Melissa Anson ’11 (Environmental Studies & Government and Legal Studies) interned with the Topsham Department of Planning and Development to address issues regarding community development and natural resource planning. Throughout the summer, she researched and created an inventory of Topsham’s open spaces to inform long-term town planning. Melissa helped with trail mapping and planning, surveying trails and using GIS software and GPS to develop maps. In cooperation with town of Brunswick and Brunswick Topsham Land Trust interns, she created a regional GIS map and connected it to Google Earth for public use. Melissa also organized municipal data for a state project that aims to protect significant vernal pool habitats and influence planning.
“Through my work with the Town of Topsham, I have gained a greater understanding and an enormous appreciation for how municipal governments function and serve the needs of a community. Working jointly with town staff, volunteers, land trusts, fellow interns, and various boards and committees has shown me the collaborative nature of natural resource planning. This fellowship was a rewarding way to dovetail my academic interests with practical projects to make a valuable difference in a community setting. ”
The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) works to preserve areas of ecological and agricultural value in the towns of Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. As an intern for the BTLT, Katie Blizzard (Biology & Environmental Studies) helped build capacity for the non-profit organization by assisting with their preparations for accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance and setting up an in-house GIS system. She gained an appreciation for all aspects of the BTLT by working with the organization’s Stewardship Committee, helping plan special events, and sitting in on board and committee meetings. Her efforts towards creating the BTLT’s in-house GIS systems will enable the organization to better access, analyze, and present spatial data in the future.
"My fellowship with the BTLT allowed me to apply and build upon the skills and lessons I’ve learned in the classroom, such as my knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). At the same time, my fellowship taught me skills and lessons that can’t be learned in a classroom. I gained a much better understanding for how non-profits work and a deep appreciation for how volunteers can come together to create real change."
Russell Halliday ’11 (Government and Legal Studies and Environmental Studies) worked with the Maine League of Conservation Voters in continuing their mission to make the protection of Maine’s environment a political priority. He helped the MLCV with the production of their 2010 scorecard used to evaluate and endorse Maine’s legislators. Additionally, Russ helped the MLCV’s sister organization called the Maine Conservation Voters Education Fund release a publication by the Environmental Priorities Coalition entitled Investing in Maine’s Environment: A Trail Map to Prosperity 2010-2015. He created youtube videos featuring several speakers involved with the Trail Map.
“This fellowship has taught me a great deal about how significant non-profit organizations are for state policy. The role that organizations like the MLCV play in educating voters and influencing legislators is vital. It is a very exciting time to be working in the line of environmental policy and it is really encouraging to meet so many people who are deeply devoted to protecting Maine’s natural resources.”
Elena Keamy '12 (Environmental Studies & English) spent the summer working with Cultivating Community to help teach youth sustainable farming techniques, assist refugee farmers with the growth and sale of their produce, and to help grow, harvest, package, and deliver produce to low-income elders through a weekly ElderShare program. Working with the Youth Growers was one of the most valuable parts of her internship, where she helped them connect with their peers, community, and food system, as well as to evaluate their own relationship with food.
“The directness with which I interacted with the community through my work with Cultivating Community has been my favorite part of this job. I am in awe of the deep connections this organization has with a broad spectrum of community members from different age groups, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Facilitating the relationship these people have with their food system and watching them fully circulate within the community has been truly inspiring.”
Duncan Masland ’11 (Economics and Environmental Studies) focused on the Natural Resource Council of Maine’s goal of promoting clean energy. His work ranged from summiting Little Bigelow to analyze the visual impact of a potential wind power project to visiting an energy efficient boat building facility in Camden. In addition to developing GIS resources detailing potential wind power sites and conflicting scenic resources, Duncan created a series of case studies of energy efficient homes and businesses throughout the state. Working at NRCM provided Duncan with first hand experience of the inner workings of a dynamic non profit with local and nationwide goals.
“Contributing to NRCM’s effort to balance environmental causes with social and economic needs has allowed me to better understand both the importance of and the tradeoffs of concepts studied in the classroom. My experience at NRCM has prepared me to approach issues with a broader perspective and to fully appreciate the importance of details. I am eager to return to Bowdoin with experience gained while immersed in the inner workings of an environmental non profit.”
Leah Wang ’12 (Environmental Studies and Economics) split her summer between The City of Bath Planning Department and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust. With the City of Bath and consultant Katrina Van Dusen she helped create a comprehensive inventory of all sidewalks in the city, their condition, material, and width. This data, along with focus interviews with walkers, runners and cyclists and a city-wide paper and online survey, will be used to inform a bicycle and pedestrian plan for the city. With the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, dedicated to conserving all aspects of the Kennebec River Estuary, Leah’s projects included serving as the final editor of The Kennebec Estuary: Restoration Challenges and Opportunities, by Moore and Reblin and using her background in GIS to organize the current system of map files in an effort to standardize future mapmaking and GIS projects.
