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University of Rhode Island — Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
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Josh Wurdeman
URI Student Profile

My time at the University of Rhode Island did not begin in the typical fashion. I had previously attended college immediately after graduating high school, and soon found myself disinterested in my studies. After a few short semesters I dropped out, all the while promising myself to return to college by the age of 25.

The spring before my 25th birthday I applied to URI and was accepted for the fall semester of 2009. I entered as a transfer student enrolled for an undergraduate degree in geology. My first semester I registered for a class taught by Professor Christopher Anderson: Introduction to Resource Economics (EEC105). I knew within the first month that this discipline was something I had not encountered before. The subject matter seemed to reach out to me, and I found myself instantly engrossed in the ideals and practices taught by the department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. This discipline corresponded to my principles and passions for the natural world, our available resources, and the method by which we use these resources. I was instantly attracted to practical and applicable aspects of natural science, policy and economics involved in the use of our resources, one of the most controversial and significant areas of concern in today’s global community. Halfway through this first semester I changed my major to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.

I later applied for, and was accepted to, the Energy Fellowship offered through the Kathleen M. Malone Outreach Center. The fellowship falls in line with my areas of study and provides invaluable experience in the applicable aspects of my field of study. Also, a number of my peers from class are also Energy Fellows.

I count myself lucky in finding a path through College with the ENRE department. I am learning invaluable knowledge about resource allocation and economic incentives that are in high demand nationally and internationally. I have already made a number of professional contacts involved in energy management and distribution. As a driven student, there are a number of professors within the department that continue to push me and work for my further advancement, including applications and letters of recommendations to graduate programs within Harvard Business School and Columbia University.

If you have similar ideals and principles regarding the sustainable and responsible use of our limited natural resources then ENRE is something to strongly consider. The interdisciplinary aspects of this discipline span the gulf between policy, economics and environmental sciences. There is a wide array of fields that this department can prepare young minds for in order to begin addressing the challenges that our world faces today, and in the future.