The Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources department has the largest collection of forestry and natural resources experts in Indiana. We conduct leading research on all issues facing the natural world. In Indiana, you will find us working between the agricultural fields where our valued forests, wildlife, and aquatic ecosystems can be found.

Our primary mission is to educate the next generation of natural resources managers. Research conducted in our department helps ensure that natural resources regulations and policy are informed by the best available science. And our Extension programming helps provide the public with the latest information about Indiana’s amazing natural resources.

The work done by our faculty, staff, students, alumni and industry partners supports:

  • The emerging field of digital natural resources where remote sensing, big data, and artificial intelligence are all coming together to create major advancements in the way natural resources are monitored and managed
  • The state’s $10 billion dollar per year hardwood products sector
  • Research on the Great Lakes ecosystem that contributes $5 trillion to the regional economy
  • The thousands of Hoosiers who participate in sustainable hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching by producing the latest wildlife management research and techniques

Purdue FNR Career Profiles

Aquatic Sciences
Aquatic research scientists in river with nets.
Aquatic Ecosystems Manager
protect and manage streams, rivers,
lakes and wetlands
 

 

 

Aquatic Ecosystem Managers protect and manage aquatic ecosystems such as streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands to protect fish and wildlife, as well as water quality, by monitoring and managing pollution, diseases, invasive organisms, erosion, and other factors that threaten aquatic ecosystems.
Scientists looking at tadpoles in swimming in glass container, checking the healthy ecosystem.
Environmental Technician
monitor air, water and soil samples
to help protect the environment
 

 

 

Environmental Technicians conduct tests and field investigations to obtain air, water and soil samples, and other data used to help clean up, monitor, control or prevent pollution.
Fisheries Biologist: protect and manage fish populations in a sustainable manner.
Fisheries Biologists
protect and manage fish populations in a
sustainable manner
 

 

 

Fisheries Biologists protect and manage wild fish populations in lakes, rivers, and streams to provide sustainable fishing. They also raise young fish in hatcheries for release into lakes and streams, and protect fish from diseases, invasive organisms, and other threats.
Outdoor Recreation Manager: design and manage outdoor activities for people.
Outdoor Recreation Manager
design and manage outdoor activities
for people
 

 

 

Outdoor Recreation Managers develop and implement programs that engage visitors and community partners in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, bike riding, boating, canoeing, and kayaking to explore and discover forests and other natural areas.
Forestry

 

Forester measuring tree circumference.
Forester
protect and manage forests sustainably
 

 

 

Foresters survey and assess the health and growth of woodlands and develop conservation, management and rehabilitation strategies, while protecting forest ecosystems and the benefits produced by forests, and addressing problems such as soil erosion, invasive species, and pests that threaten forest health.
forestfirefightermanager_careers.png

Forest Fire Fighter / Manager
protect forests and people from damaging
wildfires or use controlled
fire to improve forest health

 

 

 

Forest Fire Fighters prevent and suppress wildfires in forests to protect people, houses, wildlife, and the environment. Forest Fire Managers use low-intensity prescribed fires to improve forest health, reduce wildfire danger, improve wildlife habitat, reduced invasive plants and insects, and improve ecosystem health.
Forest Researcher measuring in a lab.
Forest Researcher
seek to better understand how forest
ecosystems work
 

 

 

Forest researchers are scientists that seek new understanding about how forest ecosystems work and to develop better approaches for managing forests. They design experiments, and collect and analyze data, to answer important questions about sustaining forests.
Forest products manufacturer drilling into wood.
Forest Products Manufacturer
produce useful wood products such as
furniture and cabinets
 

 

 

Forest Products Manufacturers design and manage facilities that use logs, lumber, and veneer to produce a wide variety of wood products such as furniture, cabinets, flooring, paper, and building materials.
Natural resources educator teaching a group of students.
Natural Resources Educator
help people understand and enjoy
nature
 

 

 

Also known as an interpretative naturalists or extension specialists, natural resources educators design, plan, and deliver educational programs to the public about plants, animals, and natural areas.
A tree care specialist inspecting a tree.
Tree Care Specialist
protect and manage the health of
individual trees
 

