Location: Bowdoin / Environmental Studies / Fellowships & Internships
Fellowships & Internships

The Environmental Studies program offers two fellowship programs that place ES majors in stipended summer internships - the Psi Upsilon Community Matters in Maine and the Psi Upsilon Sustainability/Environmental Justice Fellowships.

Questions? Please contact the ES Program Manager, Eileen Johnson at 207-798-7157 or via email at ejohnson@bowdoin.edu 

The Psi Upsilon Community Matters in Maine 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 internships. In 2014, seven positions are available with a $4000 stipend each. 

Click on the Community Matters Placements tab to see a list of sponsoring organization and fellowship descriptions for Summer 2015. 

 *Application Due Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 12:00 p.m. by email to Eileen Johnson ejohnson@bowdoin.edu

Students who participate in the Psi U Fellowship Program are eligible for Bowdoin College's summer housing.

Requirements: Students must be rising juniors or seniors and have an interest in environmental issues. Students' academic record and financial need are important criteria, though students not receiving aid are eligible.   Preference is given to ES majors.

Environmental Studies-Psi Upsilon and Logan 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.

Questions on the Psi U Environmental Fellowship? Please contact the ES Program Manager, Eileen Johnson at 798-7157 or via email at ejohnson@bowdoin.edu

The Community Matters in Maine Summer Fellowship Program also includes the McKeen Community Fellowship program that places students with organizations addressing issues of social/civic concern at the local level and are designed for students interested in public service with experience in community service and/or service learning courses.

Community Matters in Maine Project Descriptions Summer 2015

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.

2015 Sponsor Organizations: 

Return To Community Matters in Maine Page

Bicycle Coalition of Maine

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM) works to make Maine better for bicycling (and walking) through legislation and policy, advocacy, education, enforcement and encouragement.  The fellow will focus on two topics for the bicycle advocacy movement: the economic impact of bicycling in Maine, and event management for two major BCM events:

  • Economic impact of bicycling in Maine.  The fellow would design and administer an on-line survey for all bike event managers in Maine. The survey would measure the economic impact of bike events in Maine, including the total revenue generated by the events, the money spent by participants and the number of jobs created in Maine around bike events.  The fellow would work with staff from other organizations that run over a hundred bike events in Maine each year to develop a survey that is easy to adminster adn complet and reaps the most useful information.  The fellow would also complete the implementation of an in-person survey developed by last year's fellow of bicycle toursts in Maine.
  • Event management.  The fellow woudl work with BCM staff to plan and run the Maine Lobster Rid (the fundraiser invovlign over 900 riders, 5 distances, and a lobster roll lunch in Rockland in mid-July), and to plan BikeMaine (a week long ride for 350 cyclists in early September)  THe fellow wil help with all aspects of event management, including logistics, communication and marketing, merchandise sales, routes and maps, volunteers, sponsors and food.  The fellow will be given a major leadership role on teh day of the Lobster Ride event.

 Return to Top of Page

Town of Brunswick Department of Planning and Development

The Fellow will be an important member of Brunswick’s Department of Planning and Development staff tasked with one or two projects for their completion by the end of the fellowship.  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.

It is anticipated that the Fellow will work closely with the Town of Brunswick staff and Conservation Commission members for work that may include assistance with the initial field reconnaissance of natural features and any paths within the West Side properties of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station (BNAS) and conveyed to the Town, working with a committee to develop a trail map to include the interpretation of ecosystems, cultural and historic sites located within the Kate Furbish Preserve and field monitoring of Town-held conservation easements.  Other possible projects may include the development of best bike riding routes in Brunswick or the development of promotional materials highlighting Brunswick’s amenities.

Other possible projects may include ongoing implementation of the adopted Downtown Brunswick and Outer Pleasant Street Master Plan and work associated with the Town’s Zoning Ordinance Rewrite now underway.  

  Possible projects include:

  • Assistance with the initial GPS field reconnaissance of natural features and any paths within the West Side properties of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station (BNAS) and conveyed to the Town, consistent with work already completed by former Bowdoin Fellows and a 2014 class project.  GIS mapping of reconnaissance work would also be a part of this work.  Work would be completed, in part, with Conservation Commission members but primarily independently by the Fellow.
  • To work with a committee/Brunswick high school students to develop a trail map showcasing ecosystems, cultural and historic sites located within the Kate Furbish Preserve.
  • 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.
  • The development of best bike riding routes in Brunswick for use by the general public, working with the Town Planner and Brunswick Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
  • The development of hard-copy and web-based promotional materials highlighting Brunswick’s amenities for use by the Town’s Business Development Manager.  The Fellow would work with the Business Development Manager for this project.
  • Mapping assistance related to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance Rewrite. 

 Return to Top of Page

 Harspwell Heritage Land Trust (Harspwell.  Student must be able to get to HHLT office)

The Harpswell Heritage Land Trust is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting the natural resources of Harpswell. Our mission is to protect Harpswell’s natural open spaces, islands, shoreline and cultural heritage for current and future generations through education, conservation and landowner assistance. The town of Harpswell is a beautiful and interesting place to work and is strongly influenced by its 216 miles of shoreline on Casco Bay.