“Through my work with these two organizations – the City of Bath and KELT - I gained a true appreciation for importance of effective urban planning and the work of small nonprofits as they immerse themselves in their missions through stewardship, outreach and administration. “
Scott Weber '11 (Environmental Studies & History) worked with the Brunswick Department of Planning and Development to promote sustainable growth. He completed the 2008-2010 Vernal Pool Survey project by entering in records into the town's new property management software and submitting data to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He worked collaboratively with the Town of Topsham and the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust in transferring valuable GIS data to Google Earth so as to be publicly viewable. Scott served as a liaison between the town staff and the Brunswick Conservation Commission in surveying and mapping the town's open space properties. With a professed interest in transportation planning, Scott took the initiative in drafting and presenting a scenario analysis for the Brunswick Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
"Interning for the Town of Brunswick has allowed me to envision what a community should be while taking citizen demands into account. The hard part is planning how to get to where we want to go, and I am fortunate to have a Bowdoin education as my compass. The resounding voices of the community through meetings, board minutes, and visits to the office feed my enthusiasm in shaping a community that will be better off than when I arrived 4 years ago."
Interning for the Nature Conservancy in Maine (TNC) Teona Williams ’12(Environmental Studies & History Minor in Africana Studies) split her time between preserve stewardship and environmental policy. She worked on TNC preserves around Maine - completing ecological monitoring surveys, using GIS to map wildlife and important habitats for species, putting up trail markers, and completing other trail related projects. In the office, Teona worked on updating the NAWCA grant, researching information for the Forest Legacy Grant, creating talking points for an acceptance speech given Washington DC for the Recreational Trails Program, and researching and surveying non traditional allies who support conservation work indirectly.
"I have worked for other non-profits before but it wasn’t the same as working for the Nature Conservancy. At the Nature Conservancy I actually learned what it means to work at non-profit. Not only was given challenging projects but I also was taught why these projects were important and how policy workers think about solutions to projects. I had the opportunity to design my own research project on diversity issues in conservation. It was truly phenomenal."
Interning for the Nature Conservancy in Maine (TNC) Jonas Crimm '10 (Environmental Studies & Government and Legal Studies) split his time between preserve stewardship and environmental policy. He worked on TNC preserves around Maine - completing ecological monitoring surveys, planning and building trails, marking geocache waypoints and researching and creating corresponding geocache brochures. In the office, Jonas helped create TNC's platform for the federal transportation bill, as well as researched and wrote documents for legislators highlighting the economic and ecological benefits of the Land for Maine's Future program.
"Working for TNC, I split my time between stewardship and policy work, learning both from land managers and from lobbyists - an awesome combination and an interesting contrast. The experience has prompted me to think about the role of nonprofits in the environmental world and in the community at large, and has helped me think more clearly about where I might like to go after graduation."
Cory Elowe '11 (Biology & Environmental Studies) worked on the state funded Piping Plover and Least Tern Project with Maine Audubon. His work included exploring an effective outreach program for the project, which previously focused solely on the management of these endangered birds. This outreach furthered Maine Audubon's mission of conserving wildlife by engaging the public in education, conservation, and action.
"Throughout this internship I worked alongside seasonal biologists on the management of the birds while at the same time developing an outreach program. By testing outreach methods and developing them over the summer based on public responses, I was able to see what excited people and piqued their interests and concerns. This was exactly the kind of experience I had hoped to gain and it gave me a clear view of what kind of work I'd like to do in the future."
David Funk '10 (Environmental Studies & Government and Legal Studies) interned with the Town of Brunswick's Department of Planning and Development. He worked alongside the Natural Resource Planner and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to start a Volunteer River Monitoring Program in Brunswick. David also helped with the ongoing Vernal Pool survey and a variety of other projects. Equally notable was the role David played, with the help of Brooks Winner '10 and Thai Ha-Ngoc '10, in aiding Brunswick and Topsham with their baseline carbon emissions inventory.
"This fellowship has allowed me to gain a unique perspective on the practical interaction between local government and environmental issues. Working alongside DEP, municipal government, and citizen volunteers was extremely rewarding and enlightening. This summer internship has helped focus my academic interests."
Thai Ha-Ngoc '10 (Economics & Environmental Studies) worked with the Topsham Department of Planning and Development to address community growth issues. He collected municipal and community data on energy usage to create a baseline carbon emissions inventory that will be used to develop a climate action plan for Topsham. Thai also created a trail database using a GPS unit and GIS software to help identify points of interest, access, constraints, and land use for future planning purposes. He also organized vernal pool survey information to identify significant pools in an effort to protect important habitats through development restrictions.
"Through my fellowship, I was able to see and help with the processes addressing community growth and conservation issues. I have gained valuable skills in GIS and carbon emissions inventorying, which have increased my interest in helping develop sustainable, healthy communities. It was both exciting and rewarding to be able to apply the knowledge that I had learned as an Environmental Studies and Economics major in a real community setting."
