Maine is the least densely populated state east of the Mississippi river, which gives us a certain kind of environmental street cred on the otherwise jam-packed East Coast. Most of the state remains forested, a mixture of temperate broadleaf and mixed forest biomes that has given rise to a vital and thriving wildlife population throughout the North Woods.
But most of the humans of the state are much closer to our fascinating and varied seashore. The drowned coast offers a preview of sorts for the rest of the world as the oceans rise, and are a constant subject of study among students of geology, oceanography, and environmental science.
We've got our share of environmental oddities, too, headlined by Old Sow near Eastport, the world's largest tidal whirlpool. And Bubble Rock in Acadia National Park, a massive glacial erratic boulder, has told the story of the last Ice Age with surprising eloquence.
With Maine's excellent environmental science schools, these features and professional faculty combine to offer an outstanding education.
What Can I Do with an Environmental Science Degree in Maine
With our vast unpopulated wilderness areas, there are a variety of organizations, corporations, and governmental agencies who are always looking for environmental science professionals for ecological management purposes.
The Nation Park Service runs Acadia National Park, a coastal jewel in the system that encompasses both seashore and forest near Bar Harbor. The agency is also partly responsible for maintaining the Appalachian Trail, Katahdin, and Roosevelt Campobello.
Organizations such as the Biodiversity Research Institute employ researchers in the state, and the state itself has many openings for environmental specialists and scientists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, zoologists, wildlife biologists, and conservation scientists in the state all earn around $60,000 annually.
Master's in Environmental Science in Maine
In a seafaring state, it's not a surprise that some of the best environmental programs are oceanography and marine science related. And nowhere is that illustrated more clearly than in the University of New England's School of Marine Science, which offers an MS in Marine Science and a Professional Science Master's in Marine Food Systems. If you're in a particular rush to get through school and out into the real world, the MS is also offered as part of a 4+1 combined bachelor and master's program that can take care of everything on a fast five-year track.
But oceanography isn't the whole game here, which is why you should also appreciate the University of Maine's MS in Ecology and Biological Science. Available in both thesis and non-thesis tracks, you get experienced and enthusiastic faculty, modern research facilities, and excellent fieldwork opportunities all in one package.
Bachelor's in Environmental Science in Maine
You also have some terrific opportunities to study environmental science at the undergraduate level in Maine. The excellent and highly reputed Bowdoin College in tiny Bowdoin outside Portland has a bachelor's program in environmental studies that places special emphasis on student research participation. If wrestling bear cubs in the North Woods to implant tracking tags is your idea of hands-on education, Bowdoin definitely delivers.
But because it's Maine, you can't get away from the emphasis on oceanographic environmental studies. And here we have a unique venue in the form of the Maine Maritime Academy for your undergraduate studies in environmental science. More commonly viewed as an engineering and operations college, the school also incorporates the Corning School of Ocean Studies, which offers bachelor's tracks in either marine biology or marine science.
Situated right on gorgeous Penobscot Bay, you're guaranteed plenty of sea time here and lab conditions that are the ultimate reflection of real world work opportunities.