Student Profile: Darren

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Photograph of DarrenMajor: Forestry
Focus Area: Forest Ecosystem Management

Forestry Involves Much More than Trees
Patrolling recreation areas, teaching water safety to elementary school children, and creating a new campground area were all in a day’s work for Darren this past summer. As a Forestry student in the Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM) department at Iowa State, Darren gained work experience in his position with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Saylorville Lake.

“I had a variety of duties, and not just in one area. I gained great work experience for any job I might take after college.”

An Outdoorsman’s Dream
Darren loves working in the outdoors and forestry allows him to do that. Many of Darren’s forestry classes include a lab or outdoor activities.

“In NREM classes you are given the basic stepping stones, but the lab experiences allow you to apply the things you learn in class every day.”

One good example of this hands-on approach to learning is the fall forestry camp required of all forestry students. Darren traveled with his classmates and forestry professors to Missoula, Montana for three weeks of practicing field techniques and working with natural resource professionals across a variety of forestry related careers.

“Forestry camp is one of the most important steps in the forestry curriculum. It taught us professionalism and gave us a unique and meaningful learning experience.”

Planning for the Adventure
Darren began his college career at a community college and later transferred to Iowa State.

“Have your goals set out and work towards them. If you plan to start at a community college, talk with an adviser in NREM to be sure you are taking courses that will appropriately prepare you for coursework here at Iowa State.”

Darren planned his coursework and work experiences to help him reach his future goal of becoming a park ranger.

“I plan to pursue a career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a park ranger. I’d like to work in either Parks and Recreation or Natural Resources. I’m looking forward to it. From managing the land to educating the public, I know I won’t have one day the same as another.”