forest Trail guestbook, media pieces, and interview local residents
to get their perspectives on if the trees are important to them, and in what capacity.

3. Why did you choose this topic?
I chose do study environmental values because they are increasingly becoming hugely
important for decision making surrounding natural resources and natural areas. Social science
plays a big role in shedding light on what it is society is really concerned about.

4. How was the research conducted?
I spent 2 months living in the woods knocking on people’s doors and making them like me
enough to let me in on their values.

5. Where would your research be implemented? What are some applications for this research?
The research can be used to help northern BC decide which parts of the Inland Temperate
Rainforest they should preserve, and which sections they should continue harvesting in.

6. When will you be graduating?
Before the first week of classes ends I hope to have passed my thesis defense, and will be
driving back to my hometown, Toronto! Thanks a bunch Prince George!

7. If you could give one piece of advice to the new grad students this year, what would it be?
Find something that really makes you curious, and go out and get those answers. Make the
project your own, and feel empowered by your ability to add to the knowledge bank known as
science.