Maranda Walton

Tyson Administrative Support


What has been the most rewarding part of working on so many different research projects?

“Most rewarding is mentoring the students. I really like doing that. I keep in touch with a lot of them. They use me as references, but they also tell me, ‘Hey, I got this job I'm so excited!’ One Saturday I started getting texts and I was like, what is this? I looked at them and they were images of leaves. A former mentee said, ‘Hey, Maranda, is this such and such, and such and such?’ ‘Hey Maranda, I'm on a hike with some friends, is this this, this, or this?’ He was using his skills that I'd taught him about tree identification and leaf identification, and spreading that to his friends on a hike. That was one of the things that I told the students: you're never going to go on a hike the same way again once you go through all of the tree identification!

Just knowing that the students pick up some of the skills that I teach them, that they’re excited about it and teach others - that’s one of my favorite experiences.”

Maranda spent three summers as a lead mentor for Jonathan Myers' Forest Biodiversity team and provided administrative support to the Tyson community during summer 2008. Learn more about Jonathan's long-term temperate forest research here.