HHLT’s education and outreach initiatives have expanded in recent years and HHLT is becoming a leader in environmental education in local schools and in the community. HHLT seeks a fellow to act as assistant leader for four weeks of Nature Day Camp, organize public programs and assist with volunteer coordination, communications and fundraising. A fellowship with HHLT provides an in-depth experience in environmental education, land stewardship, communications, fundraising and the day-to-day work of a small nonprofit land trust. Possible projects include:

  • Acting as Assistant Leader for Nature Day Camp. Since 1998, HHLT has offered a Nature Day Camp to engage children with the natural world. HHLT is expanding the popular camp to four weeks in 2015 (three weeks of half-day sessions and one week of a full-day session). The fellow will be involved in all aspects of Nature Day Camp, including planning activities, acting as assistant leader and evaluating the program.
  • Coordinating Public Programs. HHLT offers a variety of public programs for people of all ages with the following goals: creating memorable, fun experiences; connecting people to the local environment and to the community; motivating people to take action and encouraging them to get involved with HHLT. The fellow will assist with planning and implementation of all types of public programs.
  • Coordinating Volunteers and Assisting with Trail Work on HHLT Preserves and Trails. Depending on the fellow’s interests, he or she may assist with volunteer coordination, regular maintenance of HHLT preserves and trails and/or creation of engaging interpretive information available at trailheads and online.
  • Assisting with HHLT’s Communications and Fundraising Initiatives. Depending on the fellow’s interest, he or she may assist with HHLT’s communications efforts, including newsletters, website, social media and press releases. The fellow may also assist with grant applications and fundraising events, including our annual Sunset Cruise.

 Return to Top of Page

 Maine Audubon (based in Falmouth: student will need to make arrangements to get to Falmouth office)

Monitor and manage two endangered species on beaches across southern Maine.  Work includes identifying and protecting active Piping Plover and Least Tern breeding areas, educating the public, and collaborating with diverse partners to protect these rare birds and their beach habitat. Plovers and terns face countless threats on their beach nesting grounds; not only do they face challenges from the natural world such as foxes, gulls and storms, but anthropogenic sources complicate their struggle for survival as they compete for space on beaches crowded by tourists. State and federal laws protect the 50 pairs of plovers that nest in Maine, though implementation of laws can be complex and contentious as people oppose restrictions on off-leash dogs and coastal development. Work protecting plovers and terns is an interesting study in socio-natural systems; the project intersects biology, education, human behavior, and public policy. 

Specific projects include

  • Design and carryout research that would evaluate effectiveness of outreach activities designed to change people’s behaviors while visiting beaches where endangered piping plovers and/or least terns nest. Outreach activities would be undertaken by Maine Audubon staff with assistance from a Bowdoin Intern.
  • Research piping plover brood-rearing habitat. This would involve collecting data points (using a GPS unit) wherever chicks are foraging and resting. These data would then be compiled and mapped in order to help us determine the types of habitats most important for chick rearing in Maine. 

Return to Top of Page

Maine Coast Fishermen's Association (based in Topsham)

The MCFA works in the policy arena and is increasingly becoming involved with innovative business plans to sustain, both ecologically and economically, the community-based fishermen living along the coast of Maine from Kittery to Mount Desert Island. These fishermen typically target groundfish, but also participate in other fisheries including shrimp, scallops and lobster. Interning with MCFA would involve policy research, seafood-marketing outreach with fishermen and local restaurants, and supporting project development on an innovative spatial information application aimed at helping fishermen avoid at-risk fish species. The summer is the busiest part of the fishing season, so there will be a mixture of meeting with fishermen, computer time and attending meetings with organizational partners such as The Nature Conservancy, the Island Institute, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. The scope and definition of a summer project will be determined by common interests of the student and MCFA.

Possible projects include:

  • Maine Dock Talk.  Last year, MCFA worked with a Bowdoin intern to produce The Maine Coast Oral History Initiative which had the goal of strengthening connections between coastal community members, the marine environment and our fishing heritage through fishermen’s stories. We have been extremely happy with the response to this project and are looking for ways to build upon its success. As a next iteration of sharing stories, information, and knowledge about Maine’s working waters we are interested in developing a Maine Fisheries Podcast for this summer and beyond. We are looking for a student who would be interested in working with the Executive Director to develop this podcast. As a new and emerging media, we hope to find ways to streamline the production, editing, and sharing of these podcasts. No IT experience is needed, just a willingness to learn about storytelling and energy to dive into creating a new way to connect with our communities.. 
  • Local Seafood Initiative. The farm-to-table local food movement has increased dramatically in the last decade and has resulted in access to locally produced food year-round in the Brunswick area. However, aside from lobsters, seafood is rarely included. We are finding that there is little awareness among coastal community members that they can influence the health of the oceans by choosing what seafood to purchase. MCFA working to create a Local Seafood Initiative to raise awareness of local seafood in coastal Maine, and connect community members with their local fishermen through the shared experience of food. The student’s involvement in the project will include compiling information from local chefs, and restaurant managers on the perceptions and knowledge of consumers regarding seafood and the fishermen that harvest it, and meeting with fishermen and increasing awareness among community members about the availability of locally and sustainably harvested seafood. Additionally, this information can be used in state wide local food initiatives being conducted by the University of Maine and by the Maine Food Strategy.Return to Top of Page

