Grizzlies Going Places

Name: Mateen Hessami
Hometown: Vancouver, BC; tribal member of the Wyandotte Nation
Major: Wildlife Biology
Scholarship: American Indian Forestry & Conservation Scholarship

Mateen
What drew you to forestry initially?

Ever since I moved from Canada to the U.S. at thirteen years old, I’ve had a huge passion for the outdoors and animal interactions. I’d go out hunting with my uncle and ask questions about everything. I was so curious as to how the animals survive and how their habitats affect them. I carried that with me into my undergrad, where I decided to pursue wildlife biology.

Why Montana?

It is an objective statement that the University of Montana Wildlife Biology Program is number one in the entire nation. It’s very evident from the curriculum to, most importantly, the faculty. Our faculty demonstrate incredible support for their students. They truly care about who they are teaching and advising. They want to see us progress in the conservation field. I think that’s what separates UM from every other school.

What excites you as you look ahead to the future of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation?

I think the future of the college is extraordinarily bright, and I think the backing of donors like the Franke family just highlights that even more. It shows that our community has a desire to protect our natural resources, conserve wildlife and progress students who want to contribute to bettering our natural world.