Student Spotlight: Graham Wessberg

by Graham Wessberg

When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time outside. I have memories of wandering through the woods behind my house and climbing every tree I was able to. In high school, I learned that pursuing a career in natural resources was actually an option, but I did not end up landing in this area of study until a few years later. After high school, I started going to flight school and realized that although I love flying planes, I did not want to be an airline pilot. I then completed some coursework at a community college and remembered natural resource management as an option. From there, I transferred to the University of Minnesota for Forest and Natural Resource Management. Graham Wessberg, FNRM student, class of 2020

The University of Minnesota has been a great fit for me, and the Department of Forest Resources feels like a family. This year, I am an officer for the Forestry Club and the Tree Ascension Group. Some of my favorite memories with the Forestry Club have been at the tree farm of Professor Emeritus, Carl Vogt. I have worked at the farm for two years in a row, and I am hoping to go back next year. I enjoy seeing what it takes to run a tree farm, and Carl is full of stories and knowledge that he is eager to share with students. With the Tree Ascension Group, I’ve enjoyed participating in the Climbing and Career Development events every fall when professional arborists come to campus to show us the ropes, literally. It is a great opportunity to make connections with professionals and learn about career options in arboriculture.
In the two years I’ve been at the U, I have attended multiple conferences, including state and national conventions of the Society of American Foresters as well as the Shade Tree Short Course, which were paid for by the department and the lab I work in. At the SAF National Conference last year in Portland, I met forestry alumni and was amazed to hear how large of a footprint the University of Minnesota has. I am honored to be a part of it. Due to the generosity of alumni and other donors, I have been able to stay free of debt while attending the University, and I am grateful for that.