Introductory Summer Field Program at Cloquet

The August Introductory Field Session at Cloquet is a unique opportunity for hands-on learning experiences. During the session students are immersed in the study of plants in forests at the Cloquet Forestry Center ( and surrounding region. Students leave the Twin Cities and the confines of the classroom for the great outdoors. The Forest and Natural Resource Management (FNRM) program is open to any student in any major who meets the prerequisites. Students register for all of the courses in the program.

Other Majors

  • Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management majors may register for the FNRM program; however, majors' field experience requirements vary by specialization. Students should check their curriculum guide and/or discuss options with their ESPM faculty adviser or with an adviser in the Student Services Office before registering.
  • Biology, Ecology, Landscape Design and other majors may register for the FNRM program. This program presents an opportunity for undergraduates to gain first-hand knowledge of natural ecosystems. Students enrolled in curricula other than FNRM and ESPM must obtain permission from the instructor to attend the session.
  • Graduate Students are also encouraged to register for and attend the FNRM program; they should register for the course designated to the Graduate Program, FNRM 5161.

What Do Students Study at the Introductory Summer Field Session?

Forest and Natural Resource Management Program (FNRM)

Dates: arrival Sunday, August 16; classes begin Monday, August 17; last day of class is Saturday, September 5; students attend class all Saturdays; no classes on Sundays.


Students registered in this program spend 80 percent of their time in the forests at the Center. They study forest ecology, forest measurements, and field botany. This program is required for two tracks within the FNRM major. FNRM majors are strongly encouraged to take the session before their junior year. Students who plan to transfer into the FNRM major as juniors are strongly encouraged to attend the session the summer preceding their transfer into the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. This applies to students from community, state, and private colleges as well as students from other collegiate units of the University of Minnesota. The August Summer Field Session is a prerequisite for many FNRM courses. Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (ESPM), and other majors (e.g., Biology; Ecology; Biology, Society and Environment; and Landscape Design) with interests in forest ecology, forest resource assessment, and plant taxonomy are encouraged to register for this program. This program satisfies the ESPM requirement for experience and training in a field setting. For further information, please consult with your academic advisor.


The following prerequisites are required (RQ) or recommended (RC):

A. GPA of 2.0 or higher (RC);
B. Completion of the following courses, or equivalent, with a grade of C- or better:

1. Biol 1001, 1009 or equivalent introductory biology course (RQ)
2. Biol 2022 General Botany (RC)
3. One semester of chemistry (RC)


FNRM 2101--Identifying Forest Plants (1 cr), A. David, Instructor

Students study the field identification of approximately 120 species of common forest trees, shrubs, and nonwoody vascular plants. Students are introduced to the natural history of selected species. The concepts of plant communities, soil-site relationships, and wildlife values are emphasized. Grading is based on field identification examinations.

FNRM 2102--Northern Forests Field Ecology (2 cr), R. Montgomery, Instructor

This course introduces students to the natural history of forests of the Great Lakes region with respect to soils, ecological characteristics of trees, community-environment relationships, stand development, succession, and regeneration ecology. As a part of this course students work in a variety of pine, boreal, and hardwood forest types in and around the Center. Students learn to describe forest communities in terms of soils, microclimate, age, structure, biodiversity, history, productivity, and successional stage. Students may also tour active harvesting operations and/or forest research projects in the region. This course culminuates in a group independent research project. Grading is based on written papers, in-class activities, and a group oral presentation.

FNRM 2104--Measuring Forest Resources (1 cr), C. Edgar, Instructor

This course introduces land survey, tree/forest stand measurement, and forest sampling techniques. It acquaints students with the use and care of selected instruments and introduces them to the measurement techniques used in field forestry and timber cruising. The course is presented under the assumption that the students have had no prior exposure to this phase of forestry, either in the classroom or field. Field exercises are used to teach principles of field measurements and classroom lectures are used only to the extent needed to get students started on field work. Grading is based on student reports on six exercises (overview and DBH measurement, surveying, mapping/aerial photography, height measurement, vegetation sampling with fixed-radius plots, timber sampling with variable-radius plots) and a field final exam.

