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Meet Our Students - Eileen Johnson

Eileen JohnsonWhat year and semester did you begin EES graduate studies?
Fall 2010

What degree are you pursuing?
Ph.D.

Who is your academic advisor?
Dr. Kathleen Bell

What prior degrees do you have?
Masters in Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; B.S. Cornell University; Graduate certificate in GIS, University of Colorado, Denver

Why did you choose to attend grad school at UMaine? Why did you choose EES? 
I am working as part of an SSI research project on river restoration based at Bowdoin, Bates and the University of Southern Maine.   Being able to roll my doctoral research into the project has been a rewarding experience. It’s given me a chance to develop connections with faculty and graduate students at UMaine.

Briefly describe your research project.
I am part of a research team based at Bowdoin College, Bates College and the University of Southern Maine that is investigating the impact of river restoration on community economies and implications for near shore fisheries in the Gulf of Maine.

What have been your favorite classes at UMaine so far?
As one of the SSI graduate students, taking the SSI seminar in my first semester was a great way to get exposure to the field and to get to know the other graduate students.  We were also very fortunate to have the chance to meet the late Elinor Ostrom who was a guest lecturer when she visited the University in the fall of 2010.  I also enjoyed the opportunity to take a class with Jim Acheson (SMS 553 Institutions and the Management of Common Pool Resources).

What has been your most rewarding research experience and why?
I have enjoyed conducting research on stakeholder engagement as part of our larger project.  I have enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with the many other faculty and graduate students who are examing the dimensions of knowledge-action systems within the overall SSI project.

What advice to do you have for prospective graduate students? 
Get to know other graduate students.  Developing a great network of other students has been really important and a really fun part of my experience.  As a commuter from southern Maine, it has been great to have the opportunity to carpool with students as well as meet for study and writing groups.

Are you interested in mentoring undergraduates?
As part of my position at Bowdoin College, I am able to work with UMaine undergraduates regularly.


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