Julianne Savage

Julia in a Giant Tortoise Shell in the Galapagos!

Julie in a Giant Tortoise Shell in the Galapagos!

Julie Savage is a senior pursing a major in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology-Wildlife Concentration and a double minor in Spanish and International Studies.  She participated in a semester study abroad program at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Quito, Ecuador in Fall 2013. The main focus of her study abroad experience was to practice Spanish and learn more about Ecuadorian culture and wildlife.

While there, Julie took six classes in Spanish including a Protected Areas course. She lived with a host mom and traveled to various parts of the country during weekends and breaks.  Major highlights of the semester included a trip to USFQ’s Tiputini Biodiversity Station within Yasuní Biosphere Reserve and a Marine Ecology class field trip to several locations on Ecuador’s coast including Isla de la Plata. She ended her semester with an unforgettable trip to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu with her family over winter break.

*Feel free to email Julia at jesavage@ncsu.edu if you would like to learn more about her personal Study Abroad experience. She also participated in the Summer Study Abroad trip to Namibia, Africa in 2012.


Deanna Metivier

In order form left to right: Deanna Metivier, Emilee Briggs, Lauryn Coombs, Mallory Gyovai, and Thomas Harris. The five NC State students that went on the Sweden, Germany, and Poland.

In order form left to right: Deanna Metivier, Emilee Briggs, Lauryn Coombs, Mallory Gyovai, and Thomas Harris. The five NC State students that went on the Sweden, Germany, and Poland.

Deanna Metivier is a sophomore majoring in Natural Resources Ecosystem Assessment and Geology, with a minor in Forest Management. This past summer, she traveled through Sweden, Germany, and Poland in a Study Abroad program led by Dr. Blank and Dr. Hess in collaboration with Perdue University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). The group had the opportunity to study a wide variety of topics from forestry to wildlife and urban sustainability.

Deanna, how has this Study Abroad experience affected your career and/or personal life?

I had been out of the country before as I frequently travel to Mexico to visit family, but this study abroad trip affected me differently. It allowed me to work with a diverse group of people looking at topics relevant to all of us-the international sustainable use of natural resources. The thing about international travel is that it can honestly change your life. I returned to the United States as a different person with an entirely new perspective on the world. This trip confirmed my desire to work internationally, see the entire world, all while making a positive impact on the environment.

Personally, I am particularly interested in climate change and conservation. After I earn my bachelor’s degree from NC State, I hope to go on to grad school in Europe, if things go my way. This study abroad international experience inspired me to go outside of my comfort zone, and never stop searching for life’s greatest adventures.

Alex Miller, BS ’10 Natural Resources

Alex MillerDegree: B.S. Natural Resources w/ Minor in Geology (2010)

What is your current position?
Masters student in Geophysics at Boise State University

What was your first job out of college?
Geophysics Field Technician at the ‘Institute of Earth Science and Engineering’ in Auckland, NZ.

Alex - Guatemala

Seismic and video deployment on Santiaguito Volcano, Guatemala, 2009, as a study abroad trip for which Alex received a travel scholarship.

What attracted you to your chosen major/profession?
An eclectic look at multiple scientific disciplines.

How has your education at NC State affected your career and/or personal life?
NCSU gave me the opportunity to do what is possibly the greatest challenge for any college student — discover and begin down a successful and interesting career path.  In giving students the opportunity to mold their studies and classes, it is possible to evolve curriculum to something that is truly suited for the individual.

What is your fondest or funniest memory of school?
That is way too hard and there are way too many to answer!  The first amazing, and also average, memory that comes to mind is talking to Dr. Blank, my advisor, about scholarship opportunities for a scientific expedition to Guatemala.  This trip was organized outside of NCSU and yet funding was still granted for my travels.  Why, you ask? — NCSU & CNR, truly look for their students to succeed by any means within or outside of the university walls.  Once the trip was over, I gave a short presentation to faculty and students on our travels, experiences and results.  As a side note, this trip offered my first work experience with Dr. Jeff Johnson who is my advisor now at Boise State. The whole process was not only refreshing but encouraging!


Electromagnetic field deployment in New Zealand, 2011

Did you have one class that was particularly tough?
Dendrology.  Give me inverse problems, not leaves!

What were some of your biggest challenges in college?
Balancing social life with scholastics.

What is a typical day at your job like?
I’ll give you an insight to my work in New Zealand – My work varied greatly depending if I was in the field or in the office.

Field work included installing, maintaining and rudimentary data analysis of geophysical equipment.  Such equipment included seismometers, Magneto Telluric gear (magnetic coils, electrodes, data acquisition systems, etc…) and temperature gauges.  The work is very labor intensive and involved a lot of hiking and digging holes.  The locations were remote and international including: South/North Islands of New Zealand, Outback Australia, Rwanda (near the Congo border) and San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.

