Margaret Golden joined the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) this year as an hourly employee working with the Watershed Science and Groundwater sections.
Margaret recently answered a few questions about her role.
In one sentence, what do you do?
I work on fieldwork operations in the Watershed section and help with communications in the Groundwater section. Additionally, I feel fortunate to have a broad range of experiences working at the Water Survey.
How does your work at the Water Survey impact Illinois?
My work with the Groundwater section helps water professionals across Illinois and across the country. My fieldwork helps gather data about water quality in central Illinois.
What is your educational background/area(s) of expertise?
I studied environmental science and global studies at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. I like the physical and technical aspects of fieldwork but I also like the writing and research skills I get to use in my communications work.
What is the best part of your job at the Water Survey?
I love that I get to be outside when I do fieldwork.
What work/project/outcome are you most proud of?
I am most proud to have worked on the Vibracore sampling project with Kip Stevenson last fall. The project was thrilling and challenging because it required a lot of manual labor and hand-eye coordination using power tools, all while on a moving boat. I had never done anything like that before, so completing the third day of sampling felt very rewarding. I felt a lot stronger and more capable afterward.
What are common misconceptions about your field?
Even though it's 2021, I, unfortunately, think it's still all too common for people to think that women can't or shouldn't be scientists or work in the field.
How old were you when you first became interested in science? What sparked your interest?
I have been interested in the environment and the natural world for as long as I can remember. I was especially interested in chemistry in high school.
What else would you like to share about your work at the Water Survey?
The Water Survey is full of many wonderful people who are willing to help you grow and learn. I have already learned so much from working with my team.