Clemson University's PCAM is recognized regionally and nationally as a premier program in public lands management. In the last ten years job opportunities have been excellent. Entry-level jobs have been readily available to those who have a college degree and seasonal work experiences. Land management agencies regularly contact us to distribute information about internships, seasonal and permanent job opportunities to our students. Students receive a periodic e-mail notice from the PCAM faculty with notices of job opportunities around the country.
Besides positions as park rangers in local, regional, state and national parks, our graduates have obtained positions as game wardens, recreation planners, law enforcement officers, educators at botanic gardens, historic interpreters, and even as zoo keepers. Several students have advanced to law school to study park policy. Below are a few examples of our PCAM graduates, the work that they've gone on to do, and what they have to say about the PCAM program:
Holly works at Yosemite National Park as a Public Information Clerk. With respect to his Clemson education, he contends that the Park and Conservation Area Management program prepared him to deal with the issues and controversies surrounding parks, interest groups, and other organizations. Mr. Holly (PRTM Alum) was recently featured in Scientific America. He gave a talk on "Yosemite's climate: Past...and Future?" This is a rare and relatively new occurrence as a ranger program focusing exclusively on how one of the jewels of America's national parks system is responding to a changing climate.
Mr. Jonathan Ivy is an Education Programs Instructor at the South Carolina Aquarium. He said that the PCAM program did an incredible job preparing him for his career. His professors, Dr. Rob Bixler in particular, helped him prepare for the professional world.
Mr. Phil Gaines is the Director of South Carolina State Parks. He said that the PCAM program prepared him with the academic part of park management, communicating both orally and in writing, theory and management practices, and certainly, but perhaps most importantly by becoming part of the Clemson family, which is always connected to a University and a faculty that serves beyond the day of graduation.
Ms. Betty Mathews is a Forest Supervisor at the Prescott National Forest in Prescott, AZ. She feels that her time at Clemson prepared her to be a professional land manager. She said that Clemson’s flexible curriculum allowed her to take the courses she needed to work for a land management agency. In addition, the internship requirement helped her decide to work for the U.S.D.A. Forest Service.
Dr. Carin Vadala is an Outdoor Recreation Planner with the National Park Service in Alaska. She has had the opportunity to work at places such as Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, and Katmai National Park and Preserve. She feels that the skills she learned during her time at Clemson were directly transferrable to her professional career working with different parks.
Mr. Austin Zuniga Brinker is an Assistant Manager at the Cooper River Marina in Charleston, SC. He said that the PCAM program presented issues and their complexities that he encounters while working in the field.
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