My career path has taken many turns over the decades since I graduated from Purdue with a BS in Forestry and majoring in Wildlife Management. I started out in landscaping; did a stint as a utility and urban forester in northern IN; was a supervisor and manager for an environmental consulting firm for environmental permitting, restoration and natural resource mitigation projects in IN, MI, IL and OH; managed road projects and staff for environmental permitting and ecology across half of Indiana, and am currently managing state and federal grants for outdoor recreation projects throughout Indiana with the IDNR Division of Outdoor Recreation.
Although my goals were very different when I started (I thought I would be working with and managing individual species) the broad education from my degree allowed me to branch into many areas to develop a wide range of skills and experience. This has enabled me to stay working in the field I love, with a few stretches, and active in managing and maintaining natural resources in the state.
Protecting and maintaining habitat is key in Indiana for the health and survival of our native species - flora and fauna. Any position I have worked in I have tried to focus on the broader picture instead of wishing for a narrower, specific role. It has helped me keep perspective on doing what I love and allowed me access to a broader career.