Lauren Fenstermacher ’10 Finds Dream Career in Conservation
Mar 02, 2018
By Michelle Glitzer ’20, marketing and communications intern
After graduating from Delaware Valley University with a degree in conservation and wildlife management, Lauren Fenstermacher ’10 has found great success and joy in her career. Fenstermacher works for the Pennsylvania Game Commission as a wildlife biologist and visitor’s center manager at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.
At Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, Fenstermacher monitors wildlife populations through waterfowl and mourning dove banding, conducts wildlife surveys, and works to protect wildlife habitats. She also manages the visitor’s center, which serves more than 250,000 guests per year. Fenstermacher finds the wildlife education portion of her position very rewarding.
Fenstermacher said she is grateful for her DelVal education, which has allowed her to pursue her dream career and wants to give back to, “the school that gave me so much.”
Her career with the Pennsylvania Game Commission allows her to invite current DelVal students to help with her various jobs. She provides real-world experience for DelVal students and advises them to pursue their own passions. Fenstermacher was the guest speaker at the DVU Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s Sportsmen's Banquet in February 2018. She shared her career experiences with current students at the event.
“I hope that providing them with some hands-on experience can help them find exactly what they want to do in the future,” said Fenstermacher. “Most importantly, whatever your major is, whatever you decide to do, make sure you love it!”
Fenstermacher chose DelVal for its pre-veterinary education opportunities. She began her collegiate journey as a small animal science major but changed her major to conservation and wildlife management as a sophomore.
She was drawn to DelVal’s campus because of its convenient location in Bucks County and its proximity to Philadelphia, as well as its small class sizes. She stayed involved on campus all four years by playing softball. Fenstermacher was also a member of the Wildlife Society, a student club on campus.
“I felt right at home during my time at DelVal,” said Lauren Fenstermacher '10. “My favorite part was the tight-knit community and close friends I met. I loved that the classes for my major were hands-on and had a one-on-one feeling with the professors.”
Fenstermacher said the relationships she made with her professors at DelVal helped her succeed academically as well as in her career after graduation and that hands-on learning is what propelled her into a successful career in wildlife management.
“Many of the major classes at DelVal in the wildlife and conservation major made it possible to make sure this was the right career path for me,” said Fenstermacher. “The major classes provided to me at DelVal were instrumental in introducing major components of the surveys and techniques I use today.”
Throughout her time at DelVal, Fenstermacher was able to obtain multiple internships that provided her with a glimpse into her future career path. During her sophomore and junior summers, she interned at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, Pennsylvania, where she gained experience identifying and handling birds and raptors.
This experience helped her land a job after graduation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in Rhode Island. She has also worked for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and in different regions for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.