By Melissa Tarbell
In October, three members of the UMass Student Chapter of the SAF attended the 2012 SAFNational Convention in Spokane, WA. These students sat in on a number of technical sessions,listened to knowl- edgeable guest speakers and browsed through the exhibitors on site. The trio was also able to visit several properties of Inland Empire Paper Company in nearby Idaho during a student-only tour on the first day of the convention. The field trip allowed them to get outside and see different forest management practices used in that part of thecountry. It was during this field trip thatthey also made new friendships with students from across the US with whom they continuously spent time with throughout the rest of the convention. The most important part of these conventions is the networking. The students and professionals that they meet today could be future coworkers and mentors tomorrow. Apart from making friends with other students, Bill Rockwell, the president of the SAF, and a couple of other professionals joined the UMass crew in the exhibit hall for lunch on one of the days.
Photo from Left to Right: Kyle Krigest (Mass), Jackie Kulig (CT), and Melissa Tarbell They got to chat with the president, after which he recognized their faces throughout the rest of the convention. It is gestures like this that made their trip memorable. The UMass conference-goers that consisted of Melissa Tarbell, Jackie Kulig, and Kyle Krigest, the chair, vice chair, and secretary of their student chapter respectively, would like to thank some people for investing in their trip to Spokane. While many of the other students they met there were completely funded by their organization or universities, the three of them paid their own way with the help of their professor and advisor at UMass, Dave Kittredge, as well as the Green Mountain Division of the SAF. Going out to Washington was a really great experience and they are grateful for the help they received in getting there.