Engaging the Next Generation of Forest Stewards in the Northeast

University of VT and University of ME graduate students during service project.

Graduate Students from the University of Vermont and University of Maine receive instructions during the service project at the Holt Research Forest.

Written by Logan Johnson 

The Guild’s Northeast office is testing new approaches for engaging forestry students in the region. From in-the-field networking opportunities to informal internship projects to featuring their fantastic work, there are many ways that students can engage with the Guild, not only in the Northeast but nationally.  

In May, we hosted a Guild Gathering and Service project at the Holt Research Forest in Arrowsic, Maine. We paired students from the University of Vermont and the University of Maine in groups with foresters and other resource professionals to re-establish the research grid in the forest. This opportunity provided two benefits to the students who attended: networking with professional Forest Stewards Guild members and hands-on field experience.  


Graduate students eat lunch during service project.Throughout the summer, we worked with University of Maine graduate students to support the development of a research project aimed at providing insights for sustaining brown ash, a keystone cultural resource of the Wabanaki people. This project has two tracks: 1) conducting a survey of foresters, loggers, and forest landowners, and 2) developing an integrated pest management strategy for sustaining brown ash across Maine’s landscape. We recently released a video documenting the work of one of these students.

Finally, we are working with a student at the University of Connecticut who is developing a story map that will augment our ongoing project on increasing the resiliency of oak forests in southern New England. This story map will be a resource to help forestry professionals and woodland owners understand the threats that oak forests in the region face and feature landowners and managers who are implementing practices to improve the outlook for oak on their land. This story map will inspire other landowners, managers, and stewards to take action.  

Trying new approaches to engaging students enables the Guild to grow our membership while providing unique and rewarding experiences that benefit the next generation of forest stewards.