FEATURED EMPLOYEE: Meet Adam Rea – Field Ecologist II, true outdoorsman
If you’re looking for Adam Rea, you can immediately eliminate anywhere with four walls. His office has wheels; the great outdoors is his domain. Honestly, you’d better just give him a call.
For as long as he can remember, Adam has enjoyed working – and playing—outside.
“We did a lot of camping growing up,” said Adam. “And my mom would always kick us out of the house to go play in the neighborhood. As a kid I played sports, liked nature, was involved in Boy Scouts, and went hiking and biking all the time.”
When the time came to start figuring out career plans, Adam first considered construction. He took a few classes in high school where he helped build two houses in two years, which he enjoyed. But after a few construction management courses and realizing the full impact of the 2008 economic recession, Adam pivoted.
“I went to community college and took classes in biology and ecology,” said Adam. “After that, I worked for two years at a local park district before deciding to go back to school.”
Adam’s aptitude for the sciences, coupled with his love for the outdoors, led him to earn a degree in environmental studies with a focus in biodiversity from Northern Illinois University. A job search following graduation led him to V3. Today, you can find him almost exclusive outdoors in the field.
“I do restoration work, herbiciding, cutting down trees, mowing, seeding – I’m a floater and can do everything V3 offers,” said Adam. “Coming from a landscaping background I had a good base of knowledge, plus I’ve always been interested in learning new things. Whenever an opportunity comes up, I’m open to the challenge.”
For a field ecologist like Adam, the day starts when he gets to the shop at 6:00 am. He loads up whatever is needed for the hours ahead, then heads out to the site to work until the job is done for the day.
“People are surprised that we work outside on below-zero or super-hot days. You have to be willing to get muddy, wet, and be outside 365 days a year.”
So, what does someone that works outside for a living do in his down time? If you guessed something equally active … you are correct.
“I do a lot of gardening and woodworking,” admitted Adam. “My wife and I recently bought a house that needs some fixing up. So far, I’ve built a breakfast nook, a barn door for our kitchen pantry, flower boxes for our windows, and refinished our basement. I’ve always liked building things.”
Funnily enough, Adam isn’t the only Rea that can be found working outdoors as part of the V3 family. After a seasonal internship, Adam’s brother, Peter, accepted a full-time job in the Natural Resources group.
“We have a really good group of people that work here,” said Adam. “Everyone has a different background, which means different insights into things. It’s a great team.”