After completing my Associates degree at Raritan Valley Community College in 2020, I was initially accepted into Rutgers, majoring in Agricultural Economics. After a semester, I transferred to the Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources program, focusing my studies on plants, wetlands, and forestry. While at Rutgers, I volunteered and completed my experienced-based education requirement at the Chrysler Herbarium where I was promoted to a lead intern. While working in the herbarium, I was recruited to help on a ballast project where I worked directly with Ryan Schmidt to locate and digitize all the ballast specimens in the Poaceae collection. Then as a research assistant, I worked with Dr. Jason Grabosky to complete a tree inventory of Cook/Doulas campus, later working on late Professor John Kuser’s project of a silviculture thinning of Dawn Redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostrobiodes) to document their growth response after the release of competition. I obtained the wetland delineation certification through the freshwater ecology class. I participated in the Forestry Club and volunteered for any tree planting I could attend.
After graduation, I will finish my classes on a two-week field trip for field techniques. I have accepted a position working with Gracie & Harrigan Forestry Consultants as a forestry technician where I will first inventory the Ash trees in parks and trails for Hunterdon County to make a removal plan. I do not plan on pursing graduate school at this point in time, but it is not off the table!