Dr. Jim Reaves

Associate Deputy Director of Forest Research, USDA Forest Service

B.S., M.S., PH.D.


What do you like best about your chosen profession?

I like working on the land and the opportunity of being outside.

What Challenges face your profession?

There is significant need and opportunity for minority participation in the natural resources field to encourage a diverse work force.

What is the future outlook for studies in natural resources?

The Lord is not making any more land! So, individuals need to utilize and maximize what we have. We are experiencing a global climate change which will precipitate forest, water and clean air issues. Foresters, natural resource scientists and all individuals need to make the most of the earth that we have and work toward creating a better environment for us all.

What advice would you give to students entering natural resources :

Students should be proficient in math, verbal skills, problem solving, and reading. They should be well-versed and knowledgeable about economic and current policies. They should spend time reading and learning as much as they can about all disciplines. It takes as much skill to be in this field as in any other, and students may enjoy jobs in this field much more! People often equate forestry with hard work and farming; parents sometimes sell children short; however, forestry is a very interesting field and foresters often travel to and work in exotic places. Jobs in Natural Resources contribute to the health of our environment and leave a legacy for future generations.