Helping in the Outdoors

Junior Jerry Townsend looks to combine serving others with the outdoors with UM’s Parks, Tourism and Recreation program. Townsend received the Coghlan Family Scholarship this academic year.

Interview by Rachel Brumfield
Transcription by Christian Kiemele, Nelson Weller Intern

So what interested you in Wildlife Biology initially, and Parks, Tourism and Recreation now?

I just like science-based stuff and I thought, “Well, wildlife biology, that’s cool! I wanna work in the outdoors.” And then, I realized the Parks program is the perfect one to get outside, do stuff and help people. That’s another thing I want to do—help people learn. It’s a great program to do that.

Jerry TownsendHow has your UM education influenced or changed you so far?

I think it just broadened my perspectives. I came from a small town in Montana, and I wouldn’t say we had a very closed-minded view, but coming here has allowed me to think more globally about things and apply what I’m learning here back to the small town and also across different communities and countries.

How has your scholarship been meaningful to you and what opportunities has that provided?

It has allowed me to not have to worry about how I’m going to pay for college. I can use that money I’m saving because of the scholarship and apply it to other school supplies and buying other outdoorsy stuff. That allows me to take what I learn in classes into the field.

When you look ahead to the future, how do you plan to give back?

Hopefully, educating the public about outdoor recreation. I’m kind of interested in working with kids especially, because they’re the future of environmental stewardship. I was also active in 4-H, and I kind of want to help out with that as well.

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