Business Title: District Ranger
Business: U.S. Forest Service, Ottawa National Forest
City, State: Ironwood, Michigan
Web Address: www.fs.fed.us/r9/ottawa/
A few months ago, I accepted a promotion to my new position as District Ranger on the Ottawa NF, where I am thoroughly enjoying the new challenges and area. I am convinced that
the multi-disciplinary education I received at Purdue [thanks, in large part, to my advisor Fred Montague] has greatly aided my career. I have been equally delighted to discover that the Purdue University name carries prestige, even in the small, remote, rural, western towns where I have spent most of my career. Now that I'm a mere 500 miles from W. Lafayette, I would be delighted to help current students in any way I can.
As to how I got here from there:
1985 - 1990 -Stewardship Forester; then Forest & Fire Officer Michigan DNR
1990 - 1993 -Stewardship Forester/Forest Practices Advisor Idaho Dept. of Lands
1993 - 1995 -Lands Manager/Rec. Planner Ketchikan Gateway
Borough (county) Planning Dept.
1995 - 1998 -Lands, Minerals, Special Uses Admin. Ketchikan RD, Tongass National Forest (US Forest Service, Alaska)
1998 - 2001- NEPA Coordinator/Project Leader Okanogan, then Colville NF (USFS, Washington)
2000 - 2004 -Volunteer & Partnerships Coordinator Salmon-Challis NF (USFS, Idaho)
Oct. 2004 to present - District Ranger Bessemer RD, Ottawa NF (USFS, Michigan)
As my work history probably reveals, I am a natural resource generalist. When I earned a BS in Forestry at Purdue, my major studies were in Wildlife and Recreation. In the past 20 years, I have worked in nearly every resource discipline: timber, wildlife, fisheries, fire, permits, minerals, recreation, real estate, range, and urban forestry. Had Purdue forced me into a more traditional education in just one resource area, I would not have had so many opportunities. While there will always be a need for specialists, most natural resource agencies seek also seek employees with diversified interests and skills. As my former Wildlife Professors would attest, being adaptable remains an ecologicallyl useful characteristic!
In addition, I left college with optimism and self-confidence. I now realize that my educational journey will never end. I'm grateful Purdue was the beginning. On the "road less traveled", it may be just as important where one starts...
Hope this helps. Best fishes, Melanie