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M'Shae Alderman - 2008
As an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky, I studied both English and Natural Resource Conservation and Management with a concentration in wildlife ecology. After graduating in 2007, I accepted an internship at The Wilderness Society (TWS), a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that has led the conservation movement in public land stewardship and wilderness protection. I was drawn to the TWS commitment to incorporate strong science into policy decisions as well as the organization’s dedication to building strong relationships with partner groups and communities.
As an intern at TWS, I mainly focused on issues that affect the National Wildlife Refuge System and became quickly immersed in the world of politics. After completing my internship, and an uncomfortable phone interview in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Minnesota (I was on a cross-country road trip to visit some of America’s most popular national parks), TWS offered me a grant-funded position as a Campaign Coordinator on Roadless Area protection. Recently, however, I was pleased to accept a promotion to the position of Conservation Associate. My primary responsibilities include maintaining collaborative relationships with coalition organizations and advancing the forest and Alaska-related legislative agenda of The Wilderness Society. The position has assisted me developing my analysis and advocacy skills and portrayed the difficulty in finding common ground among stakeholders. Much of my work is associated with policy and legislation affecting our multiple-use federal lands, highlighting the disparity between advocates for the protection of and the development of our nation’s natural resources.
In the future, I hope to return to graduate school to pursue an MS in conservation biology, specifically in the field of wildlife ecology. Until then, I am enjoying weekend trips to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, exploring DC’s many cultural opportunities and museums, and gaining invaluable environmental policy experience.
I wish you all success!
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