Mandy Slate

Research graduate student, University of Montana

Field: Plant Ecology (how plants affect neighboring plants)

"I was not one of those people who knew what I wanted to do or be when I grew up. I started going to college for the first time the year I turned 30!"

Mandy Slate

My son inspired me to go to college. It was all-around challenging but the best decision for us both. Being a graduate student involves teaching classes and doing experiments. I drive all over Western Montana to visit field sites and monitor my experiments. I research how mosses can influence the plants around them by keeping the soils hydrated and at a stable temperature for longer time periods.

My favorite part of my job is working outside in beautiful Montana locations. This can also be the most difficult part, because so many critters like to eat plant seeds and seedlings.

Learning science is super cool. I get to ask questions and investigate things that are really interesting to me, which is a lot of fun. At the same time, I am doing something important.