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Forestry student finds passion for wildland fire management after injury, surgeries

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Category: academics Video duration: Forestry student finds passion for wildland fire management after injury, surgeries
John Kese, a student in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, suffered an injury in high school while playing baseball. His goal of playing the sport at the college level turned into a fiery passion for, well, fire.

Photos courtesy of John Kese.
[00:00:01] >> When you come here you have a fresh start. You have these scars on the back of your head and everybody sees them, but they don't really know the story. I was dead set on playing baseball in college, next level. My freshman year I suffered an injury on the baseball field, actually. [00:00:19] It caused some pain in my neck and down my arm, we just thought a pinched nerve, you know, nothing of it. We actually found out that it was a blockage in the spinal cord where brain fluid is supposed to, you know, naturally get into your spinal cord but when it's blocked, you kind of have some tingling, you know, soreness, numbness. [00:00:35] So that was where I lost my whole sophomore year and finally realized that, you know, the future of baseball was just, it just wasn't there. Outside of baseball it was outdoors, and that's what I love to do was hunt and fish and play in the mud and get dirty and throw hay bales and. [00:00:55] I grew up around forestry and then when I learned that there's a major for that and I can do that for a living, it just, you know, opened my eyes a little bit and it got me excited. So then I come here and Virginia Tech gets this brand new fire ecologist. [00:01:08] I really connected with him and then he comes to me with this summer internship opportunity. With my new love for fire, you know, of course I took it. Coming to college, it really helped me look at the bigger picture and not let