What to Expect
Students in resource management programs learn how to manage and conserve
our natural resources. Grads of these programs will conserve our world for
Scott Sager did graduate work in forest management at the University of
Florida. "I've always enjoyed the outdoors, both being immersed in it and
trying to understand it," he says.
"This is a course of study where I can explore forest management from an
active and a passive [understanding natural systems] perspective. I don't
think there's another course I can study like that."
Many courses are held outside -- identifying plants, surveying land
or observing habitats. Be prepared for courses in mathematics, communication,
chemistry, biology and calculus.
"Most days are probably much like the days of any student -- classes, studying,
exams. Interspersed between those days, however, are field classes where you
work hands-on in the forest doing volume calculations, species composition
surveys, learning plant identification [and] examining places where the forest
is used for a variety of activities," says Sager.
How to Prepare
"Without a doubt, new students should realize that people skills are
a must. Be prepared to communicate and defend your ideas and beliefs in
a variety of forms, from technical reports to multimedia presentations," Sager
Take English and communication classes, mathematics, biology and chemistry.
Sager recommends students take history courses as well, to better understand
how humans have interacted with their environment over history.
"In high school, join your school's environmental club! If you don't
have one, start one! This is a great way to gain organizing and campaigning
skills," says Ashley Collins. She studied at DePaul University. "Also, start
looking for internships. Many employers look at experience in internships
more than grades."