My name is James Carr and I am currently in my senior year as a Forestry major at Warnell. This past summer I had the opportunity to work with The Westervelt Company out of their Atlantic Region office in Statesboro, Georgia. The Westervelt Company was founded in 1884 as The Prairie States Paper Corporation, producing grocery bags, paper, and paperboard packaging products. Today, Westervelt is a land resource organization that owns and manages roughly 500,000 acres of timberland and natural resources.
Approaching the end of the 2016 Fall semester, I learned about many companies and agencies that came to speak at Forestry Club meetings. After interviewing with Westervelt and receiving an offer for a summer position with them, I almost immediately decided to commit to them as a summer intern. Going into my internship that summer, I wanted to gain more knowledge and experience in the areas of wood flow and silviculture. From the start of this summer until the day I left the internship, I was able to achieve these goals and much more.
On my first day of work, I was trained on how to set up timber sales. The following two weeks was spent planning and performing timber cruises. Initially, I was told to set up cruise lines and plots by hand using techniques I learned in one of my first classes at Warnell. My summer Maymester course provided me with a good backbone of field experience for these cruises. I had opportunities to travel around Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia, gaining experience in a variety of silvicultural and harvesting operations. Through many of these experiences, I was able to develop key skills in software programs that are frequently used in the forestry industry.
My main contribution to the company consisted of an infrastructure analysis of all roads, stream crossings, and gates on nearly 9,000 acres of new land acquisitions. One of the major objectives of this project was to update the company’s database and navigation system in ArcGIS. Using the collected data, I was able to perform a cost analysis for all repairs, replacements, or maintenance needs. I then developed a priority system used to organize these costs on a specific timeline. The data I collected and the methods of classification will continue to be utilized by the company in the future.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with The Westervelt Company this summer. I was able to develop a ton of skills that will benefit me as a forester in the future. None of this would have been possible without the preparation and encouragement provided by my school. I am thankful for the skills I have developed and knowledge I have gained from the great people I have met through Warnell.