Wesley Hartwell '11 (Environmental Studies & Government and Legal Studies) worked for the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) whose mission it is to conserve the natural, historic, scenic, cultural, and agricultural resources of the Kennebec Estuary. Working with the organization's staff and its many volunteers, Wesley served as a coordinator of and active participant in land stewardship activities, including several GPS to GIS mapmaking projects, trail construction and maintenance, and the creation of comprehensive management plans for two KELT preserves. His coordination and trail-building efforts culminated in the construction of new sections of the Whiskeag Trail, a collaborative project with the City of Bath establishing a 5-mile hiking and biking trail connecting major preserves.
"Both in the office and out in the field, I discovered the importance of local knowledge to successful preservation. I learned to tap and encourage the incredible volunteer spirit that allows a nonprofit to function and thrive. Actively engaged in the local process of land preservation, I often experienced and grappled with competing land use interests. Rising to the challenge of resolution was both educational and rewarding."
Katy Shaw '11 (Environmental Studies & History) worked with the Maine League of Conservation Voters (MCLV) and the Maine Conservation Voters Education Fund to make the protection of Maine's environment a political priority. She researched candidates for Maine's 2010 gubernatorial election, maintained the organization's website and collected information about event venues, caterers, and potential sponsors for MLCV's "Evening for the Environment." Katy created the 2009 version of MLCV's signature publication, the "Environmental Scorecard," which helps Maine citizens hold state legislators accountable for their votes on critical environmental issues.
"Throughout my work with the MLCV, I learned that Maine citizens, businesses, and politicians are all deeply committed to strong environmental protections of our woods, waters, and wildlife. When Maine's environmental community speaks with one voice, we can have a tremendous impact on state law. This internship has confirmed my interest in environmental politics, and I look forward to staying involved with this organization in the future."
The Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) is dedicated to the promotion and management of ecologically responsible recreation on more than 150 of Maine's coastal islands. Working closely with the Trail and Stewardship directors, Drew Trafton '10 (Environmental Studies & Romance Languages) developed a system to more effectively communicate with volunteer Island Adopters, allowing MITA to increase its stewardship capacity while fostering closer relations with its volunteers. He helped implement an assessment protocol that will provide valuable information about the impact of recreation on fragile island ecosystems. Drew assisted with outreach and education, as well as island visits and clean-ups.
"Working with MITA has provided enormous insight into the complexity and practicality of managing land for recreation use. I've learned the value of small victories - how dedication on the part of a few can lead to the betterment of the entire community. Most importantly, I've learned the value of real interaction between people - shaking hands and listening to stories. These interactions woven together are what truly create communities."
As an intern at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), Lindsey Warren-Shriner '10 (Environmental Studies & Government and Legal Studies) worked on a wide range of projects. She helped draft and administer a survey of clean energy businesses, completed a variety of independent research projects, and created a set of maps showing Maine businesses involved in renewable energy and energy efficiency. She also assisted NRCM's advocacy for national climate change legislation, by attending Maine Federal Climate Coalition meetings, doing research, and attending a climate advocacy training workshop.
"Through my internship with NRCM, I was able to apply what I have learned in the classroom to the organization's work on important environmental issues facing Maine. I gained a clearer understanding of the process behind environmental advocacy and policymaking, and the experience strengthened my interest in pursuing work in this field in the future."
Brooks Winner '10 (Environmental Studies & Spanish) worked with the Towns of Brunswick and Topsham to organize a senior capstone course on local climate action with Bowdoin Professor Camill. Building on his experience conducting a greenhouse gas emissions inventory in Bath last summer, Brooks worked with Psi U fellows David Funk and Thai Ha-Ngoc, guiding them through the process of gathering and organizing the information needed to calculate the energy use and emissions output of each community. Brooks also worked in the Sustainable Bowdoin office, writing various sections of the College's Climate Action Plan to be submitted to the American College and University President's Climate Commitment in September, further development of the Office Eco-Reps program, and designing a campus-wide energy conservation outreach program.
"My projects allowed me to build on the work that I did last summer while taking more of a leadership role. It's great to know that the work that I'm doing is creating positive change on campus and in the surrounding communities."
Nick Cohen - Town of Brunswick
Nick 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
Kristen 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
At 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
During 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
Lily 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
As 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
While 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
Brooks 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"
Working for the Maine Island Trail Association, Allegra Spalding ’08 (Environmental Studies-Spanish) traveled out to and camped on many of the islands along the coast of Maine that are a part of the Maine Island Trail. She participated in a wide range of activities including island clean-ups, leading youth groups in direct service projects and "leave no trace" education sessions. She conducted a survey to identify the types and sources of trash that end up on Maine islands. Allegra also provided invaluable assistance to the organization by creating a GIS (Geographic Information System) of MITA membership, researching government grant proposals, and other types of administrative support for the organization.
