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4020 Capstone Projects

dates for 4020 presentations, April 14 and 15, 2021

Each year, groups of 5 to 10 students from the 4th year Management practicum course in both the Forestry and Environmental Naturual Resource management programs work with a real world client in what is known as their capstone project.  In this course the students apply and enhance their technical knowledge, structured problem solving, teamwork, project management, and critical thinking abilities to transform a topic into a problem statement.

The student group, working as a team produce a meaningful, implementable, socially acceptable, and robust management plan for the client. They identify and develop clear goals and quantifiable objectives, collect social and site-specific field data, develop alternatives, analyze them, and transform them into management plans.

In 2021, presentations were held virtually on Microsoft Teams from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. both days, while one presentation was held from 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday April 14th. The entire schedule of events is available here.

Each team provided a Poster presentation of each Capstone project and those poster presentations are available for viewing.

Each group's poster presentation is timestamped below:
00:00 – Town of Oromocto Urban Forest Management Plan
05:21 – Department of National Defence Urban Forest Management Plan
10:00 - Oromocto First nations Urban Forest Management Plan
17:02 – Killarney Brook Management Plan
23:20 – Noonan Research Forest Management Plan
29:43 – Saint John River Muskellunge Sustainability
34:40 – Process of Creating a Protected Natural Area (Christmas Mountain region)
40:28 – Emerald Ash Borer & Riparian Management in Trout Creek
47:01 – Managing Non-Urban Wildlife in an Urbanizing Landscape.
56:16 – Indigenous Medicinal & Ceremonial Plants within the UNB Woodlot

Clients are varied across municipal, provincial and federal governments, ENGOs, private companies, First Nation groups, and other organizations to provide a broad range of experiences for fourth year students honing their skills in project management. 

To learn more about each capstone project and to view the complete presentations visit the individual program topics:


Project Summary:

The Noonan 4020 group has been presented with the task of developing a management plan for the 1534 hectares block of land owned by UNB in Noonan, New Brunswick. This plan is designed to enhance the availability of the Noonan Research Forest (NRF) to the research community at UNB as well as other institutions, manage for diverse species content, and provide some economic benefits to the landowner. In order to achieve these tasks, a physical inventory of the NRF was conducted. This inventory led to defining stand boundaries for a total of 18 different stand types, identifying 6 individual and significant wetlands, creating a model to predict future forest conditions and from that model creating an operations plan that will meet the landowner's goals and objectives for the NRF. The management plan includes not only forest and wetland management but infrastructure and water crossing maintenance and management.

See the Management Strategy presentation for the UNB Noonan Research Forest on Youtube.

Team members:

Devin Weaver, Maddy Murray, Joel Tremblay, Riley McCrea, Dawson Lake, Matthew Peck, Emily Nicholson, Dillon McDonald, Coal Anderson, Jorden Fitzgerald, Caleb LeBlanc, Mike Goodine & Jeremy Hebert-Chesley 


UNB Office of Forest Lands

Project Summary:

The UNB Forest management plan for the 4020 class of 2021 is an extensive project with many working parts that are all aimed towards satisfying our client’s goals and objectives for the property.

Their goals include short-term (5 year) and long-term (80 year) management strategies and span across economic, social and environmental values that all need to be managed for simultaneously.

The woodlot is 1342 hectares in size and is located just south of Fredericton, New Brunswick. It is divided into two management compartments, the General Forest and the Creighton Conservation Forest (CCF).

The CCF is a protected natural area that is seeking even further protection for the Canada Pathway to Target 1, guaranteeing its protection from development into the future. Both forests are used as a teaching resource for the University of New Brunswick as well as the Maritime College of Forest Technology and also used for recreational activities by the surrounding public. A data collection sample design and strategy were developed to best acquire the information needed about the UNB Forest to develop a sound and effective management plan, specific to its unique characteristics and features. All roads and watercourse crossings were evaluated and hazards were identified. An operations plan was created to coordinate the improvement on hazard sites based on priority levels and an operations plan surrounding harvesting activities and silvicultural treatments was also developed for the project time frame of 80 years.

