Future of SAF: De’Treaz Jones
August 7, 2019
Continuing with our profiles of up-and-coming SAF members, this month we are featuring De’Treaz Jones. He is an undergraduate at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) and will graduate next year with a bachelor’s degree in forestry. He is the current president of the AAMU Fire Dawgs, a group of nationally recognized forestry students serve as firefighters for federal, state, and private landowners.
Stephanie Love, an equal opportunity specialist with the US Forest Service Office of the Chief-Washington Office, Civil Rights, shared De’Treaz’s story.
De’Treaz Jones is a perfect example of how outreach programs can build capacity to increase diversity and inclusion in the field of forestry. Jones became aware of forestry as a career and academic choice during the summer after he graduated from high school. He applied to and was selected for the pilot class of the US Forest Service and AAMU’s Summer Research Apprenticeship Program in summer 2014. This program outreaches to and develops unique candidate pools and links these candidates with the agency’s workforce diversity needs.
Jones recalled that what he “loved most was the realization that I could work outdoors for a living!” During his summer apprenticeship experience, he was exposed to forestry, ecology, wildlife, and fire at the nation’s only SAF-accredited forestry program at a historically black college or university, AAMU. Jones’ passion for forestry was ignited, so he volunteered in the Forestry Department during his first semester of college. He was soon recognized as a valuable asset and was offered a student position within the department to assist with fieldwork for various research projects.