Management Degree boosts Game and Parks Chief
Douglas climbs from Conservation Tech to Director
It's a jungle out there. Or, at least in Nebraska, it's a bit of coniferous forest, deciduous forest, wetlands, shrubland, prairie, farmland, riparian floodplain forest, rivers, lakes and some urban area to boot.
As the newly appointed Director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Jim Douglas oversees all of that. His Master's degree in Management from Bellevue University helps him do it.
"As my career unfolded, I found myself in increasingly more responsible positions and soon held positions that were administrative in nature," Douglas said. "Those positions called for skill sets that were in budgeting, finance, personnel management, human resource management and strategic planning. They were the kinds of skill sets that were most important for me to be effective."
Douglas decided he needed to build on his Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana. Bellevue University's offerings fit the bill.
"I really liked the experience a lot. I actually enjoyed going as a more mature student," Douglas said. "I could apply some of the real life experiences, real job experiences to the questions of the day."
Douglas started the Master of Arts in Management program in the spring of 1999 along with his study buddy, wife Carolyn. The pair graduated in January of 2001.
"It's something that we'll always remember — all the time we spent studying," Douglas said.
Carolyn, a communications coordinator for Lincoln Electric System, also holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing Management from Bellevue University.
As Director, Douglas is looking forward to continuing with NGPC's effort to get young people interested in the outdoors.
"People have a lot more choices these days on how they spend their time," he said. "Attracting the attention of young people and others to participate in outdoor recreation is tougher. Communicating with everyone is different."
While one might not think of technology and wildlife intersecting often, the NGPC does have some mobile phone applications in the works.
"We're developing a lot of applications for mobile phones, that will allow people to say 'I'm here, what else is here' — a park near you or a wildlife area near you," Douglas said. "They'll also say 'where is the nearest…' and be able to locate a birding trail or a watchable wildlife site. That whole area is exciting."
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