Advanced Cloquet Field Session

The Advanced Cloquet Field Session has two required components. One will occur in March and April to learn about forest management on various ownerships away from the Cloquet Forestry Center—a 3,506 acre research and education forest located within the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation. The second component will occur in May presented within and near the Cloquet Forestry Center. This field session is focused on advanced courses in resource survey, silviculture and timber harvesting and forest roads.  It provides unique hands-on learning experiences that build upon previous coursework and knowledge while demonstrating the integrated nature of those courses. The session is required for the Forest Ecosystem Management and Conservation (FEMC) track within the Forest and Natural Resource Management (FNRM) major.

FEMC specialization students admitted before Fall Semester 2021 must attend at least two of the three classes offered but are strongly encouraged to take all three classes due to the integrated nature of the courses. Students admitted for Fall Semester 2021 or later must take all three classes. 

Graduate students who are interested in on-the-ground practices and field skills development are encouraged to attend. Additionally, graduate students focusing on how society values and makes decisions about the use, management, and protection of natural and environmental resources will benefit from attending the session.

Review the Advanced FNRM Field Session handbook or expand the following accordion menus for more information.

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Registration and Course Information

Audience and Prerequisites

The session is an intensive experience where you learn the field techniques and applications of resource survey, silviculture and timber harvesting and road planning.  Extensive time is spent examining and applying advanced concepts in the field.  While each course includes unique meeting dates, there are times when content is integrated across the three courses through joint instruction and assignments.  One way in which that integration occurs is through a final project in each course where you will meet with a private landowner, determine their ownership objectives, conduct a resource survey of their parcel to provide input for writing a “stewardship plan” and design a harvest and road access plan.  The three courses included in the session are described below.  For additional information on the courses and faculty, visit

Registration for the Advanced Cloquet Session is online and begins during Fall Semester.  If you do not fulfill course prerequisites, you will need to get permission from the faculty member in charge of the course. For anyone who is currently admitted to a degree program at the University of Minnesota, registration for this session began on November 8, 2022 on a rolling basis based on student registration timeslots. For anyone who is not currently enrolled in a degree program at the University of Minnesota, registration for this session began on December 2, 2022.  Non-degree seeking students who wish to attend the Advanced Field Session are required to 1) follow these instructions and 2) contact the instructors to request a permission number. Non-major students may register for the Advanced Field Session if they have completed the prerequisites or if they get permission from the faculty member(s) in charge of the course. Graduate students may register for the Advanced Field Session beginning on November 8, 2022. If you have not completed course prerequisites, you should discuss your enrollment in a course with your advisor and the appropriate instructor(s) prior to registering for the session. Undergraduate students may not register for more than 20 credits per semester without college approval. You must petition the college to request permission using the Academic Policy Petition form available in the CFANS Student Services Office.

FNRM 4511 – Field Silviculture (2 credits), Dr. Marcella Campione-Windmuller, Instructor
Students learn how to collect field data which will be used to prepare/write silvicultural prescriptions for achieving management objectives within the context of stand, landscape, watershed and wildlife habitat/biodiversity issues. Students conduct field exercises that consider forest entomology, pathology, tree improvement, forest soils and nontimber forest products. As a major part of the course, students will work in groups to develop a “stewardship plan” for a Cloquet-area landowner’s property. This involves identifying landowner goals and objectives, inventorying and evaluating the land and developing short- and long-term management prescriptions.  Prerequisites for undergraduate students: FNRM 3104, 3411, or instructor consent.

FNRM 4515 – Field Resource Survey (1 credit), Dr. John Zobel, Instructor
This course builds student knowledge and skills in sampling and measurement methods for inventory, monitoring and analysis of forest and related natural resources.  Students conduct exercises in field data collection, data synthesis and reporting and learn resource survey design.  These exercises expose students to a range of approaches and technologies for data capture, analysis and reporting.  Problems considered range from describing trees and stands on the Cloquet Forestry Center to larger landscape and regional levels and issues from describing land use, resource condition, future condition and management practices, including the impact of practices. Students will work in groups to develop and conduct a forest and natural resource inventory for a Cloquet-area landowner’s property.  Prerequisites for undergraduate students:  FNRM 3218 and 3262 or instructor consent.