A working model of the forest was built using multiple modeling software’s to grow the forest into the future and allow for projections to be made.

View the Forest Land Management Plan for the University and Creighton Conservation Forests, 2021 on Youtube.

Group Members:

Sandra-Mae Watling, Joe Forestell, Jakob Haines, Aiden Stephens, Shawn Hachey, Will Raymond, Jordan MacGillivray, Curtis Knott, Ben Stewart, Kevin Sullivan, and Jacob Wagman 


UNB Office of Forest Lands

Project Summary:

This year, our team of ten fourth-year forestry students have tackled the unique problem of creating a management plan for the Department of National Defense (DND), Town of Oromocto, and the Oromocto First Nations (OFN).  As an extension from last year’s plan, which focused on all street trees within the town of Oromocto, our management plan entails managing DND and OFN’s street trees, three town parks, and OFN’s forests, encompassing ~447 ha of stand- and tree-level inventory.

The aim of this management plan is to provide recommendations that will maintain and enhance these urban areas. The management plan will include strategic methods to increase not only the health of the urban forest, but to also increase financial value of the forests, increase public outreach, and ensure resilience of the forests in the face of climate change.

As the Town of Oromocto has never actively managed their forests before, our team and the team preceding us hope to provide a framework that can showcase and preserve Oromocto’s magnificent urban forests.

View the Urban Forestry Management Plan presentation: Phase II, Town of Oromocto on Youtube.


Group Members:

Axel Brisebois, Kayli McGarrigle, Simon Leblanc, Dominic Galea, Riley Spear, Jordan Tishler, Kaitlyn Enders, Dreama Galbraith, Tim Woodworth, Megan Gadal 


Department of National Defense, Town of Oromocto, and the Oromocto First Nations .


Project Summary:

Stormwater runoff especially during the spring-time flood season are concerns for the City of Fredericton particularly as our climate changes and as the city’s residential and commercial infrastructure grows. In addition to their wildlife and water quality benefits, the City is interested in wetlands for their storm water management benefits.

The City owns wetlands in the upper watershed area near Killarney Lake and is interested in acquiring more privately-owned wetlands in the area to help in storm water management. The question is, is it worthwhile and at what price?

The City wants to understand the economic value of acquiring these wetlands in terms of what they can provide to its stormwater management system, especially in offsetting infrastructure costs that would otherwise be necessary and/or reducing the risks to property by severe storm events.

See the Killarney Brook Stormwater Management Plan Presentation on Youtube.

Team members:

Caleb Boyd, Ben Kummer, John Curry, Travis Pennell, Thanoj Thangarajah


City of Fredericton

Project Summary:

measuring an ash treeEmerald Ash Borer is an invasive species threatening ash trees in North America. The Trout Creek watershed located near Sussex, New Brunswick is at risk of invasion.

Emerald Ash Borer has not been detected in the area but has been confirmed in various locations throughout New Brunswick. The Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee’s goal is to maintain water quality, despite the inevitable tree loss in the riparian zone.

The ash trees along the main watercourse have been inventoried to identify their distribution and abundance. Additional site assessments were conducted to predict the effects of ash loss on water quality. The adaptive management plan includes measures to delay the infestation, decrease spread, and mitigate impacts if infestation occurs. Within the management plan, a decision tree has been created to prescribe management alternatives that account for site specific characteristics.

In order to fulfill project goals, aspects of monitoring, public education, and the inclusion of landowner collaboration and feedback will be utilized within the plan. 

See the Emerald Ash Borer and Riparian Management Plan presentation for Trout Creek on Youtube

Team members: Isabelle Gillespie, Jena Grant, Laura Lavigne, Rebecca Whiteway

Client:  Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee


Project Summary:

The team was tasked with identifying and establishing new protected natural areas in New Brunswick  in response to climate change. Under a changing climate, ecosystems, habitats, and species distributions are predicted to be affected.