FNRM 5161--Northern Forest Field Course (2 cr), all instructors listed above

Only graduate students are permitted to register for FNRM 5161. This course is equivalent to FNRM 2101, FNRM 2102, and FNRM 2104. This course allows student whose prior background lacks needed exposure to field situations to obtain such experience in an efficient manner.

Registration for the Introductory Summer Field Session

Registration is online. If you do not fulfill course prerequisites, you will need to get a permission number from the course instructor.

FNRM 2101 and 2104 are registered as Summer semester courses. Registration for Summer (FNRM 2101 and 2104) begins on February 27 for admitted students and March 5 for non-degree and visiting students

FNRM 2102 is registered as a Fall semester course. Registration for Fall (FNRM 2102) begins on April 9 for admitted students and May 1 for non-degree and visiting students

Students Not Currently Enrolled in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Non-major students may register for the Forest and Natural Resource Management or Graduate Field Session if they have completed the prerequisites, but must obtain permission from Dr. Montgomery.

Non-degree seeking students who wish to attend the August Summer Field Session should contact Amber Grupe at

Tuition and Fees Information

Regular tuition rates and University fees are applied for these courses. You will be charged tuition and fees for 4 credits for undergraduate students and 2 credits for graduate students. You will not be charged a student service fee since the course is held off campus.

Additional Fees (subject to change):

All Students:
Hospitalization Insurance - Off-campus course $ 160.00
CFANS Colegiate Fee $ 55.00
Lodging & meals $ 640.00
Field Studies Health Service Fee $ 36.00
Transportation * $ 160.00
Equipment/supplies fee $ 30.00
Students without health insurance coverage:
Student Health Benefit Plan ** $ 532.00

* The completion of the standard field trip Release of Liability (.doc) is required for each student participating in the field trips.

**Students must purchase the Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) unless they already have their own hospitalization coverage. Proof of coverage when registering will exempt you from additional insurance charges. Students currently enrolled in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences during Spring semester and on the SHBP are also exempt from purchasing additional insurance. However, you must choose the "Purchase University Insurance" when registering for summer courses. You will not be charged additional costs; this is a bookkeeping step. If you are not already insured, you will automatically be enrolled in the University-sponsored plan (SHBP).

A billing statement for tuition and fees will be sent to your student account. These charges must be paid in full by the due date indicated on your billing statement. A late fee will be assessed if payment is not received by that time.

Student Health

The August Summer Field Session involves sustained physical activity. A medical examination prior to the session is advised. Students who are required to complete the field session, but will not be able to do so due to medical reasons, should contact Mike Kilgore, professor and department head, Department of Forest Resources ( or 612-624-3400).

Immunization clearance is not required for the session; however, students attending the session should have had a tetanus booster vaccination within the last five years.

The Center does not stock any medications. If you are susceptible to allergic reactions to pollen, insect bites, stings, etc. bring your own medication to the session.

Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness, is present in northern Minnesota. Students should take precautions to avoid contracting the disease as well as understand symptoms of infection. Most Lyme infections come from nymphal and adult deer ticks. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed. Students should dress appropriately to limit tick access to skin, use insect repellent in the field, and conduct regular "tick checks" when changing clothes or bathing. Early symptoms may involve fever, headaches, and fatigue. In addition, a circular rash often (but not always) develops at the site of the tick bite. Lyme disease is easily treated with antibiotics but left untreated can cause serious, long-term, and irreversible health problems (joints, heart, central nervous system). Additional references are:

Required Course Supplies

Personal needs

  • Pillow cases, bed linen and blankets must be furnished by students; pillows and mattresses and mattress pads are provided at the station
  • Field clothes adequate for protection against cold and rain.
    • waterproof hat, jacket, pants, and waterproofed boots are an absolute necessity because field work is carried out regardless of the weather.
  • Any other clothing deemed necessary for a 3.5-week field course
  • Toiletries
  • Any medications including kits for insect stings, bee stings etc.

