Forestry student finds way for ecology to remediate our landscape and provide more of our natural resources
Forestry senior Andrew Deleruyelle has a long-term goal to make people want to eagerly participate in conservation efforts.
Andrew Deleruyelle is a Michigan State University (MSU) Forestry senior in the Department of Forestry from Dexter, Michigan. Through hands-on experiences and field studies, forestry students learn how to manage forests for a wide range of goals and acquire the skills and preparation to be leaders and stewards in sustainable forest management.
“When I transferred here as a sophomore, I chose two majors: environmental engineering and forestry. After COVID-19, my priorities shifted toward finishing school quicker and finding ways in which ecology can remediate the landscape and provide more of our natural resources,” he said.
One of the nation's top forestry programs and accredited by the Society of American Foresters, MSU’s undergraduate forestry program integrates ecology, biology, economics and social science. Students are able to help find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges in areas of climate change, conservation and sustainable energy.
“There are so many intersections within forestry, computer programming, sociology and public policy that I think everyone can find something they enjoy." Andrew Deleruyelle, Forestry Senior
“There are so many intersections within forestry, computer programming, sociology and public policy that I think everyone can find something they enjoy. People looking for a skilled trade or graduate school fit in equally well. Because nobody can drag a forest into the classroom, the program is a superb choice for any student who loves field trips and using their hands.”
Deleruyelle is vice president of the MSU Forestry Club and an active member of the MSU Student Greenhouse Project. Deleruyelle is passionate about his TimbuR software program, which is used by the USFS National Volume and Biomass Estimator Libraries. He hopes to release a second version that will be used in Central and South America.
After graduation, Deleruyelle plans to move to Detroit to work as a tree care expert with a private company. He wants to further his career by becoming an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist. His long-term goals include making conservation something everyone will want to eagerly participate in.
Deleruyelle is one of the 2022 CANR Alumni Association Scholarship recipients.
Name: Andrew Deleruyelle
Hometown: Dexter, Mich.
Major/Concentration: Forestry, B.S., with minors in urban forestry, creative writing and environmental studies and sustainability
Expected graduation date: May 2023
Why did you choose your major and why MSU?
I chose MSU because it was where I visited high school friends after they moved away, and their enjoyment of what MSU had to offer left a positive impression on me. My mom also got her nursing degree here.
When I transferred here as a sophomore, I chose two majors: environmental engineering and forestry. After COVID-19, my priorities shifted toward finishing school quicker and finding ways in which ecology can remediate the landscape and provide more of our natural resources.
Who or what inspired your interest in the major you selected?
The backyard I grew up in all bordered a pond, grassland and forest. There was so much space to explore and wildlife to observe. I also enjoyed camping and did several trips with the local Boy Scout troop across the state, which gave me an appreciation for the outdoors. Despite that, I spent a lot of my free time inside playing video games or watching TV until I graduated high school.
As a freshman at Washtenaw Community College, I took an ecology/evolution lecture and lab (BIO 161 with Professor Wooten). It was easily one of the most demanding classes I’ve taken (and passed) because my focus on developing a physics background made other domains into blind spots. All the “prerequisite knowledge” was new to me and the new perspective I got from studying shifted my passion from physics to the environmental sciences.
What has been one of your best experiences within your major so far?
Joining the Forestry Club and being elected as its vice president for 2022. They have such a long tradition on campus of teaching fellow students many fun yet applicable skills like making maple syrup, selling Christmas trees, designing homecoming parade floats and the list goes on. We’ve attended international conferences and given out white pine seedlings — and my favorite — the pancake fundraisers we host. It’s a tight-knit community and I think more people would enjoy being a part of it.
This fall, we’re excited to announce a partnership with the Ingham County Health Department to host free, open-to-the-public Narcan administration training courses on campus! Dates and times are to be determined.
What do you want others to know about this major?
I want others to know that the classes are very personable because of the small class size and that it’s not uncommon to know all of one’s classmates. There are so many intersections within forestry and computer programming, sociology and public policy that I think everyone can find something they enjoy. People looking for a skilled trade or graduate school fit in equally well. Because nobody can drag a forest into the classroom, the program is a superb choice for any student who loves field trips and using their hands.
What are some of the best things about being an MSU student?
There’s never a shortage of new people to meet or new things to try. In my experience, there’s a general culture among students that encourages each other’s success that everyone benefits from, regardless of the place or context.
Any thoughts or advice for current or new students?
Set alarms on your phone that go off about 30 minutes before all your classes — it’s saved me more times than I can count. Collect all of the interesting materials your professor presents or shares with you, they may be useful later. And most importantly, never be afraid to make friends. Friends can be anyone — your peers, the coffee shop employee, your teaching assistant — truly anybody.
What are your future plans?
I’d like to move to Detroit and work in urban forestry or tree care, working toward getting certified as an arborist. This summer, I began a foray into cultivating gourmet mushrooms for friends and local restaurants, and I’d like to continue that indefinitely. Regardless of occupation or where I live, I’d like to make reading as frequently as I have this past summer a lifelong habit as well.