Alumni - Misty Edgecomb
Misty Edgecomb, from Limestone, Maine, received a B.S. in Natural Resources (what is currently the EES program) with a focus on environmental law and policy from the University of Maine in 2000. Along with her B.S. degree, she also obtained a B.A. in journalism, which she used to report on environmental issues from 2000-2005. While at the University of Maine, she was active in the Student Organization for Natural Resources (Sonar), as well as an editor for the Maine Campus during her fourth year. Misty considered Field Natural History of Maine with Ron Davis as “one of the best useful courses [she's] ever taken, and as a reporter, [her] goal was always to get into the field and see what was really happening.”
Over the years, Misty has done a variety of environmental writing and reporting with employers including the Bangor Daily News and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. Throughout her experience, she has spent a lot of time at the state house in Augusta and has covered presidential events, but has also had the experience of kayaking with loon researchers, paddling the Allagash, and climbing Mt. Katahdin.
“Environmental writing is a dream job,” stated Misty. “It incorporates history, science, politics, and culture, as well as getting you access to some really cool places.” She credited the science and policy background at University of Maine for helping her to address issues in such depth. “Knowing how to access the right background information made me able to ask intelligent questions–it made me a better reporter.” Misty said she always saw herself as a translator, “explaining complex scientific and policy questions to those who didn’t have a background in the subjects, and trying to write the stories in such a ways that readers would share [her] fascination with the workings of the natural world.”
Misty won a national award from the Society of Environmental Journalists for a package on the science of climate change that came out in the Bangor Daily News in early 2006. She also won a fellowship to spend a summer term studying environmental law at Vermont Law School. She spent 2006 through 2008 living in Eugene, Oregon, where she completed a MA in journalism, focusing on long, narrative-style stories. After completing her MA, Misty spent a year in Seoul, South Korea, working on a nonfiction book about adoption during the Korean War, on a Fulbright research grant. Although it was a bit of a departure from her environmental writing, it was an important project for her personally.
After nearly a decade working as an environment reporter for daily newspapers, Misty now works as a senior media relations manager for The Nature Conservancy. Based in Boston, she works primarily in Maine and Massachusetts, raising the conservation group’s profile via social media, public events and press coverage. From filming an American Loggers episode in Northern Maine to coordinating an Earth Day celebration on Boston Common, to explaining fisheries policy to reporters, she uses the skills that she developed pursuing dual degrees in journalism and natural resources at UMaine every day.