EnSci Alumna: Marisa Anderson

Graduate Student,
Public & Environmental Affairs


Q: What first started your interest in Environmental Science (EnSci)?

Marisa: I was initially a biology major, which is a really broad major and wanted to focus more in an area of science. During my junior year, I realized I was really interested in the environment and decided to add it as another major. I've also always been outdoorsy, and environmental science definitely gets you outside.

Q: Which courses did you take to specialize yourself within the EnSci program?

Marisa: The EnSci core classes, ecology, global change, soil genesis & landscape relationships, and aquatic ecology.

Q: Of the courses you took, what course at Iowa State helped the most in graduate school?

Marisa: Within the core classes, one needs to take Integrated Case Studies Senior Seminar. I really enjoyed that class. I got hands on experience designing a riparian buffer. For one of my graduate classes, the grad
students had to give a presentation on some sort of management practice. I ended up using what we did in that class for my presentation. I also included that experience in my statement of purpose letter in the grad school application process.

Q: What are some of the activities you do in graduate school at Indiana?

Marisa: Graduate assistant in a forest ecology lab.
Some volunteering - clean up hiking trails. Attend sporting events.

Q: What aspects of your education have been the most important part to your success at Indiana University?

Marisa: I received a broad education at ISU with the two majors. This introduced me to a variety of concepts that I could eventually choose from to concentrate on in grad school. I learned time management among school, clubs, and my social life. I was able to make connections with
professors and fellow students, which both helped me succeed in classes and get into the grad school program of my choice.

Q: What was your favorite part of the EnSci program?

Marisa: I liked the variety of courses, outdoor labs, and field trips. I had really good professors, too.