Introductory Cloquet Field Session

The Introductory Cloquet Field Session takes place in August at the Cloquet Forestry Center—a 3,391 acre research and education forest located within the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation. This field session is focused on forest ecology, forest measurements, and field botany, and students spend 80 percent of their time learning and conducting research out in the forests. The introductory session is required for the Forest Ecosystem Management & Conservation (FEMC) and Urban & Community Forestry (UCF) tracks within the Forest & Natural Resource Management (FNRM) major, but the session is recommended for all students.


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Registration and Course Information

Audience and Prerequisites

This program is required for two tracks within the Forest and Natural Resource Management (FNRM) major, and FNRM majors are strongly encouraged to enroll in this session before their junior year. Students who plan to transfer into the FNRM major as juniors are strongly encouraged to attend the session the summer preceding their transfer into the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. This applies to students from community, state, and private colleges as well as students from other collegiate units of the University of Minnesota. The Introductory Summer Field Session is a prerequisite for many FNRM courses. Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (ESPM), and other majors (e.g., Biology; Ecology; Biology, Society and Environment; and Landscape Design) with interests in forest ecology, forest resource assessment, and plant taxonomy are also encouraged to register for this program. This program satisfies the ESPM requirement for experience and training in a field setting. Students should register for all of the courses in the program. Students who do not meet the prerequisites must obtain a permission number from the course instructor. Non-major students may register for the Forest and Natural Resource Management or Graduate Field Sessions if they have completed the prerequisites, but must obtain permission from Dr. Rebecca Montgomery. 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.

  • GPA of 2.0 or higher (recommended)
  • Completion of the following courses, or equivalent, with a grade of C- or better:
    • Biol 1001, 1009 or equivalent introductory biology course (required)
    • Biol 2022 General Botany (recommended)
    • One semester of chemistry (recommended)


FNRM 2101 — Identifying Forest Plants (1 credit)

Students study the field identification of approximately 120 species of common forest trees, shrubs, and non-woody vascular plants. Students are introduced to the natural history of selected species. The concepts of plant communities, soil-site relationships, and wildlife values are emphasized. Grading is based on field identification examinations. This is a Summer semester course. Registration begins on February 27 for students to the FNRM major and March 5 for non-degree and visiting students.

FNRM 2102 — Northern Forests Field Ecology (2 credit), Dr. Rebecca Montgomery, Instructor

This course introduces students to the natural history of forests of the Great Lakes region with respect to soils, ecological characteristics of trees, community-environment relationships, stand development, succession, and regeneration ecology. As a part of this course students work in a variety of pine, boreal, and hardwood forest types in and around the Center. Students learn to describe forest communities in terms of soils, microclimate, age, structure, biodiversity, history, productivity, and successional stage. Students may also tour active harvesting operations and/or forest research projects in the region. This course culminates in a group independent research project. Grading is based on written papers, in-class activities, and a group oral presentation. This is a Fall semester course. Registration begins on April 9 for students to the FNRM major and May 1 for non-degree and visiting students.

FNRM 2104 — Measuring Forest Resources (1 credit), Dr. Chris Edgar, Instructor

This course introduces land survey, tree/forest stand measurement, and forest sampling techniques. It acquaints students with the use and care of selected instruments and introduces them to the measurement techniques used in field forestry and timber cruising. The course is presented under the assumption that the students have had no prior exposure to this phase of forestry, either in the classroom or field. Field exercises are used to teach principles of field measurements and classroom lectures are used only to the extent needed to get students started on field work. Grading is based on student reports on six exercises (overview and DBH measurement, surveying, mapping/aerial photography, height measurement, vegetation sampling with fixed-radius plots, timber sampling with variable-radius plots) and a field final exam. This is a Summer semester course. Registration begins on February 27 for students to the FNRM major and March 5 for non-degree and visiting students.

FNRM 5161 — Northern Forest Field Course (2 credit), Dr. Chris Edgar, and Dr. Rebecca Montgomery, Instructors

Only graduate students are permitted to register for FNRM 5161. This course is equivalent to FNRM 2101, FNRM 2102, and FNRM 2104. This course allows student without a background of field experience to efficiently gain needed exposure to field situations.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees

Regular tuition rates and University fees are applied for these courses (4 credits for undergraduates and 2 credits for graduate students). There are no student service fees for these courses. A billing statement for tuition and fees will be sent to your student account. These charges must be paid in full by the due date indicated on your billing statement. A late fee will be assessed if payment is not received by that time.

Additional fees

  • Off-campus Course Hospitalization Insurance | $160.00
  • CFANS Collegiate Fee | $ 55.00
  • Lodging & meals | $ 640.00
  • Field Studies Health Service Fee | $ 36.00
  • Transportation | $160.00
  • Equipment/supplies fee | $30.00
  • Student Health Benefit Plan (required for students without health insurance coverage) | $532.00

Students must purchase the Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) unless they already have their own hospitalization coverage. Proof of coverage when registering will exempt you from additional insurance charges. Students currently enrolled in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences during Spring semester and on the SHBP are also exempt from purchasing additional insurance. However, you must choose the "Purchase University Insurance" option when registering for summer courses. You will not be charged additional costs; this is a bookkeeping step. If you are not already insured, you will automatically be enrolled in the University-sponsored plan (SHBP).