 

 

Tree Care Specialists or Professional Arborists manage individual trees in urban and suburban communities by performing hazard inspections, tree pruning and planting, removing dead or dying trees, and working with individual landowners to promote safe and healthy trees.
Foresters in an urban area inspecting a tree.
Urban Forester
manage and protect trees and forests in
urban areas
 

 

 

Urban Foresters manage and protect forests in public parks as well as street trees in urban and suburban areas. They oversee the planting of new trees and protect the health of trees from diseases and insect pests.
Wood product designers conversing on how to build their idea.
Wood Products Designer
Design and create beautiful products
from wood
 

 

 

Wood Products Designers use knowledge of wood, technology, tools, and design principles to create a wide variety of wood products from furniture to interior designs to framing systems for buildings.
Wildlife
A wildlife manager with a bird.
Wildlife Manager
protect and manage wildlife in a
sustainable manner
 

 

 

Wildlife Managers protect and manage wildlife populations and habitats to produce benefits for wildlife and the general public using wildlife science.

Career Resources

Learn more about the positions listed below by using the job search on CareerOneStop.org website. Place any of the position titles in the keyword field for list of available positions.

  • Aquacultural Manager​​
  • Conservation Biologist
  • Conservation Officer
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Environmental Attorney
  • Environmental Compliance Inspector
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Scientists And Specialists
  • Fish and Game Warden​
  • Natural Resource Supervisors
  • Natural Resource Technician
  • Natural Resource Workers
  • Natural Science Manager
  • Naturalist
  • Remote Sensing Technician
  • Social Science Research Assistant
  • Soil And Plant Scientist
  • Soil And Water Conservationist​
  • Wildlife Biologist/Field Biologist​

Related Skills opens opportunities as employers are seeking candidates with the attributes listed.

With over 50 employers at the FNR Career Fair, student opportunities abound with internships, summer positions and graduation career positions.

FNR Career Fair

Personal Assessment can help as you narrow down your skills and interests. Take a look at these resources that help you find the career that fits you.

If you are finding that none of the career options or job postings you have reviewed are interesting maybe it is time for some personal assessment of your skills and interests. The Center for Career Opportunities​​ can assist with further career counseling. Below are a few sites that may be helpful as you assess where your interests and skills align with career options.

 

Choose what works best for you!

The FNR Office of Student Services is open from 8 am to noon and 1 to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, except on University holidays.

Tami Conn
Tami Conn, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 765-494-3591
Email: tconn@purdue.edu

Casey Doten
Casey Doten, Alumni Relations
Scholarship & Awards Coordinator
Phone: 765-494-0428
Email: cdoten@purdue.edu

Dr. Barny Dunning
Barny Dunning
Professor & Director OSS
Phone: 765-494-3565
Email: jdunning@purdue.edu

Jackie Getzin
Jackie Getson, Interim Graduate
Program Coordinator (Current Students),
Research Associate & Outreach Coordinator
Phone: 765-496-7406
Email: jgetson@purdue.edu

Megan Gunn
Megan Gunn, Recruitment and
Outreach Specialist
Phone: 765-494-7477
Email: mlgunn@purdue.edu

Maria Leatherwood
Maria Leatherwood
Sr. Academic Advisor and Interim Graduate
Program Coordinator (Prospective Students)
Phone: 765-496-4819
Email: meleathe@purdue.edu

Julie Pluimer
Julie Pluimer, Sr. Academic Advisor &
Administrative Manager
Phone: 765-494-3629
Email: jpluimer@purdue.edu
Woods on Wheels travel exhibit with alumna Sara High standing in front of trailer.

Alumnus Hits the Road With Woods on Wheels Exhibit

There are nearly 5 million acres of woodlands in Indiana and the state’s hardwood industry has an economic impact of more than $10 billion and supports 70,000 jobs.

Alumna shares her role as she travels the state
Woods on Wheels travel exhibit, inside with hardwood information.

Woods on Wheels is For All Ages

Request the Wood on Wheels exhibit to come to your area sharing hardwood resources and career opportunities.

Find out more information and how to request the exhibit