Wayne County High School students recently learned how important the English skills they are developing at school could prepare them for something as unique as an outdoor job in nature. On Tuesday, November 21, students in Jared Criswell's English III classes were treated to a guest
speaker, Conservation Educator Becky Wallen. from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Wallen came to speak to classes as part of a mini-unit on literacy as it applies to other life paths other than just college. She talked about alternatives offered through Fish and Wildlife and how she regularly uses reading, writing, and literacy skills in her work. Plus, how those skills are used in other jobs within the department. Jared Criswell noted, "It was a great experience to have Mrs. Wallen here to talk to the students, as it was really eye-opening for some of them to see that even though this is definitely a hands-on and ‘outdoorsy’ type job, it still requires the kinds of skills that they are learning in the English classroom."
“Hearing Mrs. Wallen talk about the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife was very eye-opening; it helped me to understand that there are many job opportunities available in Kentucky that I had never thought about before,” said WCHS student Parker Bell. WCHS student Cassie Carroll said, “It was really neat to hear about how reading and writing are used in a job where you wouldn’t normally think they would be so important.”
“She provided a lot of information and I really enjoyed hearing her speak,” said WCHS student Caleb Bridgeman.
First off, she made students aware of the mission of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, which is, “To conserve and enhance fish and wildlife resources and provide opportunity for hunting, fishing, trapping, boating and other wildlife related activities.” She described the various jobs inside the field including everything from biologist to camp counselors to a heavy equipment operator – along with the minimum requirements needed to be hired. For instance, applicants must have an associate’s degree or have completed 54 semester hours from a college or university to be eligible to become a conservation officer. Two years’ experience working in wildlife resources, agriculture, natural resources or recreation will substitute for each year of the required education. Their duties include: being a sworn in law enforcement officer - enforcing wildlife, fisheries, and boating laws.
Another surprise was the opportunities in video production. The Kentucky Afield television program about wildlife, hunting, fishing and fun in the Kentucky outdoors is the longest continuously running outdoors show in the nation. Numerous producers and camera crew employees have gone on to work for major corporations. Emily Daniels remarked, “I really didn’t know much about what the Department of Fish and Wildlife did until Mrs. Wallen came to speak to us. It was really interesting to hear about the controlled burns that she’s done and her experiences with bears and other wildlife.” She also spoke about soft skills that are valued including: adaptability, communication, critical thinking, dependability, integrity, and work ethic.
Becky Wallen and one of Mr. Criswells' classes
Becky Wallens' powerpoint slides