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Amazing Student: Chandler Lipham

Expected graduation: May 2016

Degree: BSFR in Water and Soil Resources

University/Warnell highlights, achievements and awards:
Last week, I traveled to Murray, KY, as part of the UGA Soil Judging team to compete in the Southeastern Soil Judging Image removed.competition, where students across the region gather to classify and learn about the local soils. UGA placed 4th! This means we get to travel to nationals in early April. The weather was perfect, the people were so much fun, and the experience was yet another reminder that soil can always surprise you, there is never a promised result, and why I love my major. 

This year, I am the secretary for the American Water Resources Association, which is a lot of fun because I get to interact with graduate students, go on stream walks, participate in river cleanups, and have random discussions with Dr. Rasmussen. I am also a member of Xi Sigma Pi. The past two years I participated in Forestry Conclave, where I competed in Women’s Crosscut, placing 2nd in the event and UGA placing 3rd overall. Conclave was my first real experience with the Warnell family and only encouraged me to become more involved. It’s also where I fell in love with my soon to be husband, so that’s an added bonus!

Hometown: Carrollton, GA

High School: Oak Mountain Academy

Current Employment: 
I just concluded my summer internship with TRC Environmental Corporation, a firm that does consulting work for infrastructure, wastewater management, and natural gas pipelines. I learned so much this summer in the consulting world about permitting and licensing, policy, and environmental business. 

I chose to attend Warnell because... 
I came from a very small high school and was used to getting to know my professors and having people invest in me. That’s exactly what Warnell is about: creating professional relationships that develop due to our love for the land and our hopeful innovations for conserving natural resources. My cousin majored in Wildlife here and had nothing but good things to say. I knew that Warnell was the right fit for me!

My favorite places on campus are: 
I have moments where I am walking from Warnell to the Science Library and pass over the leaf prints in the sidewalk and I just get a little buzz of excitement, no matter what my day has been like, good or bad, and am so thankful that I am lucky enough to be happy in my major and looking forward to what my future could look like in natural resources. My favorite place on campus is the basement of the Main Library where all the old soil maps, aerial photos, and railroad maps are kept. It’s a secret little haven of treasures. 

When I have free time, I like... 
Grabbing coffee with my sister. She just moved to Athens as a freshman and I’ve enjoyed getting to hang out with her and try to convince her to be in Warnell! She is currently in Ag, so I’ll see what I can do.

The craziest thing I've done is...
I’m not very crazy or spontaneous. I have a very down to earth (literally) personality, so teaching myself guitar was fun, challenging, and outside my comfort zone.

My favorite place to study is...
Science library on cold days, outside the creamery on warm days.

My favorite professor is...
I have had great interactions with all of my professors; however, getting to know Dr. Miller has been a goal of mine since Day One of 3060, and I think it has finally happened. Dr. Miller is now someone I can go to with questions and ideas to mull over. I usually get an answer that is too honest, but one that will advance me to the next level of thinking.

The best class I’ve taken in Warnell is…
Forest hydrology was a crash course on all things water. Dr. Jackson has not only been an amazing teacher, but a great advisor and mentor also.

If I knew I could not fail, I would...
Be a writer. Grammar is probably my favorite thing besides eating raw cookie dough. When people ask me to edit their papers, I receive it as an early Christmas present. 

If money was not a consideration, I would love to...
Move out west and be a ski bum.

After graduation, I plan to...
I am definitely moving to Virginia, and just applied to grad school there to study something along the lines of hydropedology or forest ecosystem productivity…so fingers crossed.

The one Warnell experience I will always remember will be...
Last April, Dr. Morris and Dr. Miller took the Forest Soil Management and the Pedology classes on an overnight field trip: no plans, no directions. We made several stops from Athens to Savannah, looking at kaolin mines, road cuts, marshes, farms, and forests. The trip was a low stress learning experience and so much fun to hang out with people who are genuinely interested in the same things as I am, and just as willing to jump into pits and get a little muddy. 

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