High school students learn about turning passion for wildlife into careers

Some high school students interested in the outdoors and wildlife species recently got an up-close look at ways they can turn their passion into a career. A Penn State DuBois Wildlife Visitation Day was held on Wednesday, where the students were introduced to the wildlife technology associate degree program. The program is unique, as Penn State DuBois is the only place where the degree is offered in the entire Penn State system.

Students met faculty and were provided with information on the program curriculum, what they could expect during hands-on outdoor labs, and what careers Wildlife Technology graduates qualify for.

Most graduates of the wildlife technology degree program go on to work in conservation oriented fields. They conduct research aimed at preserving the environment and animal and plant species, work to reclaim land damaged my mining or deforestation, and more.

"Students enter a program like this because they're preparing themselves for a career. Not a job, a career," assistant professor of forestry Aaron Stottlemyer told the students. "People who work in fields like this go home at night and still think about their jobs because they love what they do. That's a good thing. Some jobs, you don't want to take home, or you take it home for the wrong reasons. In careers like this you take it home because you want to and because you love it." 

The students also learned about Penn State enrollment procedures and how they could help to cover the cost of their education with financial aid and scholarship dollars.

"We give out over $250,000 in scholarships every year at this campus, and we have fewer than 1,000 students," said admissions counselor Holli Lashinsky as she discussed the numerous opportunities students have to gain assistance in paying their tuition. "So, if you were a good student in high school, there's a good chance you can receive scholarship help here." 

Lashinsky also encourage students to take advantage of services on campus that extend outside of the classroom that can also play a large role in student success. She said, "We have Career Services here, where you can get help finding jobs, writing résumés and preparing for job interviews. We have tutoring and advising. We want to help you to be successful. Our goal at Penn State DuBois is to make sure that when our students graduate, they get good jobs." 

Two more Wildlife Visitation Days are scheduled at Penn State DuBois this fall: Oct 16 and Nov. 12. For more information, or to RSVP, contact Patti Maholtz at 814-375-4720 or pjm35@psu.edu.

Last Updated September 30, 2013