Student Spotlight: Michael Shearen
By the time you read this story, Michael will have completed his undergraduate career at the U of M. The recent graduate walked in commencement in May after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in FNRM with a specialization in Forest Ecosystem Management and Conservation. Michael calls Talmoon, Minnesota home, where he grew up exploring the outdoors in the Chippewa National Forest. Before transferring to the U, he completed four years at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, earning an associate degree. Michael chose the U of M because of the well-rounded experience he anticipated receiving at a Big Ten University. The transition was made easier by living in a dormitory at Bailey Hall on the St Paul campus and joining the Forestry Club. He served as the club president for two semesters, managing the logistics of the annual Christmas tree sale and organizing activities for the Foresters Day celebration. “It’s a lot of work and a lot of time management, but it’s really rewarding,” says the former president. He enjoyed facilitating leadership and career development opportunities for other club members, especially the club’s trip to the 2015 Society of American Foresters National Convention in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Michael looks back at Forest Ecology, Silviculture, and Managing Recreational Lands as his favorite classes in the FNRM program. His coursework as well as three summers of internship experience with the MN DNR Resource Assessment Office have prepared him to enter the field. In his first summer with the DNR, he helped assess fire danger around homes, followed by a summer as a Geographic Information Systems technician and a third summer as a forestry intern in the Deer River Area. Michael is eagerly anticipating news about several natural resource positions in the Midwest, but a job as a Minnesota forester is his top choice. We have our fingers crossed for him!