“I have always been passionate about protecting and preserving wildlife but was unsure what education to pursue to qualify as a game warden. When I found WNMU and the wildlife/law enforcement degree, I knew it was exactly what I wanted,” said senior wildlife-law enforcement student Jeff Bell.
The native of Key West, Florida, said, “Growing up, I saw what could happen to an ecosystem if it is not properly maintained. After moving to New Mexico and seeing this beautiful land and the amazing animals, my desire to become a game warden and protect this place only increased.”
For his senior practicum experience, Jeff chose to work at City of Rocks State Park alongside WNMU alumnus and Park Manager Gabe Medrano and a couple others, performing maintenance work, riding along with Gabe to enforce park regulations, and contributing to operate the visitor center.
“One of the best experiences so far has been seeing all the wildlife that inhabits the park. I’ve seen barn owls, New Mexican free-tailed bats, porcupines, painted box turtles, and many more common animals like rattlesnakes, javelinas, coyotes and deer,” he said.
And working with someone who has graduated from WNMU with the same degree he is working toward has been rewarding and inspiring for Jeff. “Seeing how far Gabe has come in his career has enforced my confidence in choosing WNMU and the wildlife/law enforcement program,” he said.
This is a WNMU student profile, Stampede: Faces, Stories, Lives. Get in touch with the names of other interesting Mustangs, and we’ll consider sharing their stories here.