Student Profile: Chad Papa

posted on June 6, 2017 4:59pm

Chad Papa, participant in the Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy, and Management (view larger image)
Chad Papa, participant in the Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy, and Management

The Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy, and Management equips participants with the interdisciplinary tools and conceptual background to plan, implement, manage, and evaluate forestry-based, climate change mitigation projects. Read how Chad Papa is utilizing his program experiences in the U.S. and abroad.


  • Sarasota, Florida

Current Location:

  • Lansing, Michigan

Current Position/Employer:

  • Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant, Michigan State University

Job Description:

  • Teach laboratory section of FOR414 Renewable Wood Products
  • Conduct research on wood products such as wood identification and composite material testing
  • Conduct Agroforestry research in the region of Kedougou, Senegal

Previous Work Experience:

  • Agroforestry Extension Agent, Peace Corps Senegal
  • Assistant Greenhouse Horticulturist, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Previous Education:

  • B.S. Environmental Sciences, University of Florida

What drew you to participate in the MSU Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy, and Management?

  • The coursework directly related to aspects of my own research studying tropical agroforestry systems in West Africa, but I also thought that this certificate would aid greatly in a non-academic career path for either nongovernmental organizations or a career in civil service.

How do you see completing this Certificate as fitting in with your career or career goals?

  • I see the certificate bolstering my resume and job skills to work in natural resource management within the tropics. The policy, management, and stakeholder engagement aspects of the certificate are necessary skills to succeed in this career path.

What specific knowledge and skills did you strengthen with this program?

  • My knowledge of domestic/international forest governance, carbon markets, and economic policy behind forest carbon was strongly strengthened.

In your view, how do you see the Forest Carbon Graduate Certificate in Science, Policy, and Management building your marketability as a professional?

  • I see this as adding another aspect to my personal skill set to make me a more rounded individual by bolstering my career in fieldwork with a stronger understanding of forest carbon policy and management.

What types of individuals do you believe would benefit from this program?

  • This program seems very advantageous to graduate level students, early career professional, and even mid-career level professionals with an interest in forest carbon.