Kurtis Proulx grew up in Crookston, Minnesota as part of a farm family. He attended Crookston High School and went on to study at the University of Minnesota Crookston so he could continue to work for his dad on the farm. Proulx graduated in 2011 with a degree in health sciences and began working as a lab services coordinator at UMN Crookston in February 2022. Prior to that, he was a corrections officer for five years but decided it wasn’t his calling. Proulx wanted to use his degree from UMN Crookston, and that is exactly what he’s doing. He even hopes to go on to graduate school one day.
“I love working as a lab services coordinator at UMN Crookston and the small campus,” Proulx stated.
Proulx’s hobbies include hunting, hiking, and fishing. He has an Instagram account (@barometer_outdoors) where he posts fun pictures of his fly fishing adventures. Proulx was given an old fly fishing rod from his late uncle and decided to give it a shot. He ended up loving it and has been fly fishing for four to five years. One day, when he becomes more experienced, he hopes to become a fly fishing guide.
“Learning to cast a fly can be both intimidating and frustrating,” Proulx told the Grand Forks Herald, “but it’s not as difficult as it might appear.”
Proulx also said he is no expert at fly fishing, but he loves doing it and it’s “not as hard as the movies make it out to look.”
Proulx has gone on many adventures including hiking at the North Shore, Beltrami Island, and backpacking in Costa Rica and Glacier National Park. He had a crazy encounter in Glacier National Park where he woke up to a grizzly bear just inches from his face on the other side of the tent. Proulx could feel the warmth of the bear’s breath on him, and that’s what woke him.
“I went into shock for about 30 seconds and just laid there,” Proulx recalled. “I eventually just fell back asleep though.”
That next morning, he woke up wondering what had happened. Everyone in the surrounding tents were talking about the bear thinking Proulx was going to be a “goner.”
Written for the December 2022 Torchlight e-Newsletter.