The following supplies are not available at the Cloquet Forestry Center. Purchase them before you leave the Twin Cities. Most are available at the Books Underground Bookstore on the St. Paul Campus. For the most part, the expensive items will also be used in other courses and/or in your professional careers.

FNRM 2101 --Identifying Forest Plants

  • Hand lens -- Doublet 10x Hand lens
  • 3x5-inch ruled file cards, two packages of 100 each
    • These books are helpful but not required.
      • Textbook of Dendrology, Harlow & Harrah
      • Field Guide to Wildflowers, North Central/NE US, Peterson Guide or similar book or
      • Forest Plants of Central Ontario, Chambers, Legasy and Bentley
      • Northland Wildflowers, John & Evelyn Moyle
      • Wetland Plants and Plant Communities, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

FNRM 2102 --Northern Forests Field Ecology

  • Two-inch or 1.5-inch wide, three-ring binder
  • Any books on natural history of Great Lakes ecosystems, field guides or ecology textbooks are helpful but not required.

FNRM 2104 --Measuring Forest Resources

Hand Compass, This is required. Do not come to Cloquet without one. The compass you bring must be a precision instrument for running land lines. There are three important falsefeatures to look for when purchasing a hand compass for serious field use. The compass must have (1) a liquid-filled housing which dampens the swing of the needle, (2) a mirror cover which enables accurate sighting of lines (without such a cover you will be at a considerable disadvantage in completing the compass related exercises at the session), and (3) the ability to automatically adjust for magnetic declination (without this feature you must do the adjustment in your head). We have found that using compasses lacking these features adds significant and undesired confusion to the process of learning compass and pacing/ traversing skills. The Silva Ranger and Suunto MC-2 have all three features. We highly recommend either of these two compass types. The Silva Ranger compass has long been popular with foresters and other natural resource professionals. Hand compass

The Silva and Suunto companies make several models of compasses. You must have the correct model (see model numbers below). The compass may be graduated in either azimuth or quadrants; the azimuth graduation is preferred. A compass is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase which you will use throughout the Cloquet Forestry Field Sessions and for your entire career.

Both Silva and Suunto compasses are available at:

#37037 or 8 Silva Ranger (azimuth)
#213378 Suunto MC-2 (azimuth)

Forestry Suppliers, Inc. (1-800-647-5368)
#37036 Silva Ranger (azimuth)
#37185 Suunto Navigator MC2DAZ/IN (azimuth)

All FNRM Courses

  • "Rite in the Rain" spiral notebook (field pattern -- 64 pages). 
  • Clipboard or sheet holder (clipboard with lid or compartment to protect pages when carrying through the woods) to hold 8 ½ x 11 inch paper.
  • Clear plastic bags to protect notes in rainy weather. You will be writing in the rain.
  • Pencils and pens for note taking and report writing
  • Colored pencils (four colors)
  • 8 ½ x 11 inch ruled white composition paper
  • 8 ½ x 11 inch University Bookstore No. 4 cross-section paper (20 divisions per inch or equivalent), 15 sheets
  • 12-inch ruler marked in inches and tenths
  • Insect repellant
  • Sun protection
  • Dictionary
  • Calculator
  • Footwear appropriate for walking on uneven ground, through dense brush, and when the soil and vegetation are wet and soggy. You will likely visit some wetlands and bogs so if you own rubber boots, bringing them is recommended.

FNRM 5161 --Northern Forest Field Course

  • Supplies listed under FNRM 2101, FNRM 2102, and FNRM 2104 apply to FNRM 5161


During the session, students and faculty are housed at the Cloquet Forestry Center. There are several room options including 2-3 person dorm style rooms. Camping facilities are not available. Students must live on the Center because it greatly simplifies schedules and group assignments, and provides a better learning experience.

