Environmental Studies Environmental Fellowship Program

Environmental Studies Fellowship program places students who have an interest in pursuing an environmental career in stipended summer internships with Maine non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. The Environmental Studies Program coordinates the 10-week fellowships. The fellowship provides a $5,000 stipend. Fellows are eligible for on-campus housing, but the fellowship does not provide a housing stipend.

 Application Due Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at noon

Application materials and the names of host organizations will be available on January 16, 2018.

Students who participate in the Environmental Studies Fellowship Program are eligible for Bowdoin College's summer housing if the placement is in Maine.

Requirements: Preference is given to prospective ES Majors and current ES majors who have completed 2 or more ES core courses (ENVS1101, ENVS2201, ENVS2403, social science core course numbered ENVS 2300-2333). Preferences given to rising juniors and seniors and Environmental Studies majors. Students' academic record and financial need are important criteria, though students not receiving aid are eligible. 

Environmental Studies Fellows submit a report to the Fellowship Coordinator (the ES Program Manager) at the end of the fellowship. Fellows also present information on their experience at an end of the summer meeting to other fellows, faculty and staff, and representatives from host organizations. On-site supervisors also are asked to critique the experience. Payment is administered through Bowdoin.  Please note that fellows are expected to work 40 hours per week and cannot be employed by Bowdoin College in any other capacity during the fellowship.

Maine Based Project Descriptions Summer 2018

Please note that the projects described below are indicative of the types available for each organization. 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.

2018 Sponsor Organizations: 

Town of Brunswick Department of Planning and Development (Brunswick)

The Fellow will be an integrated member of Brunswick’s Department of Planning and Development staff tasked to complete one or two projects.  Tasks could include computer research, extensive field work using GPS equipment, GIS mapping in the areas of environmental/natural resource planning and/or community planning.  The Fellow will be invited to participate in meetings of various boards and commissions and will be expected to do primarily televised presentations at the completion of key project phases.  The Fellow will work closely with the Town of Brunswick staff on tasks associated with an extensive shoreline inventory of coastal bluffs using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) newest oblique imagery of Brunswick and field assessment, the development of Best Management Practices as a follow-up to the Mare Brook Watershed Assessment and Community Engagement Project, the development of ‘Living Shoreline’ pilot projects for coastal resilience, and field monitoring of Town-held conservation easements.  Other possible projects may include a photo inventory for use in developing design guidelines and standards for parts of Brunswick. 

 Potential projects include:

  • Shoreline inventory of bluffs, beaches and other coastal features. 
  • Assistance in the development of a Best Management Practices for stormwater management in the Mare Brook Watershed.
  • Continued stormwater infrastructure surveys and mapping as a follow-up activity of the Mare Brook Watershed Assessment. 
  • Assisting the Town Planner in conducting Town-held conservation easement monitoring visits using GPS equipment and completing follow-up GIS-mapping, report writing and televised presentation of reports to Conservation Commission.
  • Conducting a photographic inventory of existing structures in the Cooks Corner Area and Downtown Village Area for use in the development of design guidelines and standards as a follow-up to the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite


Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust

The BTLT Community Engagement Fellow will support the Land Trust’s diverse program work. He or she will play an active, on-the-ground role in planning for and implementing:

  • Community Garden programs including bringing garden education to low income youth, and engaging families to tend an educational garden;
  • Increasing the use of EBT (food stamp) benefits at our Saturday Farmers’ Market;
  • Actively maintaining and monitoring trails, and using social media to increase use;
  • Communications planning and engagement efforts for the Merrymeeting Food Council;
  • On-the-ground support for Merrymeeting Gleaning.


The Fellow will be introduced to the diverse ways that engaging community members with the natural world, local food system, and conservation can improve economic, environmental, and public health. The student will have the opportunity to work with diverse partners including municipalities, public health workers, and non-profits. This is an opportunity to get real skills and experience building a sustainable future.


 Coastal Enterprises Inc (Brunswick)

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is reinvigorating its commitment to environmental sustainability and will pursue activities that have demonstrative environmental impact. Part of our strategy is to reduce the environmental impact of CEI’s internal operations. CEI is taking steps to integrate environmental sustainability even further into its own operations. This process will inform staff at all levels of the organization and help to imprint the principles of sustainable development in its culture, while sharing the experience of businesses in having to make choices about environmental sustainability. 

We are seeking a fellow to assist with our internal environmental impact strategy. The fellow will conduct an environmental assessment of CEI’s operations, beginning with listening sessions, followed by baseline assessment of its environmental footprint. The fellow will also develop a tool for CEI to track its environmental footprint going forward and benchmark progress against. The fellow will report to CEI president, Keith Bisson. 

This project is part of a  new three-year strategic plan to grow environmentally-sustainable enterprises in Maine and Rural America.  We will target an increasing share of our financing towards “green” companies (businesses expanding energy efficiency, use of clean energy, sustainable farms and food companies, and marine and coastal resource enterprises) located in rural regions and small “gateway” cities undergoing economic transitions. 