While in the office, my responsibilities included more data analysis.  This mostly was picking phase arrivals or earthquake data, or seismograms, writing reports for commercial projects, packing/cleaning gear etc… Another responsibility I assumed and became very proficient in was instrument assembly.  IESE built custom seismometers.  Our engineers machined raw materials to create unique seismometers which we sold all over the world.  My job soon involved assembling these machine components into a complete ‘Sonde.’  This process involved a lot of wiring/soldering, welding and engineering.


Alex as a participant in the Tough Guy and Girl Challenge, team SPCA Auckland, 2013

What advice do you have for current students?

  1. Don’t waste a second
  2. Party on Fridays and Saturdays, the rest is for working
  3. Talk to you advisor every month.  There is so much stuff going on that you may not know about – but your advisor does.  Knock on the door and say, “Hey Dr. Blank, what do you have for me?  Give me something cool to do!”  That is why they are there, and chances are that the connections you make in these activities will get you a job before anything else!

Note from Dr. Gary Blank, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs:   I like to tell incoming undergraduate students about Alex’s story, because he is a great example of how personal initiative combined with the flexibility of the Natural Resources curriculum can create opportunities for tailor-making a program to meet an individual’s interests.

Joseph P. DiModica II, BS ’85 Forestry

Joseph P. DiModica

Degree: B.S. Forestry (1985)

Most recent position: Range Technician, Fire Lookout, for the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, in Ashland, Montana (June 3- Sept. 14, 2013)

What was your first job out of college?
US Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station (now called Northern Research Station), Forest Inventory & Analysis. First assignment at Morehead, Kentucky.

What attracted you to forestry?
I visited the Biltmore-Schenck Forest Ranger School on what is now the Pisgah National Forest at the age of 12.

How has your education at NC State affected your career and/or personal life?
I could not have developed into the Forester I am today, if it was not for NC State. I became a more complete person and I am more personable.

Did you have one class that was particularly tough?
Dr. Maurice Ferrier’s ENT 301 (Lecture and Summer Camp). He also had a strict dress code for lecture. Men wore slacks, dress shirts and ties. Women’s wardrobe was a dress, no high heels, and limited cosmetics. I felt like I was at Harvard Law School.

What have been some of your biggest professional challenges?
Having to endure a long series of seasonal positions just to get experience.

What has been your greatest professional reward so far?
Achieving Society of American Foresters (SAF) Forester Registration in 1994.Joseph with the BIA Fire Prevention Trailer

What is a “typical” day at work like for you?
It’s tough keeping the forest landowners abreast of the latest research. Last summer (2012), I was in a seasonal position with Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in Ada, Oklahoma. I was involved with Wildfire Prevention Outreach for the members of the Chickasaw Nation. I performed PowerPoint presentations for neighborhood groups and Home Inspections for a home’s survivability.

What advice do you have for current students and recent graduates?
Never, ever give up! My goal is to finish out my career with the US Forest Service, so if you are also interested in doing that, you must keep searching the USAJOBS website at www.usajobs.gov. Keep applying and know that you may need to be prepared to accept a seasonal position to get experience.

Editor’s note: We hope that all current students and alumni will also check our department’s online Jobs Board at www.cnr.ncsu.edu/fer/career_services/jobs/ for other opportunities.


Cindy Carr, BS ’00 NR-Ecosystem Assessment, MR ’10 Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

B.S Natural Resources-Ecosystem Assessment (2000)
M.R. Fisheries & Wildlife Science (2010)
M. Public Administration (expected 2012)

Current Position:
Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

What was your first job out of college?
Field Biologist, Arcadis

While working as a hazardous waste sampling program manager at an environmental engineering firm outside Washington DC, I met several field biologists responsible for stream, wetland, and wildlife habitat work.  Until then, I didn’t know there were careers focused on these areas of the natural environment. 

Why are you willing to serve on the Advancement Council?
I did not have access to very good education or career advice when I graduated from high school so when I went to college for my first undergraduate degree I changed majors several times before getting a generic business degree. I think it’s especially important for female students to know there are jobs women can enjoy in natural resources because it often turns out they don’t know of any women working in that field. I would be willing to talk to any female students interested in a career in a natural resources field (forestry, wildlife, natural resources, etc.)

How has your education at NC State affected your career and/or personal life?
I changed career paths in the middle of my life.  To do it, I returned to school to get a B.S. degree in Natural Resources – Ecosystem Assessment at what was then NC State’s College of Forest Resource.  Even though I’m working full-time now, in recent years I returned to NCSU for a dual Masters program and recently graduated with a Masters degree in my field and am continuing work toward a second Masters degree.

