Community Matters in Maine - Psi Upsilon and Logan Fellowships

 2008 Projects

Nick Cohen - Town of Brunswick

cohenNick Cohen ’09 (Environmental Studies-Spanish) spent the summer working with the natural resource planner in the town of Brunswick’s planning and development office. Nick’s primary project involved researching, cataloguing, and visiting open space lands in town with the ultimate goal of displaying an interactive map on the town’s website. Nick also completed a variety of day-to-day tasks related to natural resources, working closely with the Conservation Commission and Lands for Brunswick’s Future Board.

“This fellowship provided me with invaluable environmental experience, both in the office and out in the field. Spending so much of my time outdoors enabled me to learn about Brunswick in a unique way. It was particularly rewarding to work on a project that will be useful to the people of Brunswick.”

Logan Fellow Kristen Gunther - The Nature Conservancy 

guntherKristen Gunther ’09 (English and Environmental Studies) spent her summer working for The Nature Conservancy in Maine (TNC). Her major project involved research on potential municipal responses of towns of the Kennebec Estuary to impacts of climate change, as well as an overview of state agency policy and legislation. Kristen assisted the stewardship department in monitoring at preserve locations ranging from Southern to Downeast Maine; conducted pre-engagement research for TNC’s recently-established Africa program; and co-wrote a proposal for a state-funded grant.

“I appreciate the practical perspective I was able to gain on the complicated and overlapping issues involved in conservation through the diversity of my work with TNC. Safeguarding natural resources and developing sustainable communities have just as much to do with the commitment, tenacity, and receptiveness of citizens and municipal officials as they do with policymaking at the state, national, or international level.”

Nat Herz - Town of Topsham

herzAt the town of Town of Topsham Planning Office, Nat Herz ’09 (Environmental Studies and History) worked closely with the Natural Resource Planner on projects intended to bolster conservation and recreation in Topsham. Through this work, he was able to absorb important lessons about the way that municipal government operates, as well as see some of Topsham's preserved natural areas. Two of Nat's major accomplishments were conducting an inventory of all of the properties owned by the town of Topsham, and creating a paper and online guide to paddling the town's waterways.

“Through my summer in the Planning Office, I got a close view of the day-to-day operations of one sector of the government—something that is often discussed and conceptualized in classes, but rarely experienced. I learned about some major threats our state faces in the form of sprawl and unplanned development, but also about some of the new, innovative methods of conservation that towns are now testing.”

Molly Masterton - Natural Resources Council of Maine 

mastertonDuring her summer with the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) , Molly Masterton ’10 (Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies) worked on several diverse projects. She was involved in negotiations with the Seattle-based landowner Plum Creek and a related preparations for an NRCM and Maine Audubon press conference. Molly assisted NRCM in creating their 50th anniversary video by working with the collections in the Maine State Museum and State Archives. She researched and analyzed the tax programs for wind power in Maine and other states and developed a summary of the economic benefits of wind power for use in future NRCM publications.

“Working with NRCM has made me feel more connected to my home state. Fostering that connection is what the organization is all about—empowering citizens by encouraging them to be active stewards of their environment. It has been exciting to work on issues like the Plum Creek controversy. I’m finally doing more than just hearing about them.”

Lily Morse - Maine Island Trail Association

morseLily Morse ’09 (Environmental Studies and Geology) worked with the Stewardship Manager at the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) on field and office projects. From Casco Bay to Passamaquoddy Bay, she helped with volunteer island clean-ups and assisted with island monitoring. Highlights included finding a full moose skeleton and a bag of gym students’ final exams on “ocean survival techniques”. As part of a team, she conducted site visits to discuss island ecosystem and recreational use management. At the MITA Portland office, Lily’s main project was to edit, update, and add information to each island description in the members’ guide. She also researched and added information on state parks and other public lands to make the guide more traveler-friendly.

“My internship at MITA perfectly combined my love of outdoor recreation, islands, and the environment. I learned the challenges and triumphs of working for an environmental non-profit and have been inspired to pursue this type of work in the future. Most of all, I had fun, and feel incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity.”

Jessica Sokolow- Maine Audubon

sokolowAs an intern for the Maine Audubon Society Jessica Sokolow ’09 (Environmental Studies and Romance Languages) began her summer at the Scarborough Salt Marsh leading school groups on educational walks. Throughout her internship she organized and led various family oriented programs offered to the public and served as a counselor at the Maine Audubon’s Day Camp. Jessica researched and mapped Bobolinks’ territories and Barn Swallow nests. This data on these two important bird species is the beginning of a long-term project that will look at the birds’ populations and nesting patterns over the years at the Gilsland Farm Sanctuary.

“As a fellow working for the Maine Audubon, I was able to gain a better understanding of the hard work and passion that goes into a non-profit. I also came to realize the coalescence between a variety of individuals, groups and organizations, which is necessary in order to have progress in a community. Exposure to a variety of experiences this summer has enabled me to think more clearly about how I hope to be involved in environmental studies after Bowdoin.”

Joanna Taatjes- Maine League of Conservation Voters 

taatjesWhile working at the Maine League of Conservation Voters (MLCV), Joanna Taatjes ’10 (Environmental Studies and Government & Legal Studies) worked on a wide range of projects relating to both voter and candidate education as well as preparing for the upcoming election. She helped put together a series of postcard mailings that were sent to candidates for the Maine State Legislature educating them on the issue of toxins in consumer products. Joanna also created MLCV’s new “Volunteers for Maine’s Environment” program which places volunteers with a strong interest in environmental issues into the campaigns of MLCV endorsed candidates.

“This experience allowed me to put into practice much of what I had learned in theory at Bowdoin. I was able to become completely involved in the work of MLCV and their mission. I learned a lot about politics and the environment in Maine, but I also learned about myself and my interests.”

Brooks Winner - City of Bath 

winnerBrooks Winner ’10 (Environmental Studies and Spanish) worked at both Bath City Hall and with the Sustainable Bowdoin office. In Bath he conducting a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the city, a project that was initiated by the environmental advocacy group Cool Bath, by collecting energy use data for the community and the municipal government and using a software program to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions. Brooks then worked with city officials to develop a “climate action plan” and presented his findings to the Bath City Council. For Sustainable Bowdoin, Brooks organized the Office ECO-Rep program, an initiative designed to bring together faculty and staff volunteers from all areas of the College to help spread environmental values and educate their coworkers about reducing their environmental impact.

“This fellowship was a great opportunity for me to work on a project about which I am passionate. I learned that local governments and organizations across the country are starting to take action against climate change. This work has provided me with great experiences that I will use for the rest of my time"

Read more about Brooks Winners fellowship on the Bowdoin College website.