August 24, 2017

S3|E4: Jamie Dahl -We have to stop siloing ourselves in traditional forestry roles and stereotypes

By Tom Davidson

Jamie Dahl is a forester currently serving as an Assistant Director for Career & Leadership Development Center for Hospitality, Merchandising, and Recreation at Ohio University. Jamie holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in forestry from Penn State University, and she has been a very active member of the Society of American Foresters for about 15 years. In this episode, Jamie discusses why the forestry community needs to do better with diversity and inclusion and how it’s on all of us to educate the public about the importance of the environment, no matter what our roles in forestry might be. Jamie is currently working towards a doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University, with a focus on diversity and inclusion in the natural resources profession. She adds, “The onus of environmental education and inclusion is on each of us, and it is our responsibility to push our organizations to do so as well.”

Key Takeaways:

[1:05] A quick intro about Jamie’s background.

[3:15] How did Jamie first get started in forestry?

[6:05] At first, Jamie didn’t really know what forestry meant, and it took her some time to learn all the ins and outs of it.

[7:20] While attending graduate school, did Jamie’s class have a lot of diversity?

[9:35] Jamie’s interest in diversity has propelled her into taking up more advanced degrees. Jamie discusses what her Ph.D. is about and why she wanted to get more involved in the community.

[13:00] What was Jamie’s role at Colorado State University?

[17:45] Tom admits he didn’t have his first female boss in the industry until he was 38 years old. Before that, he was pretty naive to some of the struggles women and other ethnic backgrounds faced.

[18:30] What is Jamie’s opinion about the forestry industry as a whole — the good, the bad, and the ugly?

[23:335] Building self-awareness throughout your career is a very important trait, and something Jamie wished she learned earlier in her career.

[27:10] Do young forestry professionals rely on their mentors for guidance, or do they tend to go solo? Has there been a shift in the way younger generations see and use mentors?

[32:45] What are some things the forestry profession should start doing better or even stop doing?

[37:35] The younger generation is much more concerned about what kind of work culture they’re going into. If they don’t feel welcomed, they will look elsewhere. This is one of the reasons why diversity is so important.

[40:40] What is Jamie most proud of in her career?

[4:30] Our environment should be a priority. All of us need to be doing our part in environmental education, no matter what forestry position we’re in.

[50:05] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!

Mentioned in This Episode:
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, by Thich Nhat Hanh
Jamie on LinkedIn

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