Visitors to the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus often comment on its peaceful, park-like feel—a marked contrast to the busy urban cityscape of the Minneapolis campus just a few miles away.
It’s something Jared Rubinstein noticed right away when he entered the U’s graduate program in applied plant sciences at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences in 2015. A native of Seattle, he also noticed an unusually high number of tree species on the St. Paul campus compared with what he saw on city streets.
That’s partly because the campus serves as a living laboratory for undergraduate and graduate students studying horticulture, forestry, and related fields. Through the years, faculty members and landscape managers have planted various species of trees to use for teaching and research.
“As someone who moved here and had to learn about all these trees that were new to me, it made me think about whether there was a way for people coming to campus to learn more about the tree world,” he says.