The Nature Conservancy (Brunswick)

The Nature Conservancy is a science-based international, nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy has been working in Maine for almost 60 years. With partners we have conserved more than one million acres of forests, wetlands, ponds, streams and over 100 coastal islands and we have restored miles of rivers and work within marine systems.  The Fellow works directly with the External Affairs team (policy and media) team in our Brunswick office conducting significant policy research; the selected student also works from Maine with our national policy team –shaping federal legislation.  In addition, fellows are offered significant opportunity to work with field scientists and land crews, allowing you to spend work hours outdoors!   Because we are a global organization, students with an interest in understanding how international groups work and those who speak languages in addition to English are encouraged to apply. Possible projects include:

  • will work with the policy team and will most likely assist in research and actions related to greenhouse gas emissions reductions or fresh water and marine systems
  • will assist our national policy team conducting research on Members of Congress to understand what, if any, connections to nature they may have (ie Farmers, ranchers etc). This work assists staff in lobbying congress.  In addition, the fellow will help the DC based staff prepare for a national volunteer lobby day in October, 2015.
  • if desired, may be able to shape some project outside of the US (based from Maine!)
  • has significant opportunity to work outdoors managing trails, monitoring fish passage and other science initiatives.

Return to Top of Page

Stantec Environmental Consulting (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 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. 

The intern will be exposed to several different projects in the field and office over the course of the fellowship. Likely field-based projects will include operating a GPS for wetland delineations at one of several potential remote projects in Maine, conducting post-construction bird and bat mortality surveys at an operational wind project in the northeast, or surveying bat activity using acoustic bat detectors.  Likely office-based projects include calibration and maintenance of field survey equipment or updating databases of publicly available information on bird and bat studies at wind projects.  

 Return to Top of Page

Topsham Department of Planning and Development 

The fellowship position(s) will involve working with the Town of Topsham’s Planner, Planning Director, and Economic Development Director on mapping and analysis, economic development planning and natural resource planning. The fellow will also work with local citizens from the Town's Conservation Commission, Tree Committee, Historic District Commission, Planning Board and Economic Development Committee. Topsham is a growing community where the challenge of balancing growth and protecting valuable natural areas exists in our daily planning efforts. 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. Possible projects include:

  • Assist in Town mapping Efforts (GIS)
    • Develop data for research and analysis (field capture & desktop applications)
      • Continue data enhancements for pedestrian planning and street tree inventory projects
    • Work with mapping consultants on interactive web mapping project
    • Develop maps for  parks and recreation/ economic development office/ planning office
  • Urban Impaired Stream Watershed Planning – Working with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection – Further field studies as determined by DEP, implementation of watershed plans.
  • Assist in the Design and Development of Park Facilities and Interpretive Amenities
  • Assist Conservation Commission (Climate adaptation/ resiliency planning)
  • Potential Grant research and writing

Return to Top of Page

 Submit all applications to Eileen Johnson, ES Program Manager at ejohnson@bowdoin.edu


Due Date


Community Matters in Maine Environmental Studies Fellowship

Click here to see a list of sponsoring organization and fellowship descriptions for Summer 2015

Wednesday 2/11

  Download 2015 Application

National Audubon Fellowship

Wednesday 2/11

 Submit resume and cover      letter to
 Eileen Johnson

Sustainability and Environmental Justice Fellowship

Tuesday 2/24

 Download 2015 Application

Cooke Environmental Research Fellowship

Tuesday 2/24 

 Download 2015 Application

The Psi Upsilon Sustainability and Environmental Justice Fellowships provide students with the opportunity to explore the topic of sustainability or environmental justice by working directly with a business, at the government level, or through a nonprofit organization.  The Environmental Studies Program will award one Sustainability and one Environmental Justice Fellowship in the summer of 2015. 

*Application Due Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 12:00 p.m. by email to Eileen Johnson ejohnson@bowdoin.edu

Sustainability Fellowship
: The Psi Upsilon Sustainability Fellowship provides students with the opportunity to explore the topic of sustainability by working directly with an organization, agency or company that is focusing on the transition to a more sustainable society. Examples of projects that students might engage in as part of this fellowship include green design, calculating metrics of sustainability, or developing systems for conversion to alternative energy systems. The students should select an organization that is working at the cutting edge of sustainability. Placements could be with a community that is actively implementing a climate action plan, a business engaged in green design, a nonprofit organization that is implementing weatherization or community energy systems, or a state agency that is developing alternative transportation systems.  

Environmental Justice Fellowship: The Psi Upsilon Environmental Justice Fellowship provides students with the opportunity to explore the intersection of the environment with race, class and gender by working with a nonprofit organization or agency that is working creatively with stakeholders in these areas. Examples of topics that students might address include green housing, green jobs, or urban environmental education programs. Placements could be with an organization or agency that is engaged in one of the following areas: managing an environmental education program in an urban area, raising awareness of urban agricultural systems, developing green, affordable housing, or addressing the role of green jobs as an approach to workforce development. 

