When I first graduated from high school in 2017 I decided to enroll in UMFK’s Applied Forest Management program after considering all undergraduate forestry programs throughout the country due to the ties that the program at UMFK has with industry leaders, the small class sizes at the university which would lead to more one on one time with professors as needed, and the low cost of attendance even as an out of state student.
With the assistance of my professors, I was able to secure a job offer for a paid summer internship with one of the state’s largest landowners before the end of my first semester, and have obtained internships with various landowners since then, doing everything from managing planting and pre-commercial thinning crews, timber inventory, as well as harvest and road layout giving me the opportunity to begin my professional career before graduating with my associates degree. Additionally, starting with my second fall semester at UMFK, I was afforded the ability to work with the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit helping to quantify defoliation on spruce and fir branches in order to monitor the current status of spruce budworm throughout the state. As well, due to the knowledge that I gained in UMFK’s Forest Protections II class, I was able to successfully obtain my private applicators license for the state of Maine.
After graduating from UMFK in 2019 with my associates, I transferred down to UMaine Orono where I graduated from in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Forestry, while also working on completing the few classes I had left to obtain my certificate in Geographic Information Systems from UMFK. Currently I am enrolled as a graduate student at UMaine Orono and am working towards obtaining my Masters of Forestry and hope to graduate in December 2022.
Overall, I credit my high level of academic and professional success to the strong start that I got when I enrolled in UMFK’s forestry program. A large portion of this I attribute to the strong emphasis that the program at UMFK places on field skills, and their close ties with the forest industry. Despite the small size of the program, UMFK has a lot to offer and I highly recommend UMFK and urge anyone who wishes to pursue a career in forestry to strongly consider this program whether you want to be a forester for the private industry, a ranger, go into research, or any of the other paths that one could take in this industry.