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Member Spotlight Monday: Becky Jones Mahlum

As OWAA celebrates its 90th birthday in 2017, we’re featuring one OWAA member per week in our “Member Spotlight Monday.” Today, we’re excited to put the spotlight on Becky Jones Mahlum!

  1. Where were you born?
    Fargo, grew up on a farm near Devils Lake, N.D. with lots of access to the outdoors and wildlife.  
  2. Where do you call home now?
    Bismarck, N.D.
  3. What’s your nickname?
    Becky. I don’t use my given name, Rebecca, much because my mother used to introduce me as, “…and this is our baby, Rebecca.”
  4. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
  5. What is your profession/connection with outdoors communication?
    I am a communications manager for Ducks Unlimited for the Great Plains Region. I spend my days writing about wetlands and how they benefit waterfowl, other wildlife and people.
  6. Why did you choose to become an outdoor communicator?
    I had friends who worked for Ducks Unlimited whom I respected. I knew it was a science-based organization, and I believed in their mission to protect and restore habitat.
  7. What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
    I am most satisfied when I get a chance to help people communicate about complicated subjects. I am also especially proud of a few documentaries I did while working for Prairie Public Television.
  8. What three words would your friends use to describe you?
    I would want them to describe me as wise, kind and brave. I also like to think I’m funny but my friends might disagree.
  9. What is the best piece of advice you have received as an outdoor communicator?
    Good writing is good writing. I have spent most of my career working as a journalist and was concerned about the transition to P.R.
  10. When you head for the Great Outdoors, what is the one thing you do not leave home without?
    My dog, if I can bring him along. For work, I always bring a camera and notebook.
  11. What would you do if you won the lottery?
    I would take care of my loved ones and then contribute to some cause I hold dear. Of course, there would be a Paris trip in there somewhere.
  12. Who do you most admire in your life and why?
    My husband who is struggling with Multiple Sclerosis. He keeps adjusting to the complications of this baffling disease.
  13. What was the last movie you saw?
    Moonlight. Hard to watch at times but a beautiful movie.
  14. What are your top three favorite books?
    Hard to pick favorites. Some of my favorite authors are John Irving, Louise Erdrich and Toni Morrison. I’m currently reading “The Little Paris Bookshop.”
  15. Can you juggle?
    I have wanted to learn to juggle all my life but am lacking in hand-eye coordination.
  16. What is your favorite dessert?
    M&Ms, especially when mixed in ice cream.
  17. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
    I would like the mind of a Benedict Cumberbatch-version of Sherlock Holmes, minus the insensitivity and ADD.
  18. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    Retired, I hope. Traveling and enjoying life but still writing.
  19. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
    Eleanor Roosevelt said a lot of great things. Here is one quote I like: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you will be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
  20. What do you like best about OWAA?
    I like that it is flexible and responsive to what its members are looking for in terms of training and outreach.

Thank you, Becky, for not only your answers to our questions, but also for being valued part of “The Voice of the Outdoors” for 9 years!

If you are an OWAA member and wish to be featured in a future Member Spotlight Monday, send your answers to the above questions and a photograph of yourself enjoying the outdoors (in JPG format sized for the web) to Brandon Shuler at

Not a member? Check us out at


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