Envirothon Alumna Profile: Pam Jackson, RPF
Posted: March 4, 2019
The Ontario Envirothon program helps to prepare students for post-secondary education and careers in the environmental sciences, and refines their interpersonal and teamwork skills. More than that, though, it touches the lives of its participants—fueling a passion for the environment and sparking friendships.
In this series, a number of Envirothon alumni will be profiled to give potential participants a window into the program and its benefits.
Pam Jackson was an Envirothon competitor in 2002, representing Mayfield High School in Caledon.
What were you like in your formative years?
I grew up on a farm in Caledon. I was drawn to the environmental sciences from an early age and I got myself involved in activities so I could learn more; I was in a forestry club, the 4-H Club, I took outdoor education classes – you name it.
How did you first hear about Envirothon?
When I was in Grade 11, I heard about Envirothon through a family friend. She was a biologist, and I really looked up to her, so that made me excited to check out the program.
I asked my school about it, but they weren’t involved with Envirothon at that time. Then, when I was in OAC [Grade 13], my high school suddenly got involved and I was asked to be on the team! We went on to compete in the York/Peel regional competition.
Did your Envirothon experience help you in your post-secondary education?
It did more than just help me with my education, it helped me to choose the direction I wanted to go in with my studies. Envirothon was where I learned that I could actually pursue a career in forestry.
Pam went on to study forestry at Lakehead University. In the summer before her sophomore year, she volunteered to help with the Ontario Envirothon.
Did you have any standout moment whilst volunteering?
I was helping to teach the forestry unit. There was a Q&A, and a student shared that I had influenced her to pursue an
education and a career in forestry. It really meant a lot to me, and I felt like things had come full circle!
In a lot of ways, in a lot of places, forestry is still sort of an ‘old boys club.’ We need more women, and it’s important for women to know that there is a place for them in forestry. This is something that has stuck with me and that I want to keep promoting.
After working for the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), and Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVC), Pam went on to start her own consulting business – Jackson Stewardship.
What is Jackson Stewardship?
Jackson Stewardship provides sustainable forest management and holistic property management services. We teach people about their land and the natural resources within it. Our niche is helping farmers, which is pretty neat because most foresters don’t really get into that. Having grown up on a farm, I can come at a situation both as an RPF and as someone who understands farming. There are a lot of things you can do as a landowner and as a farmer to make your land healthier and more profitable.
Pam continued volunteering with Envirothon from 2008-2014 – helping with the Soil and Forestry modules – and hopes to volunteer again in future!