Alumni Details

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Collin Oliver

Collin Oliver

Forestry Intern (2015)

My summer as an intern at Great Mountain Forest helped me gain a grasp on the many different facets of forestry. I started the summer with minimal chainsaw knowledge and left with not only operating experience but also with a greater appreciation of the people who work with and handle chainsaws for a living. I am incredibly grateful to have experienced the completed cycle of harvesting timber. From learning proper felling techniques, to skidding my own tree to a landing, and finally processing logs through the sawmill, I was able to get a thorough and first-hand understanding of the logistics involved with harvesting. The Conservation Stewardship Practice grant helped provide me with invaluable experience organizing, gathering, and processing data for a professional USDA funded project. Teaching children and students about forestry at GMF has inspired me to pursue a field involved with education as well as public interaction.

In contrast to the practical and tangible skills I acquired during my summer at Great Mountain Forest, I must reflect on the greater appreciation I now have for working forests. Working forests are very unique and help exemplify environmentally-conscious decision making in all aspects from recreation to public perception and from wildlife to silviculture. Great Mountain Forest is a necessary medium between modern forestry and the general public. Without working forests to display and explain the nuances of forest management misconceptions can form quickly.

A summer spent with the devoted and passionate staff of Great Mountain Forest encouraged me to take pride in my work every day. Working as an intern in an environment that encourages testing each other and building knowledge helped encourage me to be curious and ask questions. The support and enthusiasm of Jody helped keep us all in high spirits even on the more grueling days, while Hans helped explain the land-use history of GMF. Also, without Jean, Russel, and the Board of Trustees this momentous opportunity would not have been possible. I couldn’t have asked for a more thorough and fulfilling summer spent living and working at the beautiful Great Mountain Forest.

Collin graduated from UMass in 2016 with a degree in Forest Ecology and Conservation.

Collin Oliver
Forester, New England Forestry Consultants, Inc.

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