“Getting to know Maine’s coast through working and spending time on Maine islands while also contributing to the goals of the organization was a very fulfilling experience. Through island stewardship, you set examples of responsible island use while managing the environmental threats seen on these islands. Learning about what needs to be done and what can be done to maintain the beauty of Maine’s islands was the opportunity of a lifetime. As a result of this fellowship, I have learned that local communities in Maine have the ability to address imminent social and environmental threats and issues, but can only truly achieve success through partnerships with organizations, groups, and individuals.”
As part of her internship with the Town of Topsham Planning and Development Department, Van Du ’08 (Environmental Studies - French) was immersed in various projects that allowed her to develop not only a better understanding of the technical aspects of land use planning but also an ability to synthesize and analyze the issues. Her three major accomplishments of the summer were a) to edit and delineate the historic district boundaries based on the town’s current ordinance, b) to design and develop a public trail system, using GIS in collaboration with the town's Conservation Commission, and c) to assist in the analysis of current residential density for a TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) program.
“The most important thing about this fellowship was the working experiences in the public service sector, something I’ve always known that I would like to pursue after Bowdoin. Throughout the summer, not only have I gained new skills (such as the ability to analyze and synthesize data using GPS and GIS programs), but also a chance to immerse myself into the real world of land use planning and management. Moreover, I was able to incorporate what I have learned in all my Environmental Studies classes into the experience. Before going into this summer fellowship, I had a very vague idea of what I would like to do in my field study. After this ten-week experience, I’ve found a new direction.”
While at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Steven Kolberg ’09 (Environmental Studies-Government and Legal Studies) worked on a wide variety of topics ranging from compiling data on energy efficiency for public presentations, to participating in an Energy Outreach trip to the Mars Hill Wind Farm, to calculating the NRCM’s carbon footprint for the Governors Carbon Challenge. As part of his fellowship, he attended the signing of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative bill by Governor Baldacci.
“Community organizations play such a large role in shaping policy by having the ability to tap into and help foster interconnected community grassroots initiatives that create progress. Working everyday with such an active and passionate environmental advocacy organization and being fully immersed in Maine's environmental non-profit advocacy world was an incredible educational experience.”
Jacqueline Li ’09 (Environmental Studies-English) spent the summer working for the Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, where she split her time between Environmental Policy and Stewardship responsibilities. During her fellowship, Jacqueline gained significant exposure to non-profit governmental relations along with experience in scientific and community based fieldwork. While working within the policy division at The Conservancy, Jacqueline calculated the organization’s complete carbon footprint for 2006 and conducted research on viable ways for the organization to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, and 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. After creating a cost/benefit analysis for several recommendations, Jacqueline wrote a Carbon Inventory Executive Summary which she presented to TNC staff. Jacqueline also worked with the Maine League of Conservation Voters/ 2007 Environmental Priorities Coalition to create the 2007 Environmental Scorecard, which records legislator’s votes on the most pressing environmental bills of the session. Within the Stewardship department, Jacqueline worked with the Land Steward at TNC's newly acquired 1,910-acre Basin Preserve in Phippsburg to create a land management plan. By working with both staff and local residents, including high school students, Jacqueline learned that one of the biggest challenges of stewardship work is finding a common ground for different perceptions of the environment while maintaining the mission of the Conservancy and the donor’s intent.
“By working in the non-profit sector, I have learned about and witnessed the phenomenal amount of hard work and commitment that goes into creating change from the ground up. During my fellowship, I experienced moments of frustration, excitement and confusion. However- most frequently this summer I was simply inspired.”
Jonna McKone ’07 (Environmental Studies-Asian Studies) spent the summer at the Town of Brunswick Planning and Development department learning the intricacies of policy within a vibrant town with active citizenry and a broad depth of organizations working in conjunction with local governance. Jonna's two two major projects involved creating visuals and conducting research aimed at gaining the support of potential donors for a new local transit project. She also catalogued open space parcels in Brunswick, researching how and when the land was protected as well as identifying parcels to be considered for future protection by the Town.
“The fellowship has given me valuable experience in understanding how I work as well as the confidence to realize I can follow through on projects independently.”
John Masland ’08 worked for the Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy as a Science and Stewardship Intern. As part of his internship, John compiled information on soils, road/stream crossings, natural communities, land use history, etc. and wrote a Land Use Management Plan for the Spring River Preserve. He also monitored for invasive plant species in the Lower Kennebec Estuary area, and developed a GIS (Geographic Information System) of the information.
“In the classroom I have largely focused on environmental politics, economics, philosophy, and history. My work with The Nature Conservancy has deepened my understanding of how these topics share a nexus with science. Furthermore, applying what have learned in the classroom to practical projects has renewed my enthusiasm for further study and focused my career interests.”
