Melanie Thornton, PhD 2018, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, SoE Pullman
Melanie is currently a member of professional staff for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in Washington, D.C. She is responsible for policy and oversight issues within her portfolio, which includes arranging and staffing hearings, drafting legislation, and working with stakeholders, outside groups, members of Congress, and executive branch officials.
What are you up to these days?
I work on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and work on water, science, and territory policy. Since my job is based in Washington, DC, I spend my free time exploring the city, checking out new exhibits at the different Smithsonian museum, or hiking along the Potomac River.
What do you miss most about Washington State University?
I miss the community and culture of living in a college town — where you can go to the grocery store or a restaurant and run into someone you know. I also miss the Cougar spirit and hearing “Go Cougs” on a regular basis.
What advice would you give to incoming students (undergraduate or graduate) in the School of the Environment?
Get involved on campus or in the community – Student Involvement and the Center for Civic Engagement at WSU are great places to start.
What was it like being a student in the School of the Environment? (Noted: SoE includes the NATRS programs of forestry and wildlife, ENVR SCI, ESRP, Geology)
As a student in SoE, I had a unique experience to take interdisciplinary courses to further my education and deepen my understanding of the collaborative nature of the environmental and natural resources field. I was able to work on a research project that had direct impact in our region. And, the introductory environmental science course had a lab component in the local community, where students got first-hand experience collecting and analyzing data. I loved my time being an SoE student and the interdisciplinary and collaborative focus of the program.