Hello there! My name is Brita Rustad and I am a junior studying Forestry and Natural Resources. As an incoming freshman, I had no idea what I was in for at Berkeley. I am from a small town and thrive in a close-knit community, not a big school where I am just one of thousands. Lucky for me, I found CNR. As a part of CNR, I feel comfortable asking questions and exploring opportunities because I am surrounded by supportive advisors, peers, and PALs. The PALs dedicate their time to helping students find what they're looking for, whether that is a major, a class, or research. It is precisely this sense of community that drew me to the PAL family.
Forestry and Natural Resources is unlike any major at Berkeley. My classes focus mainly on ecosystem management and dynamics among California forests. My favorite part of my classes is the amazing field trips and outdoor labs. Another special part of the forestry program is UC Forestry Camp, a series of summer field courses in the northern Sierras. I recommend this major to students who are interested in resource conservation and enjoy working in nature.
Apart from school, I work for the Strawberry Creek Restoration Program as a Restoration Coordinator, planning and facilitating volunteer events. I also work in the Caldwell Lab through URAP, caring for stomatopods and octopuses. In my free time I enjoy hiking, tide pooling, belly dancing, pottery, and water aerobics. I'm also a member of the Cal Forestry Club and the Logging Sports team. Please feel free to come talk to me about other extracurricular activities and fun things to explore at Berkeley. One key to happiness at Cal is balance between school and fun. Don't be afraid to try something you've never done before. You could discover a new passion!