Dr. Toddi Steelman

Associate Professor, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, North Carolina State University

BA (International Studies and Political Science), MPA, Ph.D. (Environmental Science)


What attracted you to your chosen field?

I have always been interested in the outdoors and wanted a job that would allow me to help ensure that future generations were able to enjoy our natural resources.

What do you like best about the field?

The mix of teaching, research, writing and outreach— I get to work with all sorts of people and learn more about the challenges of managing our natural environment every day.

What are some personal challenges you have faced in your field?

Frustration in learning that change comes very slowly. Environmental and natural resource management means managing people and many people who go into natural resource professions need to learn how to work with people.

What does the future hold for your chosen field?

As our population grows, the pressure on our natural resources will also grow. I see a lot of job security in working in the natural resources field.

What advice would you give to students considering this field?

Find ways to follow your innate curiosity. Learn to ask questions and not be afraid of the answers. Writing, communication and interpersonal skills are just as important as science and math.