Over the course of her summer fellowship with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Flavia Chen '07 focused on three long-term projects. Covering topics as diverse as the viability of tidal power in Maine to the laws regulating plastics recycling, these projects provided her with an opportunity to conduct in-depth research to benefit NRCM. By looking at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) applications for tidal power projects throughout the U.S., Flavia was able to analyze the technological feasibility and applicability to the state of Maine. Though NRCM is not currently intervening in tidal power issues, her research provided a synthesis of currently available data to inform the NRCM staff. The toxics team at NRCM is highly concerned with the status of mercury components in end-of-life vehicles. As part of this initiative, Flavia compiled a list of existing and proposed legislation on this topic. Flavia also researched and helped to prepare a FAQ sheet for the NRCM’s web page on the siting issues connected with the proposed Redington Wind Project. Finally, Flavia created an informational brochure on the topic of plastic recycling that discusses the proper use and, eventual disposal of plastic.
Julia Ledewitz '08 worked with the Maine Energy Investment Corporation aiming to educate the public about clean energy. Her most important accomplishments of the summer were a) designing a workshop for the public on the importance and practicality of clean energy utilization in one’s own life, b) researching and attending a Land Use Commission hearing about a 30 turbine wind-farm proposed for the Western Mountains of Maine and c) brainstorming for numerous projects around the office, including attending a few meetings with current partners and new audiences for clean energy. She wrote the media posts for the organization’s Solar Grants and also edited the quarterly newsletters. It was a great learning experience, both of working for the environment and working through a non-profit organization.
“When I return to Bowdoin as a student, I will have a new, informed idea of how to approach my curriculum as an ‘environmental studies’ major. Now, with real-world experience, I can see what particular classes and projects I can pursue for my future endeavors. I’ve always known that I “want to improve the environmental mindset and policy in the United States”, but I have a new sense of how to achieve that goal.”
As part of her fellowship with the Town of Brunswick, Alex Krippner '06 gained an in-depth look at the the functions and interactions of municipal government. Alex prepared photo documentation for development projects going before review boards. The goal of the photo documentation was to provide for the Planning Board, Village Review Board, or any other entities that may review a project, with a tangible visual reference that could act as a substitute for a site walk. In addition, Alex prepared a map of the five rivers and twelve towns in the region covered by the Five Rivers Arts Alliance non-profit arts organization. Two other mapping projects involved preparing a map for a "Safe Routes to School" grant application and an inventory of properties either listed in the National Register of Historic Places or one of the top 100 significant historic structures in Brunswick.
“This fellowship allowed me to realize the interconnectivity of the various entities in Brunswick. It was so exciting to assist the Town of Brunswick planners in their attempts to bring representatives from Bowdoin, non-profits, citizens, and other organizations together to work for the betterment of the Brunswick community.”
Leah Ricci '07 spent the summer working with Maine Audubon as the environmental education intern. She worked to educate the public on Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat, and what people can do to protect it. She gained experience educating in a variety of ways. While working at the Scarborough Marsh, she led walking tours for elementary school classes and canoe tours for the general public. At the Maine Audubon headquarters at Gilsland Farm, she answered naturalist phone calls and emails, worked as a counselor for Maine Audubon’s summer camp and preschool program, assisted in bird banding demonstrations, and created educational material for use in the nature center.
“As a result of this fellowship, I have learned more about Maine and the local community than I have in the rest of my three years here. It gave me the opportunity to be involved in local issues, learn about the challenges facing Maine’s environment, and make a positive impact on people in the community.”
While working with Cultivating Community, Larissa Curlik '07 was exposed to a variety of social and environmental issues ranging from learning how to remediate lead contaminated soil to working with youth and immigrant populations. Working to develop local food systems for low-income families in the urban environment was a challenging and exciting experience. But, at the end of the day, Larissa said, “the most rewarding part about this fellowship experience has been watching the plants that I seeded early in the summer grow up from the dirt into vegetables that are then used to feed people in the community.” Larissa was able to see first-hand how community can be built around local food systems and gained a better understanding of the importance of place to the production of food in America and the urban environment.
Reflecting on how her work will impact her future studies, Larissa said, “When I return to Bowdoin this fall as a student I will use this experience to think more critically about what I am learning in the classroom. It is often easy to idealize realities and falsely analyze situations. But I have learned this summer that true understanding comes only when you can immerse yourself in the environment that you are dealing with to the point that you can truly feel the rhythms of the land and experience the routines of life. I have learned that we should not be so eager to propose solutions to problems that we do not first fully understand. My greatest challenge this fall is to learn to listen, and to find the truth before seeking the solution to the challenges we face in our environment and society.”
Luke McKay '07 spent the summer working as Maine Audubon’s Environmental Education Intern at both Scarborough Marsh and Gilsland Farm. He worked closely the public, teaching children, adolescents, and adults about Maine’s natural environment and how to protect it. From leading canoe tours to answering visitor’s natural history questions, Luke had a variety of tasks and projects to complete at both sites. As a result of this experience, Luke sees himself pursuing a career in environmental education and non-profit work.
