On Friday, Oct. 13, second-year David Holmberg sat outside on the mall enjoying the weather. Holmberg is studying wildlife ecology here at the University of Maine with a minor in botany. This won’t be his first degree though. He previously earned two degrees from the University of Cincinnati in education and history.
“I decided I was not going to be a teacher. It’s for some people not for others. That and there’s no job market for history teachers,” Holmberg said.
After graduating he went into the military and spent four years in the Marines before getting out and searching for a school, landing on UMaine.
“Basically, I liked the area, I moved from out of state. It’s one of the few programs that I saw that actually had wildlife ecology, so it’s kind of why I chose Maine,” Holmberg said.
Being from out of state is a slight understatement, as Holmberg has moved around throughout his life. He is most recently from Michigan, but he has also spent time in North Carolina, Ohio, New York and California.
Holmberg calls himself a junior with plans to graduate next year, despite only having spent two years here at UMaine.
“I might have to take an extra semester, just because of class loads and not being able to get everything when I need to. Especially with my schedule I have to mix and match different years.”
Being a nontraditional student, when he came here his first year he took a senior-level course. He had most of his general education requirements done when he came here from his other programs, so it was mostly just focusing on the biology classes.
“On my first go-through, I actually didn’t really study that much and I started forming study groups here and just actually studying more now, which was something I lacked in my first time.”
Having come from history and education, Holmberg has had to learn many things that were not part of his previous educational experience.
“It’s a complete shift from history and education to Biology now, so learning all the new terminology, it’s like a whole new language pretty much. But it’s fun, I enjoy it.”
“I’ve taken a couple field courses…Since this is my second year here, I’ll have all the prerequisites to take [the May term field placement] this year,” Holmberg said.
This will be his first big field placement, but he has done some volunteering in the field with different professors and graduate students.
After graduating with this degree he plans to go into the field and work. He is not picky about where he will work, but he does have an idea of what it will look like.
“Ideally I just want to work out in the field focusing on invasive species, habitat rehabilitation, reconstruction, stuff like that…Ideally I’d like an international job, moving around from place to place, but Maine wouldn’t be too bad of a place to live either.”
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