FNRM 4521 – Field Timber Harvesting and Road Planning (2 credits), Dr. Charlie Blinn, Instructor
Students learn about the process of designing a forest road and timber harvest considering the economic, environmental and social influences which impact those operations. The intent is to present and discuss those issues in the context of implementing natural resource management plans. Course emphasis is on providing field-based experiences with the various aspects of timber harvesting and road planning.  As site and stand conditions, landowner objectives, regulations and other factors vary across the landscape, there are a variety of approaches used to accomplish timber harvesting and road planning.  The course will address many of the different methods, presenting more detail for some than others.  Students will work in groups to develop a harvest and road access plan for a Cloquet-area landowner’s property.  Prerequisites for undergraduate students:  FNRM 3411 and 3431, or instructor consent.

Tuition and Fees

Estimated Course Tuition

According to the 13-credit policy, a degree-seeking undergraduate student must pay a flat undergraduate tuition rate based on 13 credits, regardless of actual credit load. The general graduate tuition rate includes a 6-14 credit band for full-time registration, and each credit above or below the plateau is assessed on a per-credit basis. There are no additional course tuition expenses for undergraduates who register during Spring Semester for at least 13 credits or for graduate students who register during Spring Semester for at least 6, but not more than 14 credits. Standard student fees apply to these courses.

Estimated Course Fees

Undergraduate students may be eligible for financial aid. The College of Food Agriculture and Natural Resources and/or Department of Forest Resources may offer scholarship support for undergraduate students who applied through the CFANS scholarship process. A billing statement for tuition and fees will be sent to your student account when you register for Spring Semester. A late fee will be assessed if the balance is not paid in full by the due date indicated on your billing statement.

The following are estimated course fees for lodging, transportation, three meals (dinner, breakfast and lunch) on March 24-25 and lunch and dinner during the May portion of the session:

FNRM 4511$332.00
FNRM 4515$164.00
FNRM 4521$332.00
Total for all three courses$828.00


Student Health

Student Health

The Advanced Field Session courses involve sustained physical activity. A medical examination prior to the session is advised. Students who are required to complete the field session, but will not be able to do so due to medical reasons, should contact the department head. Immunization clearance is not required for the session; however, students attending the session should have had a tetanus booster vaccination within the last five years. The Cloquet Forestry Center does not stock any medications. If you are susceptible to allergic reactions to pollen, insect bites, stings, etc. you should bring your own preferred medication to the session. Students who have paid their Student Service Fee are regular members of the University Health Service. Coverage is similar to that available on the Twin Cities Campus. All injuries must be reported immediately to the Cloquet Forestry Center staff and the course instructor.

Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness, is present in northern Minnesota. Students should take precautions to avoid contracting the disease as well as understand symptoms of infection. Most Lyme infections come from nymphal and adult deer ticks. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed. Students should dress appropriately to limit tick access to skin, use insect repellent in the field, and conduct regular tick checks when changing clothes or bathing. Early symptoms may involve fever, headaches, and fatigue. A circular rash often (not always) develops at the site of the tick bite but may not be visible black or brown skin. Lyme disease is easily treated with antibiotics but left untreated can cause serious, long-term, and irreversible health problems (joints, heart, central nervous system).

Mental Health

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. Further, we recognize that the field session can be additionally stressful. You are away from your normal routines, living together with others in dorms, eating cafeteria food in a collective space, and doing intensive physical and mental work. The compressed time frame of the field session means that most evenings are spent on assignments and preparation for the next field day making it hard to recharge.

Mental health concerns or stressful events may affect your academic performance or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. Do not hesitate to talk with staff about barriers you are experiencing. We are here to support you in gaining the best educational experience possible. This includes helping find resources and solutions if you are struggling. We can make adjustments during the field session itself. In addition, University of Minnesota services are available to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus.

Because the session begins the day after the last day of Spring Semester finals, the instructors are aware that this may put a strain on student well-being and mental health. As any individual may at times experience an impact on their well-being or mental health during a field session, it can be important to have a plan. This may involve taking some time to before the session to establish social/therapeutic/self-care supports and strategies that can be accessed remotely, planning around consistent access to medication if applicable, and academic accommodations if needed. Field session instructors are always a resource. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) can be a resource to those who would like to explore accommodations related to a disability or health condition. If possible, students should register with the DRC in advance of the field session if they think they may need accommodations during the session.

