Departmental Updates


John Zobel joined the department in fall of 2018 as an assistant professor of forest biometrics, modeling and measurements. He is no stranger to the department, since he earned three degrees from the U, including a Ph.D. in assessment, monitoring and geospatial analysis. Zobel teaches courses in statistics as well as survey, measurement, and modeling methods. His research areas include quantifying and projecting forest and wildlife habitat characteristics and trends using various statistical modeling techniques; conducting general forest inventory and analysis and growth and yield modeling; and solving quantitative needs of the diverse forestry stakeholders in Minnesota.

Stephanie Snell joined the department in fall of 2018 as an executive office and administrative specialist. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, with a B.A. in English and a background in public safety. In addition to her work with the department, she works in the woods, removing buckthorn and helping with native landscape restoration.


Janelle Schnadt will be retiring from her role as departmental administrator in July 2019. She has served the department for 38 years. “I have been lucky to work for two absolutely amazing heads, Alan Ek and Mike Kilgore. I could not ask to work with better people. Both are hardworking, fair, kind and fun to work with. I will truly miss all the people I have worked with. One of my biggest joys has been meeting so many wonderful people and creating life-long friendships,” says Janelle. She is looking forward to fewer deadlines, traveling and getting back into the pottery studio to throw pots.

Laura Nelson will be leaving her role as Recruitment and Communications Coordinator as well as newsletter editor in June 2019. She has worked for the department for three and a half years. “I had such a great experience when I was an undergraduate in Forest Resources that I wanted to work for the department after I graduated,” she says. Laura has been working toward a M.A. in counseling psychology while working in the department. She plans to pursue her graduate studies full-time in the fall of 2019. “There’s no other place like the Department of Forest Resources. I am going to miss all the friendly faces and the supportive culture here.”