University of Minnesota

Forest and Natural Resource Management Student Profile

Name: Katie Boettcher
Graduation Year:
Hometown: Esko, MN

Katie Boettcher

How and why did you choose your major?

During my sophomore year, I began to explore CFANS majors after taking a conservation biology course. After considering several majors, I chose to try forestry because I love being outdoors in the woods and caring for the environment has always been important to me. My first class in the major was a summer course, and after taking it I knew I had chosen the right major. The subjects were engaging, the staff and instructors were welcoming, and I was surrounded by students who shared the same interests and love for the outdoors.

Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.

Forest Management focuses on every aspect of ensuring our future forests are productive and healthy. Three tracks exist within the Forestry major - Urban Forestry, Ecosystem Management and Conservation, and Parks and Protected Areas Management. Classes cover a broad range of topics such as timber harvesting, silviculture, forest diseases, and the future of forests in light of climate change. Many classes offer lab courses that give students the chance to gain hands-on experience by going on field trips.

What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)

In addition to the outdoor labs and summer courses, in which students spend time outside applying what they have learned in class, there are multiple clubs related to forestry. I am a member of the Forestry Club, which holds many outdoor activities such as camping, tree planting, and timber sports, and also runs the Christmas tree lot each year. I am also the treasurer of the Society of American Foresters club, which connects students with professional foresters and gives students the chance to travel to natural resource conferences.

In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?

I would advise students to research the three tracks within the Forest and Natural Resource Management major early on so they can figure out which one interests them the most and because the required courses vary between them.

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