Erik Joerres Is Our New Student and Program Support Specialist

May 17, 2019

Photo of Erik  

Erik Joerres has recently taken residence in Kaufert Laboratory as the department's Student and Program Support Specialist. He will split his focus between recruiting undergraduate students and continuing to develop and maintain positive relationships between the department and our alumni and external partners. His goal is "to make our department and its programs known to students before they apply to the University of Minnesota." He encourages anyone who has any great ideas for helping him to reach this goal to email him.

He also admitted to a more easily attained goal, since he only started this job a few weeks ago. Erik is "working on getting a candy dish and some more comfortable seating" to make the environment in his office a little more welcoming to students who want to drop by and have a chat about the department's programs and possible employment outcomes.  

Erik has a deep connection to the Saint Paul campus after graduating from CFANS with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and going to the College of Education and Human Development for a master's degree (which is currently in progress) for 9-12 Life Science Teaching. Part of what draws him to the Saint Paul campus is that one would "never know you were situated in the middle of a major metropolitan area until you take the connector to the East or West Bank campuses."

For anyone who asks why is he getting a master's in education but not currently working as a teacher, he will say in good humor that his first and last group of 8th graders ate him alive. He spent the previous five years with the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate working as a research scientist for the soil nutrient management team. He opted for a change to this position to work more closely with students and to help them to achieve their goals. His winding path to this department, and this position has allowed him to understand better the challenges students face when planning their futures.

When not helping students learn more about the department's programs or connecting faculty to new and existing relationships with external partners, he enjoys traveling, listening to music, playing with his dog, Theo, and fishing from his boat.

You can contact Erik by email at or visit him in person at 203B Kaufert Lab.