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.

 *Application Due Date: Check back for 2018 deadlines

Click here to apply for a fellowship.

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 2017

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.

2017 Sponsor Organizations (Please check back for 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 for the Shoreline Stabilization Task Force, the development of a Best Management Practices Manual as a follow-up to the Mare Brook Watershed Assessment and Community Engagement Project, 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 features for use by the Town’s Shoreline Stabilization Task Force. 
  • Assistance in the development of a Best Management Practices for stormwater management in the Mare Brook Watershed for use by developers.
  • Conducting 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. 

 Coastal Enterprises Inc (Brunswick)

Project Description – Create an inventory of resources in Maine and elsewhere to help companies be more sustainable as well as tools nationally that are used to assist and/or measure enterprise sustainability. The intern would create a resource guide for internal staff as well as external clients. The student will interact with all areas of the organization and will have an opportunity to produce written products and present to the CEI senior management team and entire staff.

How this ties into CEI’s mission -- Environmental sustainability is a key part of CEI’s Triple Bottom Line to lending and investing. We are seeking ways to be more intentional about how we support clients with their own environmental sustainability. The project will give the student an opportunity to help CEI advance its practice for helping companies be more environmentally sustainable.

Requisite skills/major – Environmental studies, biology, ecology or other earth/life sciences with a keen interest in environmental sustainability. Strong research, communication (verbal and written) , works well independently and as a team, curious, self-starter, likes talking to and engaging with people. 


  Merrymeeting Food Council (MFC) in partnership with the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (MCFA) and the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust

The MFCA/MFC intern will begin by speaking with the Portland Fish Exchange and other pertinent advisors to map where fish from Maine go once landed and sold at auction. The primary focus will be on Plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides) and Pollock (Pollachius spp.). The final product of this research will be an infographic useful for both MCFA and MFC.

With this effort complete, the intern will begin researching potential alternative uses for fish product and bycatch by connecting with people within the fishing, farming, food processing, biomedical, seafood-based fertilizer, and possibly other industries for resource information and data. The intern will start by seeking any and all known uses for bycatch and/or underutilized or low-profit fish species or fish components both within Maine, as well as nationally and abroad. These uses could range from proposed, to active, large-scale efforts. He or she will then work to develop a pseudo-cost benefit analysis, considering the range of costs and benefits (social, economic, and environmental) as well as possible hurdles for implementation of each or most of the potential uses. An end of internship report on various alternative uses of fish product will be provided by the intern, ultimately listing his or her top five uses and why they are of benefit to Maine fishing and farming industries, and the local food system overall.

If time provides, we will also be working with the intern to complete a model or strategy other food councils can use to incorporate seafood into their mission and work. This will not be applicable to all councils, but of use to many in coastal communities with access to fishermen and seafood, especially as it pertains to the work completed in this project.


Maine Migrant Health Program (Augusta, carpooling possible) 

The Maine Mobile Health Program (MMHP) is a unique safety net provider in Maine, providing mobile medical care to seasonal farmworkers throughout the State of Maine. These workers are one of the country’s most underserved and invisible populations facing barriers to health care including limited transportation, poverty and lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. MMHP provides services in the evenings on-site in migrant housing areas. In addition MMHP provides care coordination to patients including medical interpretation, transportation and navigation. 

An intern in the program will support field staff who provide Spanish and Creole language assistance in medical settings to patients in Washington, Aroostook and Hancock Counties. The intern will also work in the Augusta office providing project support for research including data gathering, analysis and writing up results. The fellow will also spend time in the patient setting assisting staff at the Rakers Center and in the mobile medical units during the summer harvest season in Aroostook, Hancock and Washington Counties.

The busiest season for MMHP is August, so the fellow will need to provide services during the majority of August. A late start to the internship is requested.  A valid driving license is required. Travel to Augusta 3-4 days a week is required. The intern will be asked to stay in Washington County with other team members (including other college interns and part-time summer staff) in a modest shared house for 2-4 days at a time mid-week during the month of August.

Qualifications and criteria:

  • Spanish or Creole language ability at a high level is required.  Those interviewed will undergo a language screen to assess ability to work with patients in a clinical setting prior to receiving an internship offer. 
  • Transportation to Augusta must be arranged by the student, but transportation from Augusta to service sites will be provided by MMHP.

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 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;
  • Assisting with a targeted outreach effort to promote the benefits of free-flowing streams and garner support for connectivity projects; 
  • 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. 

 Stantec - an environmental consulting firm (Topsham)

Stantec’s Environmental Services group is dedicated to managing environmental issues professionally and proactively and includes specialists in wildlife biology, wetland science, botany, habitat restoration, permitting, GIS, and Information Management. We focus on collecting accurate field data following scientifically defensible protocols and helping our clients navigate the constantly changing landscape of environmental regulations and policies. The Stantec Summer Intern, based in our Topsham, Maine office, will support staff in the office and field and will be involved in a variety of tasks that may include wetland characterizations, wildlife assessments at wind projects, endangered species surveys, literature review, data management, and technical writing. We are seeking talented and enthusiastic individuals with a keen interest in the natural sciences and an appreciation for the importance of quality fieldwork and attention to detail. The internship will be office based but may include periods of remote fieldwork, for which transportation and lodging would be provided.


Town of Topsham (Topsham) 

The fellowship position(s) will involve working with the Town of Topsham’s Assistant Planner, Planning Director, and Economic Development Director on GIS mapping (natural resource inventories), pedestrian and bicycle facility inventory and assessments, grant writing and project management. The fellow will also work with local citizens from the Town's Conservation Commission, Tree Committee, Comprehensive Plan Committee, Historic District Commission, and Economic Development Committee. Topsham is a growing community where there exists the challenge of balancing growth, enhancing public facilities in the developed area, and protecting valuable natural areas. This position will provide hands-on experience for students interested in municipal planning, conservation/ natural resource planning, economic development and creative solutions used by towns to address growth pressures.

The Topsham Planning Office strives to have our fellows develop planning career skills to serve them in their future endeavors. Much time is spent in the field, as well as learning or advancing their GIS mapping skills. The other aspect to this fellowship is working with local citizens largely revolving around the community sustainability theme. The fellow will have the opportunity to present their work in front of public audiences.

Planning Department Internship Project Possibilities:
- GIS Analysis/ Mapping projects (suited toward fellows interest)-
  • Develop/ enhance existing bike/ ped mapping inventories;
  • Update Town open space mapping;
  • Update street tree inventory;
  • Develop maps for comprehensive planning efforts (patterns of growth mapping and analysis)
 - Assist in the Design and Development of Public Facilities and Interpretive Amenities-
  • Bike rack sponsorship program development and implementation;
  • Transportation planning;
  • Watershed Planning;
  • Head of Tide park Sign Implementation;
  • Historic District Signage assistance
 - Assist Conservation Commission efforts-
  • Trail mapping;
  • Town Property inventory updates;
  • Conservation Easement Monitoring;
  - Urban Impaired Stream Watershed Planning –
  • Assist in implementation efforts occurring in Summer 2017
 - Research municipal initiatives regarding sustainability/ resiliency-
  • Sea Level Rise mapping;
  • Solar/ alternative energy implementation
 - Inventory of public roadways and paper streets

There are exciting projects that involve utilizing GIS on a daily basis here in Topsham. There is ample opportunity for field work to collect data, and we always strive to have the fellows collaborate on regional projects of interest. The list above is not exhaustive, and we tend to adhere to the fellows interest and strengths to ensure a productive summer.