Alumni Spotlight

Derek Weir

Derek Weir grew up hiking in San Diego, California and this sparked his love of traveling and being outdoors. After graduating from Kent State in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, he moved back to California to work in the Tahoe National Forest before receiving a call that led to his seasonal job as a ranger in Nome, Alaska. Weir works at the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (BELA) and spends his days researching, developing, and presenting educational programs for the parks' nearly 4,000 visitors per year.  One of the things he enjoys about BELA is the abundance of colossal wildlife, such as reindeer and bears. He also added that there are only three ways to get into the park – hiking, flying, or by snowmobile.  Weir also has his own landscape photography business, so during the four months that he does not work at BELA, he loves to travel and work on his own photography. “The experiences I had at Kent, I’ll never forget. My favorite thing about Kent State is its appreciation for diversity and learning of different cultures and ideas. I think that’s important, especially now more than ever.”