Alex Threlkeld knew he didn’t want to get stuck behind a desk all day for the rest of his life. The only problem was finding a job that combined all the things he liked to do with his love of nature. MACC was a perfect place for him to explore his options before choosing a career with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
“While I was at MACC, I took a variety of courses. One of them was biology, and I fell in love with it. It came very easy to me and helped direct me on the path to the career I’m in now…The great outdoors has always had a special place in my life, even as a child. Growing up, I spent a lot of time outdoors with my family. We hunt. We fish. And now through my career, I’m able to help others enjoy it,” explained Alex.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has six missions on Mark Twain Lake where Alex works: hydropower, navigation, flood control, recreation, water supply and environmental stewardship. Alex works in the recreation department. They maintain the campgrounds, recreation areas, provide water safety, and recreation activities.
After earning his Associate of Arts at MACC, Alex went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with a minor in biology. Later, he earned a Master of Science in Biology. Soon after graduating with his masters, he was offered a job at the US Army Corps of Engineers as a Resource Specialist Park Ranger.
“I love coming to work, because I get to eat a picnic lunch everyday in the great outdoors. I get to work on the water. I get to work in the woods. I get to see the sunshine…and MACC gave me the skills to become a better Park Ranger. They gave me the skills to be a better public speaker, to better communicate with our visitors and the people I work with. I’m grateful for that,” explained Alex.
His advice to anyone interested in fields like the Army Corps of Engineers is to get the grades. You’ll need good grades to get into programs like biology and conservation. He also suggests that you work summers with programs like the Corp’s college internships and volunteer when you can with your local park services. Many times those opportunities turn into careers after you graduate from college. And doing something you absolutely love everyday is the best job you can ever have.