Melanie R. Kirk

Urban and Community Forestry Extension Program Specialist, Texas Cooperative Extension

B.S. (Urban Forestry), M.S.


What do you like best about your chosen profession?

The opportunity to educate people on the importance of trees in areas where people live, work, and play.

What Challenges face your profession?

With the continued growth in urban populations it will become increasingly more difficult to convince the decision makers of our nation's municipal infrastructures to incorporate green into their developments. This same growth has changed the demographics in many states that isn't mirrored in the profession, which could one day lead to a disconnect between the professionals in this field and the people they are attempting to help.

What is the future outlook for studies in natural resources?

Studies in natural resources have become more interdisciplinary than in the past. As our nation becomes more urbanized natural resource professionals are forced to partner with non-traditional groups and state agencies like; City and Park Planners, Developers, Transportation Departments, and Engineers in order to stay relevant to those they serve.

What advice would you give to students entering natural resources :

In addition to the technical information that you are required to know, communication is the key to a successful career in urban forestry and natural resources as a whole. As a natural resource professional you will have to be comfortable and prepared to speak to people about what you do and it's importance… outreach is what we do.!