Meet Alumnus, Russell Miller ’11

two young alumni and staff at event

Russell Miller ’11
Forestry

Shown with wife, Carolyn, and Sharon Tatum, SFWS Development Coordinator.

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences spotlights young forestry alumnus and Compass Circle member, Russell Miller ’11. Originally, from Cullman, Alabama, he currently lives in Auburn with his wife Carolyn and daughter Elizabeth. Miller is a specialist in Forest Systems Management for Auburn University.

When asked why he chose to pursue a forestry career and degree at Auburn, Miller said, “I had an uncle that was in forestry and a few friends growing up in Cullman that went into the forestry fields. Both my grandparents’ actually farmed full time, so I’ve always had an interest in the outdoors and agriculture. Auburn was the place to be for forestry in the state of Alabama, so it was an easy choice for me.”

Miller began his education in 2008 and graduated in 2011, but the Auburn community is what motivated him to make a permanent return to the university. “I enjoyed living here,” said Miller.

“The main aspect of my job is the actual forest management on Auburn lands across multiple university departments. With this job, we have research, outreach, teaching and a financial benefit as well. Balancing all those needs can be difficult at times, but it presents a nice challenge,” said Miller.

“Just like with a private landowner, university departments have different objectives and goals for their properties so they aren’t all managed the same way. I handle everything forestry related from mapping timber stands, completing the inventory and putting a timber sale out for bid, to reforestation and everything in between.”

When asked to reflect on his career, Miller recalled some of the most impactful moments were learning from the people he worked with as he first started in the field. He said that their longtime experience in the industry helped him to see a new perspective about the forestry industry and how it changes. He added that he thinks the forestry industry will look completely different in the future with dimensional lumber and paper markets falling and being replaced by engineered wood products and cellulose materials as the main market drivers. He also said that he believes the packaging side of the industry will continue to see big growth in the future.

“The industry is definitely going to grow as we have to meet the demands of a changing world,” said Miller.