Williams-Mystic Spring 1997
Hamilton College ’98: Biology major
Most memorable Williams-Mystic research project:
“Teaming up with Amy Gilbert on a Marine Ecology project in the Mystic River (yes, we studied worms, but we had fun doing it!).”
“Williams-Mystic took a subject that I love – the sea – deconstructed it through in-depth study of ecology, history, policy, and literature, and reconstructed it in ways I could not have imagined. We lived every aspect of what we learned. Never before had I had such intense study that connected me to the past and current issues of our watery world.”
Hilary Smith is the Invasive Species Coordinator at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Hilary guides and coordinates Department-wide invasive species strategic action plans, policy initiatives, and working groups. She works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management, among many other Bureaus and Offices within the Department of the Interior. She also serves as the Policy Liaison to the National Invasive Species Council, a body to promote coordination among federal agencies on invasive species issues and activities.
“I really enjoy working at the national, and federal, level and find it incredibly rewarding. My job enables me to work on diverse, challenging issues with great colleagues and partner organizations to help protect some of the most treasured places in the United States.“
BETWEEN THEN AND NOW:
Hilary spent time as an Environmental Educator at the Pacific Science Center, Seattle Aquarium, and Schooner SoundWaters. She went on to earn an M.S. in Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy at SUNY Albany. She worked for the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program of The Nature Conservancy for 12 years before joining the Department of the Interior.
HOW DID WILLIAMS-MYSTIC HELP YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
“Little did I know then that I would dedicate my career to helping to protect our native flora and fauna from the harms of invasive species. I had the honor and privilege of learning from the great Dr. Jim Carlton, world-renowned invasion ecologist. Most importantly, I met my husband, Todd (also an S97 student), at Williams-Mystic. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”
“Williams-Mystic is unique for so many reasons that it’s hard to identify one thing:
- the time – the time in our lives as college students that we spend there, and the history of time that we study;
- the places – living and breathing the Seaport and field seminars;
- the approach – experiential learning at its best;
- and, the people – deeply passionate faculty, staff, and students making memories that last a lifetime.”