Morgaine Riggins

Morgaine Riggins

Student, Class of 2018
Hometown: Bellingham, Washington

Why did you choose Oregon Tech?

I chose Oregon Tech for its reputation and Environmental Sciences program. I liked that the class sizes were small and that an emphasis was placed on obtaining real world, hands on experience. I also liked that there were a variety of classes that would be offered to me, with many opportunities to get outside!

What do you like most about your program?

All the field trips that I have been able to go on - these have made some of the classes that I have really enjoyed even more fun, and have been a great opportunity for me to get to know my classmates and professors. I also enjoy the variety of classes offered in the program, since they have helped me explore the various fields within Environmental Sciences and allowed me to develop my interests and future goals. 

What are you passionate about changing within this particular field and why?

I am passionate about changing how people view the environment as separate from us. This program has made me realize how connected we are to this planet, how much we have manipulated it, and how necessary it is to our survival. As a whole, people have moved away from how reliant we are upon the environment, and it is reflected upon how we treat it. While this is a big goal, I still have hope!

What would be your dream job?

My dream job would be working on the restoration of wetlands. Wetlands play a vital part in ecosystem stability, humans and wildlife depend and benefit from them, but they have taken a serious hit from development. I would like to have this job because it would combine the three things I really enjoy – botany, hydrology, and wildlife.

What have been some of your favorite classes and why?

My two favorite classes have been Ornithology and Botany. Ornithology was a blast because I got to learn about all the birds that come through the Klamath Basin and how to identify them, and went on an amazing field trip to the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in Eastern Oregon, where we went hiking, soaked in hot springs, and birded along the way. Botany was a great class because I had to build an herbarium, which is a collection of preserved plant specimens, which gave me the opportunity to go hiking in search of different flowers, and because we took a trip to the Redwoods and California coast that I will never forget! Both of these classes were amazing because of the enthusiasm and passion of the professors, and because it gave me a greater appreciation for the beauty of the Klamath Basin.  

Have you participated in any internships or externships during your time at Oregon Tech? Did you gain valuable experience from them?

I obtained an internship the summer of 2016 as a Plant Ecology Research Assistant. This internship was local and it involved monitoring a Federally Endangered plant species that can only be found in Klamath Falls, and helping build rainfall shelters for an International Drought Experiment. I gained valuable experience from this internship, it helped me get accustomed to working long hours in the summer heat and taught me skills for working in the field.     

Is there anything more that you would like to share with future students about campus, what you wish you knew before attending Oregon Tech or anything else?

You’re going to have to work hard, the standards are high, but it will be well worth it! 

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