Texas A&M Students Make an Impact at the SAF National Convention

Salt Lake City, Utah was host to the annual Society of American Foresters National Convention this year, as well as the World Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the same week.  This was a rare opportunity for foresters in the United States to meet and learn about forestry around the world, since this is only the second time IUFRO has convened in the United States.  Texas A&M University’s Student Chapter of SAF sent delegates to both conventions: James Cady, Matthew Entrekin, Nelson Mills, and Taylor Wilson.  The joint convention took place October 7-11th at the Salt Palace Convention Center.  While attending the convention our students had many opportunities to network, compete, interview for jobs, and represent Texas A&M’s strong forestry program.

Our students participated in the joint quiz bowl. Each team was comprised of four students from different schools and at least one international student.  Matthew Entrekin was a member of the winning team, a team that had no problem answering a broad array of forestry and natural resource related questions.  Matthew received a prize package from Plum Creek and special recognition at the Student Reception. 

Dr. Kathleen Kavanagh congratulates Matthew Entrekin after winner first place in the International Quiz Bowl.

Thursday was a special night for Texas A&M Forestry when the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management (ESSM) hosted the first Texas A&M alumni reception in quite a long time. Students and faculty alike had the opportunity to meet Aggies working in forestry across the nation.  Judith Turlington and James Cady worked diligently to plan this event and it was very successful.  In the future, ESSM will continue to host alumni receptions at the National Convention.  The US Forest Service was conducting on-the-spot interviews and hiring for various positions across the western United States.  Nelson Mills applied for and interviewed for a position with the agency, and on Friday he was extended an offer of employment. After graduating in May, Nelson will travel to Utah to work as a timber sales administrator trainee in the Uinta Wasatch Cache National Forest out of Heber City.

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Nelson Mills ’15 President of the Society of American Foresters – TAMU student chapter.

Not only did our students reap the benefits of hard work and studying, they had many opportunities to attend lectures and seminars in forestry.

In 2015, the SAF National Convention will take place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After the great success of our students and the department this year, Dr. Kathleen Kavanagh, Department Head of ESSM and the TAMU Forestry Club fully intend to make a strong Aggie showing at the next convention and look forward to even more success stories.

Nelson Mills
President, Texas A&M Society of American Foresters