Fostering forests

September 28, 2021

CFANS Sustainable Systems Management undergraduate student Kelly Martichuski applies learnings to her work at Forest Carbon Works 

Kelly Martichuski in a forest.

Written by Corey Wales, College of Liberal Arts, BS Technical Writing and Communication ‘21

Kelly Martichuski is a senior studying Sustainable Systems Management in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). She also works at a company called Forest Carbon Works (FCW), where she is a Cruise Coordinator. Martichuski hires and trains the field technicians for FCW, gives them hands-on experience, and updates FCW’s clients on their forests. FCW is centered around protecting forests and utilizing them to their full potential, offering clients preservation of their land and a passive income source.

Kelly Martichuski by a large tree.

Clients who choose to entrust their forests with FCW will have a project that lasts for 125 years, during which FCW will sequester carbon, provide protection for multiple types of different species, and make sure the soil is healthy.

“I think the biggest uncertainty around that 125 year number is that we don’t know where things will be in 125 years,” said Martichuski. “I like to look at it in a way that no matter what happens in that landowner’s lifetime, they can make one thing for certain — and that is that their forest will be protected and preserved for at least 125 years and nothing can take that away.” 

While the length of these forest partnerships may put off some prospective clients, it is a way to ensure the forest is around for a very long time, she explains, staying protected for the next generations to use and enjoy.

From campus to forest 
Working full-time while also going to school full-time is very rewarding, but it can be challenging at times. Martichuski recommends having good time management and working somewhere that gives flexibility for their workers and understands the importance of education.

She is very grateful to learn about things she is passionate about, not just in her classes at CFANS, but also at her job at FCW. Martichuski can take the concepts learned in CFANS and apply them directly to her job with FCW, while also gaining valuable hands-on experience that will prepare her for a career in forest sciences.
Martichuski values the community that CFANS has provided her with. “Everyone at CFANS is so great and that truly makes a difference,” she said. “From my academic advisors to professors, they are so welcoming and they really want to see your college experience be above and beyond. I have participated in the Mentor Program with CFANS for three years now as well, and that has been an incredible experience. I have been able to network with so many awesome people who work in different industries and just learn about real world experiences that have brought them to where they are. CFANS is this tight knit community where you can really get hands-on learning and find support wherever you need it.”

Martichuski specifically highlights the CFANS course ESPM 3261, “Economics and Natural Resources Management,” as being instrumental in her development of natural resource management, economics of environmental services, and human waste management. She says that ESPM 3261 has been very helpful in her tenure at FCW.

Martichuski is unsure of what she wants to do once she graduates, but does say, “I want to be able to explore all the environmental sciences out there and just soak up all of the knowledge and skills that are out there to see where my next adventure might be. For now, I am thrilled to be working in forestry and networking with people all across the U.S.”

Martichuski credits her CFANS classes and FCW for the skills she has learned and can apply in her daily life, no matter where she is or where she goes.

Read more about FCW in this September 25, 2021 Star Tribune article