“Working for Maine Audubon not only allowed me to experience the effectiveness of environmental education and using nature as a classroom, but made me appreciate everything that goes into making a successful environmental non-profit.”
Whitney Hogan ‘07 had the opportunity to, not only learn about Mt. Agamenticus, but become familiar with the people who inhabit the surrounding land. She collected oral histories from elders in hopes of preserving the history of the site and detailing how land use has changed. The prevailing trends were – the failure of the small family farm, the reforestation of previous farmland, and hunting as a method of sport rather than survival. Every person interviewed seems to think that the younger generations are more removed from the land.
“This project gave me a wider view of southern Maine – how we are working the land, how our communities have changed, and how residents wish it to be in the future."
Tom Elson '06 worked with the Natural Resources Council of Maine in Augusta. Working with members of NRCM, Tom gained valuable experience working with a non-profit environmental advocacy group. He worked with Sue Jones and Jon Hinck on projects ranging from electronic-waste recycling to global warming research.
“After spending a summer with the folks at NRCM, I am thoroughly impressed by all the amazing and passionate people working here. It has been a great experience and an even greater opportunity.”
Lowell Walker '07 worked for the Sagadahoc Regional Rural Resources Initiative as part of a grant from the State Planning Office. The Sagadahoc Region Rural Resource Initiative (SRRRI) is a cooperative land use planning initiative, bringing together 12 towns surrounding Merrymeeting Bay and the Maine State Government in an effort to make natural resources and development decisions on a regional level, rather than local basis. Working with a committee comprised of representatives from Maine Audubon, Maine Inland Fish and Wildlife, Town of Topsham, Town of Brunswick, The Nature Conservancy and the Maine State Planning Office, Lowell used GIS to identify and rank natural resource areas in the region that are most vulnerable to impact from development. In addition, Lowell created a map of over 200 locations identified as part of a regional visioning session that represent places valued by residents of the region for their ecological, recreational, or historical value. The completed maps will then be used by town governments to guide their natural resource conservation and land use planning decisions.
Roger Burleigh '06 worked alongside Dan Herzberg in the Planning and Development Office for the Town of Brunswick. He was exposed to a multitude of issues including, affordable housing, the comprehensive plan, historic preservation on maine college campus’ and GPS mapping. He helped organize the community design workshop for the Maine Street Station, produced a video (broadcast on Channel 7) for the New Meadows River Watershed Project and produced GIS maps that plotted the 460+ structures in Brunswick listed under the 1998 Historic Survey.
“It is comforting to know that the staff in the Planning and Development Office and the Brunswick community itself, are progressive and innovative fusing history, culture, commerce, the environment and sustainability into every project. It is thrilling to know that I am helping to shape the place in which I and all other Bowdoin students reside [at least temporarily]. My only regret is that the student body isn’t more involved in town matters.”
Karsten Moran '05 spent his summer working at the Maine Energy Investment Corporation (MEIC), in Brunswick. Splitting his time between MEIC's various independent projects, he was given hands on experience working in a small non-profit in the renewable energy sector. With visits to the state house in Augusta and environmental industry meetings across Maine, he gained a comprehensive understing of, and an appreciation for, environmental outreach, and non-profit work.
"My internship with the Maine Energy Investment Corporation has been an enormously rewarding experience. It has not only been exceedingly valuable from an educational perspective, but it has also deepened my affection for the state of Maine. The experience exceeded my expectations and I am truly appreciative of those people involved in making it happen, both from/with Bowdoin and at MEIC."
Dan Herzberg '06 was exposed to a multitude of issues including affordable housing, Brunswick's comprehensive plan, historic preservation on Maine college campuses, GPS mapping, site surveying, and endangered species preservation while working with Brunswick Town Office. He attended numerous meetings with the planning board, town council, and prospective developers to understand how the planning process is carried out from start to finish. One project that he worked on was the production of a documentary for the New Meadows River Watershed Project (broadcast on local TV). His film included interviews with individuals ranging from local clammers and EPA staff from Boston. As part of the filming, Dan was able to take aerial shots from a chartered plan and also while accompanying the Brunswick Police Department Marine Warden on an air-boat patrol.
"I never understood just how large a role the Brunswick Planning Office plays into shaping the way our town works. Whether helping local boaters register their vessel or ensuring that a private developer acts with the towns best interests at heart, they seem to do everything. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to assist them in their work --and learn so much in the process."
Cory Hiar '05 was this summer's Logan Environmental intern. He worked for the Maine Chapter of the The Nature Conservancy as a Stewardship Intern. In this position, he focused primarily on the issue of invasive species, building on the work of Jill Elenbass (Logan intern, summer 2003). He recruited and trained volunteers to monitor for invasive plant species in the Lower Kennebec Estuary area, and developed a GIS (Geographic Information System) of the information collected by the volunteers.
