Kaljo Pohjakas was born in Tallinn, Estonia in 1923 and graduated with a BSA (Major in Agricultural Mechanics) in 1951. He returned to UBC in 1957 and obtained an MSA (Soil and Water Management) in 1959.
“After receiving my MSA degree in 1959, I joined the Agriculture Canada Research Branch at Swift Current, Saskatchewan as a soil and water research scientist until 1967. From 1967-1971, I was employed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN in Iran as a water management advisor to the Soil Institute of Iran.
Upon completing this four-year assignment, I returned to Canada where I continued as a research scientist with Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta. One year later I was called again by the FAO to work in Malaysia as a senior water management advisor from 1972-1974 with the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute. Two years later I joined a Canadian CIDA project in Indonesia, developing a comprehensive development plan for three provinces. At the conclusion of the assignment I returned to Canada and joined the Agriculture Department of the Province of Alberta. Until my retirement in1988, I was a Branch Head responsible for land classification, mostly determining land suitability for irrigation in Alberta.
In 1988 I was offered another two-year position with CIDA in Egypt, improving soils in the Nile delta and helping to increase agricultural production. After that assignment I worked for CESO (Canadian Executive Service Overseas), assisting the Estonian government in modernizing land inventory and management programs.”
Mr Pohjakas retired in 1988 and, with wife Lilian, resides in Lethbridge, Alberta. They have two daughters, Lea and Tiina.