Melanie is a Master’s student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in the Biology and Wildlife Department where she studies nitrous oxide emissions from permafrost underlaid soils in the boreal forest in interior Alaska.  She is also measuring nitrous oxide emissions in lake sediment, and riparian soil in boreal forest.

What led you to a natural resources education/career?

"A deep respect for the Earth and a desire to protect it."

What do you identify as your 'big break?' Did CSU have anything to do with it?

My first big break was my first field and lab research position at CSU in Dr. Jill Baron’s lab. That’s when I knew I was in the right place.

What are you up to now in your job? Any noteworthy projects to discuss? (or any recently completed etc.)?

Right now, I am measuring nitrous oxide emissions in the subarctic boreal forest in Alaska. Everyone thinks about carbon dioxide, but nitrous oxide is a more powerful greenhouse gas.

How did CSU set you up for success in your career field?

I would definitely have to thank Kaye Holman for pushing me to get an internship early on in my undergrad, which led to so many other great things while I was at CSU and after I graduated.

What advice do you have for current students or recent grads?

My advice to current students is to make as many connections as you can while at CSU. They will be so helpful for getting into graduate school or with finding a job. Specifically about getting into graduate school, I recommend talking to more than one faculty member at each school you are looking at. If the faculty member and you do not keep in touch after your initial contact, probably don’t expect an offer. Most importantly, make sure the project you would be working on in graduate school is something you are really interested in.