Mondi South Africa
Senior GIS specialist
Forestry career: 1 year
My role involves the custodianship of business critical spatial data, management of an interactive self-service web-based GIS portal and the development of tools and apps to support strategic initiatives within the business. There is a strong focus on research and development, both in the development of tools, and monitoring and analysis of our plantations. I have worked in environmental and sustainability consulting, and as a GIS and MIS specialist in the Mining Industry, which provided its own suite of challenges! I have lectured GIS and Remote Sensing at the University of the Witwatersrand, and take a passionate interest in developing and teaching people new skills.
WHY I LOVE WORKING IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR
The Forestry Industry in South Africa presents a definite challenge in the face of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, combined with strong competition for available land and resources putting pressure on the industry to act responsibly, sustainably and to be innovative. As a result, there is enormous opportunity for creative solutions and challenges, which gives me space to challenge myself and to develop and up-skill my team constantly. At Mondi, the conservation areas in between plantations are a treat to visit after a day of fieldwork!
MY ADVICE TO THOSE EXPLORING A CAREER IN FORESTRY
The forestry sector is opening up more and more to women. There are new career paths opening up, so whether your passion is for fieldwork or office-based work, there is an opportunity for you. There are many opportunities for foresters, but the support services are equally interesting and challenging. The 4IR means the need for data-science related skills is rapidly increasing and the forestry industry definitely needs more intrepid data scientists!