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Meet Our Students - Emily Anderson

Emily AndersonWhy did you choose UMaine and the EES program?

When I was applying to colleges I was really looking to get out of my home state of Vermont, but I wanted to be close enough that, if needed, I could go home during shorter breaks. I had visited Maine once before and loved it, so UMaine seemed like a good place to apply. They also had a wide range of available programs and I was a bit uncertain of my chosen major. I made the decision to go to UMaine very last minute without even visiting the campus! They gave me very good financial aid and the program I had applied to was excellent. It still amazes me that I came so close to going somewhere else. I feel so at home here that I could not imagine going to school anywhere else! As for choosing the EES program, that is a fairly complicated story due to the fact that I have a vast array of interests. I came to UMaine as a civil engineering major, and then proceeded to switch to marine science and, from there, to wildlife ecology. That was all in my freshman year. I switched to the EES program in the fall of 2013 because I felt that the EES program better encompasses everything that I am interested in. It has been one of the best decisions I have made thus far!

Why did you choose your particular concentration?

Although fairly new to the program, I have already signed up for a concentration. I chose ecosystem ecology because I am very interested in studying the way that organisms interact with each other and their environments. I have always been interested in animals and plants, so when I saw this concentration I just knew that it was the right fit. I also read through the classes listed for this concentration in the syllabus and basically all of them looked interesting to me.

Best hands-on experience?

My hands-on experiences thus far have been very limited, due to the fact that I am very new to the program. However, the EES program offers many courses that do have a hands-on component and I am expecting to be taking more next semester. The EES program is also really good about notifying its students about educational programs outside of the department that may be of interest to them. Sometimes these programs and opportunities are through other schools, and other times they are through an organization. Many of these programs do involve gaining some sort of hands-on experience.

What do you do when you aren’t studying or attending classes?

I try to spend as much time outside and being active as possible. I run and bike a lot, and in the winter I cross-country ski. I also love outdoor activities, especially hiking and kayaking. I also do yoga, which helps me relax. I am involved in the Track Club and just started attending meetings for the Green Team, which I am really excited about! When I am not outside, I love to read and cook. I listen to a lot of music and really enjoy watching documentaries, especially nature ones!

Any words of wisdom for the incoming students?

My biggest piece of advice is do not be afraid to follow your passion. I know I would have arrived in the EES program much sooner if I had done so and had been honest with myself from the start about what I wanted. Get involved in clubs and groups that interest you, even though you may feel nervous or uncertain. I have found that getting involved is one of the best ways to meet people and discover your interests. Try something completely new that you have never done before and you may find that you really enjoy it! College is the time to find yourself, it may not always be easy, but trust your instincts and you will end up in the right place. Do not let your fear of failure hold you back from following your heart.

Any advice for prospective EES students?

Explore the different opportunities available to you. My favorite part about the EES program is how many different paths you can take with it. Until you figure out your concentration, try to take a variety of courses. You may find that you have really strong interests in a concentration that surprises you! Also, if you get an email through the department about a seminar or program that sounds cool, go for it! The more experiences you have outside of the classroom in your realm of EES interest, the better!

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