Reedley College forestry and natural resources instructor Joshua Soderlund was surprised to learn he’s KSEE 24’s educator of the week — honored with a $124 dollar check to GW School Supply. His student AJ Jibril nominated him for the award.

“The biggest thing that I like about this program and his teaching style is that, you know, all of our labs are hands-on,” Jibril explains. “He really takes the time to connect with different mentors and different people to allow that to happen.”

His students say Soderlund brings a lot of passion and knowledge into the classroom and out to the forest.

“You know, then I’m just excited. Whether I’m talking about how trees grow, whether I’m talking about you know our next field trip, you know, if we are going to go up to the school forest, we’re going to thin trees out, we are going to use chainsaws,” explains Soderlund. “It just really gets students excited about natural resources.”

Jibril says he appreciates all of the effort Soderlund puts into making sure his students are learning from people in the field.

“Over time he has created a lot of relationships with local foresters, local lumber yards, local nurseries, to allow his students to get that one on one with people in our field,” Jibril explains.

Soderlund says he continues to focus on how he can make sure his students are prepared for their careers in forestry.

“So whether we are surveying, we get to pull out total stations and survey equipment and learn how to use something new, a new piece of equipment,” Soderlund explains. “I think students are really excited about that, so I think incorporating that hands-on experience is really what makes students excited.”