Community Matters in Maine~Psi Upsilon Fellowship Descriptions

Project Descriptions Summer 2010

Please note that the projects described below are indicative of the types available for each organization. The descriptions are based upon what interns pursued over previous summers.

Students will be matched to a particular organization based on their interests and skills and the sponsoring organization's needs. Also please note that some of the fellowship placements may require the use of a vehicle.

2010 Sponsor Organizations:

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Town of Brunswick Department of Planning and Development
The Department of Planning and Development is responsible for a wide variety of municipal activities including comprehensive planning, economic development, development review, and historical district review.  The internship position will involve working with the Town of Brunswick's Natural Resource Planner on issues related to the planning and management of environmental resources in Brunswick.  As part of the fellowship, the student will be exposed to town-level Citizen Boards, regional conservation organizations, specific development projects in Brunswick, and the day-to-day workings of municipal government.  Potential projects

  • Develop a guide to publicly-accessible open space sites in Brunswick - Create a paper guide of the open space properties and their amenities. This may include mapping trails on the properties with GPS, and making recommendations for future trail connections.
  • Research, write content and make maps and photographs for the Conservation Commission website by researching environmental issues in Brunswick and developing content for out-of-date pages.
  • Provide support or the town's Sustainability Committee in the development of Brunswick's Climate Action plan

Some of the ongoing projects that the Fellow may be involved in are: assist with follow-up field visits and data management for the Brunswick vernal pool survey and participate in regional initiatives (e.g.  SRRRI; New Meadows Partnership; potential new Brunswick-Topsham trails group).

Note: In support of the student's work with the town's sustainability committee, the fellow who is placed may be eligible to attend a statewide Sustainability Training Institute that will take place on Feb. 27 and 28.  Any students interested in this fellowship should express their availability to attend this institute as part of the application process.

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Topsham Department of Planning and Development 
The internship position(s) will involve working with the Town of Topsham's Natural Resource/ Assistant Planner on natural resource inventories and working the Town's Conservation Commission, Tree Committee, and Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee. Topsham is a growing community where there exists the challenge of balancing growth and protecting valuable natural areas. This position will provide hands-on experience for students interested in municipal planning, conservation/ natural resource planning, and creative solutions used by towns to address growth pressures.  Possible projects include:

  • Open Space/Agricultural Lands Inventory. Research all Town owned parcels, conservation easements, and other protected areas in Town, and create GIS database. Continue agricultural inventory work, to create a GIS database of all working farms in Topsham (this will also entail research for local farmland preservation initiatives)
  • Trail Planning. Help the Conservation Commission in all trail planning efforts (to include mapping, as well as field work) including working the Town Planner on landowner relations as related to public access for future trails
  • Wildlife Corridor field surveying/ analysis  by developing a report on the conditions of potential wildlife corridors based upon field observations.
  • Assist in the Design and Development of Park Facilities and Interpretive Amenities
  • Provide support to the Town of Topsham's Sustainability Committee in the development of Topsham's community climate action plan.

Note: In support of the student's work with the town's sustainability committee, the fellow who is placed may be eligible to attend a statewide Sustainability Training Institute that will take place on Feb. 27 and 28.  Any students interested in this fellowship should express their availability to attend this institute as part of the application process.

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 Cultivating Community (based in Portland, carpooling may be arranged)
Cultivating Community is a community food project that runs urban and school gardens programs and an organic farm that grow produce that feeds hungry people in Cumberland County. The organization also runs programs that connect immigrant farmers with land, skills, and trainings so that they can grow for their own families' food security and for market. The summer fellow will work on a range of projects associated with these initiatives.  Projects include:

  • Help to coordinate special events.  Events include a series of Twilight Dinners (featuring our produce prepared by guest chefs) at our farm in Cape Elizabeth and the Boyd Street Bash, a block party type affair at our Boyd Street Urban Farm. The Fellow would be the point person on logistics and details for these events, supported by other staff and summer youth.
  • Help to develop a youth internship/liaison program that would youth with immigrant farmers participating in the farmers market by helping as translators,  and marketing staff
  • Conduct research on how to best assist low-include consumers in using federal nutrition benefits (including WIC, Food Stamps, and Senior Farm Share) to access local produce through farmers' markets or CSA distributions.