What is your fondest or funniest memory of school?
I was a non-traditional, adult student and was always the oldest student in my classes.  I was always glad when there were students closer to my age in class.  I didn’t feel so left out when everyone else was talking about their fun plans and I knew my only plans included studying and caring for my family.

Did you have one class that was particularly tough?
Yes, a graduate level statistics class.

What have been some of your biggest professional challenges?
It’s always a challenge to be a woman doing work in a field dominated by men, especially when the clients you work for are men and are used to dealing with men.  Even in 2011, there is still a salary discrepancy that favors men when they are both equally qualified and doing the same work.

Photo Provided By: Cindy Carr

Photo Provided By: Cindy Carr

What are some of your greatest rewards during college or in your profession so far?
My work has taken me to many places across NC where few people would go, from the middle of cypress-gum swamps in Pender County to steep mountain side-slopes in Cherokee County and I’ve loved the plants, animals, and habitats I’ve been privileged to see first-hand.

How did you find your current position? Please tell us a little about your job and what a typical day is like.
I was working for a consulting engineering firm and noticed the NC Wildlife Resources Commission had a position open for the Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator.  Since being hired for this job, I am responsible for the State’s wildlife conservation document and am currently working toward a federally mandated revision that will incorporate climate change impacts to wildlife species and their habitats.  One of the best things about my job is that I get to work with many people who care about wildlife, habitats, and the environment.

What do you see as the most important issues that face your profession? What should prospective students, current students, and graduates know about the future of your profession?
Understanding how the various levels of policy affect the work you do: federal, state, and local entities have rules, regulations, and laws that will affect what you do.  If you have access to policy classes you will find the information useful later.

What advice do you have for students considering Natural Resources as an undergraduate major or those thinking about graduate school in Natural Resources?
There are a lot of different ways to specialize your degree program, so think about what interests you currently and visualize whether that’s what you want to do over the next 10 to 20 years.  Keep in mind that technology changes could open new doors in your chosen field.  And always remember, you can return to school if you want to make a career change.  I’m proof of a successful change based on returning to school to complete a degree for a very different field than what I had been working in.

John Crutchfield, BS ’79, MS ’92, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

Zoology, B.S., 1979
Zoology, M.S. (Aquatic Ecology Emphasis with Statistics Minor), 1992

Current Position:
Project Manager, Hydro Relicensing, Progress Energy Carolinas, Inc./Hydro Operations (Raleigh, NC)

What was your first job out of college?
Environmental Technician II (1980), Carolina Power & Light Company/Environmental Technology Section (Brunswick Nuclear Plant, Southport, NC)

Why are you willing to serve on the Advancement Council?

John Crutchfield (right) talking with friends at a Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Alumni Reunion in 2009

I am extremely grateful for the educational experience that I received at NCSU. My career advancement and professional opportunities have greatly benefited from my education. I believe in giving back my time, talents, and money to support the University’s mission as a leading research and educational institute in North Carolina as well as the nation. I want to help current and future students excel in academics at NCSU and, in particular, in the field of natural resources. My son, Matthew, received his B.S. in Textiles from the University in 2009 and will receive his M.S. in Textiles this spring so I see the direct benefit and value of educating future generations at NCSU.

More about John:
In addition to serving on the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources’ Advancement Council, John is active in the following organizations: American Fisheries Society; N.C. Chapter of American Fisheries Society; N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission NonGame Wildlife Advisory Committee; N.C. Ecological Flows Advisory Board–Instream Flow; N.C. Wildlife Federation; N.C. State Fisheries & Wildlife Alumni Society; and the N.C. Water Resources Association.

Rachel Shellabarger, MS, 2010, Natural Resources, International Resources Technical Option

ShellabargerShrineRachel has many diverse interests from biology and conservation to international issues and human rights.  She was able to put these interests together in her research project studying the intersection of conservation and human rights on the US-Mexican border in light of undocumented immigration.

Rachel came to NCSU in the Fall of 2007, after earning a bachelor’s degree in biology in her home state of Iowa.  Rachel chose NCSU because of the international emphasis and opportunities for an interdisciplinary focus.  Rachel wanted to do her research in another country and was intrigued by opportunities in Ghana (where she went for an undergraduate study abroad program).   Although her research was not “international”, she was able to create an international issues project building on her summer experience before starting graduate school.

Rachel spent the summer of 2007 volunteering for No Mas Muertes in Arizona, an organization that provides water and other humanitarian aid to undocumented migrants crossing the border from Mexico into Arizona.  While there, she gained a greater appreciation for the complexity of the issues affecting the migrants as well as for the ecological damage done to the region.

Background:  In 1993, the US began enforcing undocumented immigration in urban border points, which moved the people to more remote areas such as western Arizona.  This led to a marked increase in migrant deaths, as well as protected lands being damaged by trash, erosion and fire.  One wildlife refuge (a 118,000 acre valley) saw as many as 4000 people pass through the valley each night, until a border fence was put up, pushing these people into the surrounding mountains.

