Will McDow

Southern Forest Projects Manager

BA (Biology), MF


What do you like best about your chosen field?

My work is a great mix of federal and state policy advocacy, local program implementation and occasional field work with private landowners. I really enjoy working on forest / forestry issues because they are complex and rarely the same. I never get bored.

What challenges do you face in this field?

The greatest challenge is bringing together all the different disciplines required to effectively manage our forests. Forestry requires knowledge of trees, but also wildlife, water cycles, economics, public policy, law, and many other fields. The best forestry professionals are able to incorporate knowledge of all these fields into their daily work.

What is the future of the field?

Forestry is changing rapidly. The days of industrial foresters managing broad swaths of company forest for one output (i.e. pulp, logs) are rapidly diminishing. The new forestry will require being able to help landowners meet diverse objectives simultaneously. Professionals who can help landowners achieve these different goals will prosper.

What advice do you give to prospective students?

Get a well rounded education from many different disciplines, be willing to challenge the status quo when necessary and strive every day to leave the land better than you found it.