Hello, my name is Max Calloway and I am a continuing MES student from New England. As an undergraduate I studied literature, journalism and politics. While working as a salmon fisherman and dog handler in interior Alaska, I realized I wanted to work in the environmental field. I have since taught ecological field methods to teens and worked for the forest and parks service for the past four years. Outside of work I enjoy surfing, snorkeling and diving. Anything that gets me in the water makes me happy. I also like to make food that incorporates shellfish and seaweed.
Having come from a humanities background, I felt as though hard science sometimes lacked the perspective and grounding that most folks require in order to fully connect and comprehend the impacts of scientific discourse and analysis. The evergreen program has offered me the freedom to pursue my own partnerships and build a unique project from the ground up while pushing me to consider unique perspectives and side projects. I am interested in nature writing, marine ecology and sustainable aquaculture. My thesis work involves assessing bull kelp - a native, floating, giant seaweed - response to changing environmental conditions. My favorite MES course has been Conserving and Restoring Biodiversity by Tim Quinn. This class sums up the MES program well. Tim, a trained ecologist, subtly injects the socio-political aspects of land-management by sneaking them into a graduate level course on conservation biology. While in the MES program I have worked with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund assisting on two kelp related projects. One project, on a commercial scale seaweed farm, seeks to quantify the impact of seaweed aquaculture on water chemistry, specifically pH, as a means to combat ocean acidification. The second project involved wild harvesting kelp spores to test out different restoration methods to find the most effective means for bull kelp restoration. I currently work for the Olympic National Park and I volunteer with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund and the Northwest Straits Commission.
The MES program has shown me that half the work is just expressing interest and showing up. I have learned so much about collaborative projects and planning as a direct result of the freedom the program affords. After the MES program I aspire to own a multi-trophic aquaculture farm growing seaweed, scallops and oysters on the North Olympic Peninsula or coastal Maine. I hope to continue to dive a bunch for my work and pleasure but mostly I just want to have enough time to go surf whenever the swell is good. The best advice I can give to MES students is to think about your thesis. I came to MES because I had a general idea of what my interests were but hadn't found a traditional master’s program that I felt passionate about committing to. This has helped me in so many ways. And if you're doing a field orch quantitative methods study you need to start setting up logistics from the get go.