Alumni - Ryan Kelly
He began his academic career at UMaine as an active duty Naval Officer and returned to the Fleet after graduation. An avid outdoorsman from an early age, Ryan chose EES because he wanted a scientific degree that would offer a wide range of career opportunities. “I can continue to take classes while on active duty to pursue a Master’s degree, I can enroll in the Navy’s oceanography program, or I can retire from the Navy in 10 years and begin a new career where I can utilize my training while still young,” explains Ryan.
Ryan particularly enjoyed his field-based courses. “Maine offers a unique landscape; the glacial history of Maine and the vast forested landscape provide a great place to study many aspects of environmental science,” he recalls. During his first semester he enrolled in BIO 205: Field Natural History of Maine which included a research project and field trips to Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park. WLE 423: Wetland Ecology and Conservation was one of his favorite courses for its focus on field learning methods and field experiments which could be applied to actual work in the field.
While Ryan admits he was “unmotivated” in high school, he flourished at UMaine, and found that the courses and instructors motivated him to excel. Ryan was the 2011 recipient of the Boyle Prize, an annual award given to the top student in EES.