Student Spotlight: Amy Shaunette
by Amy Shaunette
My path to the Department of Forest Resources has been a long, winding one. I grew up in Portland, OR and moved to Minnesota in 2006 to attend Macalester College. After graduating with a degree in English, I worked in nonprofit arts administration, library fundraising, and marketing and branding. My interests and values shifted during my twenties, and I wanted to change careers, but I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do. I quit my job, lived and worked at a vegetable farm for five months, and during that time I decided to return to school to pursue a career in natural resource management. In the fall of 2017, I transferred to the U of M and am majoring in Forest and Natural Resource Management. I want to be a forester with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and would like to eventually take on a leadership role in the DNR’s silviculture or ecological classification system programs.
I am completely blown away by the community I’ve found at the department in such a short amount of time. I got involved with Forestry Club immediately, which really helped me connect with more experienced students. Part of what also draws me to Forestry Club is its legacy. It has existed since 1907, and the Club owes its strength and spirit to all the alumni who contributed to Forestry Club during their time at the U. This year, I’m the Vice President of the Forestry Club. I’m very committed to providing students with all the opportunities and experiences I was exposed to during my first year. I also serve as an officer of the U of M student chapter of the Society of American Foresters, am involved with the Women in Natural Resources Sciences (WiNRS) group, and serve on the department’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
In my first year as a student, the department supported me attending three conferences: the Minnesota Society of American Foresters Conference in Grand Rapids, MN; the Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course in St. Paul, MN; and the National Environment and Recreation Research Symposium in Annapolis, MD. I am grateful for this support and also for scholarships from the Robert Henton Fund and the Lynn W. Sandberg Fund.