Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Mizzou Students Chillin' with Natural Resource Mentors
Midwest Region, January 28, 2010
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The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Natural Resources Alumni Board hosts an annual event for their natural resource students. A panel of natural resources professionals meet in an open forum with the students to answer their questions about the field and their experiences. We are usually represented by Fish Biologist Jeff Finley. As Captain Finley is currently deployed with the Army in Iraq I stood in for him. I was quick to point out to the organizers that I was NOT in fact a Mizzou graduate, having attended Iowa State University for my B.S. I was assured that as long as I didn't arrive in Cyclone red all would be well!

The students asked panel members questions about their experiences in the field, getting jobs, and regrets. What would we do differently in college? I told them I wished I had travelled more while a student. If you can measure fish near home or in Alaska or Costa Rica, why not see the world?

After the panel session everyone was treated to a chili dinner. We broke up into smaller groups based on the students majors. We discussed summer job opportunities and told fishing stories in our small group.

One of the most fascinating things about the event for me was the obvious difference between the panel and the student body. While I was the only woman represented on the panel of about fifteen professionals, the student body seemed to be fifty percent women. Even while at dinner and in the small group I didn't field any questions from them about being a woman in a male-dominated field. What a difference a decade and a half can make!


Contact Info: Joanne Grady, 573-234-2132 x101, joanne_grady@fws.gov
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