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As a Forestry major, Zachary Bergen experienced a summer internship in Alaska with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Anchorage Forestry Sciences Lab. He worked in the Forest Inventory and Analysis program, which provides information necessary to assess America's forests and projects how forests are likely to appear 10 to 50 years from now.
"This enables the Forest Service to evaluate whether current forest management practices are sustainable and to assess whether current policies will allow the next generation to enjoy forests as we do today," explains Zachary.
"My summer consisted of bushwhacking the Alaskan wilderness, taking vegetation samples and measurements, flying in helicopters, living on a boat, and carrying a shotgun. We navigated mostly by photo and compass through some of the wildest terrain this world has to offer. During this internship I gained experience in bear safety, underwater helicopter escape, living on a boat, taking ecological measurements, and I also got my foot in the door for a possible career with the Forest Service."