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 Brunswick Topsham Land Trust
Since 1985, the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has preserved more than 1,100 acres in the neighboring towns of Brunswick and Topsham in our effort to protect properties with true ecological, agricultural and aesthetic importance.  The fellow would work with land trust staff and board members to complete a strategic conservation plan, create management plans for our fee-owned preserves, and assist with the stewardship of our 17-miles of trails. Potential projects include

  • Synthesize existing data on habitat values, farmland values, connectedness to other conserved lands and trails, etc. into a strategic conservation plan for BTLT that will prioritize the conservation lands in the towns of Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin, ME.
  • Work with land trust board members, staff, and volunteers to create management plans for the BTLT's fee-owned properties.

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 City of Bath/Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (based in Bath)
This will be a joint position between these the City of Bath and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT).  KELT works to preserve the ecological integrity, water quality, working waterfront, and cultural resources of the lower Kennebec River watershed. The fellow will have the opportunity to learn about land protection and stewardship while performing hands-on work that makes a meaningful contribution to our region.   Bath Trails is a cooperative effort of the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, the City of Bath, and many biking, hiking, and walking enthusiasts. The fellow will be working for the Executive Director of KELT and the Bath's Planning Director on Bath Trails related projects. Possible projects include:

  • Develop a marketing strategy and online knowledge base for "The Kennebec Estuary: Restoration Challenges and Opportunities" a report synthesizes existing data and knowledge of the Kennebec Estuary. The fellow will be involved in the creation of an online version and development of marketing strategies to promote the report. (KELT)
  • Outreach and land stewardship programming including interviewing preserve users of Thorne Head Preserve, creating a comprehensive survey to solicit input from area residents on organizational priorities, conduct easement monitoring assessments, and draft a management plan on a current fee property for review by the KELT Land and Stewardship Committee. (KELT)
  • Assist in the developing a Bath Bike and Pedestrian Plan which involves inventorying the present conditions, facilities, and services pertaining to bicycle riding and walking nad working with the Bath Trails Bike and Pedestrian Subcommittee to set goals and strategies/actions. (Bath)

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 Natural Resources Council of Maine (based in Augusta, carpooling may be arranged)
NRCM is the state's leading environmental advocacy organization.  We have a broad range of major initiatives underway in the areas of addressing global warming, promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, curbing threats to Maine's North Woods, reducing threats from toxic pollution, and protecting water quality and Maine's rivers  NRCM is very involved in the following areas, and an intern would work in one or more of these topics:

  • Energy Efficiency Success Stories -- Working with energy efficiency professionals to document successful efforts (case studies) to reduce energy costs in Maine homes and businesses. Capturing real stories that will be used during the legislative process to build political support for energy efficiency.
  •  National Climate and/or National Toxics Policy Reform Campaign - Conducting research, outreach, and public education to help deliver support from Senators Snowe and Collins on federal climate and toxics policy reform legislation.
  •  Green Jobs Analysis - Interviewing businesses involved in construction of wind power projects, and delivery of energy efficiency services, to develop fuller assessment of the health and direction of Maine's green jobs sector.

Other areas that the fellow may be involved with include: federal climate legislation, clean energy and wind power, energy efficiency, Maine's north wood, watershed and fisheries restoration, toxics chemical policies.

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 Maine League of Conservation Voters (based in Augusta, carpooling may be arranged)
Independent and non-partisan, the Maine League of Conservation Voters has a 25-year history of making the environment a political priority.  The organization evaluates and endorses candidates running for office, helps our endorsees get elected, and holds our elected officials accountable for decisions that affect our environment. The fellow will help MLCV further its mission of making Maine's environment a priority by working on key projects and by increasing our overall capacity.  In 2010, Maine voters will elect a new governor and every senator and representative in the Legislature.  The fellow will have tremendous opportunities to advance our mission in the context of an extremely important election year. Potential projects include:

  • Development of the annual Environmental Scorecard - the only one of its kind for the environment - tracks the voting records of Maine legislators and reports the results to the public. 
  • Assist with research and in support of MLCV's third biennial Governor's Report Card on the Environment. This report provides key information about how Governor Baldacci and his Administration are performing. The fellow will help publish and release the report to the public and the media.
  • Help to coordinate MLCV's comprehensive candidate evaluation and endorsement program which will include working with the organization's board of directors to finalize endorsement decisions and helping to publicize these endorsements in legislative districts.

Other potential projects include helping to coordinate our annual and popular Evening for the Environment and working with our 25+ member coalition of environmental and conservation groups (Environmental Priorities Coalition) on nonpartisan educational activities for gubernatorial candidates;

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