Maeve Wivell, EES Ambassador

Why did you choose UMaine and the EES program?

The most important thing to me was that the school I went to had an environmental science or studies program that was flexible, and included economics and environmental policy. When I looked into UMaine’s EES program, I found the Sustainability, Environmental Policy, and Natural Resource Management concentration, and it looked perfect. I chose UMaine for the EES program, but I was also super excited to be somewhere surrounded by nature and filled with people who enjoy being outdoors.

Why did you choose your particular concentration?

I wanted to focus on environmental science primarily for my major, but my interests are mostly in environmental economics and policy. In my career I would like to advise on environmental policies, as well as work in economic development within environmental projects with someplace like USAID. I chose my concentration, and a double major in economics, to try to best prepare for the work I’d like to do. Luckily, EES is a really flexible program, and I’ve been able to fit in everything I wanted to study.

Best hands-on experience?

The best hands on experience I’ve had was as a volunteer with the SCA (Student Conservation Association). I spent a couple weeks in the Adirondacks rebuilding trails, and replacing a culvert with a wooden bridge. I had no idea trail management was so complicated, and required so much constant work and upkeep. I was really interested in how trail management affects the surrounding environment, and what I learned has definitely added to my experience as a hiker.

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

My two favorite things are cooking and reading. I love outdoor activities, but only warm weather ones like kayaking. I’m learning to make all sorts of foods from around the world, and overall I’m pretty confident in my abilities. When I have time, reading is my favorite way to relax. I work in a bookstore when I’m home, so I always have a fresh supply of books.

Any wisdom or advice for prospective EES students?

Time management is a hugely important skill in college, and also just generally in life. I’d tell new students that as you’re making your schedules, make sure you set aside time for your hobbies and things that are important to you. As you’re trying to keep up with school, work, making new friends, and trying new things it can be hard to remember to keep exercising, or journaling, or calling your family. It’s okay to slow down sometimes and be alone or go on a walk. Also don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the position or opportunity you wanted! If you keep trying, you’ll find something eventually.