Jessica Stortenbecker

Junior in FNRM specializing in Urban & Community Forestry

How did you first become interested in the environment and natural resources?

I’ve always been extremely interested in the outdoors and grew up camping in northern Minnesota and Door County, Wisconsin. During my first time hiking at Itasca State Park at age 15, it struck me that working in natural resources was an option. It wasn’t until I returned to college in 2015 that I would revisit the idea of working with the environment and begin to explore the University of Minnesota’s forestry program.

What made you interested in this major?

What made me interested in Urban & Community Forestry was the opportunity to improve people’s daily lives through green spaces. I saw the the FNRM major as a way to enhance urban sustainability and management, I have always loved the outdoors and want to share that passion with others.

What has been your favorite part of the FNRM major so far?

My favorite part of the FNRM major is how encompassing it is. There are so many aspects to natural resource management, and there’s so many different ways to explore them. The diversity of classes that are offered for this major has opened my eyes to all of the different interworking angles of natural resource management.

What is it like being on campus and in the FNRM community?

Being on the Saint Paul campus feels like there are always opportunities to learn something new. Getting to be outside, learning in a hands-on way has been so valuable in my studies, along with the opportunities to get to go off campus and learn in the field. The FNRM community is so inclusive, you never have to look far to find a friendly face willing to help answer your questions.

What are your goals for after graduation?

My goals for after graduation are to find employment where I can help with management of our urban natural resources. I hope to be able to help better urban spaces through connecting nature with daily life.

Would you recommend this major to an interested student? Why?

I would! When I first began pursuing this major I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the further I get into my studies, the more I want to know. The FNRM major offers so much room to grow and explore future career options.

Jessica Stortenbecker