My name is John Tyler Barnes (J.T.), and I am from Asheville, North Carolina. Growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I was privileged to be immersed in such a gorgeous natural environment. Snowboarding, mountainboarding, camping and trail running have all contributed to the awesomeness of life, and to my appreciation of the environment.
In the last decade, suburban sprawl and sporadic land use change have encroached on natural areas I’ve always cherished. These dynamic economic/social processes made urban planning particularly enticing as a potential career. I studied Community & Regional Planning and Geographic Information Systems at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. I find it incredible that it’s possible, albeit difficult, to actually make positive impacts on not only individual lives, but entire towns and communities. I chose to intern with the Student Conservation Association because it embodies the ideals of the planning discipline and responsible stewardship of the land.
In the future, I intend on expanding on my SCA experience through independent travel and research. Ideally, I would like to teach English in rural South America and incorporate those experiences into further investments in others and myself. Later, when I actually grow up, I intend to pursue a Master’s degree in Urban & Regional Planning and hopefully help change the urban (suburban) fabric of the United States.