Season 5 | Professiinals of Color in Forestry and Natural Resouces | Episode 10

#77 | My legacy is not what I do now, it’s what I leave for later

August 15, 2018 | Tina Terrell

Tina Terrell is a professional forester, manager and leader in the U.S. Forest Service and has built a legacy in her 34 years with the agency. On this show, you’ll learn more about how Ms. Terrell worked her way up from co-op student doing forest inventory analysis to her current role as Acting Associate Chief for Business Operations. Tina earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Forest Science from Penn State University with tenacious focus, courage and hard work, as you’ll hear about in this episode. Growing up in Philadelphia, Tina loved the outdoors but was discouraged by some from joining a natural resource profession. On today’s show, Ms. Terrell offers advice on how to overcome the naysaying and strive forward toward a career you’re passionate about. To young professionals of color, Tina says: “You’re not alone in your journey. You can do it, and others will help you. They will support you, and they will lift you up.”

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:35] A quick intro about Tina’s background.

[4:25] How did Tina get into forestry and natural resources?

[6:50] When she told others that she wanted to be in natural resources, they actively discouraged her from it.

[13:45] Tina discusses what “determination” means to her and why she has the drive that she demonstrates.

[19:00] Be a sponge. Don’t be afraid to question and learn from everything.

[22:35] What advice does Tina have for other people of color who have been actively discouraged from pursuing their passion?

[29:20] Tina shares some wisdom from one of her teachers.

[31:50] Don’t let other people put boulders in front of you. You can do it!

[32:25] Has Tina ever been the ‘first and only’ female person of color in her career path?

[39:25] Tina discusses the kind of legacy she hopes to leave behind.

[49:50] What has been the most fun about Tina’s career so far?

[59:30] Through Tina’s work with Job Corps, their facilities now have a natural resource connection at all 25 centers, which helps students get introduced to the importance of forestry and natural resources.

[1:02:55] Tina offers advice for students still on the fence about joining the forestry profession.

[1:10:15] Tina recommends some of her favorite forestry books and more.

Mentioned in This Episode:
The Use Book: Regulations And Instructions For The Use Of The National Forest Reserves (1905)
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey


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