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Michael Boyce

Michael Boyce

Describe your job:

I work in the WVU Research Forest on the south side of Coopers Rock State Forest. Basically I just assist any of the professors that do or want to perform research on the forest up here. I help them set up. I help them find locations. Being here for a long time, you get to see the results for a lot of the research that they do. Forestry is a long term thing. Usually if you mess it up we die before we see that we messed it up.


We’ve done three harvests on a site doing a shelter wood study. We’ve done really good oak regeneration, which is kind of hard to do. I’m kind of proud of that harvest that we did.


Do you know the forest very well?

I’ve been on just about every acre of it. When I started they were inventorying and I had to audit a percentage of their plots. My first year here, I was over the whole forest basically. So I got to see it all then. It’s kind of neat because you’re here working and there are people coming up and hiking where I work. It’s a pretty good job.


If you weren’t working at WVU, what’s the most likely alternative?

I’d have my own forest consulting business. I’d help land owners manage their timber, sell their timber or manage their lands.


Moment you knew what you wanted to study?

I grew up in the woods, hunting and fishing. I just knew that I wanted an outdoor job. A friend of the family was a logger, and I started working with him and got into the forestry part of it.


Moment you knew what your current role was right for you?

Probably a couple years into the job and when I realized I got to do a little bit of everything. It’s not the same thing every day. We’ve got bulldozers and skidders. We cut our own timber sometimes. We run equipment. I am building a road right now for a timber sale. Next week I might be marking timber. So it’s a little bit of everything.


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Somewhere with no winter but in the United States. Working up here on this mountain has ruined me. We get so much snow up here compared to Morgantown, and I get sick of driving in it. One year, we got 250 inches of snow. We had four feet of snow on the grounds for a month.


Favorite part of social distancing?

I haven’t noticed a whole lot because I kind of social distance with my job. So not a whole lot has changed. I think my favorite part has probably been that it seems to have cut down on the traffic a little through Morgantown.


Least favorite part of social distancing?

I guess just losing some freedoms like just being able to stop and visit friends after work.


Just for Fun

Favorite Book: All Quiet on the Western Front

Favorite movie/tv show: Top Gun/Hell on Wheels

Favorite Spotify playlist/band/song: The Allman Brothers/Night Moves

Favorite local restaurant: Muriale’s

Favorite local activity: Fishing at Cheat Lake, Deep Creek and Youghiogheny