Lend a Hand! By Jeff Skousen MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR Reclamation Matters Magazine, Issue 1, 2008 About a month ago, I received a copy of my me my first job in reclamation with the Utah alma mater’s alumni magazine and saw that Wildlife Resources, taught me the importance two of my favorite professors in range science of good experimental design and correct data were retiring. One of these professors had a gathering techniques, and he convinced me that particularly strong impact on my undergraduate I could do graduate work. Chris Call and experience so I wrote to congratulate him on James Coker helped me as I continued my his retirement. Among other things, I said graduate training at Texas A&M and as I “…for our assignment in your wildlife worked at Texas Utilities. John Sencindiver management class, I chose to observe pheasants gets my everlasting gratitude for his constant and document their habitat and behavior. At encouragement, much-needed advice, and the end of the semester, the report was written unwavering support when I arrived at West and you gave me an A. You wrote a note on Virginia University. Much of what I know my report saying the data were very interesting started with John’s mentorship of a young and and encouraged me to prepare an article to very inexperienced faculty member. submit to a journal. I took your comment seriously. I prepared a manuscript and, with a I suspect each of you have had similar mentors lot of help from my advisor and the journal in your life in a variety of settings. Some were editor, the article was eventually accepted and coaches of sports teams who gave you an my first journal article was published in optimistic “can do” attitude, some were 1982...” religious leaders that helped you gain perspective on life’s meanings, some may have As I reflected on Jerran Flinders’ been family members or good friends who encouragement, I realized that many other came to your aid during personal trials, and individuals at various stages in my life had some showed you the way when you needed it significant effects on me. Jim Davis, who gave most. Some of our deepest friendships and enduring relationships were forged by someone As I get older, I find myself wondering about extending comfort, guidance and service at my legacy and the contributions I have made to pivotal periods. society. The good work I have tried to do will not survive me by very long unless I pass it on. Recognizing these dramatic and life-changing But remember, mentoring is a two-way influences that people have had in our lives, all process; a cross-pollination takes place between of us should seek to do the same for others. mentors and apprentices, especially when we The challenge is to recognize those who are in both listen carefully to questions and share need and to lend a hand even when we do not ideas. feel we can spare the time. Each of us has expertise and knowledge that others need or So I encourage you to share your knowledge want. By mentoring others, we can in a small and experience with others, especially the way repay all those who have done the same younger people, because your influence or your for us. action might make the difference!