Students who are considering applying to the program are strongly encouraged to set up a meeting with Eileen Johnson, Program Manager, Environmental Studies Program.  108 Adams Hall, 798-7157, ejohnson@bowdoin.edu

Award amounts are based upon the employers' ability to provide partial renumeration, with combined total not to exceed $4,000.  Award amounts are considered taxable scholarships and must be declared by the recipients when filing their tax forms.  Students will be responsible for travel and other living expenses, which may be negotiated directly with the sponsoring organization. 

Eligibility:  Current first-years, sophomores and juniors; graduating seniors are not eligible.  Preference given to rising juniors and seniors and Environmental Studies majors.

Requirements for Sustainability and Environmental Justice fellowships:

Selection Process: Applicants must secure a commitment from the sponsoring organization prior to receiving notice of funding.  The applicant should be clear in this expectation when discussing the fellowship with the sponsoring organization.  Awards will be announced by March 6, 2015.

Application Requirements: Please submit an original packet consisting of the following: attached completed application form; a current resume; unofficial transcript (obtainable from Polaris); a personal statement (on a separate sheet of paper - no more than one page) describing the organization, your internship responsibilities and how this internship fits in with your personal career goals; the names of two references, one of which should be a faculty member; and a brief letter from the employer outlining preliminary internship responsibilities. Students who receive an award will be required to submit a letter of support from the sponsoring organization within two weeks of notification in order to receive funding

Potential Sponsoring Organizations.  The following organizations have expressed an interest in hosting a student through the Sustainability/Environmental Justice Fellowship Program.  Interested students should contact the organization directly.

Cultivating Community (based in Portland).  Contact: Anna Sommo (anna@cultivatingcommunity.org) or Stephanie Aquilina (stephanie@cultivatingcommunity.org

Cultivating Community, based in Portland, Maine and active in greater Portland and Lewiston, is committed to growing sustainable communities in three ways: by feeding our hungry, empowering our youth and community, and healing our planet. We are a community food project. In our urban and school gardens and at our suburban organic farm, we grow produce that feeds hungry people. We also run farm stands, farmers markets, and food distribution programs (including low/no-cost CSA projects) focused on creating access for all to healthy food. We use that community food work as a platform for youth and community development. Our youth grow and distribute food, learn about sustainable agriculture and food systems, and work together to solve problems and strengthen their own communities. We have independent youth programs as well as partnerships with schools. We are also a farmer training project. We connect Maine’s newest Americans—primarily immigrants from East Africa and Central America—with the land, skills, and resources needed to start farm-based enterprises. In connection with this we operate a community garden in a predominantly refugee neighborhood of Portland and provide farmland access in Lisbon, ME near Lewiston. Marketing collectively as Fresh Start Farms, refugees enrolled in our farmer training program currently attend more than 20 farmers markets and operate a 150-member CSA. Finally, Cultivating Community is an environmental action project. We model organic, sustainable, and low-impact practices and incorporate these ideals into our education, training, and volunteer programs.   

  • Youth assistant and events coordinator; the fellow would help with all aspects of the Youth Growers program including gardening, workshops, games, community service and field trips. This position would also include preparing our Cape Elizabeth site for weekly farm dinners. Excellent organization, interest in working with teens and a high degree of flexibility is required.
  • Kitchen coordinator; the fellow would coordinate all aspects of preparing a healthy and delicious meal for 25 people each day with a group of 3-5 teens. The focus is on youth learning culinary skills and nutrition concepts. Experience with cooking for groups is required
  • Food Access. Cultivating Community's food access programs address a huge need in our community: Healthy, affordable food. We work with local farmers and youth growers to make sure that Portland's residents have fresh, delicious vegetables available in their neighborhoods.  We use many strategies to improve food access, including low-cost farm shares, senior farm shares, community gardens, nutrition education programs, and - most relevant to this position - farm stands. We operate a tricycle-powered mobile farm stand that rides across town selling fresh produce at designated locations on a weekly basis. This mobile farm stand, called the "Grow Cart," is built with two seats and an electric motor, and it carries a trailer with a wooden cart that folds (for travel) and unfolds (for display). We select sites for the Grow Cart based on community interest and we value our "hosts" as community partners. Our produce is grown by New American farmers in Portland, South Portland, and Lisbon, ME without the use of any chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. In order to make our produce affordable, the Grow Cart accepts as payment food stamps and other forms of nutrition assistance, and offers discounts up to 50% for those who are most in need. We welcome eaters from all walks of life and we strive to create a joyful shopping experience that inspires and enables all people to choose healthy food.

Environment Maine. Contact: Taryn Hallweaver (taryn@environmentmaine.org)

Environment Maine is a statewide environmental organizing and advocacy nonprofit with more than 22,000 members and supporters. We work to solve the climate crisis, transition Maine to renewable energy, expand the local foods movement, and protect Maine’s special places. We are strategists and organizers: We’re good at figuring out the best policy to make progress toward solving a particular problem given the political lay of the land and our long-term vision, and we have the experience and know-how to bring people together to make it a reality. Environment Maine accepts 6-8 interns for our summer internship program each year who work closely with our staff on our top-priority campaigns. As a fellow, you’ll learn how to analyze environmental problems through a political lens, advocate for smart solutions, and build public support. We provide trainings, issue and strategy briefings, the opportunity to take on increasing amounts of responsibility, one-on-one mentoring, and plenty of on-the-ground experience. And you’ll work on a team of top-notch interns (our program is a competitive one) who are just as passionate as you are.

