Collin Motschke - International Research

Collin Motschke

Growing up in central Minnesota, I spent much of my time raising a ruckus in temperate hardwood forests. Everything changed, however, while studying abroad in Guatemala during the spring of 2012. I was astonished by the density, vibrancy, and diversity of the neotropical forests and the communities living within them. I knew that, one day, I would return…

After graduating from St. John’s University (in Collegeville, Minnesota) with degrees in Environmental and Hispanic Studies, I was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Santa Marta, Colombia. There, I taught English and partnered with international NGOs on projects related to ecosystem conservation, watershed preservation, and food security. 

As a Master’s student in NRSM and an advisee of Dr. Dean Current, I was afforded the opportunity to participate in an ongoing research collaboration between the UMN and the Guatemalan Rainforest Alliance. The project focused on the empowerment of forest communities in the Maya Biosphere Reserve and incentivized conservation through the development of profitable markets for forest products. My research examined potential U.S. market pathways for a nutritious (and delicious!) neotropical tree seed called Ramón (Brosimum alicastrum). ;