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Forestry Club receives employment advice

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 11:01


Madeline Payne photo

USU’s Forestry Club hosted Meredith Perkins and Travis Jones on Thursday to discuss employment options for those who love trees.


Perkins, the urban forestry coordinator for the Utah Department of Natural Resources, talked about urban forestry and how she came into her position even though she originally “wanted to be up in a fire tower watching trees grow.”


Her most recent project is a mobile app used for taking inventory of trees called the Big Tree Registry. People can nominate trees, either in their community or in the forest, that are exceptionally large. She said the Jardine Juniper in Logan Canyon is one of seven national-champion trees in Utah.


A graduate from the University of Utah and a utility arborist for Rocky Mountain Power, Jones said trees and people are the two most unpredictable things in the world.


“I love trees and I love people,” Jones said.


His job consists of trimming trees away from power lines and helping developers and businesses plant the right trees in the right places.


“People want science-based tree pruning,” Jones said.


The species of the tree, the health and the conditions surrounding the tree are among the variables that come in to play when pruning a tree, Jones said.


Both Jones and Perkins mentioned networking as a necessity for students looking for careers or internships.


They said a little bit of experience can go a long way in the field of forestry. They recommended buying a chainsaw and getting comfortable with it, talking to professionals about internship possibilities and maintaining a high level of hunger and engagement.

“I like to get a full view of all the different options I have; so many options,” said Casey Severinsen, a freshman studying wildlife science.

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