Meet the Staff Mondays – Lauren Melink

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks who work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce Outdoor Idaho Producer Lauren Melink.

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres recently sat down with Lauren, the most recent addition to the Outdoor Idaho staff. Lauren says, “I plan and figure out how a show is going to work. We go out and shoot it. I do interviews and write it up and put it together, along with our editor and videographer.” Like many of us, Lauren isn’t native to Idaho, but came by way of a neighboring state. “I grew up in Washington, in a small town called Longview. I went to Gonzaga University in Spokane. I got a degree in Broadcasting and Journalism,” she says.

After that milestone, Lauren traveled for several years. “I backpacked through Central America; I lived in Australia; I backpacked through Southeast Asia. And then I got a job in news in Portland, Oregon, that sent me to the Philippines for six months. When I came back, I traveled around the country for a little while. And then I got a job in news in Bend, Oregon,” she says. After all that traveling, Lauren made the move to Idaho to work at Idaho Public Television.

Not only does Lauren like to be outdoors in her work life, when she’s off work she likes to be outside as well. Her hobbies are trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, and camping. She and her boyfriend just bought a pop-up camper to do some more traveling. Reading and writing are high on her list of activities, as well as art. She says, “I try to dabble in art sometimes, if I’m in the perfect mood.” But perhaps her favorite hobby of all is getting her hands a little dirty. “Gardening is a big one. I have a big vegetable plot, 16 feet by 16 feet. I’m growing all sorts of veggies right now. It’s a really nice hobby to have, because it feeds you,” she says.

Lauren is an avid trail runner. She got interested in it while living abroad. She says “When I lived in Australia, my friend and I read a book called, Born to Run, and we started going on longer runs, like 13, 14, 15 mile runs. Then when I lived in the Philippines, I became friends with some Filipino ultra runners, and they got me hooked on the sport.” Portland and Bend are known for great running trails and she says, “It’s nicer than running on the street. You’re not stopping at stoplights. It’s prettier. It’s just easier on your knees…you put on your shoes and go.”

Running the trails gives Lauren time to contemplate how to turn a phrase for the next Outdoor Idaho program. But it also does the opposite for her. “The Wildflowers show makes me more aware of wildflowers on my trail runs. The Women who Hunt show makes me more aware of people I see wearing packs, clearly training for hunting season. There’s a greater awareness when I’m outside because of Outdoor Idaho,” she explains.

When it’s time to reach for a snack, Lauren likes to keep it simple. “Peanut butter and banana. And cereal. I love cereal, as an after-dinner dessert,” she says. Oatmeal squares, granola and Cinnamon Life are some of the cereals that are in rotation right now. And when it comes to her favorite part of the state, it’s the northern part that she’s drawn to. She says, “I love Sandpoint. It’s just so green and I grew up with a lot of green, so it’s nice to go back to that kind of feeling.” Lauren lists the Sawtooths as another favorite part of the Gem State, as well as Elk City. “I had no idea it was so pretty out there. It’s just beautiful, beautiful country and I drove out at 5:30 in the morning and there were just three elk, multiple deer and turkeys…and fog over the river,” she adds. When it comes to her favorite PBS Kids characters, she remembers watching one show in particular. “I watched ‘Arthur’ a lot as a kid…I liked DW,” she remembers.

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