Graduate Student Shares Impact of Forestry Scholarship
For graduate student Ted Adams, receiving the Systems for Environmental Management Scholarship has been a different experience compared to any scholarship he’s been awarded in the past.
“The competition at the graduate level seems to be much more substantial,” Adams says. “At the awards banquet and during the week leading to it, I realized what an honor it was to receive a scholarship at this level of academia.”
In addition to it being an honor, Adams says scholarships are important for students because it greatly reduces the financial burden to pursue education. He treats school like a full-time job which limits his availability to work and earn an income.
“This scholarship means that I’ll be more comfortable living while I am studying,” Adams says. “I can prepare meals with some value to them rather than the ramen [noodles] and the PB and J diet.”
Born in “the shadows of the Tetons” in Jackson, Wyo., he was raised just up the road from Missoula in Ronan. Since high school graduation he has lived in Washington, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada.
Adams decided to attend UM for a variety of reasons, but says the primary reason is his advisor, Dr. Carl Seielstad. He has a good working relationship with him and he was one of two potential advisors that would allow him the flexibility to work in his career during the summer.
“I am a wildland firefighter and already had a permanent position when I decided to enter graduate school,” Adams says. “My intent was to pursue graduate school while still maintaining a position in wildland fire, and many other schools were not willing to allow me the flexibility.”
A firefighter since 2006, Adams spent four years in Buffalo, Wyo., working for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) before accepting a position in Caliente, Nev., also with the BLM. Last winter he transferred stations to Council, Idaho and now works for the U.S. Forest Service.
One of his favorite memories at UM is the prescribed fire practicum course held during a winter session in Georgia. The course gave him valuable experience burning in a different part of the country. It also allowed him to share some of his knowledge and experience with several of the undergraduate students taking the course, which he enjoyed.
When Adams is not in the classroom, fighting fires or eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he enjoys outdoor activities, and even attempts to dance when he has a willing partner.