Doug grew up in the suburbs of southern New Jersey and graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2009 with a degree in History. Since he graduated, he has lived and worked in Connecticut, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, and now Kentucky. His career path is not yet clear, but he will no doubt continue to work in the outdoors and contribute to their protection.
Doug, being a bit of a motorhead, is very interested in alternative fuels. He is very supportive of bio-diesel and ran his previous vehicle on diesel fuel made from soy bean oil. Once he lives in a place for long enough to invest some time into a vehicle, he plans to convert his next vehicle to run on diesel fuel made from used cooking oil. By doing so, he will reduce his contribution to the negative impacts on the environment caused from the production and use of petroleum fuels.
Nature.org: Have you always had an interest in conservation?
I had an interest in conservation since I was young. Growing up in a very rapidly developing part of the country, I have seen a lot of open space disappear in my short lifetime. I became used to my dad pointing to strip malls and housing developments and explaining how they once were forests or farm fields where he would explore as a kid. This always frustrated me growing up, but it wasn’t until I got into college that I became aware of people and organizations that were dedicated to protecting open space for wildlife habitat and for recreation.
Nature.org: How did your career path lead to working with The Nature Conservancy?
After graduating college, I got a seasonal position with Coconino National Forest in Arizona working a job that I had wanted since I was young; wildland firefighter. While working for the Forest Service, I learned about the differences between the several federal land management agencies, and learned a bit about non-profit land management organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy. I hopped around to a couple different seasonal jobs before learning that The Nature Conservancy also hires seasonal employees, but once I learned of their temporary positions, I began looking at their openings. This position appealed to me because of the variety of work that I would be doing, as well as the fact that I would be working with the AmeriCorps team.
Nature.org: What projects have your focus right now?
Right now I am primarily working to supervise an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team that is assigned to work on several of The Nature Conservancy’s preserves here in Kentucky. The team and I are concentrating on invasive species removal, but are also doing trail maintenance, fence repair, and other odds and ends around the preserves. We will be working on some invasive species removal on a portion of Mammoth Caves National Park that The Nature Conservancy helps to manage, as well.
Nature.org: What do you hope to tackle over the next couple of years?
My plans and goals change daily, if not hourly, but I generally hope to travel to see other parts of the world while doing work that contributes to land conservation or humanitarian efforts.April 17, 2012