 Possible projects include:

  • Helping to grow sustainable agriculture at Maine by being part of the team that tours farmer’s markets and organizing UMaine students around the university’s upcoming food contract;
  • Building a bigger and more diverse climate movement in Maine through youth organizing and highlighting the stories of those most directly impacted; or
  • Increasing renewable energy in Maine by organizing local in the Portland area for a municipal-based campaign.

The Cooke Environmental Fellowship provides an opportunity for a student to conduct community-based research with a faculty mentor within the field of environmental studies.  The fellowship can be based at Bowdoin College or at an off-campus location.  For projects based off-campus, students must identify a community organization that will act as host for the fellow and are asked to submit a letter of support from the organization.  Preference is given to Environmental Studies majors or minors or members of Quinby House. 

 *Application Due Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 12:00 p.m. by email to Eileen Johnson ejohnson@bowdoin.edu

Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 11th.  Submit a resume and cover letter to Eileen Johnson ejohnson@bowdoin.edu

Position Description: Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program operates seven island field stations along the Maine coast as critical seabird nesting sanctuaries. Research Interns will work under the direction of the Island Supervisor, participating in all aspects of seabird research, monitoring, and management that take place at the field station. The majority of research projects focus on studying the nesting success and foods fed to seabird (tern and alcid) chicks, with most work focusing on terns.  Work includes, but is not limited to: conducting population censuses, monitoring productivity and chick growth; conducting seabird diet studies; banding and resighting birds; removing invasive vegetation; educating island visitors; and assisting with predator management.

Research Interns will live on island (a single island or group of islands) for the duration of the field season.  Interns assigned to inshore islands will have occasional trips to the mainland for logistics and resupplying the field camp, returning to the islands to work and sleep. On offshore islands, food, supplies, and mail are delivered approximately every 2 weeks. Research Interns will remain offshore for approximately eleven weeks. In a seabird colony, the birds are loud, and the terns will dive-bomb you when you move through the colony.  Living conditions on the islands are primitive.  A cabin or wall tent serves as the base of field operations, and field team members sleep in their own tents (wooden tent platforms provided). Island field stations have limited electricity (solar panels power research needs), propane stoves, composting toilets, and no running water (rainwater is collected for washing; drinking water is brought from the mainland).  Communications with the mainland are via cell or VOIP phone, depending on location, with VHF radios available as a back-up mode of communication.  There is no Internet access.  Cooking, cleaning, and camp maintenance duties are shared by all island team members. Food is provided.

Responsibilities: Participate in seabird studies including, but not limited to: bird trapping, banding, and resighting; observations from blinds; conducting seabird diet studies; conducting nest censuses; monitoring productivity and growth of chicks; computer data entry; blood or specimen collection; vegetation management; predator monitoring and control;

  • Use binoculars and spotting scopes to aid in the collection of data as specified by the Island Supervisor;
  • Perform 3-hour-long observation stints in small, wooden observation blinds overlooking seabird nests;
  • Accurately and neatly record data on specified data sheets;
  • Enter and proof data in computer databases;
  • Educate occasional island visitors about seabird natural history and our work on the island;
  • Protect the seabird colony from human disturbance;
  • Conduct predator management or control as necessary under the direction of the Island Supervisor;
  • Maintain field equipment and facilities as directed by the Island Supervisor;
  • Conduct trail maintenance and invasive plant removal;
  • Assist Island Supervisor with landing of equipment and new personnel on the island;
  • Operate power or row boats under guidance of Island Supervisor. Use of personal flotation devices is mandatory;
  • Maintain and properly care for NAS-issued equipment, including but not limited to: spotting scopes, cameras, GPS, cell phones, radios, and other research equipment;
  • Assist with inventory of all island equipment and closing of the field station at the end of the season;
  • When on the mainland: procure supplies; pack groceries, research supplies, and mail in waterproof island transport bags; clean and fill water jugs for supplying research stations; assist with cleaning and storing equipment at the end of the season; assist mainland-based staff as needed. 

Qualifications: Applicants should be an upper level undergraduate working towards a B.S. in biology, conservation biology, or a related field.  Previous field experience, especially with birds, is preferred. Career goals should include a career in conservation biology. Applicants must be in excellent physical condition (capable of climbing over rugged terrain and slippery rocks and able to lift approximately 50 lbs.) and have wilderness camping experience. Must be willing to get dirty while working and living outside (showers are a luxury, not a daily occurrence) and be capable of working long hours outdoors in variable weather conditions.  Must be able to work independently and with others as part of a team, and get along with people of diverse backgrounds.  Adaptability to ever-changing circumstances is a must, as daily schedules are weather dependent.  Must be able to sit in a small blind for three hours and maintain focus on data collection; reading and listening to music while in the blind collecting data are not permitted. A sense of humor, willingness to learn, dedication to wildlife conservation, and interest in seabirds and isolated islands are basic requirements.  Previous experience with bird banding, rowing, and hunting/trapping are helpful, but not necessary.  Must provide own binoculars, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, daypack, and water bottle. General camping equipment such as dishes, pots and pans is provided.

