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 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.