Tell Us: What Was Your First Job After College?

In the last issue of Roots, our alumni e-newsletter, we asked our graduates to tell us about their first jobs out of college. Lindsay Malone (’03, B.A., journalism and political science; ’07, M.S., forest resources) now works for the Northwest Natural Resource Group, and here’s what she remembers about her first summer job after undergrad:

Lindsay Malone

“Getting paid to camp or stay in the Blue Top Motel in Coulee City, Wash., are highlights in my career and some of the most fun I’ve had while working,” says Malone.

“Three days after commencement in 2003, I was in the C10 parking lot outside Anderson Hall loading a UW Motorpool rig full of field equipment. That was a familiar ritual after a few years of wildlife science classes, but this was no field trip—it was the first day of my new job as a field assistant for the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Bob Gitzen, who had earned his Ph.D. in wildlife science from SEFS, hired me to work on a small mammal sampling project, part of the wildlife study on Conservation Reserve Program lands in Eastern Washington. I’d been introduced to the shrub-steppe of the Columbia Plateau a handful of times, but this was this field season that instilled in me an admiration for the sagebrush and bunch grass ecosystems that span the West. Our work started in mid-June, just when heat waves begin to roll across the hills of basalt, sage and wheat. Long hot days had us finishing at dusk sweaty, dirty and sticky, our nitrile gloves coated in peanut butter, Sharpie marks and mouse droppings. We quickly adapted our schedule to avoid ill effects of heat on our specimens and shifted our days to start before sunrise. Often the first rays of sunlight would turn the fields aglow with pink and golden light as we left the rig, wearing planter bags loaded with peanut butter and oat-baited traps, clipboards and datasheets in tow. Those first steps into the field on cool mornings, stars fading, breathing deep of sagebrush, in search of Great Basin pocket mice are what I remember most.”

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For the next issue of Roots, we’re asking alumni to tell us: What are your favorite memories of Anderson Hall? The building was completed in 1925 and has undergone several renovations—including some roof work right now—but it remains largely unchanged, from the exterior to the Forest Club Room. We’ll feature one or more response in the next issue of Roots, and also right here on the “Offshoots” blog. Please email submissions—of no more than 250 words—to sefsalum@uw.edu, and we’ll follow up to ask for a photo if your letter is accepted and published.

Photo © Lindsay Malone.

Tell Us: Who Was Your Favorite Professor?

In the last issue of Roots, our new alumni e-newsletter, we asked alumni to tell us about their favorite professors. Here’s what Patrick T. Nooney (‘71, B.S.), who lives in Missoula, Mont., shared with us:

“I have to use the plural. Each one at the College [of Forest Resources] challenged me in a different way, but there are two equally in my mind who challenged me how to think for myself and not accept the status quo: Professors Barney Dowdle and David R.M. Scott.

Professor Barney Dowdle

Professor Barney Dowdle

I was literally flunking Forest Economics despite reading the literature three or four times, and studying notes until 3 or 4 in the morning. I asked Professor Dowdle to let me out and try again later: He refused, of course. Then the final: I’m done, finished, nothing to lose, gut honest with the answers, then kick the bucket. I got an A. When I asked him about the mistake, he told me ‘No mistake. You learned the lesson I intended: How to think.’ That has been the number one lesson I have applied in life.

Dave Scott was ultimately my primary advisor. He challenged me and encouraged me to always think outside of the box, including the pursuit of the wild idea of using ecological principles as a basis for logging/land management decisions. He told me that was not exactly something anyone would pay a graduate student to work on, considering the implications. Still, he told me, ‘If you believe in it, I will back you all the way to the doctorate.’ I sometimes regretfully wish I had taken him up on the deal. I honor his trust and faith in my education.”

For the next issue of Roots, we’re asking alumni to tell us: What was your first job out of college, and what do you remember most about it? We’ll feature one or more response in the next issue of Roots, and also right here on the “Offshoots” blog. Please email submissions—of no more than 250 words—to sefsalum@uw.edu, and we’ll follow up to ask for a photo if your letter is accepted and published.

Tell Us: Favorite Field Trip as a Student

In the inaugural issue of Roots, our new alumni e-newsletter, we asked alumni to tell us about their favorite field trips as a student. Here’s what Marion “Bud” Fisk (‘58), who lives with his wife of 56 years in Tieton, Wash., shared with us:

Marion "Bud" Fisk

Marion “Bud” Fisk

“I don’t know if students still get to go to Pack Forest or spend their last quarter in the woods or not. But the class of ’58 spent the first half of the last class quarter helping the DNR inventory the Capitol State Forest. We got lots of experience, made some good friendships and helped the ol’ DNR a bit.

For the second half of the quarter, we went to Glenwood, where St. Regis Paper owned several thousand acres of pine/fir mix. Sleeping in our bags in wood-floored tents, eating in the loggers’ mess hall, jumping over rattlesnakes out on the plateau, and getting dunked in the log pond created a whole bunch of lifelong memories. One of our small group, Doug Daniels, stayed on and worked for the DNR out of Glenwood for his entire career. The next class produced Len Rolph, who stayed on with St Regis for his career and ended up as chief forester of the Klickitat block. Len and I have hunted that area out of his backyard for the last 50 years and have fed our families on the venison and elk we harvested. Quite an extended field trip.”Great stuff, Bud—thanks for writing!

For the next issue of Roots, we’re asking alumni to tell us: Who was your favorite professor, and why did he/she have such a big impact on you? We’ll feature one or more response in the next issue of Roots, and also right here on the “Offshoots” blog. Please email submissions—of no more than 250 words—to sefsalum@uw.edu, and we’ll follow up to ask for a photo if your letter is accepted and published.

Photo of Bud Fisk © Bud Fisk.

SEFS Alumni Group: Get Involved!

Coming up on Tuesday, February 25, the SEFS Alumni Group will be holding a meeting from noon to 1 p.m. in Anderson 22. The main topic of the meeting will be planning for the annual Spring Gathering on April 27, but other agenda items include leadership transitions, the revamped alumni newsletter, Roots (which will go out this Thursday), the Distinguished Alumni Seminar, student mentorship opportunities, and other ongoing projects. If you have updates you would like to share, or if you’d like to attend or call in from the field, email Alumni Group Chair Jessica Farmer!

Methow Valley

This past fall, Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley led an alumni hike in the Methow Valley–one of dozens of ways you can get involved with fellow alumni!

The invitation to participate goes well beyond this meeting, too. The most successful alumni group, says Farmer, will include representatives of many ages and interest areas, and they’re looking for new members to join in planning social events, developing mentoring opportunities, and providing feedback and support to the school.

Ideally, alumni group members must be willing to commit to the following requirements:

•         Attend the Annual Board meeting and two additional semi-annual meetings;
•         Attend the Annual Spring Gathering;
•         Invite 10-plus people to attend the Annual Spring Gathering, or serve on the planning committee or help underwrite the event ($200+);
•         Maintain your UW Alumni Association membership;
•         Make an annual contribution to SEFS (100% participation, no minimum);
•         Commit to a 2-year term;
•         Enhance the reputation of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the College of the Environment, and the University of Washington.

If you’d like to be an active member of the Alumni Group, please email us at sefsalum@uw.edu, and we hope to connect with you soon!

Photo © SEFS.