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Author Topic: IT guy wanting to get into the Forestry field  (Read 1418 times)

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Offline Saxon

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IT guy wanting to get into the Forestry field
« on: October 10, 2005, 06:16:48 PM »
I've been in IT for over 6 years, and while I like the work, I need more "outdoors". I live in North Texas. I'd like to be able to get the education to do real forestry work, but I can't take the time off to go back to school. For various personal reasons, I have been "led" to the field of forestry, and ideally would like to find a way to make my skills applicable to forest management on a larger scale (i.e. helping manage large forest areas, or state forests etc. If there is no way to make that work, plan "B" is to become a treefarmer, so I can at least do amateur forestry, and still work with the woods. So, given that, I am looking for any and all information on ways I can build a foundation of forestry skills that would enable me to apply my systems administration background to forestry, or any and all information on East Texas tree farming.

Offline Riles

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Re: IT guy wanting to get into the Forestry field
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2005, 07:05:54 PM »

Believe it or not, you're already in the right place. I'm sorta in the same place you are. I retired from the Air Force last year. The wife has another year and a half to go and got us shipped off to Barksdale AFB. We already bought our retirement property in NC and had the state plant trees for us. Meanwhile, I'm using this time to go back to school, getting a Forestry degree at La Tech.

In the year prior to our move up here, I spent hours reading through the forums. I'm stunned by how easily I jumped into the program at Tech. Time and time again I come across a topic or question that I already have knowledge of. Tree ID, log scales, soils, wildlife, even just knowing the terminology keeps me from looking like a freshman deer in the headlights. By the way, my other degrees were in engineering and management, so I was coming in as cold as you can get (except for what you teach yourself!).

The beauty of it is, just ask the question if you need an answer. (Oh wait, you just did..)

Now if I could just get the forum experts to write my lab reports for me...

Riles
Knowledge is good -- Faber College

Offline beenthere

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Re: IT guy wanting to get into the Forestry field
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2005, 07:08:12 PM »
Saxon
My suggestion would be to start with some association with Forestry types, and include a Woodland Owners Association, maybe the Society of American Foresters, digging out the Dept. of Ag state and federal offices near you, forestry field days, Tree Farm Association, etc.
Also, having some forested land to manage with the help of consulting foresters will get you some basic skills. There are likely other places and people to get to know as well.  Even hanging around this place won't hurt - but try to keep your composure  ;D
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: IT guy wanting to get into the Forestry field
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2005, 07:25:27 PM »
Some states require that someone billing themselves as a forester to actually have a degree from an accredited school, and maybe some experience.  Since you can't make it back to school, that puts you at a disadvantage.

You could work for a forester to mark stands, but the pay might not be what you would be interested in.  There might be some work doing IT work for a forestry department, but that won't get you into the woods.

I like the idea of being a treefarmer.  It gives you a chance to do the work at your leisure, do some learning, and get some hands on knowledge.

As stated, there are several organizations to get in that will give you a start.  I believe that Missouri and Oregon have courses that are taught by other landowners.  It would be nice if all states would have the same.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline OneWithWood

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Re: IT guy wanting to get into the Forestry field
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2005, 09:07:46 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Saxon.

Your IT background could be used to provide the financing required to become a tree farmer or woodlands owner.  Do a search of CRTREEDUDEs postings.  He has taken the concept to a new level.
One With Wood
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Offline Saxon

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Re: IT guy wanting to get into the Forestry field
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2005, 05:25:23 PM »
New level is right. I don't think the wife would go for a move to Costa Rica though. If I go treefarmer, I just want a nice spread I can futz around in on vacations, do some management through the year, sell from now and then, and leave to my daughter later.


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