Community Matters in Maine Fellowship


Audrey Phillips - Maine Coast Fisherman's Association

The Maine Coast Fishermen Association gave Audrey '16 (Earth and Oceanographic Science and Environmental Studies major / Education Studies minor) the project of compiling the oral histories of ground fishermen in Maine. She listened to hours of interviews previously recorded, where fishermen discussed how the fishery of Maine had changed due to technology, the environment and regulations. She completed 15 videos where a fisherman’s oral history was highlighted in a 3 minute YouTube video. Audrey also researched local seafood, compiling a list of where to buy local seafood from within the greater Brunswick, Topsham and Freeport area.
“I’ve learned so much from working at the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. My perception of fishermen has greatly changed, and it has been an honor to listen to ground fishermen explain how the fishing industry has changed due to technology, the environment and regulations. It is important for the oral histories of the ground fishermen to be preserved because their job and the coastal communities they support are constantly changing.”

Grace Butler - The Bicycle Coaltion of Maine

At the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, Grace Butler ’16 (Sociology and Environmental Studies major / History minor) undertook a research project to determine the impact that bicycling has on Maine’s economy. During her time at the BCM, Grace conducted three surveys to find the economic benefits of bicycle businesses and bicycle tourism in Maine. She also used economic reasoning to find the dollar value of bicycle sales in Maine from mass merchants, learned GIS, and collaboratively wrote historical and environmental pieces about rural Maine. Grace’s experience provided her with extensive learning opportunities on social research, economics, and the daily operations of a non-profit.

“I have loved having the opportunity to study the economic impact of bicycle businesses and tourism in Maine at such a passionate organization. I’ve gotten to learn so much about Maine, bicycling and social research. Designing and executing the pieces of this study has been a very challenging and rewarding process. I know that my deepened understanding of this type of critical thinking and research will help me in future endeavors. As the summer comes to an end, I feel more connected to this beautiful state.”

Madeline Davis - Environmental Health Strategy Center

This summer Madeline Davis '16 (Psychology and Environmental Studies major / Spanish minor) interned at the Environmental Health Strategy Center, a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to examining the effects of toxic chemicals on the body and pressuring the chemical industry and retailers to phase out the use of such chemicals in products. The EHSC's 2014 campaign focuses on phthalates (pronounced thal-lates), a plasticising endocrine disrupter found in vinyl and cosmetics that has been linked to reproductive issues, birth defects, asthma, and much more. Currently companies don’t have to disclose if phthalates are in their products, so the EHSC is currently working to change that by fighting for the right to know what products are safe for families. In addition, EHSC has founded a sister organization called Prevent Harm that seeks to change environmental policy by electing responsible and dedicated representatives to office.

"The fellowship allowed me to travel around the state to farmers’ markets, festivals, and other events to spread knowledge about toxic chemicals in everyday products, help build networks in key political areas, and gather postcards and petitions expressing support of the right to know what goes into our household products. Not only was I able to experience working in the nonprofit sector of environmental policy, but I got to experience Maine and its beauty in the summertime for the first time as well."

Elizabeth Szuflita - Town of Topsham

As part of her fellowship with the Town of Topsham, Libby '15 (Sociology and Environmental Studies major) helped the town to complete a “Rural Active Living Assessment,” that measured Topsham’s capacity for active living based on it’s available programs, policies and infrastructure. She coordinated volunteers to complete “street segment assessments,” evaluating the walkability of main streets and  created maps for volunteers and cataloged responses in ArcGIS. Independently she took the walkability project further, collecting and mapping field data, and making recommendations, collecting GPS data with an iPAD.  As a second aspect of her work, she focused on economic development, working with the town Economic Development Director to analyze the value per acre of commercial lots to highlight  areas of town that are most lucrative for investment and creating a map of town businesses. Working with the Conservation Commission, Libby updated  information on town-owned land for use in assessing conservation value and developing a site map for the Head of Tide Park.

"Working with the Town of Topsham has opened my eyes to the great amount of care and consideration that is put into town decision-making, and the multitude of factors – be they environmental, economic or legal – that a planner must assess.  Learning about the history of Topsham town planning, and getting familiar with the area through fieldwork and GIS mapping, has given me a real connection to the local area.  I look forward to further exploring Maine and learning about its history during the remainder of my time at Bowdoin."

Hugh Ratcliffe - Stantec

This summer Hugh '15 (Earth and Oceanographic Science and Environmental Studies major) interned at an environmental consulting branch of Stantec Consulting in Topsham, ME. Over the 10 week internship he was involved in four different projects: wetland delineation for a wind project in northern Maine, data logging for a national database on bird and bat mortality rates at wind energy facilities, the installation of radio-telemetry antennas for tracking bats, and an acoustic bat survey of The Nature Conservancy’s Basin Preserve. The latter project Hugh designed and implemented himself as way to collect valuable data for Stantec and TNC that could help influence how future bat surveys are conducted.

“It’s great to be a part of such a large company with an environmental focus. I’ve gotten exposed to many facets of the environmental consulting industry while at the same time improving my technical science skills. This was certainly a useful experience from both an education standpoint and in regards to my life post-Bowdoin.” 

