Lucas Ghilardi is a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying natural resources conservation (NRC). He decided to look into attending UMass Amherst on the recommendations of some of his favorite high school teachers.
“I ultimately decided to attend UMass Amherst because I am a Massachusetts resident, so the in-state tuition, combined with the quality of education I was signing up for, could not be beat.” he explained.
Lucas entered his freshman year as a chemistry major, but always had a passion for helping the environment. When he saw that UMass Amherst had a major called natural resources conservation, Lucas knew that was his calling, and changed his major and never looked back.
So far, Lucas has enjoyed all the classes he has taken: from the small, teamwork-based ones, to the larger lectures, with engaging labs.
“I think that there is a NRC class for everyone, and that's why I tell all my friends to try one before they graduate if they can.” Lucas says. He holds the teachers and professors in the NRC department in high regard as well: “they are really down-to-earth, approachable, friendly, and easy to talk to; they make you feel right at home.” Lucas says outside of their classes, they are all doing interesting projects and studies, even working second jobs that will impact the future of our environment.
There are many different career options for someone with a natural resources conservation major; from going into conservation, to pursuing research, to working in public policy, to working as a park ranger. Lucas is still deciding on his future after graduation.
“One possible route I might go is grad school, for a one year master's program in GIS (Geographic Information Systems). Otherwise, I will be joining the workforce,” he notes.
Aside from class, Lucas is a campus tour guide for potential applicants to UMass Amherst. He also spends some of his free time volunteering with MASSPIRG, a citizen activist research group. While he loves keeping busy, Lucas still finds time to enjoy college life.
“I love going to Berk late night with my friends as often as I can!” he adds.