Course Supplies

These supplies are not available at the Cloquet Forestry Center. You must purchase and bring them with you. Many supplies are available at the university bookstore on campus.

Personal Items

  • Pillow cases, bed linen for a twin-sized mattress, and towels and blankets must be furnished by students. Pillows and mattress pads are provided by the station.
  • Field clothes adequate for protection against cold and rain.
  • Waterproof hat, jacket, pants, and waterproofed boots are an absolute necessity. Field work is carried out regardless of the weather.
  • Field clothes treated with permethrin, either by the manufacturer or aftermarket, are recommended to reduce exposure to disease-carrying insects such as ticks and mosquitoes. Permethrin treated field pants, calf-high socks and shirts can be more effective than DEET-based insect repellent for tick protection.  Treat your items up to 48 hours before you need tick protection.  Follow the directions on the container when applying insect repellant containing DEET or permethrin.
  • Footwear appropriate for walking on uneven ground, through dense brush, and when the soil and vegetation are wet and soggy (include bringing rubber boots).
  • Clothing and toiletries appropriate for a 3.5 week extended field course.
  • Insect repellant.
  • Sun protection.
  • Any medications, including kits for insect bites and stings.
  • Glasses or other eye protection for working in the woods.

Course Materials

  • Your course notes for all prerequisite classes.
  • Hand compass (Silva Ranger 2.0 or Suunto Navigator MCD2D in azimuth are recommended)
  • Tatum holder or clipboard to hold 8.5 x 11-inch paper with lid or compartment to protect pages in the field.
  • Paper for reports and a packet of graph paper.
  • Pencils, pens, colored pencils, etc. for note taking and report writing.
  • Solar-powered pocket calculator. Do not rely exclusively on your smart phone.
  • Ruler marked in inches and tenths.
  • USB flash drive.


Each student will be issued equipment when they check-in for use in one or more courses. Each student is responsible for the care of the equipment they are issued. Tapes, increment borers, and other tools or equipment needing protection from rust should be kept oiled. Losses or unwarranted damage will be paid for by the responsible student or crew. Hard hats will be issued and must be worn when you are visiting an active timber sale. Eye and ear protection are available, but we recommend you bring your own if you have it.

Equipment issued to all students:

  • 75 ft. loggers tape
  • Suunto clinometer
  • Increment borer
  • Tree and Log Scale Stick with angle gauge (hinge attachment)
  • 10 and 20 BAFPrisms
  • Cruisers vest
  • Hard hat
  • Safety Glasses and ear protection (optional)

Equipment that may be issued for short periods

  • Laser rangefinder
  • For students with smartphones or tablet devices, the Avenza PDF maps application, or some other geoPDF map app, can add to a student’s field experience. Cloquet Forestry Center staff can provide appropriate geoPDF maps for student use while working at the Forestry Center and other experimental forest properties.



Students must live on the Center because it greatly simplifies schedules and group assignments and it provides a better learning experience. The Center will apply housing regulations defined within the University’s Community Behavioral Standards. By staying in Center housing, students agreeg to abide by those policies. Housing is available on the Center in Cabin 46. Camping facilities are not available. Cabin 46 has wireless internet access, as does the Administration Building.

Pillows and mattresses are provided. However, students must provide their own pillow cases, linens for a twin bed, towels and blankets. The occupants of each room are expected to keep their room clean (cleaning supplies will be available). The quarters are clean when students arrive and must be clean when they leave. Students are responsible for room clean up prior to their departure. Pets are not allowed in the dorm rooms under any circumstances. 

Please respect the buildings. Do not deface any walls by carving or writing. Do not put nails or tacks in the walls. Abnormal breakage or damage to dormitories or dorm rooms will be assessed against the individuals involved. Do not wear hobnail or caulk boots in buildings. Do not move any beds or furniture from one area to another. The Cloquet Forestry Center is a smoke and tobacco-free campus.

Dates and Times

Arrival and Departure

For the May portion of the session, anyone enrolled in FNRM 4515 is encouraged to arrive at the Cloquet Forestry Center as early as mid-afternoon on Wednesday, May 10 and must have arrived by 8:00 am on Thursday, May 11. At 8:00 am on Thursday, May 11, a welcome / introduction / overview of Cloquet Forestry Center rules and regulations will be presented and equipment will be signed-out in the Administration Building. For students in FNRM 4515, if you are unable to report to Cloquet by 8 AM on May 11, please contact John Zobel ( beforehand. 

