Future of SAF: Tevin Hamilton

June 6, 2019 

Continuing with our profiles of up-and-coming SAF members, this month we are featuring Tevin Hamilton. He is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in urban forestry. Since joining SAF in 2017, Hamilton has participated in several community-service projects that involve the rehabilitation of greenspaces within underdeveloped communities and instructing the youth of the benefit of the environmental services. He was selected as an SAF Diversity Scholar in 2018. 

Hamilton currently works on San Bernardino National Forest. Starting this fall, he will attend Yale University to earn a Master of Environmental Management. In his own words, Hamilton describes his path toward a career in forestry.

How he became interested in forestry

Originally, I started in forestry for the wrong reasons. I was introduced to forestry in the summer of 2013 just before I began my freshman year of college. As a young adolescent from St. Louis learning about forestry for the first time, all I heard was how much money I could make within the profession. I didn’t have a real passion for forestry or truly understand what it was. I was lost and didn’t know my purpose. I continually prayed in search of a path for my career and life. I had to ask myself some important questions: why did I want to continue with forestry and natural resources in the first place; why does the environment matter; and why is it so important to properly manage it? I knew I had to figure out what it is I truly wanted.

My first internship answered those questions. Researching urban wetlands in Louisiana gave me an opportunity to learn how the environment is directly affected by human activity, and my perspective on the environment drastically changed. Wetland loss is a critical concern because wetlands are threatened ecosystems due to urban development and land-use change. I wanted to look at how further wetland loss can be mitigated. I knew I wanted to continue my education and profession within forestry to learn more of the issues facing the environment.

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