Michael CooperAfter studying business as an undergraduate major, Michael Cooper went on to work in sales for the airline industry. Michael became quite good at his job, but he soon realized his real passion was natural resource management. So Michael enrolled in Ball State’s NREM program, where he has been able to combine his sales skills with his love of nature to promote ideas such as outdoor pursuits, family time in parks, and active lifestyles.

Today, Michael continues to work with private corporations as well as the state government. His master’s project deals with the Indiana Outdoor Expo, hosted by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources State Parks and Reservoirs in partnership with the Ford Company. Michael’s work is just one example of how students in the NREM department work on community projects in partnership with environmental organizations.

Although Michael has taken his career in a new direction, he’s been able to use his commercial sales experience to sell public recreation ideas to the community. In fact, his skill set and experience gave him the confidence to propose an internship to his local community park, which resulted in the creation of a position for Michael within his local state park and recreation center. And more recently, Michael won a conference poster presentation at the 20th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM).