Season 5 | Professionals of Color in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 12

#79 | Learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable

September 5, 2018 | Vince Keeler

In this episode, the podcast welcomes back Vince Keeler’s who appeared once before in the Young Professionals Season. Since the last time we spoke, Vince has taken on a new position as the District Ranger on the Chickasawhay District in the Mississippi National Forest for the U.S. Forest Service. On today’s show, Vince discusses his new role and responsibilities, what it means to be a trailblazer as a professional of color, and the importance of a support system when you find yourself as “the only one,” sometimes in remote or unfamiliar surroundings. One of his inspiring lessons is to “set a trail” so that the people behind you can follow. Vince holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science/Natural Resource Management from Tuskegee University. Listen now to the whole interview!

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:40] A quick intro about Vince’s background.

[4:15] How did Vince get into forestry and natural resources?

[8:20] What does a District Ranger do and what kind of responsibilities do they have?

[9:20] What makes a job in forestry and natural resources so much fun?

[12:00] What kinds of places has Vince seen since taking on this new position?

[15:00] Vince has noticed that some people of color can be a bit fearful of joining a historically white profession, but there’s more to people than the color of their skin!

[18:05] It’s not always about you, it’s about setting a good trail for the people behind you. Become a trailblazer!

[20:15] It can be lonely. Find a mentor or a friend to help guide you through it.

[26:45] Be open-minded when meeting new people. Find common ground and get to know the person.

[30:50] Begin in forestry can bring priceless experiences!

[33:25] There are so many different ways to make a career in forestry.

[38:10] What did Vince’s parents think about his choice to go into forestry?

[44:00] What’s it like being a minority leader? Vince shares some of his thoughts.

[48:55] Vince explains what he means by, “Be comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Mentioned in This Episode:
S3|E23: Vince Keeler — Let The Experts Be The Experts: https://goo.gl/JBqX7X
US Forest Service: www.fs.usda.gov


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