Season 5 - Professionals of Color in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 14

#81 | Get out of your box and go find some people of color to talk to about the profession

September 25, 2018 | Sam Cook

Sam Cook joins us once again on the Leadership Nature podcast for the Professionals of Color in Forestry and Natural Resources Season! Sam is the Executive Director of Forest Assets at North Carolina State University’s College of Natural Resources and Vice President for the Natural Resources Foundation Board. Sam has experience in nearly every aspect of the profession, from wildland fire fighting to advocating for underserved landowners, from procurement to teaching, and from research to managing non-profits. Before joining NC State, Sam had a long career in the forest products industry as well, where at one point he managed procurement operations for nine sawmills and then directed forestry at the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation in the Low Country of South Carolina. On today’s show, Sam discusses career paths in forestry and natural resources for young professionals, ways to introduce more diversity into the field, and advice for young professionals of color! He says, “It’s everybody’s job to bring diversity into this profession.” Listen to the whole interview now!

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:40] A quick intro to Sam’s background.

[5:25] How did Sam get into forestry and natural resources?

[9:50] What was the transition from Tuskegee University to North Carolina State University like?

[13:25] What’s the Outward Bound program all about?

[22:10] How does Sam begin to educate families on the importance of forestry and natural resources?

[26:25] Has Sam ever experienced professional barriers due to his color?

[34:00] NC State has a new scholarship program to help bring in a more diverse young professionals.

[37:50] It’s always been someone else’s job to do the right thing but in today’s landscape, people are doing more than just talking about diversity.

[40:30] What advice would Sam like to give young professionals?

[43:15] There are a lot of people out there willing to help, but they’re not out there looking for you to be their mentee!

[46:24] What is MANRRS and how does it help students of color?

Mentioned in This Episode:
S1|E12: Sam Cook on Leadership Nature Season 1 — https://goo.gl/3CREGh
Sam on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sam-cook-10669226/


Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.