Alumni Profile John smith

People ask me what I studied in college. I proudly tell them I have a philosophy degree and an art minor. I can't imagine how different I would be without my education. I'm grateful for the wild journey it has inspired.

After graduating, CSUF Philosophy Alum, John Smith, wanted to get his hands dirty helping the planet. He pursued a career dedicated to environmental conservation, restoration, and awareness. Today, he is a nursery manager at TreePeople, plays guitar with friends, runs with Highland Park Runners, and spends time with family.

John was inspired to volunteer with the Newport Bay Conservancy after taking an oceanography class at Fullerton College. "I knew I was in the right place when they handed me a pickaxe and taught me about habitat restoration," he says. He took their Naturalist program and became a kayak/outrigger canoe tour guide to increase awareness about the importance of protecting wild spaces.

After an internship with TreePeople's forestry department, he worked as a restoration technician and project manager with the Mountains Restoration Trust. Now as the nursery manager, he is in charge of updating the facility and practices to become the second nursery in LA to be certified to grow Phytophthora-free native plants for the Forest Service. With the help of volunteers, he tells us, "I'm growing chaparral species for fire mitigation projects in the Angeles National Forest. We're also growing native plants to heal LA's urban forest, the Santa Monica Mountains, and the River."