Bijou Macdonald

In all of the positions I have held post-graduation, I have used and depended on the problem solving and critical thinking skills I was able to hone at L&C.

Bijou Macdonald BA '21



Degree and Class Year

BA ’21


Broomfield, Colorado

Current City

Payson, Arizona






Admissions Fellow and Tour Guide, Biology Teaching Assistant, Paddle Club, Choir, Climbing Club, Intramurals

Overseas study

East Africa Biology Program (fall 2019)

Job Title, Organization

USFS Wildlife Technician, Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District


Animal Keeper at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Somaliland

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Collaborative, Caring, Green

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I was immediately drawn to Lewis & Clark by its natural beauty; it still astounds me to this day. I was also on the hunt for a smaller school that offered close relationships with professors and peers alike. When I visited on a tour, there was a strong sense of community and collaboration at L&C that was so warm and welcoming as I was sifting through a sea of colleges. The study abroad opportunities through the college were also integral in my decision process (lo and behold, I travelled to Tanzania in the fall of 2019 with one of our biology programs). The generous financial aid package I received from L&C sealed the deal!

What have you been doing since graduation?

Tons of things! Directly after graduation, I worked as an education intern at a zoo in Kansas. Someone there turned me on to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), and that’s where I applied for and secured my next job (also in the zookeeping vein). I ended up living in Somaliland for six months, working with CCF to care for cheetahs (and one leopard) that had been confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade. I came back to the U.S. once my contract ended, worked at a bakery in my hometown for a few months slinging sandwiches, and then got a job with the Forest Service as a seasonal wildlife technician. We hike and drive all over the place, surveying for endangered herps and birds. And that’s what I’ll be doing until December of 2023!

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your job?

In all of the positions I have held post-graduation, I have used and depended on the problem solving and critical thinking skills I was able to hone at L&C. I feel comfortable questioning the way things are done and using my own noggin to analyze situations and find solutions. I still don’t know what I want to do, exactly, but many wildlife/biologist positions I look at require experience working in remote or harsh areas, experience working independently, and the ability to comport yourself well in small teams. My time studying abroad in Tanzania prepared me very well for all of those things!

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

I think I am a much more cognizant individual—academically, professionally, and personally—than I was before attending L&C.

Why did you major in biology?

A biology major aligned with my interests and vague career aspirations. I took a few intro classes my first semester and really enjoyed the subject material and independent lab components. Honestly, if I were to do everything again, I think I would go for a double major in biology and world languages.

Why did you minor in chemistry?

I came in thinking I would minor in math, but then I took Calculus 3 my first semester and quickly reconsidered. Haha nope! I ended up taking Organic Chemistry with Professor Casey Jones as part of my biology major, and I absolutely loved it! After suffering through AP Chemistry in high school, I never thought I would major or minor in chemistry, but it turns out organic was more my jam, and Casey was an incredible professor! Truly, the teacher makes all the difference.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I get occasional email and Instagram updates, and I check in with professors every now and again.

How did you choose your study abroad program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience?

When I was looking at programs, there were two specifically for biology students: East Africa and Australia. My academic advisor, Professor Ken Clifton, was the leader of the East Africa program, and I remember being really excited about giraffes (whom I identify with, as a fellow slow, tall person), so I went for the East Africa one. I gained lifelong memories and friends on that program, and we all still keep in touch.

Biology Chemistry