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Cariboo Forest Education Highlights
Al Menduk (Cariboo Forest Educator)

Cariboo Forest Education Highlights
Al Menduk (Cariboo Forest Educator)

Forest educator, Al Menduk,
discusses tree ID with a class
at Nesika Elementary in the Cariboo.

Hello, my name is Al Menduk and I am the new Cariboo Forest Education Coordinator. My education background is as a senior math and physics teacher.  I have also managed a woodlot for a number of years, with forest education as part of the mandate of operating the woodlot. 

I started in the middle of October, taking over from former forest educators, Gail Wallin and Maureen LeBourdais, who were very helpful in the transition.  Following a Minton Creek Grade 4 tour with Maureen, I then did two tours on my own in October. 

During the rest of October and November, I visited the elementary schools talking to administrators, librarians and teachers explaining my position and function as a forest educator for the Cariboo zone.  I also attended some of their staff meetings to further explain how I might help.  During this time, I was very busy learning all about my contacts, and all the information available to me in this new position.  Thanks to all who welcomed me and made my transition easier!! 

Students at Nesika Elementary
examine a "tree cookie" to see tree
age and growing patterns.

I have also recently spent time recently developing materials to make the program a little more local and have shared some of these resources with the forest educators' network in the Southern Interior.

In December, I taught the Grade 5 teacher kit, "Our Living Resource" to two classes at Nesika Elementary in Williams Lake, so that those teachers can, hopefully, carry on teaching this unit in future years. I certainly enjoyed the grade five students, as they are so keen to learn.  When we learned about all the different things derived from wood, I heard comments like "I didn't know that was made from wood" and "Oh neat, I don't believe that", etc. Their enthusiasm overwhelms me!

So far, this job has been very interesting, and I look forward to meeting all the forest educators in the near future!!

 

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