As Rachel began researching possible thesis topics, she found limited research, if any, had been done on the intersection of conservation and human rights issues.  Immigration regulation decisions are made in Washington, DC, while enforcement takes place far away in the border areas.  Protecting the land and protecting the rights of the undocumented immigrants have a base in shared values but often the two subjects are in conflict.  Her thesis research explored ways to link land management and human rights groups in the region.  Rachel spent the summer of 2008 in Arizona interviewing people involved in many aspects of the issues.  She was able to be seen as bringing an impartial view and thus to hear in depth about different points of view – those who have lived in the region for several generations, those who manage public lands, those who have come to provide basic resources to the immigrants and the immigrants themselves.  The general consensus is that the current situation is not working, even if the solutions vary.  Different groups see very different realities.  In fact, two of the groups she worked with spent the summer preparing for a court case where a land management group charged a member of a humanitarian group with littering (putting out bottles of water).  Rachel sees herself as a social ecologist doing participatory action research – amplifying underrepresented voices, which surely are all parties involved in the issue.

The project received minimal funding – startup funds from Nils Peterson provided the money for travel.  Both land management agencies provided housing and various in-kind donations were made by all three community groups.  Rachel received a departmental Research Assistantship, which covered her own salary.

Of her experience at NC State, Rachel states, “I didn’t realize how much I could do as a grad student.  Even in Arizona, it meant something to say I was a grad student from NCSU.”

Rachel graduated in Spring 2010 with a MS in Natural Resources, International Resources Technical Option.  She currently works as an instructor and in the library at Notre Dame de Namur University in California and also works with their Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement.

Ellinor Sahlén

Ellinor Sahlén, PhD student in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, has wide-ranging research interests, from small-scale animal behaviors to large-scale ecosystem processes. A growing interest within her research is endocrinology and how measurements of stress hormones may determine population health.

Sahlén’s PhD project focuses on the effects of carnivores on moose foraging behavior in forested habitats. Currently, relatively little is known about factors affecting browsing; yet, such information is needed to successfully manage forests and wildlife. Ellinor will combine browsing data with stress level analyses to examine how foraging behavior is related to predator density and moose stress levels. Methods include genetic analyses of moose saliva from browsed twigs and analyses of cortisol levels in moose across geographical ranges with varying densities of predators. She believes the results of her project will contribute to important knowledge of browsing dynamics, but also to the understanding of ungulate response to predation risk; a controversial topic that is rarely addressed in wildlife management today. Sahlén’s project is based in Sweden, and is in collaboration between North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Grizel Gonzalez-Jeuck

Grizel Gonzalez-Jeuck (center) and members of Instituto Forestal (INFOR) visiting an active INFOR farming operation in Chile.

Grizel Gonzalez-Jeuck (center) and members of Instituto Forestal (INFOR) visiting an active INFOR farming operation in Chile.

Grizel Gonzalez-Jeuck is working on her Master’s Natural Resources, International Resources Technical Option.  Her project led her to work in Southern Chile in collaboration with Instituto Forestal (INFOR) focusing on factors affecting effective technology transference in rural agricultural communities.  INFOR began working with rural agricultural communities about a year ago and distributed technical information on various agroforestry models, using written materials as well as some planting demonstrations.However, there is still some confusion within these communities about the use and techniques associated with agroforestry. These communities are experiencing a variety of socio-economic factors that are contributing to a continued cycle of subsistence farming. Grizel is conducting interviews with farmers to determine barriers that effect technology transference within these communities, and provide them with recommendations to improve soil quality and production with a long-term goal of increased economic stability for farmers.

Logan Roise

Logan Roise timber cruisingLogan Roise is a participant of the Atlantis program, which has given him a unique opportunity to study forestry at three different universities. Logan’s time at NCSU, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and the University of Helsinki has provided him with a strong international perspective on forestry practices and awareness of similar, as well as, different management issues.  He is working on a MS in Forestry.

Logan Roise’s research is focused on the use, nonuse, or lack of long-term supply contracts in bioenergy. He hopes to learn more about the practices, potential strategies and specific factors that influence how power companies, bioenergy producers (biofuels & pellets), and landowners (both private and TIMOs) use, or don’t use, long-term supply contracts. His goal is to show what an “average” long-term supply contract might look like and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of such contracts. Logan’s research is very important to the development of the bioenergy industry because one of the main obstacles to its wider development has been the lack of long-term supply contracts, an issue researchers have not yet tackled. The study is focused on the immediate region surrounding North Carolina and will be compared to the procurement decisions of stakeholders in Scandinavia. Upon completion of the program, Logan will now be better prepared to analyze and solve forestry issues at the global and local levels.