Elly Pepper '05 worked at the Maine Coast Heritage Trust as the Maine Land Trust Network intern. As part of her internship, Elly developed information packs for Maine land trusts on a range of topics ranging from funding opportunities for Maine land trusts, to tax-related topics and other technical assistance resources. She consulted with staff at many different land trusts, foundations and governmental agencies in order to develop the informational packets.
Sue Kim '05 worked for the Natural Resources Council of Maine as a Research Assistant. Sue researched policies involving biomass, regional and state distributed generation policies, and California and Maine hybrid car policies. She wrote white papers and developed talks on these topics. Sue was also involved in outreach work which included writing factsheets and gathering petition signatures related to the Global Warming campaign NRCM is running.
Ben Babcock '05 and Claire Connors '07 were with the Town of Brunswick Planning Department. As interns, developed public education materials associated with Brunswick's Rural Smart Growth strategy, conducted research for the Comprehensive Plan update committee, mapped invasive species, guided local elementary school children on a field trip to a pond ecosystem, posted Town conservation lands, built and maintained trails, and prepared and presented reports for the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board.
Eliza Hutchinson '06 worked as an environmental education intern with Maine Audubon in Falmouth, Maine. Her duties included leading walks for school groups as well as nature art programs for children at Maine Audubon's Scarborough Marsh preserve. She also lead nature programs for preschool children at the Maine Audubon center in Falmouth. In addition to her work leading programs for children, Eliza worked on a pond guide and conducted research on native and invasive plant species.
Kari Twaite '06 worked as a Program Assistant for the Maine Green Power Connection based in Brunswick, Maine. Kari helped to compile information for Green Power purchasers and partners and worked on developing an awareness campaign on green power in the state. She also helped to organize a Earth Care team event held at the Morris Farm and provided assistance to members of Maine Interfaith Power and Light in their outreach programs on steps towards reducing energy use among Maine congregrations.
2004 Psi U and Logan interns and representatives from sponsoring organizations. Top from left to right: Judy Walker, Maine Audubon; Megan Shore, Maine Coast Heritage Trust; Eileen Johnson, ES Program Manager; Christine James, Maine Green Power Network; Erika Morgan, Maine Green Power Network; Eli Berry, Psi-U Alumnus; Chester (Bill) Cook, Psi-U Alumnus; Dewitt John, ES Program Director. Bottom row: Steve Walker, Town of Brunswick; interns Ben Babcock, Cory Hiar, Elly Pepper, Kari Twaite, Eliza Hutchinson, Sue Kim, Meg Boyle, Lauren Withey.
Jill Elenbaas '04 was this summer's Logan Environmental intern. She worked for the Maine Chapter of the The Nature Conservancy as a Stewardship Intern. In this position, she focused primarily on the issue of invasive species. She recruited and trained volunteers to monitor for invasive plant species in the Lower Kennebec Estuary area, and developed a GIS (Geographic Information System) of the information collected by the volunteers. Jill also assisted with an inventory of the different biological communities for a newly acquired property in the Debsconeag Lake Region, just south of Baxter State Park.
Adrienne Heflich '05, Patrick Mahoney '05, and Michelle Weaver '03 worked at the Maine Coast Heritage Trust Adrienne Heflich worked as the Maine Land Trust Network intern. She coordinated the publication of the Maine Land Trust Network Directory. She also coordinated the publication of a brochure for land trust advisors such as attorneys, accountants and financial planners. Patrick Mahoney worked with the Stewardship Department. He helped to monitor easements, collected information to develop baseline maps of MCHT islands, and worked with Adrienne to compile a registry of easements held by land trusts and other organizations around the state. Michelle Weaver worked in a position that was shared by Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Nature Conservancy. She was involved in researching issues pertaining to the upcoming Land for Maine's Future bond issue and on an aquaculture site hearing that took place during the summer for a project located near a MCHT property.
"This was a very wonderful experience and especially helpful at this point in my education. I now have a very practical understanding of how and why Environmental Studies involves so many different governmental agencies, NGO's, businesses, citizens and other groups in order to bring about meaningful change."-Adrienne Heflich
David Parsons '05 worked for the Natural Resources Council of Maine as a Research Assistant. David conducted research and wrote policy papers for NRCM staff. His research focused primarily around the issues of state initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases and the methods in which states are implementing these initiatives. As part of his internship, he was able to attend legislative hearings on proposed legislation, as well as the official bill signing of Maine's first in the nation law that set goals for the reduction of global warming emissions.
"Participation in this program has given me some extraordinarily valuable experience in an environmental field. This experience will help me to narrow my career interests and focus my goals"
Cy Moulton'04 and Christine Bevacqua '04 worked with the Town of Brunswick Planning Department. As interns, they assisted the Town's Natural Resource Planner on a variety of projects including trail maintenance on town owned property, water quality testing, mapping of invasive species, and development of a web page for the New Meadows River Watershed Project.
