Madeline Lee

madeline-lee.jpgPronouns: she/her 

Graduation year: 2017 

Hometown: San Francisco, CA 

Currently living in: Homer, AK 

Current occupation: Tribal Fish Biologist, Chugach Regional Resources Commission  


What was your experience at CC like as an environmental science major? 

I enjoyed the field trips of an environmental science major and did a focus in ecology to take full advantage of the awesome experiences the block plan offered. I took a block in Belize for tropical rainforest and coral reef ecology as well as a block roaming the Rockies with animal ecology. The environmental science program is diverse with a wide range of classes that I found to be formative, but I’m grateful I chose a focus in ecology and had an advisor guide me towards a focus in GIS to help me find a job post-graduation. I also minored in computer science and found it to be incredibly challenging on the block plan. The material was very difficult to learn in 3.5 weeks. I enjoyed studying computer science abroad in Budapest more because I was able to learn on the semester plan which I found to be much easier for those types of classes.  


Why were you interested in focusing on environmental science and computer science at CC? 

I’ve always felt interested in environmental conservation, activism, and sustainability. In high school, I was the President of the Earth Action Club where we learned about campaigning and solar panel subsidies. With the environmental science degree at CC, my world opened up to the realm of science influencing policy. Although it was unclear how an environmental science degree would shape my career, I knew it would give me the basic overall understanding to find my path. I chose a computer science minor because during my summer internship at a tech company, I saw all male computer programmers and I wanted to be part of the change to have more female coders. I also thought it would help me get a job after I graduated.  


How are you using your major and minor in your post-CC life? 

Pursuing a master’s degree in fish ecology was more approachable with an undergraduate degree in environmental science with a concentration in ecology. I also think the diversity of classes in my undergraduate degree made me more confident to approach my master’s degree more holistically and find what parts of fisheries really interested me. Having a foundation in computer science has helped me with completing my MS in fisheries because I had a baseline skillset to approach new statistical software. I think learning R for the first time was less difficult because of my minor in computer science at CC. Overall the block plan has taught me to remain curious about learning and to follow that curiosity, even if it’s not exactly what I thought I would be doing!  

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