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Alumni - Jennifer Jespersen, M.S. 2005

Jennifer JespersenWhat attracted you to the EES program at UMaine?
In 2003 I left sunny Lake Tahoe, California to start a graduate degree in Ecology & Environmental Science (EES) back in my native state of Maine. I knew that I wanted to live, work and raise a family in Maine, so UMaine was a clear choice for building professional relationships with scientists in the natural resource field. With a passion for soils and water resources, my graduate project fit the bill perfectly, studying soils in a small estuarine bay on the Maine coast, and understanding the role that soils play in mediating the effects of climate change, and the effect that human activities have on sedimentation.

What did you like most about EES? How has your experience at UMaine helped you in your career?
What I liked best about the EES program was the high-level of teaching, and the flexibility within the course catalog. Having spent several years working in the field before graduate school, I was aware of the disconnect between cutting-edge science and dissemination of information to the public. It was my hope that one day I would help bridge that gap by providing easy to understand science to help drive important public policy decisions. It was this balance between hard science such as fluvial geomorphology and coastal sedimentology, and courses in public policy that I believe helped prepare me for a job in 2005 as an environmental consultant working with federal, state, municipal and non-profit clients.

What are you doing now?
As a Senior Project Manager at FB Environmental Associates in Portland, Maine, I work daily to inform the public about the health of their local lakes, streams and other natural resources. As a result of my experience at UMaine, I’ve been able to “bridge the gap” by assisting the public with watershed management planning, development of municipal ordinances to protect water resources, and implementation of on-the-ground water quality improvements .I chose the University of Maine’s EES program because I wanted to return to my home state and work on issue’s facing Maine’s natural resources. 

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