As an undergraduate student of Western Carolina University I was hired for an internship with Forest Stewards as a forestry technician. This opportunity enhanced my knowledge of the sciences within natural resource management and conservation and allowed myself to apply the skills I have learned throughout my academic career. Likewise, this opportunity offered great networking opportunities with professional mentors who have exceptional leadership skills and surpass the task of educating those who work with them.
The diversity of work available through Forest Stewards offered a range of opportunities such as; wildlife camera trapping, private land consulting, timber harvest cruising, and watershed management. Overall, the experience I had with Forest Stewards was educational, practical, and fun! I know the time I worked with Forest Stewards will continue to prepare and propel myself for a future career within the natural resource science fields.Alexander Kisner
Forest Stewards, through the instruction of Dr. Peter Bates and Craig Breedlove, provides future professionals with practical skills for accomplishing tasks related to forest assessment and management efficiently and accurately. Interns are provided an opportunity to develop proficiency with trade methods, tools, and software (ArcGIS, Excel, etc.) in an ideal setting, the forests of the southern Appalachian Mountains, which are among the most biodiverse temperate forests in the entire world.
The experience is an invaluable one, as it provides tangible resources for concepts tackled in the Natural Resource Conservation Management curriculum at Western Carolina University, where teaching is as much a focus as meeting objectives. The work can be challenging at times (physically and mentally), but inspires a sound work ethic and a general excitement from participating in the increasingly necessary work of managing forests intentionally, as those at Forest Stewards do exceptionally well.Anonymous
Interning with Forest Stewards has been both fun and rewarding. Knowledge learned in class is applied in the field, which serves as excellent on-the-job training for future natural resources careers. Besides looking good on a resume, an internship with Forest Stewards is a great opportunity to get out in the woods, breathe the fresh air, and learn skills valuable to outdoor professionals.Candice Moreau
My internship with Forest Stewards started in May and ended in August of 2017. This internship has given me new experience and reinforced other experience. This was through assisting conservation companies, helping private land owners, and working in national forests. We examined forested plots and non-forested plots. We examined post burned forested plots for fire severity and the data will be important for the future of the forest health. It was an amazing internship experience with a great crew.Andrew Meyers
My name is Brandon Fritz and I am a recent graduate of Western Carolina University’s Natural Resource Conservation and Management program. While attending Western Carolina I maintained a 3.52 gpa and graduated with the institutional honor of Cum Laude. Though getting experience in the classroom is important, getting good hands on field experience is just as valuable. This is the reason I applied to work for Forest Stewards throughout the summers I attended Western. Forest Stewards offers great opportunities to get experience in multiple aspects of forestry and is a great way to apply classroom experience to a professional field setting.
While at Forest Stewards I helped work on many different projects pertaining to forestry. These projects include a variety of forest inventory work, invasive species management, marking timber sales, fire severity studies, and various other forest studies. While working on these projects I greatly improved my skills with tree identification, gps and compass navigation, GIS applications and mapping, invasive plant species identification, data management and manipulation, and writing management plans. Working for Forest Stewards was a great way for me to get my career in forestry started and to confirm that I wanted to further pursue a career in forestry. Forest Stewards was a valuable step in developing my skills into being a more professional forester.
While working at Forest Stewards I developed the knowledge and skills needed to become a better forester. I have since used my experience from working for Forest Stewards to land a permanent job working with another Forestry Company. I would highly recommend those attending Western Carolina University interested in forestry to check them outBrandon Fritz