Becky Bogdanovich '04 really got into her work as an intern with Maine Audubon in Falmouth, Maine. Her duties included: creating species inventory of trees, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies common to Gilsland Farm and designing pamphlets based upon these surveys; assisting with day camp programs (both pre-school and older children); volunteering at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center; responding to naturalist questions from the public; and assisting with a song bird banding project.
"I think this program is a great opportunity for Bowdoin students to explore different professions within the environmental arena. My experience was wonderful and very insightful and I am very grateful for having this opportunity."
Brigid Moran '03 worked as a Program Assistant for the Maine Green Power Connection based in Brunswick, Maine. As part of her internship, she developed plans for outreach to the higher education and health care sectors on the benefits of purchasing green power. She also developed general educational materials and responded to inquiries from the general public about green power.
2003 Psi U and Logan interns and representatives from sponsoring organizations. Top from left to right: DeWitt John, ES Program Director; Nancy Sferra, The Nature Conservancy; interns Pat Mahoney, Becca Bogdanovich, Jill Elenbaas, and Cy Moulton; Eli Berry, Psi U Alumnus. Middle row: Forrest Dillon, Maine Coast Heritage Trust; Sue Jones, Natural Resources Council of Maine; interns David Parson, Christine Bevacqua, Adrienne Heflich, Brigid Moran; Judy Walker, Maine Audubon; Eileen Johnson, ES Program Manager. Bottom row: Steve Walker, Town of Brunswick; Theo Holtwijk, Town of Brunswick.
Sarah Fick '04 is our first Logan Environmental intern. This summer she worked for the Maine Chapter of the The Nature Conservancy as a GIS/Conservation Planning intern. Using GIS, Sarah assisted TNC staff as they identified potential properties for protection. One of the projects she assisted with was the Katahdin Forest Project which resulted in the protection of 240,000 acres of land. In addition, she provided GIS support for TNC staff.
Gordon Clark '03 and Ali Rau '04 worked at the Maine Coast Heritage Trust Gordon Clark worked with the Stewardship Department. He helped to monitor easements, map several MCHT islands, develop baseline data reports and assisted with the management of MCHT's public preserve system. Ali Rau worked with the Communications Department to develop a comprehensive database of projects funded through the Land for Maine's Future program.
Ellen Strickland '04 and Lela Stanley '04 were with the Town of Brunswick Planning Department. They assisted the Town's Natural Resource Planner and Marine Warden on various projects including conducting water quality testing of streams and bays, identifying and mapping invasive species and developing education materials including a newspaper insert on the New Meadows River and a brochure for residents who live the town's Coastal Protection Zone.
"This internship has had a huge impact on my future. It was an all around great experience." -Ellen Strickland
"My entire outlook has changed as a result of this internship...This summer gave me an excellent head start on the kind of ecology and botany-based work that I want to do." -Lela Stanley
Aimee Tow '04 and Elliot Jacobs '04 worked for the Maine Chapter of the The Nature Conservancy. As interns in the Stewardship Department, they helped to monitor and care for TNC's holdings throughout the state. In addition, Elliot Jacobs worked with the Conservancy's southern Maine office for one week and Aimee Tow developed educational materials on invasive species.
Louis Plough '01 worked for the Friends of Casco Bay assisting with water quality testing around Casco Bay and helped to develop a sampling procedure for testing sediments in the bay.
Alice Kopij '01 and Gordon Clark '03 worked with the Communications Department at Maine Coast Heritage Trust They worked with MCHT's Maine Land Trust Network program, a coalition of over 80 local and regional land conservation trusts and with other communication projects. Brittany Cline'01 also worked at MCHT with the Stewardship Department. She helped to monitor easements, develop baseline data reports and assisted with the management of MCHT's public preserve system
Leah McConaughey '01 worked for the Maine Chapter of the The Nature Conservancy. As an intern in the Stewardship Department, Leah helped to monitor and care for TNC's holdings throughout the state
Rebecca Clark '01 helped to coordinate a volunteer-based water quality monitoring program for the Friends of Casco Bay. Rebecca was also involved with FOCB's community-based environmental education program.
Melissa Bailey '01 was with The Maine Center for Economic Policy in Augusta. She worked on an analysis of welfare reform issues.
Alice Kopij '01 worked with the Communications Department at Maine Coast Heritage Trust. She updated the statewide Maine Land Trust directory.
Wade Kavanaugh '01 was with The Maine Center for Economic Policy in Augusta. He worked on an evaluation of tourism efforts in the state and helped research other MECEP projects.
Tim Dwyer '00 worked with The Island Institute in Rockland. He worked on water quality monitoring, an ongoing lobster population survey in Penobscot Bay and several pilot aquaculture projects.