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Environmental Studies Program

College of the Sciences

Alexa Maine

After graduating from the Environmental Studies program in 2010 with a specialization in  Environmental Biology I continued at Central for a Master’s in Natural Resource Management,   graduating in 2012. My thesis identified a new   population of native freshwater mussel in the Yakima River basin and increased regional   knowledge of host fish usage by that mussel species; I was able to publish those results in the journal Northwest Science in 2016. In 2013, I was hired on by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) as a   fisheries research biologist on the Pacific Lamprey and Freshwater Mussel projects. I designed, built, and now manage a freshwater recirculating aquaculture laboratory dedicated to   research on early life stages of both lamprey and  mussels, and started the first (and only) freshwater mussel propagation program in the  western United States. I have mentored dozens  of undergraduate students in my laboratory, and work closely with regional governmental agencies on issues related to population declines in Pacific Lamprey and native freshwater mussels. In 2018 I entered University of Idaho’s Environmental Science PhD program, utilizing and continuing my research with CTUIR.

I would highly recommend CWU’s Environmental Studies program as it provided a well-rounded foundation from which I was able to build an exciting and innovative career. Professors and peers were of high caliber and contributed to a positive learning environment. I was well prepared to enter graduate school after the program, and my transition from student to employee was smooth and easy. I need to acknowledge my amazing Advisor, Dr. Clay Arango, in my success thus far. He was (and still is!) motivating and supportive, and encouraged independence and responsibility for my own research outcomes. These traits are ones I strive to emulate in my own role as a mentor to students at my laboratory.

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