All students are required to complete the standard Release of Liability (.doc) for University field trips.

Student Health

Student Health

The Summer 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 Mike Kilgore. 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.

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.

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

  • Pillows, pillow cases, bed linen for a twin-sized mattress, and blankets must be furnished by students. 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.
  • Footwear appropriate for walking on uneven ground, through dense brush, and over wet and soggy soil and vegetation. You will likely visit some wetlands and bogs, so tall rubber boots are recommended.
  • Clothing and toiletries appropriate for a 3.5 week course.
  • Any medications, including kits for insect bites and stings.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Sun protection.

Course materials for all FNRM courses

  • 8.5 x 11" clipboard or paper sheet holder with lid or compartment to protect pages in the field.
  • Clear plastic bags to protect notes in rainy weather. You will be writing in the rain.
  • Pencils and pens for note taking and report writing.
  • Colored pencils (four colors).
  • 8.5 x 11 inch ruled white composition paper.
  • 12 inch ruler marked in inches and tenths.
  • Dictionary.
  • Basic scientific calculator (graphing capability is not necessary). Do not rely exclusively on your smart phone.

FNRM 2101 — Identifying Forest Plants

  • Hand lens — Doublet 10x
  • 3 x 5 inch ruled file cards, two packages of 100 each
  • These books are useful but are not required
    • Textbook of Dendrology, Harlow & Harrah (ISBN: 0073661716)
    • Field Guide to Wildflowers, North Central/NE US, Peterson Guide (ISBN: 0395911729)
    • Forest Plants of Central Ontario, Chambers, Legasy and Bentley (ISBN: 1551050617)
    • Northland Wildflowers, John & Evelyn Moyle (ISBN: 978-0816635726)
    • Wetland Plants and Plant Communities, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ASIN: B000YEVWEK)

FNRM 2102 — Northern Forests Field Ecology

  • 2.0 inch or 1.5 inch wide 3-ring binder.
  • Any books on natural history of Great Lakes ecosystems, field guides, or ecology textbooks are useful but are not required.

FNRM 2104 — Measuring Forest Resources

No additional materials required. See required course materials for all FNRM classes.

FNRM 5161 —Northern Forest Field Course (Graduate)

All supplies and course materials required and recommended for FNRM 2101, FNRM 2102, and FNRM 2104 are also required and recommended for FNRM 5161.


During the session, students are required to stay at the Cloquet Forestry Center along with course faculty. There are several room options including 2-3 person dorm style rooms. All rooms have an attached bathroom. There is a shared kitchen facility for student use, although all meals are provided by the station. Students are responsible cleaning rooms and kitchen prior to departure at the end of the course. Camping facilities are not available.

Dorm rules
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 calk boots in buildings. Do not move any beds or furniture from one area to another.

Dates and Times

Arrival and Departure Times

All students must arrive on Sunday, August 11 between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:45 p.m. with orientation to the session at 6:45 p.m. that same evening. Upon arrival at the station, students should check in with University staff. Students will be housed on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want a particular room arrangement, plan to arrive early. Parking is available in the large visitor parking area behind the administration building.

Class Schedule
Classes are from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There will be no classes on Sundays. Classes will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 12. The last day of class is Saturday, August 31. Requests for non-emergency early releases cannot be approved.

Students are expected to eat their meals in the dining hall. The lodging and meals fee covers all meals served. Meals are served Monday through Saturday 7:00 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 5:45 p.m. Dinner is provided on the Sunday of arrival (5:45 p.m.) and brunch and dinner are provided on the other two Sundays (9:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.). You are encouraged to bring a reusable travel mug for coffee and beverages to-go.


The Cloquet Forestry Center office number is (218) 726-6400. In addition, several courtesy telephones are located throughout the Center: vestibule at the entrance, (218) 726-6489; and 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 line. The computer hard drives are write protected, so bring a flash drive to save personal files (e.g., reports, assignments). There will be 60-70 students at the Center (including students from the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology for part of the Forestry and Natural Resource Management session time. Students with laptops may choose to bring them to the session. There is wireless Internet in parts of the station.

Mail arrives between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. daily. Outgoing mail can be placed in a box on the table located outside the office on the upper level of the Administration Building (#44). It must be placed in the box by 10:00 a.m. each day. Incoming mail can be addressed to

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

There are 2 washing machines and dryers in the basement of cabin #36 at the Center for students to use. Two laundromats are located in the City of Cloquet.

Alcoholic Beverages 
The possession/consumption of alcohol is prohibited on the grounds of the Cloquet Forestry Center. Possession of empty alcohol containers is prohibited.

The Cloquet Forestry Center is a smoke-free campus.

Room check for supplies
A member of the Center staff will enter student rooms weekly sometime between 10:00 a.m. and noon on Mondays to check for supply needs, damage, etc.

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 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 housing regulations, you may not possess guns, ammunition, or any other weapons (including, but not limited to knives, darts, BB/pellet guns, and swords or any blade longer than 4 inches) anywhere on University Housing premises. Because of their potential to cause damage, paint guns are also prohibited.

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.