By Elisa Sparkman, Administrative Assistant, Environmental Assessment Program
About a year ago, I was new to the Department of Ecology and new to state service. I have always been passionate about environmental issues and was thrilled to join an agency with a mission I strongly believe in. As an outdoor enthusiast who was born and raised in Western Washington, I feel a personal connection with our state’s natural beauty.
I have no background in environmental science, engineering, or policy — other than college level introduction to environmental studies and my own research out of personal curiosity. I wondered how I would fit into my new state role in providing administrative support to Ecology’s Environmental Assessment Program, a program full of scientists and engineers. The past year has been wonderful, full of working with fun, friendly and extremely intelligent people. I continually learn more about environmental issues and gain a better understanding of how government agencies function to support a strong and healthy Washington state.
I have a background in media production, so I got an opportunity to create a short, informational video about Ecology’s Manchester Environmental Laboratory.
This is Ecology’s full service environmental lab. It’s located on the Kitsap Peninsula in the beautiful town of Manchester. The facilities are right on the water, nestled among trees where it is common to spot sea lions, great blue herons, deer, coyotes, bald eagles, and other wildlife. It is such a gorgeous location — the perfect reminder of why the work we do at Ecology is so important.
In my visits to the lab, I was introduced to the staff, hard at work, performing scientific tests in their white lab coats and safety goggles. They greeted me with smiles and told me a little bit about what they were working on. It was really cool to connect certain lab analysis with projects I had worked with back at headquarters. I got a unique opportunity to sit down and interview Stuart Magoon, Ecology’s Manchester Lab Director. Stuart told me about how the lab functions and what role the lab plays within the agency. The scientific results yielded at the laboratory are the basis for Ecology decisions about areas of the state which need environmental attention.
I enjoyed learning about the lab and how significant its contributions are to the agency and to the state’s future.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video to see for yourself how the Manchester Environmental Lab supports Ecology’s mission.