The College of

Science & Technology

Student Spotlight

Forrest Kalk - Environmental Science and Policy Major


What is your best advice to current students?

Never become too comfortable with what you’re doing in life. Take chances and step outside your comfort zone. Following this advice has led me to diverse opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to do. For example, I was terrified of teaching chemistry labs when I started at UWGB, but ended up enjoying it and was extremely happy with my decision to do so. I believe this advice helps one become a well-rounded person, and can lead to good habits. Also, get the most out of your time here at UWGB. It will fly by, so don’t forget to take a study break to enjoy the trails and wildlife surrounding our campus.

How does an Environmental Science and Policy Major fit into your life’s plans?

This degree is a great link from my undergraduate career to entering the ‘real world’. I plan on being a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey upon graduating, but a lot of my background was previously in geology. The coursework for this major has given me a better understanding of the issues facing our societies environment, and the policy behind it. I normally wouldn’t like the policy courses, but they’ve taught me a lot about decision making in environmental matters. I like to think of my time and energy spent pursuing this major as a stepping stone towards achieving my long-term goals in life.

What has been your greatest challenge?

During my first year as a graduate student, time management was my biggest challenge. Between schoolwork, teaching labs, working as an intern, writing my thesis proposal, and helping out with other research projects, it was tough to have a social life. Straightening out my priorities and having a daily planner has greatly helped improve my time management. I enjoy the busy work now, as it helps me stay focused on the task at hand.

What is your plan after graduation?

Upon graduation, I intend to move back to my home state of Minnesota. Things are up in the air right now, but I may transfer to the USGS office in the Twin Cities for work. If I’m lucky enough to get accepted, next fall I’ll start towards a Ph.D. in Water Resources Science at the University of Minnesota. I’m excited to move back, but will miss the great friends and faculty members I’ve gotten to know over the last few years.

What makes UWGB special?

The people of UWGB are what really make it special. Everyone I’ve had the chance to meet on campus has been very friendly and helpful. The students are all working towards one similar goal, and people always seem to be willing to help out and donate some of their time to see that you succeed.


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