Taylor Whitmire, a 2015 Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology alumna, is an Assistant County Ranger for the NC Forest Service. In her current role, every day is different. When working to protect, manage and promote forest resources to the citizens of North Carolina she might be fighting a wildfire one day or writing forest management plans for landowner the next.
What do you enjoy most about your current position?
I love fighting wildfire. It’s challenging, adventurous and rewarding.
What do you find most challenging about your current
The most challenging part of my work would be not being at home for weeks at a time. When you are dispatched, you are committed to a 16-18 day tour with a possible extension.
What is your best memory of the College of Natural Resources or NC State?
My best memories are from Summer Camp as a Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology student.
What did you enjoy most about being a College of Natural Resources student?
I enjoyed all the connections and people that I met along the way.
Did you complete any hands-on experiences like internships, study abroad, co-ops or undergraduate research?
I did an internship at Duke Forest for 2 years, which sparked my interest in fire by doing prescribed burns for forest management.
Were you involved in any clubs, hobbies or on-campus activities? Any stories you would like to share about your experiences?
I participated in the Timber Sports team at NC State. I now work with a lot of the people that were involved in the club.
Any advice for incoming CNR students?
Get involved in clubs, trips or anything to help you make connections and gain experience!
Set goals for yourself and achieve them. Then set new goals. Never stop doing what you love.
What was the most important thing that you learned as a College of Natural Resources student?
Love what you do and give 100 percent at everything you do.
How do you feel the College of Natural Resources prepared you for your current career?
When I applied for my current job, I was at the top of my application list because I had graduated from a College of Natural Resources program. I use a lot of what I learned in the field today.
Do you have any career accomplishments you are particularly proud of?
I have 5 wildfire dispatches, 2 of which are western dispatches, in my first year with the North Carolina Forest Service.
How did you choose your major and what attracted you to the program at NC State?
I grew up in the woods. I love to promote conservation and good forest management practices that promote wildlife habitat. After reading what the College of Natural Resources offered, I knew that was the program for me.
Anything else you would like to say about CNR, NC State, your career, your experiences, etc.?
Hands down, this is the best program in the nation. I’ll forever be in a Wolfpack, and I’m super proud to say that I graduated from the College of Natural Resources!