Violet Ranson - Town of Brunswick, Planning and Development

At her internship with Brunswick Planning and Development Violet Ranson '16 (Sociology and Environmental Studies major / Japanese minor) participated in various site walks, town meetings, and worked closely with GIS mapping software. Throughout her fellowship Violet learned about municipal ordinances and the processes involved in land development. Violet completed 6 Conservation Easement visits and presented her findings in written reports, GIS maps, and a televised presentation to the Conservation Commission. She visited 12 historic cemetery sites and mapped their location for the use of Brunswick’s Assessing department. Lastly, Violet mapped the proposed Zoning Districts for the Town of Brunswick’s new Zoning Ordinances which is due to be released to the public today!

“Through my internship with Brunswick Planning and Development I was able to get acquainted with Brunswick in the most beautiful way, through its building structures, abandoned historical cemeteries, and preserved easement properties along the coast, deep within the forests, and near ponds. Even on the days that I was in the office sketching town boundaries, I was surrounded by light-hearted, supportive, and highly-skilled professionals who constantly had my future in their best interest. I could not have asked for a better summer.”

Wilder Nicholson - Brunswick Topsham Land Trust

Wilder Nicholson ’16 (Economics and Environmental Studies major / Classical Studies minor) performed a variety of work as he helped the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust fulfill their mission­ to preserve, protect and steward the natural resources and land of the community. Wilder blazed trails, built a foot-bridge, and designed an interactive trail map for the website using GIS and Google Earth.  In addition to these conservation and recreational efforts, Wilder filmed and photographed events, researched grants, created posters, and worked at the Farmer’s Market and Community Garden. Wilder’s other major project was filming a short documentary about how the Land Trust’s trail system builds community.

"I really enjoyed the variety of tasks and projects I could be doing on any given day. As a result, I was exposed to all aspects of the organization—from trail work to marketing to outreach programs. Working with the small number of staff and volunteers felt like a team effort and completing projects was especially rewarding as we geared up for our fundraising campaign. I was also fortunate in being able to apply some of my other interests such as film."

Marisa Browning-Kamins - The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is an international, science-based, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting ecologically important places for both nature and people. During her fellowship at TNC, Marisa Browning-Kamins '16 (Visual Arts and Environmental Studies major) was able to gain an understanding of the realities and intricacies of environmental policy and conservation by participating in a variety of projects, ranging from monitoring nature preserves in the Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area to assessing potential changes in Senate committees and how these changes will affect future conservation efforts. Marisa also gained marketing experience through writing several TNC project summaries and descriptions that were used for both publicity and outreach.

"As a summer fellow at TNC I was able to explore both the woods of Northern Maine and the complexities of environmental policy, sometimes within the same week! The diversity of projects and issues that were tackled by this organization each day was both eye-opening and inspiring, and it was a pleasure to observe TNC’s dedicated and passionate staff in action. I felt that even during my short time at the organization I was able to make a personal difference—an invaluable reward."

Sustainability and Environmental Justice Fellowships

Simon Pritchard - Environmental Health Strategy Center

As a member of the Environmental Health Strategy Center’s summer intern team, Simon Pritchard ’16 (Government and Legal Studies and Environmental Studies major / German minor) got an in-depth understanding of a small non-profit environmental advocacy group. Simon worked on the EHSC’s summer campaign against phthalates, going to farmers’ markets and other events to recruit activists and raise public awareness all over the state.  He coordinated an in-district meeting between constituents and their State Representative in Camden, and helped edit the website for EHSC’s newly launched sister organization Prevent Harm, compiling a scorecard of legislators’ voting records on chemical bills.

"Working at the EHSC this summer has allowed me to see what it is really like to work in a driven non-profit advocacy environment. Even though we had a small team, we have led the charge on changing state chemical policy. Working with the nuances of Maine’s regulation processes allowed me to apply concepts that I have learned to real actions, and allowed me to see the impacts of public support, volunteer activism, and media coverage on the growth of policy issues."

Cailey Oehler - Pio Pio Cultural Center for Sustainability
This summer at cultural center for sustainability Pio Pio, located in Reñaca, Chile, Cailey Oehler '15 (Spanish major / Art History minor) had a variety of responsibilities including work on the construction of a straw-bale office building, website development, invasive species removal, workshop teaching, and more. The primary focus of her fellowship, however, was a study on fine finishing techniques in raw earth construction, such as fine clay-loam plasters, clay-based natural paints, and waterproofing earthen walls with both fermented prickly pear paste and a linseed oil-beeswax blend. In addition to applying these techniques she studied casein paints, lime and gypsum plasters, and eco-brick, super-adobe, cob, and wattle-and-daub construction methods, and the theoretical background and practical application of living roofs.

“My experience at Pio Pio was exciting, challenging, and truly unforgettable. I was able to participate in several of the organization’s ongoing projects as well as my own thorough study of earthen building techniques and was exposed to new ideas and perspectives almost constantly, both through my work and through friendships I made in the eco-village where I was living. My neighbors made me feel like a real member of their community and though the work was both intellectually enriching and physically demanding I also enjoyed spending my free time getting to know the and the nearby coast, surrounding dune scrub habitat, and eucalyptus forest where I lived.”

