New Employee Spotlight – Mary Starr

We’d like to take a moment and recognize our newest employees to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.
Starr, Mary
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the Natural Resources Coordinator. I graduated with 3 Natural Resources (Forestry, Water Quality, and Park Management) AAS degrees from Green River. I have worked for the College part-time on a Woodland Detention project since fall of 2011. I provide nature walks, introduce pre-kindergarteners to the forest, collect data, and write annual monitoring reports for local, state, federal, and tribal agency review.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Working part-time at Green River College for over the past 4 years, I have acquired a deep respect for nature found both on our urban campus and in our back yard forest. I was also drawn to the positive working atmosphere in the Facilities Department and the support I have received from the Business Affairs.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I started working when I was 14 years old at Burger King with a work permit because I was so young.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I get to go outside look at the trees, hear the birds, and monitor the forested storm water Woodland Detention Facility, which includes Gator Pond.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to write a comprehensive urban forestry plan focusing on the main campus. I would like to reach out to the campus community and start the conversation regarding the current state of ecosystem health found on campus and in the Woodland Detention study site.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

  • Continuously accomplishing building a great life with my Husband.
  • Putting off my career to raise my 4 children.
  • While taking care of a family of 6, I have completed 3 degrees along with further study at the University of Washington. In addition, I am working on completing the last few remaining credits of my Natural Resources undergrad degree at Oregon State University. 

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I have been called Pollyanna at the office due to my sunshine personality.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I have trained my bloodhound Sara to do tricks other than searching for lost things.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?

Green is the beauty I see on a dew drop resting on conifer needles.
Ready to serve my community and take pride in the stewardship of our beautiful forest.
Energy that is renewed by nature every day.
Education for the general community, disabled or nontraditional persons who may not   otherwise get a chance to walk in a forest.
Nitrogen fixers are plants that draw nitrogen from the air and return it to the soil, which helps other plants grow.

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