Jeff Cedarbaum

Why Political Science?

When I started college I was not set on any particular major, I just took classes that seemed interesting, a number of which were political science. I have always been interested in both history and current events, and most interested in identifying the underlying causes. I ended up as a Politics/Philosophy/ Economics major, which seemed to me to cover the three main ways of understanding and effecting any particular event or group.  Political science forms an integral part of that understanding.

What area of political science interests you most?

I enjoy the theoretical side of political science most. It strikes me as a way to get at the true motivations and long-term drivers of political and social events, without being bogged down in the day-to-day functions and frustrations of government. I am also interested in applying theoretical work to environmental problems and policies. My favorite political science class was Contemporary Political Theory (PLSC 464), as it was discussion based and focused on developing ideas. I also enjoyed Environmental Politics (PLSC 420) and Managing Environmental Commons (PLSC 436).

What are you doing now?

I will work during the summer as a Wildland Fire Fighter for the Washington Department of Natural Resources. I will be on a 20-person hand crew based out of Okanogan County, and work on forest fires all over Washington and sometimes out of state as well. Since last October, I have been living on my savings from the summer, and focusing on spending time with friends, my girlfriend, back country skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking and traveling. After work this summer, I will head to the Utah desert for a month or so, and then begin the process of applying to graduate schools.