Forest Information Officer Jasmine Snowsill loves her job and couldn’t imagine working in any other role. A self-proclaimed “map geek”, Jasmine’s role as Forest Information Officer is map-based; working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to capture and accurately map forest data.
Jasmine began working for NML as a part-time contractor for two years before accepting a permanent part-time position in 2013. Working in a part-time role has enabled her to balance her work and family life as a mother of three.
Jasmine has a Bachelor of Science (Geography) from the University of Canterbury. Prior to joining NML, she worked as a Seismologist in Australia and also has experience working with GIS in the field of Geotechnical Engineering. She returned to New Zealand with her husband when their daughter was born and worked from home as a contractor.
Jasmine has never personally experienced any gender discrimination in the forestry industry. “I’ve always worked in mainly male-dominated fields. Generally, the area I work in tends to attract more men, but I’ve never been treated differently because of my gender. I’ve noticed recently that a lot of the work experience students and graduates coming through are strong, capable young women”.
“The environment here is incredibly supportive and that’s why people just don’t leave.”
Although Jasmine’s role is mainly office-based, she does a day’s worth of aerial photography each quarter as well as regular GPS mapping trips into the forest.
“People are always quite interested when I tell them I work in forestry. They automatically think I’m out there with a chainsaw. What they don’t realise, and what I didn’t realise until I started working in forestry, is just how dynamic it is and how many facets and different roles there are in the industry. For example, many of the roles, including mine, are incredibly technology-focused and there would be a lot of people who don’t realise how much planning and science goes on.”
Jasmine’s advice for young women considering entering the forestry industry is to keep an open mind about which area they would like to work in. “Take every opportunity to get different types of work experience, particularly out in the field where there is so much to learn. This approach will help them determine which areas they would like to focus on and teach them a broad range of skills.”
“It’s a great, dynamic industry to be in with heaps of opportunities and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”