- Udall Scholar (1997)
Greetings from the Hoosier state! My year as a Udall scholar has been wonderful. Before I talk about myself, I want to thank the Udall Foundation for an exciting and educational weekend in Tucson, for working so very hard to keep the Udall scholars networked over the school year, and of course for the scholarship. I have held the title of Udall scholar with pride this year and will hold my head high as I join the 1998 Udall class. As for me, this has been a year of trying new things and continued guidance as to what I want in a career. I just completed my junior year at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. I am pursuing a B.S. in Public Affairs with a concentration in environmental science and a minor in geography. Since I finished my general education courses last year, I really could focus on my major and minor this year. In the fall, I took a field course in limnology and realized that I really to pursue a career in water resource management, specializing in lakes and rivers. This spring I took a course in scuba to further my aquatic skills. I will be getting both sport and scientific diving certifications next fall.
Through my limnology course, I was invited to help Indiana University's Department of Environmental Health and Safety perform a benthic macroinvertebrate study of the Jordan River, a stream that passes through our campus. Sampling the insect population provides long-term water quality analysis of a stream whereas water sampling only provides temporal information. The study is only in its infancy stages, but we hope to continue it for a number of years to develop a historical data source to monitor any change in the stream's water quality. This summer, I will be moving away from direct water quality analysis to a position in whole ecosystem management. I will be interning with ACRES Land Trust, a non-profit group that creates nature preserves in northeastern Indiana. I will be grant-writing, site-mapping, and preparing analyses of land the agency wishes to purchase.
I will graduate in May of 1999. My present plans do not include graduate school. My view of a graduate degree is to gain further skills in the field that you wish to pursue. Until I gain exposure to the "real world," I will not know what skills that I still need. For example, if I go into the land-trust business, I may need a graduate degree in real estate or non-profit management. If I go into water resource management, I may need more of a scientific degree. Needless to say, I intend to work for a few years before I go to graduate school. Once again, I would like to thank that Udall Foundation for all that it has done for me. And scholars, I look forward to the day when we bump into one another at conferences or negotiations and are united by the title of Udall scholar.