2021 Graduates Hit the Field

Jesse Gehrke ’21 MF peers through bark during a Yale Forestry field trip.
October 6, 2021

By Sara Santiago ’19 MF, Forest Fellow

With the graduation of the Class of 2021 and many transitions, there has been a lot to commend this summer and into the fall.

A number of students have responded to immediate needs in the intersection of forests and communities. Three students spent the summer fighting wildland fires in the West: Jon Johnson ’21 MF and Jesse Gehrke ’21 MF for the USDA Forest Service and Department of Natural Resources in Washington state and James Puerini ’21 MF in his home state of Oregon. Puerini is also entering his doctorate at Oregon State University this fall focusing on the social science dimensions of controlling fires in fire prone areas of the West. 

Two more graduates are continuing their studies as well. Becca Bland ’21 MF is starting her doctorate in ecology at the University of Arizona and Kristen Jovanelly ’21 MF on agroecology at Dartmouth.

In the field, Eliot Nagele ’21 MF is serving as the Director of the Thain Family Forest at the New York Botanical Gardens. Andrew Currie ’21 MF is working on his family’s chestnut orchard and developing an agroforestry farm in Maryland. Austin Dziki is an Analyst for new forestland investments at New Forests under Jon Loevner ‘14 MF/MBA

Of our 2021 postgraduate Forest Fellow cohort, we have said a few goodbyes as some fellows head into new beginnings. Forest Manager Jess Lloyd ’20 MF is now Urban Forestry Specialist at Washington DNR. Reid Lewis ’21 MF, Forest Carbon Fellow, is continuing his studies at The Forest School by transitioning into the doctoral program under Professor Tim Gregoire. Rosa Goldman ’19 MF, former Quiet Corner Initiative Manager, is in the midst of interviews.

We welcome two graduates, who were also members of the 2021 Forest Crew, into Forest Fellowships at The Forest School: Matt Valido ’21 MF as Forest Manager and Adam Houston ’18 YC, ’21 MEM as Quiet Corner Manager, who succeed Lloyd and Roseman, respectively.

We are also thrilled to welcome a new cohort of Foresters into the Class of 2023, including 15 Master of Forestry (MF) candidates and 2 Master of Forest Science (MFS) candidates. These students join their second-year counterparts, 10 MF and 4 MFS students in the Class of 2022.

In order to follow their time at the School and in the field, make sure to follow us on Instagram at @yaleforestry or via the Forestry Learning Community, coordinated by Yihong Zhu ’22 MFS and Joshua Friedlein ‘23 MF.