James Lamkin (Street Articles Author)

Worked in IT for 10 years mostly on Help Desk. Have been a railroader for the last 5 years, it is a good job with good pay, good benefits and a good retirement plan.

I graduated from college with a BA in Biology, planning to enter into the Medical Technology Field. This work would have been in a hospital lab, testing samples from hospital patients. When I finished my degree, the Med Tech field was pretty much filled up and I found out I probably would not even get an internship (which was required to complete the college program) at a hospital. So I decided to just complete my last year and get the Bachelor of Arts degree.

I had a great interest in environmental problems at the time and went on to get a MS in Environmental Science. After which I worked at the University for a few years in the Environmental Training Facility. I moved on to work in an Environmental Lab and started testing PCBs (Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls) in oil and soil. These were commonly found in electric transformers (like the ones you see on the utility poles not in the movies!). Power companys have now removed (or should have removed) these from service. PCBs were known to cause cancer and were a problem when transformers blew up, they contaminated the surrounding soil and ground water. I later started to analyze drinking water and groundwater on an instrument called a Mass Spectrometer (made by Hewlett Packard) which basically blasts the concentrated sample apart and breaks it down into a "spectra" so the computer generated report will show what contaminants are present. This led me to my IT job and as the IT industry dried up and decided to join the railroad.

Bakken Shale Oil Boom for Railroads
Shale Oil What is it? Shale Oil is oil that was known to exist in shale deposits of North Dakota and Canada, but considered too expensive to extract and refine. But with the price of oil at all time highs, Shale Oil has become liquid gold. Large deposits have been…
By:  in  News and Society  >  Energy   Oct 10, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Getting A Railroad Job
Have you ever thought about working for the railroad? I did, and in 2003 I decided to submit my application to several different railroads. Getting a job with a railroad can be a daunting task. They can hire you on your first attempt or it can take several years to…
By:  in  Business  >  Careers Employment   Oct 10, 2012  
  Likes: 3

Experiences With Raising Huskies
Siberian Husky Raising and training a Husky can be a very frustrating experience. After having three of them, two pure bred and a Husky Shepard mix, the days of running and finding runaways seems like yesterday. Huskies are very loyal but independant dogs. They require a lot of space and…
By:  in  Pets  >  Dogs   Oct 08, 2012  
  Likes: 0