Alumni Spotlight

Green River College Alumni are doing amazing things in the world! The Green River College Foundation is highlighting the achievements and showcasing their accomplishments by shining a spotlight on their successes!  

Joe Magnuson

Alumni Joe Magnuson

My name is Joe Magnuson. I grew up in North Bend WA where I did a lot of camping and fishing as a kid. Growing up this way contributed to my love for the outdoors and the desire to follow a path to a career in forestry.

My high school biology teacher was the one who really got me interested in natural resources during High School, and from there things started falling into place. After graduation a friend gave me a list of the Society of American Forester Accredited programs - Green River was on that list, as well as other programs in Washington State.

I knew I wanted to attend a school that would give me the basics to go out and get an entry-level job in the field I wanted to work in, and work my way up from there. After looking at Spokane Falls and Green River, I went with the closer of the two, Green River. Not only would it allow me to save some money by staying in North Bend but also after I meet with Dick Hopkins and seeing the classroom where I would spend the most of my two years at Green River in it was an easy decision.

Dick Hopkins and Rob Sjogren made a huge difference while I was at Green River. Their wealth of knowledge and experience was invaluable. I have no question that having those two lead the program made it what it is today. Along with the close-knit group I graduated with, it felt like a family.

I began the program in fall of 2007, and I graduated in 2009 with my A.A.S in Natural Resources-Forestry. My last courses were in the spring of 2010 finishing my A.A.S in Natural Resources-Park Management. After Graduating, I went straight into the work force. Unfortunately, this was right as the rescission was hitting the timber industry so finding a job meant leaving Washington and going to work for the Forest Service in Montana.

I do not stay as involved with the program as I would like, but I stay in touch with a handful of the group I graduated with. My most memorable experiences of the program have to be the summer trip course with Rob when we packed one quarters worth of classes into a short camping/backpacking trip in the Pasayten Wilderness, and just the countless days spent in the school forest on the campus or the Pat Cummins Managed Forest east of Enumclaw.

Today I am back in the Pacific Northwest. I’m married and have a beautiful one-year old little girl. I am working in the woods in the as a unit Forester for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Doing what I set out to do! As a unit Forester I am in charge of planning a yearly deliverable of timber volume. I achieve this by helping manage 100,000 acres of trust land. I have three direct reports and love my job!

I have fond memories of my time at Green River and often encourage others to consider it when exploring their college options.