In 2009, Amy Bowe graduated from the NRCM program expecting to pursue a profession in the field of ecosystem restoration and conservation. However, much to her surprise, she is currently enjoying a career as a Right-of-Way Manager for the consulting group Environmental Consultants, Inc. More specifically, Amy is contracted through the firm to work as an arborist for the Farmer’s Utility Electric Co-Op, a small utility company located in Glasgow, KY. Her main responsibility for the job is to manage vegetation under the utility company’s power lines that are located throughout Hart, Barren, and Metcalfe Counties.

To illustrate her trade, Amy starts a typical workday by getting a list of utility customers who request to have trees or underbrush evaluated beneath the power lines on their property. Once she gets to the site, Amy’s next task is to determine whether or not any of the vegetation needs trimming, a process she refers to as “running tickets”. Branches that interfere with power lines or create a safety hazard need to be removed, in which case Amy will bring in a tree trimming crew to perform the job under her guidance.  Tree trimming can be difficult, so it takes an experienced professional to properly instruct the crews where to cut, when to cut, and how to maintain the area without harming the power lines or the trees themselves.

During her years in the NRCM program Amy was passionate about ecosystem restoration and native plants. For this reason she decided to complete her internship requirement by accepting a position at the UK Arboretum, where she worked to remove invasive plants and replace them with natives. Eventually, her internship turned into a part-time job. Her work experience proved to be valuable when it came time for Amy to graduate because, like many students, she did not have immediate plans to pursue a Master’s degree. Instead, she was offered a position at Floracliff Nature Sanctuary doing much of the same work she had at the Arboretum. It was there that she applied for her current position as an arborist through ECI, but it wasn’t until a year later that they finally offered her the job.

Looking back, Amy says that, “The internship requirement was very beneficial.  My internship turned into a paying job, which eventually led to another paying job. Having those paid positions only added to the experience that I already had while I waited to hear back from ECI. It can be argued that working at the Arboretum ultimately led to the professional career path that I am on right now.”

With that being said, Amy would advise current NRES students to start looking for internships, volunteer work, and part-time jobs that relate to their interests. After all, there’s no way to know where they might lead. Also, do not be afraid to take the difficult classes because the knowledge you gain from them is well worth the extra effort.

For more information on internship opportunities at the UK Arboretum, visit their website: