Teaching Forest Technology at the Thompson School has been my career and my life since 1978. I never set out at the beginning of my forestry career to teach, but here I am, enjoying every minute of it. Many years into the game there are still plenty of surprises and revelations. I think it is a privilege to be able to work with students as they try to find their own path toward becoming professionals. Daily motivation comes from the realization that teaching and learning works best at a personal level and is based on trust. Students must trust that teachers have their best interest and future success as a core value. On the other hand our professional colleagues in the field must trust that teachers like those of the Thompson School are working to uphold the values of their industry. Society at large must trust that our educational programs are up to the task. There is a responsibility and an urgency in future management of our forests and all natural resources. We may be running out of chances to get it right. Our students, during their careers, will have to take on the challenge of making the right decisions at the right time with boots on the ground and voices in the legislature. This trust is our license to teach and our kick in the pants.
Don's Teaching Specialties:
I teach a variety of forestry courses like Dendrology, Leadership and Forest Fire, but I specialize in harvesting and wood products. Logging and wood manufacturing have been the backbone of New Hampshire’s rural economy for centuries and today faces unique challenges.
Don's Interests and Hobbies:
My family and I own a 44 acre Tree Farm in Lee, NH. I am the co-owner of Granite State Lumberjack Shows, Inc. which produces professional Lumberjack competitions around the country for the Stihl Timbersports Series as seen on ESPN networks. I enjoy turkey hunting and wandering in the woods to see what’s over the next hill.
Don's Advice for First Year Students:
The greatest reward in school or life comes from knowing you worked at something so intensely that it changes who you are. Take this opportunity to change yourself.