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:
“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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll follow up to ask for a photo if your letter is accepted and published.
Photo © Lindsay Malone.