Logan Fellowship

Mariana Guzmán Márquez - The Nature Conservancy

This summer Mariana Guzmán Márquez '16 (Earth and Oceanographic Science and Environmental Studies major) interned with The Nature Conservancy, the leading worldwide conservation organization that protects ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. As such, this nonprofit focuses on the scientific and political work involved in ensuring the quality of life for all of Earth’s living beings. The fellowship itself presented opportunities to research conservation issues, work remotely with staff in DC, partake in data collection, work in tandem with affiliated agencies, and learn about the operation of a large NGO on state, national, and international levels. Possible topics of study included freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, national clean water policy, and environmental education.

"I’m overjoyed and grateful to have had the opportunity to work at TNC this summer. Not only have I gotten hands-on experience in a wide array of skills, including communications, field work, and government relations, I have done so alongside experts who welcomed me whole-heartedly into their team. I still can’t decide if I’ve spent more time learning or having fun, but at TNC there’s not really a difference!"

Cooke Environmental Fellowship

Nora Hefner - Penobscot East Resource Center

As a Cooke Environmental Fellow, Nora Hefner ’16 (Biology and Environmental Studies major / Visual Art minor) spent this summer researching Gulf of Maine cod fisheries in collaboration with the Penobscot East Resource Center in Stonington, Maine. The focus of her research was on the impact of the relationship between cod, alewives (a species of anadramous river herring), and the damming of Maine’s rivers on the collapse of the coastal cod fishery. She worked to create maps using ArcGIS that will allow the relationships between cod and alewives to be analyzed spatially and statistically. Nora’s faculty advisor was Professor John Lichter, Biology and Environmental Studies.

"Studying Gulf of Maine cod fisheries through the Cooke Fellowship not only gave me an opportunity to develop skills in GIS, collecting data, and collaborating with others in the field, but it also helped me gain a greater appreciation for the complexity and challenge of studying the ecological, economic, and historical interactions that affect a natural resource system."

National Audubon Fellowships

Claire Schollaert and Lila Wright - Project Puffin Claire SchollaertLila Wright

Interning for Project Puffin consisted of both research and management of four species of tern and various other sea birds. The goal on the islands is to protect the nesting bird species and to research their breeding and rearing habits in order to further enhance Project Puffin’s effort to maintain the population of breeding migratory seabirds off the coast of Maine. During the breeding season, interns live on one of seven islands with up to four other interns/supervisors. Residence on the island is crucial to the protection of the colonies from predators, invasive plant species, and human contact.

Claire '16 (Biology and Anthropology major) - "Working for Project Puffin taught me invaluable field research techniques that can only be learned by getting out in the field and actually working with a conservation project. Living off the grid and working hands on with various seabird populations this past summer has made me want to pursue my own independent study next summer, hopefully utilizing research methods that Project Puffin has familiarized me with."

Lila '16 (Earth and Oceanographic Science and Government and Legal Studies major) - "My day would begin at 6:30 AM where I, along with the other researchers on the island, would head directly into the nesting colony to conduct productivity on tern chicks. This entailed searching under vegetation and rocks to find chicks, at first, no bigger than a fluffy golf ball. We would band, weigh, measure (and cuddle!) them. After, we would convene in our open air "kitchen" where we would enjoy a cup of coffee and then disperse throughout the island to conduct three-hour long stints in small wooden blinds. There we would observe feeding activity, re-sight band numbers, and search for chicks through spotting scopes. The afternoon would be spent informing mainland visitors of the research being conducted on the island and aid in identifying sea birds. I have gained valuable field and research skills and, now, this semester (Fall 2014), I am working on an independent research project from the data I collected this summer."


To view other past projects click on the year of interest below.

Summer 2013

Summer 2012

Summer 2011

Summer 2010

Summer 2009

Summer 2008

Summer 2007-2000

The Fellowship and Scholarship page provides an updated listing of major sources of undergraduate and graduate funding in environmental fields.

Bowdoin College Stipended Internship Program. (Career Planning Center).  

Bowdoin students are eligible for a range of fellowships that provide funding for internships, many of which are directly applicable to the environmental field. Many ES majors have received funding for internships through these programs.

  • David Projects for Peace (deadline is January 29, 2014 at noon): Summer volunteer and public service outside of US
  • Preston Public Interest Career Fund - funds students to work wtih organizations serving the needs of underserved of disadvantaged
  • Nikauradse-Matthews Summer Public Interest Fellowship - funds students tow work for organizations that serve the needs of underprivilidged
  • The Thomas McKinley Entrepreneur Grant Fund - funds students to pursue entrepreneurial or community service projects of students' design
  • Robert S. Goodfriend Summer Internship Fund - funds students to work with businesses
  • Richard B. '62 and Sabra Ladd Government Internship - funds students to work in US federal government or a national public policy institute
  • The Anwarul Quadir Fellowship - supports an internship at a business in Bangledesh
  • Bowdoin College Alumni Council Internship Fund - funds students to work in a career field of their choice
  • Strong/Gault Social Advancement Internship Grant - funds students to work for nonprofit, federal and local agencies serving economically underdeveloped areas 

External Environmental Fellowships

Scholarships (Undergraduate & Graduate)