If your first class is FNRM 4511 or FNRM 4521, contact your instructor (Marcella Windmuller-Campione for FNRM 4511 and Charlie Blinn for FNRM 4521) before the course begins to arrange your arrival and equipment distribution.

Parking is available in the large visitor parking lot behind the Administration Building.   

Please be advised that your post-session schedule for employment or other activities should take into account the end date for whatever course(s) you are registered to take. Requests for early releases to accommodate personal plans will not be approved. Dorm rooms will be inspected at the end of the session or after your last course to make sure they are clean.

Course Schedule

The two tables below provide information about the dates for required components for all three courses as well as when the individual courses will meet at the Cloquet Forestry Center.

Meeting Schedule for All Three Courses

PurposeDate(s) and location
Organizational meetingMarch 20 at 3 pm in 203 Green Hall
Overnight field tripMarch 24 at 1 pm - March 25 at 6 pm with lodging at the Cloquet Forestry Center
Field Trip debriefingApril 5 from 3 - 5 pm in 203 Green Hall


Meeting Schedule for Individual Courses at the Cloquet Forestry Center

FNRM 4515 (Field Resource Survey)May 11-13 and 24
FNRM 4511 (Field Silviculture)May 14-18 and 24
FNRM 4521 (Field Timber Harvesting and Road PlanningMay 19-24


During May, approximate class times are from 8 AM to 12 PM and 12:45 PM to 4:30 PM every day. Some evening work will also be required. Individual instructors may make adjustments in the schedule as necessary for their specific courses.




Emergency Contact Information
Student must complete and return the Emergency Contact Information form to Dr. Charlie Blinn by April 4.

Individual dorm rooms do not have phones. The Cloquet Forestry Center office number is (218) 726-6400. In addition, several courtesy telephones are located throughout the Center. One is located in the vestibule as you enter the Classroom Administration Building (218) 726-6489. A phone is also located in the kitchen units of cabin #45 (218) 726-6492 and cabin #46 (218) 726-6493.

A 24-station computer lab is available to students for class assignments, e-mail, and internet access via a fiber optic line. The computer hard drives are write protected, so bring a flash drive to save personal files (e.g., reports, assignments).


Mail and packages can be sent in your name to the Forestry Center using the following address. Mail arrives in the mid- to late-afternoon Monday - Friday. Outgoing mail can be placed in the mailbox located on the road between the Administration Building (#44) and the Forest Management Building (#2). It must be placed in the box by 11:30 a.m. each day.

Attn: [recipient]
Cloquet Forestry Center
175 University Road
Cloquet, MN 55720-9594

A free washer and dryer are available in the cellar basement of Cabin #36. Bring your own laundry detergent. Additionally, two laundromats are located in the City of Cloquet.

Alcoholic Beverages
As a University of Minnesota campus, CFC adheres to the UMN policy regarding alcohol and drug use. In short, anyone housed on or visiting a UMN campus must follow state law, which prohibits possession or consumption of controlled substances without a valid prescription and the consumption, purchase, or possession of alcohol by individuals younger than 21.

The Cloquet Forestry Center is a smoke and tobacco-free campus.

Need for supplies
Tell one of the CFC staff if there is an issue in your room or if you need supplies.

Storage of miscellaneous items
Do not store items in your room which can block the way in an emergency situation, destroy the interior of a building, or which can cause fire. Specific items which have been a concern in the past include bicycles, car batteries, motorcycles, and canoe paddles. Please store these items outside. Bring a lock to secure them, if necessary.

Pets are not permitted. This policy is rigidly enforced.

As per University Board of Regents Policy on the possession and carrying of weapons, no person, whether a student, employee, or visitor, shall possess or carry a weapon while on University property unless they are a licensed peace officer, security guard, other law enforcement agent or military personnel when acting in the course of their official duties and when authorized to carry weapons; they are participating in military training when acting in the course of their official duties or performing duly assigned tasks involving weapons; acting under University Presidential approval; or for the purposes of lawful storage of a firearm inside a personal motor vehicle.

Course instructors may take photos of the class at various times for a number of reasons in support of the Department of Forest Resources' educational, promotional and publicity efforts. Students are requested to sign and return a photo release form to allow the photographs to be used in a publication, print ad, direct mail piece, electronic media or other form of promotion.