Biologist and conservationist present careers to students


Allison Hillebrand

Geologist Matt Damon spoke about his career in the oil industry during PRIDE Time on Nov. 6.

During the week of Nov. 8, two career speakers were focused on a biological career. A geologist working in the oil industry, Matt Damon, and a conservationist, Dennis Doring, presented on Nov. 6 and Nov. 8.

Damon has a degree in geology and geosciences and remained in Hays after graduation from Fort Hays State University to work for the ever-changing field of oil and gas.

“We are putting energy into the ground and looking at what is underneath,” Damon said. “We can image a river channel, a hill, anything you can imagine.”

Doring works for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS).

Conservationist Dennis Doring spoke about his career working for the USDA and NCRS, and mentioned the opportunities available for youth on Nov. 8.

During his presentation, Doring offered the attendees the opportunity of specific summer internships through the Earth Teen Volunteer and Apprentice Programs, as well as career paths after college.

“The thing that first drew me to this line of work was the opportunity to get outside,” Doring said. “I was tired of sitting behind a desk.”

Doring said he is a public servant and is often asked what the person owes him for his work.

“I would like to think that you are making a bit of a difference, conserving our natural resources,” Doring said. “Conserving something, you’re going to use it, but you are going to use it wisely.”

Both speakers mentioned the importance of their field to younger generations, and without younger generations becoming involved, the fields will decline.

“I would say I was extremely fortunate getting into the field when I did,” Damon said. “I came in right before it took off. I see a lot of people join the industry and struggle to find a job, and then leave and never come back. If you choose to join, it may be a challenge. Jump at the opportunities to get involved in it.”