Over the month of March, we will be featuring amazing women who have come through Warnell for their education in natural resources to celebrate Women's History Month. Camille Bennett (BSFR ’19) will be starting her career in natural resources soon, but she’s already got a rich personal history that has shaped her future and fueled her love for the outdoors.
What drew you to the natural resources field?
A variety of factors led me to Warnell including both my early upbringing and my young adult experiences. I spent my first years of childhood at the Grand Canyon before moving to Virginia, Alaska, and finally Georgia, all as a result of my dad's career with the National Park Service. I hiked, camped, and lived in some of our country's most beautiful areas which instilled my initial desires to pursue a career in natural resources whether I realized it or not. After coming to UGA as a Pre-Vet student, not knowing Warnell existed, I quickly realized I wouldn't be happy if I didn't find another major. After discovering Warnell and taking a couple of natural resources classes, I knew I was in the right place.
What advice do you have for incoming natural resources students?
Do your best to focus on experiences and relationships, not simply extracurricular involvement and grades. While class performance and professional development are very important, you should find a balance and make the most of your college years. The growth you'll experience and friendships you'll gain will be some of the most important parts of college, so remember to make time for the things you enjoy.
How has your work or your education in natural resources impacted you as an individual?
My experiences in natural resources helped me gain confidence in my everyday life and truly see the importance of paving a future you are interested in. My work with the National Park Service, my classes, and traveling helped me recognize how vital a global perspective is for one's relationships and life as a whole. Additionally, these past few years of learning and growing have reminded me of my adventurous childhood and encourage me to build a fun-filled future.
What do you like most about what you are doing here at Warnell?
I am grateful for the numerous hands-on opportunities Warnell has facilitated and the wonderful natural resource minded people I have met through the last few years. Warnell's unique combination of well-taught classes, wonderful professors, thorough field work, and involvement opportunities is just part of what makes it so special to me.
What would you ideally want to do in natural resources after you graduate?
Long term, I would like to serve in the environment sector of the Peace Corps and eventually work in park management. Short term, I will be working in the interpretation division of Great Smoky Mountains National Park for CAC AmeriCorps. I've accepted a position beginning after my summer graduation where I will have the opportunity to guide hikes and lead interpretive programs. My ultimate goal is to help others connect to public lands and to foster environmental stewardship.