As a local Rhode Islander, I decided to take advantage of the variety of URI’s liberal arts programs. With my major initially undeclared, I selected an introductory course to environmental economics that fulfilled a general education credit spot. At the end of fall semester sophomore year, I discovered a major that resonated with me. Resource Economics combined both my passion for the environment with practical applications to solve problems for a more sustainable future.
I enrolled in a balanced schedule of economics and environmental economics courses over the next few semesters. During junior year, I received an Energy Fellowship through the URI Energy Center and had the opportunity to engage in real, experiential learning projects and trainings. These experiences forced me to think beyond textbooks and appreciate the work necessary to take on problem solving in local, municipal settings.
Later, in my senior year, I particularly enjoyed a course rooted in sustainable trade, development and the environment. Having visited the remote and resource rich interior section of Guyana within the past year, this course provided me with unique insight in regards to the country’s future development. The course also engaged students with the professor’s concurrent research endeavors in Kenya in an innovative group project.
In the fall, I’ll be attending Oregon State University in pursuit of a master’s degree in the Agricultural and Resource Economics field. I look forward to the continual process of learning and hope one day to start a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the link between people and the world they live in.
My advice to anyone who is deciding which field of study fits them and their interests is this: if you’re interested in understanding our interactions with our natural resources and the environment, in a balance that combines both science and economics to provide pragmatic solutions to achieve harmony, you may find this major very appealing.