Texas A&M Society of American Foresters Student Chapter members attend national convention

by Braydon Gaard

In early November, the Texas A&M University Society of American Foresters student chapter was able to attend the Society of American Foresters National Convention in Madison, Wisconsin, thanks to the generosity of the many donors and alumni that support our club, especially the Texas Society of American Foresters. The conference was an opportunity for us to learn about the rich history of forestry, as well as its bright future.

At the conference, we competed in the student quiz bowl, where we met students from different institutions but similar educational pursuits. The expo and career fair afforded us the opportunity to meet with professionals from companies and organizations within both the private and public sectors. We were able to network and discuss future employment options, and several of our students found leads for summer internships. We all attended numerous scientific and technical sessions, where we learned about some of the current research that relates to our classroom activities.

Outside of the convention center, we took two tours. The University of Wisconsin Society of American Foresters student chapter gave our club a tour of their facilities and talked to us about their experiences as forestry students. We gained an understanding of how the UW Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology is structured and met several professors from the department.

We also visited the Leopold Center, home to The Aldo Leopold Foundation and his famous cabin (“The Shack”) with which many are familiar from his classic book “A Sand County Almanac.” As foresters, seeing the land and cabin of a pioneer in the field of natural resource management and conservation was a highlight of our trip.

Thanks to Dr. Kavanagh, ESSM department head, who helped us all look very sharp by providing us with matching fleece vests to wear throughout the conference. (See photo.)

Thanks again, also, to the Texas Society of American Foresters. Without their generosity, we would not have been able to attend the conference and would have missed out on networking, learning, and experiencing forestry outside of Texas.

For more information about the TAMU-SAF Student Chapter, please contact Jaime Gaston, president, at jaimeg95@tamu.edu.

Saf Natlconvention

Our group at the SAF National Convention in Madison, Wisconsin. Left to right: Dr. Katy Kavanagh , Dr. Jianbang Gan, Braydon Gaard, Celeb Pagel, Dalton Owens, Trevor Reed. Front: Michaela Barstow, Alexis Dyment, Nicole Locke, Jaime Gaston, and Judith Turlington.