Shared occupancy is required. Pillow cases, bed linen, and blankets must be furnished by students; pillows, mattresses, and mattress pads are provided at the station. Students are responsible for room clean-up prior to departure at the end of the course.

Dorm rules
Please respect the buildings. Do not deface any walls by carving or writing. Do not put nails or tacks in the walls. Abnormal breakage or damage to dormitories or dorm rooms will be assessed against the individuals involved. Do not wear hobnail or calk boots in buildings. Do not move any beds or furniture from one area to another.


The August Summer Field Session is held at the University of Minnesota Cloquet Forestry Center in northern Minnesota. Information about the center can be found at

Map of Cloquet Forestry Center

Arrival and Departure Times

All students must arrive on Sunday, August 16, between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:45 p.m. with orientation to the session at 6:45 p.m. that same evening. Upon arrival at the station, students should check-in with University staff. Students will be housed on a first come first serve basis. If you want a particular room arrangement, plan to arrive earlier rather than later! Park your car in the large visitor parking area behind the administration building.

Class Schedule
Classes will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 17. Last day of class is Saturday, September 5. In fairness to all students attending the session, requests for early releases to accommodate personal plans will not be approved.

Classes are from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There will be no classes on Sundays.

Students are expected to eat their meals in the Dining Hall. The meal schedule is indicated below. The lodging and meals fee covers all meals served; there is no refund for meals missed.

Monday through Saturday 7:00 a.m. 12:15 p.m. 5:45 p.m.

No meals are provided on Sundays except for dinner on the day of arrival. You are encouraged to bring a reusable travel mug for coffee and beverages to-go.


The Cloquet Forestry Center office number is 218/726-6400. In addition, several courtesy telephones are located throughout the Center: vestibule at the entrance, 218/726-6489; and in the kitchen units of cabin #45, 218/726-6492 and cabin #46, 218/726-6493.

A 24-station computer lab is available to students for class assignments, e-mail, and Internet access via a fiber line. The computer hard drives are write protected, so bring a flash drive to save personal files (e.g., reports, assignments). There will be 60-70 students at the Center (including FWCB) for part of the FNRM session time. Students with laptops may choose to bring them to the session. There is wireless Internet in parts of the station.

Mail can be sent to the Cloquet Forestry Center using the following address. Mail arrives between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. daily.

Cloquet Forestry Center
175 University Road
Cloquet, MN 55720-9594

Outgoing mail can be placed in a box on the table located outside the office on the upper level of the Administration Building (#44). It must be placed in the box by 10:00 a.m. each day.

There are two washing machines and dryers in the basement of cabin 36 at the Center for students to use. Two laundromats are located in the City of Cloquet.

Alcoholic Beverages 

The possession/consumption of alcohol is prohibited on the grounds of the Cloquet Forestry Center. Possession of empty alcohol containers is prohibited.

Smoking — The Cloquet Forestry Center is a smoke-free campus.

Room check for supplies — A member of the Center staff will enter student rooms weekly sometime between 10AM - noon on Mondays to check for supply needs, damage, etc.

Storage of miscellaneous items — Do not store items in your room which can block the way in an emergency situation, destroy the interior of a building, or which can cause fire. Specific items which have been a concern in the past include bicycles, car batteries, motorcycles, and canoe paddles. Please store these items outside. Bring a lock to secure them, if necessary.

Pets – Pets are not permitted—do not bring them! This policy is rigidly enforced.

Firearms – As per University housing regulations, you may not possess guns, ammunition, or any other weapons (including, but not limited to knives, darts, BB/pellet guns, paintball guns, and swords or any blade longer than 4 inches) anywhere on University Housing premises. Because of their potential to cause damage, paint guns are also prohibited.

Photos – Course instructors may take photos of the class at various times for a number of reasons in support of the Department of Forest Resources' educational, promotional and publicity efforts. Students are requested to sign and return a Photo Release Form to allow the photographs to be used in a publication, print ad, direct mail piece, electronic media (e.g., video, CD-ROM, Internet/WWW), or other form of promotion.

Montgomery with students