October 2012 – Where Are They Now?

Hello CTTA members!

My name is Elizabeth Emery and I have been awarded the Continuing Student Scholarship for the past two years. I am so thankful for the support of this organization. I attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. I am studying the Human Dimensions of Forestry and will be graduating with a BS in May 2014. I’m currently uncertain as to what I would like to do upon graduation, but I am hoping that I will find a little bit of passion during the next year.

This year is my first year in the two year professional forestry program at NAU. I am enrolled in ecology, silviculture, and other related forestry classes. These classes are unique in education as I get to spend a lot of time in the forest applying the concepts I have been learning. At least once a week, my cohort attends field trips to various locations within the surrounding national forests. NAU School of Forestry is also unique in that it owns its own forest within the Flagstaff area. Many of our classes are in that area.

This is my second year working as a peer mentor through the university. I am a mentor for out-of-state freshmen that are majoring in natural resource related fields. I was enrolled in this program during my freshman year, and I enjoyed it so much that I came back to work for them during my sophomore and junior years. In this position, I am responsible for meeting with 12 students regularly throughout the year to ensure that they are adjusting well to life at NAU. My coworkers and I also put together many different events throughout the year, such as study skills workshops, a trip to the Grand Canyon and even Super Bowl parties! I have learned so many different things from the students I have mentored. I consider this as one of the most rewarding education experiences I have ever had.

I spent my previous summer in the northeast corner of Utah as a Recreation Technician for the US Forest Service. I was responsible for administering National Visitor Use Monitoring surveys to forest visitors. This was an amazing opportunity for me that allowed me to learn many different things about myself and working for the government. I lived on my own (in a cabin) for the first time in my life at the edge of a wilderness area. It was the first time I have been fully immersed in nature and it re-sparked my interest in Forestry as a profession.

I am hoping to further that interest by studying abroad in Costa Rica next fall semester. I will be taking tropical ecology, insect, and sociology courses. I am very excited to leave the country for the first time and learn more about another culture. I will get to live with a host family and am hoping to spend a lot of time with them. There are many forested areas within Costa Rica, including portions of a rain forest! I can’t wait to do some exploring. The best part of this entire opportunity is that I will be traveling with a few students from my class, which will hopefully make it a little easier to be so far away from home.

Thank you so much for believing in me. The support of this organization has been vital to my financial situation while in college. As the first person in my family to attend college, this support has allowed me to realize many dreams that might not have ever been possible.

Thank you.
Elizabeth Emery