Pathways to natural resources careers summit
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Pathways to Natural Resources Careers Summit. February 23, 2012. Agenda. Brief Presentation Perspectives from the Field Kyle Sullivan, Weld County Youth Conservation Corps/ BLM Kim Burgess, DNR Break Working Groups Barriers and challenges Successful elements and systems

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Pathways to natural resources careers summit

Pathways to Natural Resources Careers Summit

February 23, 2012


Agenda

Agenda

  • Brief Presentation

  • Perspectives from the Field

    • Kyle Sullivan, Weld County Youth Conservation Corps/BLM

    • Kim Burgess, DNR

  • Break

  • Working Groups

    • Barriers and challenges

    • Successful elements and systems

  • Discussion: Taking Action

  • Lunch/Networking/Tour

  • A Resolution!


The criticality and urgency of creating effective pathways to natural resources careers

The Criticality and Urgency of Creating Effective Pathways to Natural Resources Careers

Wendy Newman

Facilitator, Independent Contractor

[email protected]


Pathways to natural resources careers summit

Purpose: Work collaboratively to create more pathways to enable ALL young adults to be educated, prepared, and qualified to enter and maintain professional, sustainable natural resources careers. Let’s empower them to be self-sufficient and capable public land stewards.


Background

Background

  • Colorado’s high school “on time” graduation rate = 72% .

    Source: Colorado Dept. of Education, 2011

  • Young adult poverty is currently 45% (when family income is not included).

  • Youth young adult unemployment is 20% greater than twice that of adults, even higher for minority youth.


Where are all the young people

Where are all the young people?

  • In the next five years, 50% of public land mgmt. employees will retire.

  • Less than 10% of USFWS staff is under age 30.


Quiz time

Quiz Time

How many Dept. of Interior employees retired in 2011?


Answer

Answer

Approximately 33,000 retired in 2011. Typically, 11,000 employees retire annually.

Source: NPS employee, 2012.


Who will fill these jobs

Who will fill these jobs?

  • The mounting shortage of natural resource professionals is compounded by the fact that undergraduate enrollment in the field plunged 40% nationwide between 1995 and 2005.


Higher education factors

Higher Education Factors

  • The cost of education is rising steadily.

  • Many young people take more than four years to complete their degree (adding to the cost) and most need to work while in school.

  • Work/learn combination options in natural resources are a necessity.

    Source: Dr. Hausdoerffer, Western State College, 2012.


Possible reasons for declining enrollments

Possible Reasons for Declining Enrollments

  • Weak & uncertain job market

  • Lower salaries compared to other professions

  • Increasing “disconnect” between natural resources & an urbanizing society (especially among young adults)

  • Tendency of minorities to avoid academic programs perceived as tangential to important issues affecting their communities

  • Negative public perceptions of forestry & related natural resource professions

  • Perception of curricula being too narrow & rigid

  • Increased “science phobia” on the part of students

  • Increasing number of similar degree programs outside colleges of forestry & natural resources

  • Relatively long period beyond a B.S. degree needed to obtain a terminal professional degree

  • Lack of intellectual leadership & charisma nationally in forestry & related natural resources areas

  • Limited public awareness regarding social benefits of forestry & related natural resource professions

  • Decreasing enrollments in colleges & universities overall (Sharik et al. 2004, Sharik 2005)

    SOURCE: Sharik and Layton, Intl. Symposium on Forestry Ed., 2010.


What skills do students need to develop in a graduate program

What skills do students need to develop in a graduate program?

  • Organizational development

  • Human resource abilities

  • Financial management

  • Critical thinking

  • Technology

    Subject area expertise is frequently being contracted out to consulting firms but how do you outsource forest management?

    -- Dr. Hausdoerffer, Western State College


Playing outside as a child is associated with

Playing Outside as a Child is Associated With…

  • Working in natural resources fields

  • Volunteering

    Recycling

  • Voting for conservation initiatives

  • Recreating outdoors as an adult

Wells, Nature and the Life Course, 2006.


Background1

Background

  • In the last 20 years time spent playing outside has been cut in half while childhood obesity has doubled and adolescent obesity has tripled.

    Source: H. White, No Child Left Inside, Reversing NDD, NWF, 2008.


Background2

Background

  • The current generation’s life expectancy will be 3 – 5 years less than their parents.

    Source: CO Child Health Survey, CDPHE, 2007.

    Who will steward our resources if youth are growing up indoors, disconnected, and unable to access natural resources jobs?


Pathways to natural resources careers summit

“Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.”~ Stephen Covey


Pathways to natural resources careers summit1

Pathways to Natural Resources Careers Summit

February 23, 2012


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