“I think the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science is a little different than other Schools and departments on Michigan Tech’s campus,” says Nick Windmuller, a graduate student in forestry. “We are on a first-name basis with every faculty member, including the dean. It’s a very relaxed environment.”
Since a young age, Windmuller says he’s had an interest in forestry.
“I was a boy scout when I was in high school,” he says. “We did a lot of backpacking. I was out at a camp walking through a stand of ponderosa pine. Right then and there, I knew I wanted to be in natural resource management.”
Windmuller says that he was impressed by how many opportunities are offered to forestry students from the moment they begin their studies.
“Your first year,” he says, “you start off working with trees and all the other little critters that run around in the woods. I just finished a project looking at the emerald ash borer and methods for slowing their spread. Now, I’m looking at biomass across the U.P. and the northern lower peninsula—trying to quantify the amount of biomass left by harvesters when they cut timber out.”
Outside of his studies, Windmuller has found many opportunities to get involved at Michigan Tech. Student organizations such as the birding club, Xi Sigma Pi national forestry honor society, and Wetlands Club are open to all students—not just those in forestry.
“There are opportunities for every major,” he says. “When I was an undergraduate student, I was involved in the Forestry Club, which is a group of foresters who is accredited through the Society of American Foresters. As a graduate student, I will be the secretary next year of the Graduate Student Government.”
Windmuller’s best memory from his undergraduate studies was a hands-on learning opportunity unique to Michigan Tech: a semester-long field camp called Fall Camp. During the fourteen-week exploration, students spend just as much time in class as they do in the woods. With a perfect classroom right in your backyard, why not take advantage of it?