forestry students who got grants

How to encourage young people to study forestry?

On 6th November, the Minister of Agriculture and Food in Norway distributed 400 000 Norwegian krone (1 NOK = 0.12 USD) to 8 forestry students in Norway. The Master thesis of Ida Aarø has been selected as the best one, and she received 50 000 NOK extra grant, i.e. 100 thousand NOK in total. Continue reading…


The Minister of Agriculture and Food in Norway, Mr Jon Georg Dale said:

“Grants for Master students are a very important contribution to recruit students to study forestry, and in the same time to assure correct and good qualifications, which industry needs in coming years. Forest industry is an industry with many possibilities and will play a crucial role in the “green shift”

50K NOK Grants for the best forestry students

Each of 8 Master student at Norwegian University of Life Sciences in the forestry specialisation have recently received 50 000 Norwegian krone. They were selected based on their average grade from Master´s thesis and all subjects included in the master degree.

>>READ ALSO: Dream forestry job! Where and how?

One of the prerequisities for obtaining the grants was that students had to complete the degree at appointed time. The master grants went to:

  • Ida Aarø
  • Birgit Sundbø Hagalid
  • Lennart Noordermeer
  • May Britt Haugen
  • Karstein Grongstad Lona
  • Ida Marie Strekerud
  • Gunvor Grimeland Koller
  • Bjørnar Johansen

Personally, I have a great pleasure to share the office with one of the winners of this award – Lennart Noordermeer from Netherlands.

Lennart, my sincere congratulations! 

Lennart Noordermeer - PhD Candidate in forestry at MINA, NMBU, with his great award!
Lennart Noordermeer – PhD Candidate at MINA, NMBU, with his freshly received award!

I am really impressed of your achievement, and I would like to ask you three short questions.

Lennart, could you tell us what your thesis was about, and why you found this subject interesting?

    – For my master thesis, I used airborne laser scanning data to develop methods for inventory of young forest. In forest management planning, it is important to predict attributes of young forest stands so that the right silvicultural treatment decisions can be made. Pre-commercial thinning is often neglected, which is partly due to the fact that forest managers do not have accurate maps with information of stand attributes such as dominant height and density. I demonstrated a practical approach for mapping the need for pre-commercial thinning, using remotely sensed canopy height and density metrics. This seemed like an interesting and relevant topic to me, as this method can easily be included in operational forest management inventories.

What do you think about such grant programs? Can they really encourage yet not decided Master candidates to select forestry as their major specialization?

    – In my opinion, it is important to invest in forestry education, and of course universities and the forestry industry should cooperate when it comes to recruitment. Since the campaign from VelgSkog was initiated in 2012, it has shown clear results. Some years ago there was very little interest for forestry study programs in Norway, at both the bachelor and the master level. In recent years, the maximum number of students has been reached for both levels. It shows that the grant encourages people to choose forestry as a study. For me, it did not really make a difference as I would have chosen to study forestry anyway. However, I was more motivated to get good grades as this can pay off with 50 000,- Norwegian Krone.

What are you planning to do with the award?

    – Actually I do not have any specific plans, but the award is more than welcome at this point as I have just started working and bought a house. So it definitely makes life easier!


Main Photo: Landbruks- og matdepartementet. Source: NMBU

2 thoughts on “How to encourage young people to study forestry?

  1. On reading this story, I am unclear whether there is a direct link between the awards and the increase in enrolment. Is there any empirical evidence that a prize is sufficient motivation to shift a study preference, or as Lennart states: “For me, it did not really make a difference as I would have chosen to study forestry anyway.”

    1. Good question Ric. I think that next years will reveal this, but personally I do not think so that there is a link. I think that in this case, people tend to think more in long-term perspective, i.e. what they will do after studies and how much they can can earn in the long run of their professional career. I doubt that young people (even undecided what to study) think about short-term benefits, such as single prize or scholarship. But who knows…

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