Growing up, Philip Tappe went hunting, fishing and camping. Now he participates in some of those pastimes even today with the field he works in. Tappe works at the University of Arkansas at Monticello as a professor of wild life ecology, associate dean for the School of Forestry Resources and associate director for the Association for Arkansas Resource Center. He began teaching at UAM in January of 1991.
As a child growing up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Tappe developed his interest for the outdoors and his current occupation. During the summer he and his family went camping.
“I just grew up in that environment; it is what I was exposed to. It is just what we did. Being a kid and being really curious about all the stuff that I was seeing, that’s what I remember doing, and I have carried that on through,” Tappe said.
Today, however, he does not get outdoors much as he hoped.
When he began to look at colleges to attend in his home state of Texas, he found only two schools that offered degrees forestry. Those schools included Texas Agricultural and Mechanical Commerce and Stephen F. Austin State University.
After looking at both of the schools, he found that Stephen F. Austin would be the best choice for him, because Texas A & M Commerce did not have any trees around the campus. Tappe said he could not understand how a school offered a program in forestry without any trees around.
In the beginning of his college career, Tappe did not want to become a professor. He wanted to get a job outdoors working with wildlife. However, he became influenced by various professors and mentors that worked with him on his graduate studies. Tappe received his master’s from Stephen F. Austin and his Ph.D in philosophy from Clemson University in South Carolina.
For Tappe, two things come to mind when he discusses his favorite part of his job. One includes helping curious students like him – helping them find a way to come up with answers to problems or things that bring them curiosity.
“And second, doing the same thing myself for my research assignment; my job is to be curious about things and come up with answers. So, I get to do that for myself, and I get to do that for other people,” Tappe said.
Tappe also shows a better relationship with the students than with professors.
A current UAM student in the Forestry Program Jolene Heartly said, “He is also more willing to help.”
Tappe serves as the advisor for the student chapter of the Wildlife Society. He teaches the survey of wildlife conservation courses, the entry level wildlife course and the wildlife management course at the junior and senior levels. Also, he teaches two graduate courses one on Habit Management and Relationships and one on Landscaping Ecology.
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ŠThe Voice 2006
Revised 01/13/2008 03:33:20 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/4_12/tappe.htm