Darragh Fadden – a Dublin native – enrolled in Waterford Institute of Technology’s Level-7 in Forestry in September 2011 following the completion of his Leaving Certificate.
The three-year degree course – which is accredited by the Society of Irish Foresters – prepares students for a professional career in Forest Management.
“I decided to study forestry based on my interest in wildlife and love of the outdoors.” Darragh Fadden told Catherina Cunnane – That’s Farming.
He worked in Killarney National Park as part of his work placement module in WIT where he assisted with the eradication of rhododendron from infested areas, deer culling and wildlife surveys.
Darragh attained a BSc in Forestry and transferred to year three of University College Dublin’s Forestry degree programme in September 2014; the main reason for doing this was to achieve a level-8 Honours degree from a renowned university.
He was a forest worker for the Icelandic Forest Service for a five-month period, with responsibility for selective thinning, planting, chipping, creating walking paths and recording inventory from Iceland’s National Forestry Inventory.
“Some course highlights include placement in Iceland and going on several field trips including the Black Forestry in Germany.
“I would definitely recommend the degree to anyone who is interested. It is a very dynamic course focusing on both international and national forestry issues.”
The journey after graduation
After obtaining his undergraduate degree from UCD in 2016, the Dublin native secured a position with The Forestry Company – one of the largest timberland management companies in Ireland.
Working as a forester, his main responsibilities included inspecting afforestation sites, meeting with landowners and liaising with contractors to carry out weeding, planting and fencing.
Research Masters Student
Darragh embarked on the next chapter of his career in September 2018 by undertaking further study; he is a Research Masters Student at Teagasc, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway.
His research project is based on tree phenology, which is hugely influenced by climate change; he collects and analyses data and will complete and present a research paper on the topic in question.
“Being involved in such a project in a time when climate change is so significant places emphasis on the relevancy and use of this research.”
“This highlights the importance of my role and enables me to contribute to a global cause from an Irish perspective.” He added.
He likes the flexibility and independence associated with his current role. “I’m mostly in an office from Monday to Friday. During springtime, I collect data which involves driving to several sites around Ireland.”
“I had no prior expectations, although it has proven to be a long and progressive challenge to date.” He added.
“I find it difficult to maintain consistent motive throughout the year.”
Darragh said he is uncertain about the future. The keen hiker, rock climber and traditional Irish musician hopes to travel to South American shortly.
“With regards to job prospects, there is definite potential for a job or PhD in Forestry in Ireland.” He added.
“Younger people are the future and growing up in this generation results in a certain open-mindedness and awareness for climate change which are somewhat lacking in the current Irish forestry sector at present.” He concluded.
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