 GrowSmart Maine (Gardiner, carpooling available)

GrowSmart Maine is a statewide non-profit organization with a mission to build lasting prosperity without sacrificing the unique quality of place that defines Maine. As our work brings us to the intersection of the community, the economy, and the environment, we cover topics as wide ranging as alternative/active transportation, downtown revitalization, preservation of wild spaces and farmland, climate change mitigation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, historic preservation and adaptive reuse, and more. 

The Summer Fellow will lead the effort to assess and analyze the complete food system for Gardiner, Maine with the goal of generating an educational brief on how Maine communities can encourage and support strong local food economies. Elements of a food system include production, processing, distribution, storage and retail. The Fellow will work with guidance and assistance from GrowSmart Maine and other partners such as Maine Farmland Trust, Gardiner Main Street, the City of Gardiner, local residents and business owners. Outcomes of the project will be an enhanced understanding of local, regional and statewide food systems and a shareable written resource for citizens, elected officials and municipal staff. 

Some work will need to be completed on-site in Gardiner and other elements of the project can be worked on remotely.


Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (MCFA)  

The Fishermen’s Association’s Summer 2018 fellow will work on developing oral histories, podcasts, and other story-telling products to tell the history and current state of Manie’s fishing industry and what we can do to ensure a sustainable future for the next generation. The fellow will begin by reviewing the past work from the Fishermen’s Association and the works of other organizations using storytelling to advance goals of advocacy, outreach and education. The fellow will then work with his/her advisor to develop a workplan based upon current events, the fellow’s interests and opportunities.

Based on the organization’s needs and current industry happenings, the fellow and advisor with develop a story arc for 3-5 podcasts. Each podcast will focus on a specific policy issue or identified area of the fishing industry (i.e.: personal story, industry highlight, community history). The Fishermen’s Association staff will connect the fellow with fishermen and members of the industry needed for each interview. There will need to be extensive research accomplished before the interviews to ensure a firm understanding of the issue and then the fellow will work with the advisor to develop questions.

The fellow will be responsible for interviewing and editing and producing each podcast throughout the summer and creating additional materials for each story including blogs, photos, and even videos if appropriate. Recorded podcasts that have not been uploaded during the Summer 2018 fellowship will be left with the advisor along with a timeline for distribution. The fellow will be allowed to find innovative ways to distribute podcast content (i.e.: social media, on-campus/off-campus events).


Maine Conservation Voters (Augusta, carpooling possible) 

Through this internship, the student has an opportunity to work at the intersection of democracy and the environment. This position offers the opportunity to learn about non-profit advocacy, coalition building, and understanding the Maine legislative process.  They will meet with state legislators, candidates for public office, environmental leaders, community members and conservationists, and increase his/her professional network. They will work to increase our field presence in the community through outreach, educational and community events. They will also be critical in the development of our primary member communication, our annual Environmental scorecard – the only one of its kind for the environment – which tracks the voting records of Maine legislators and reports the results to the public.


Natural Resource Council of Maine (Augusta, carpooling possible)

The Environmental Studies fellow will assist the organization on a broad range of environmental policy issues currently facing Maine and the nation. The position involves meaningful engagement and contributions with all aspects of a high-performing environmental policy non-profit.  Precise responsibilities will depend on strengths of the individual, and needs of the organization based on results of the 2018 legislative process and activities in the U.S. Congress.  Fellow will contribute to and learn from activities such as:

  • Policy Research for legislation dealing with water quality, renewable energy, climate change, land conservation, and waste management;
  • Issue Campaign Work including outreach to the public, writing materials in support of issue campaigns, mobilization of supporters; and
  • Advocacy Strategy including attending internal NRCM policy meetings, coalition strategy sessions, and advocacy events.

The fellow will work under the supervision of NRCM’s Advocacy Director, who works to ensure that the individual receives extensive opportunities to witness internal operations of NRCM and the environmental policy process. 


The Nature Conservancy (Brunswick) 

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a science-based international, nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of the lands and waters on which all life depends. TNC has been active in Maine for more than 60 years and, working with partners, is restoring rivers and streams, protecting fisheries in the Gulf of Maine, tackling climate change, and building on a legacy of conserving more than one million acres of land statewide.

The fellow position works directly with the External Affairs team in the Conservancy's Brunswick office to engage in state, federal and global policy matters as well as targeted and general communications and marketing efforts. In addition, the fellow will have ample opportunities to get outdoors and work with field scientists and land steward crews! Because TNC is a global organization, students with an interest in international work and those who speak languages in addition to English are encouraged to apply. Projects may include:

  • Assisting with research efforts and action steps related to policy issues of current strategic and relevant significance;
  • Developing and executing content for traditional marketing channels, earned media and social platforms;
  • Assisting with a project outside of the US, to be determined based on interest and language aptitude (working from Maine);
  • Working outdoors to maintain trails, monitor fish passage and/or on other science and stewardship initiatives as opportunities arise;
  • Potential for a GIS project for interested candidate.