Nicole (Ricci) Opbroek

Forest Health Forester

Throckmorton 1606
Manhattan, KS 66506

2610 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS  66502

Phone: 785-532-3276
Fax: 785-532-3305

Originally from metro Detroit Michigan, Nicole is far from her upbringing, but has settled nicely within the heart of America. Her love of the outdoors and forestry grew from living in the Upper Peninsula for over a decade. Nicole began her education in a B. Sc. Earth Science and Geographic Information Systems and then continued on with a M.Sc. in Forest Ecology & Management, where she learned about sustainable management of forests, wetlands, botany, and soil science.  She believes there is always a way to implement management to meet society’s needs, while preserving ecosystem integrity.

Prior to coming to Kansas, Nicole spent close to three years serving a variety of positions in multiple forest health field studies such as the Emerald Ash Borer Detection Survey in Northern Wisconsin and the Western Upper Peninsula, the Sirex Wood Wasp Detection Survey, Ash Damage Survey, and Detection Tools Project in lower Michigan. Afterwards, she spent two years in Florida pursuing additional research studies at the University of Florida in Forest Resources & Conservation, focusing on the long-term regeneration of pond cypress after harvesting.

Nicole, Forest Health/Forest Management Specialist, joined Kansas Forest Service in 2010 in a district-wide position. Upon her first year, she conducted the forest inventory and analysis (FIA) survey for the state as part of a continuous National forest census. She can provide instruction and technical support on forest resource health and sustainability by providing guidance, awareness, and service to rural and community landowners about the native and emerging pests, diseases, or plants that harm our woodlands.

Some of her current projects include a landscape-level assessment & management of the invasive species Lonicera mackkii (bush honeysuckle), strengthening efforts to educate the public and professionals about the danger of the introduction and spread of pests or disease that threaten our economy and forested landscapes, coordination of professional development training for sustainable agroforestry in Kansas for fiscal and ecological services.

In her spare time, Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, mountaineering, hunting, and any activity that has to do with snow!

B. Sc. Earth Science, Northern Michigan University
M. Sc. Forest Ecology & Management, Michigan Technological University
M. Sc. Forest Resources & Conservation, University of Florida