Adam Cates, of the Maine Forest Service, recently spoke to Paul Thompson’s biology students at Carrabec High School in North Anson. Cates and his family live in the district and he is a 1991 graduate of Carrabec.

He came back to talk to Carrabec students about his job and local career opportunities in occupations related to the forest service. Cates already knew almost all the students by name, according to a news release from Thompson.

Carrabec High School students Cheyenne Sirois, left, and Shay Cyrwaytaking core sample from tree. Photo courtesy of Carrabec High School

Cates talked about his education at University of Maine at Orono, his experiences in the private sector, as well as his position with the forest service. He also spoke of the satisfaction of working at a job that he enjoys and the importance of the type of work he does. Anyone who enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking or boating would quickly understand this. He related the shortage of trained people in the profession whose office is the outdoors and encouraged students to consider a career in wildlife.

After a brief talk, the group walked out into the woods (his office). Among other things, he showed the class how to identify an invasive species of honeysuckle plant, and how to get rid of it. He explained how he determined the probable history of the area the group was looking at by the types of trees, the soil, and the existence of rotting stumps. The students learned how invasive plants and insects and poor forestry practices impact trees, water and wildlife. Students identified, and then took core samples of a dying tree. The group learned about Henry David Thoreau, author of “The Maine Woods,” and the history of glowing wood (striped maple).

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