The highland regions of the Ganong eco-district, located in Northern New Brunswick was identified as an ecologically vulnerable area where PNA(s) could be established.  Bicknell’s Thrush and Eastern Moose were selected as species of high conservation value in that eco-district and were used to determine boundary configurations.

Using critical habitat features, such as elevation and softwood stem density for Bicknell Thrush for example, alternative PNA boundary configurations were determined and assessed for species sustainability and land use efficiency using trade-off analyses.  

See the Creating Protected Natural Areas in the Ganong Eco-district under Changing Climate Conditions plan presentation on Youtube.

Team Members: Emma D’Costa, Kaitlyn Harquail, Bikiran Homagain, Abbi Manderla, Swarna Naojee, Bailey Saunders, Jeneya Smith  

Client: NB Department of Natural Resources


Project Summary:

Muskellunge have been in the Saint John (Wolastoq) River since the 1970’s when they were stocked into the headwaters in Quebec. Since then, they have become an established, non-native species in the Saint John (Wolastoq) River.

In many other areas across North America, they are considered a sport fish and highly sought after by many; however, they are not as widely accepted in New Brunswick.

Currently, because they are a non-native species and could possibly pose threats to native species, they are not actively managed as they are in other areas. During our project, we worked closely with representatives from the local Muskies Canada Chapter and the provincial government to research the species more, including impacts on native species, current and potential future fishing pressure, and identifying any knowledge gaps at a provincial level. We also built a population model and identified a number of management scenarios

in order to forecast population changes. Our project focused on ways to maintain a sustainable muskellunge fishery while keeping the health of native fisheries at the forefront.

See the Saint John River Muskellunge Sustainability plan presentation on Youtube.

Team Members: Abigale Culberson, Darren Greeley, Riley Lavender, Emily Ruttan

Client: Muskies Canada, Saint John River Chapter

Project Summary:

The Creighton Conservation Forest Wildlife Management Plan was created in order to manage conditions within the CCF to provide a robust and diverse suburban ecosystem.

The identification of species that are ecologically or socially important, and would benefit from management, defined the focus of the management plan. Habitat availability for 80+ local wildlife species was assessed and ultimately 7 species were selected to receive management.

Monitoring plans, and protocols for areas of further research designed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the CCF were detailed. This plan sets up a structure that provides a framework for future management.

See the Creighton Conservation Forest Wildlife Management Plan presentation on Youtube.

Team members: Elizabeth Brooks, Jenna Cowie, Cheyenne Esposito, Katherine Moore, Meagan Moynagh, Chad Quigley

Client: UNB Creighton Conservation Forest Advisory Committee

Project Summary:

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) Forest is a 1500ha lot in Fredericton, New Brunswick with an area designated for conservation and education called the Creighton Conservation Forest (CCF) that is 632 ha. This project aims to identify Indigenous medicinal, ceremonial, and edible plant species available at the forest, focusing on the CCF.

The creation of an Interactive Map and Data Document from field work data and which will provide educational materials (Medicine Walk Trail, Educational Booklet and Website) to educate students and users of the UNB Forest on Indigenous knowledge and conservation principles such as Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing) and Netukulimk (sustainable harvesting).

Finally a report on collaborative management to provide recommendations on resource-sharing practices that could be adopted in the management process of the University Forest.

View the Indigenous Medicinal and Ceremonial Plants within the UNB Forest plan presentation on Youtube.

Team Members: Medicine Walkers:

Tianna Boyington, Kaitlyn Collingwood, Emma Gorey, Maria Hernandez, Rebecca Ireland, Dieu (Sue) Tran

Faculty of Forest and Environmental Management Truth and Reconciliation Committee,
UNB Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre (MWC),
Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), and
UNB Creighton Conservation Forest Advisory Board