Story posted June 09, 2010
Summer has arrived and most Bowdoin students have packed up their belongings, said goodbye to their friends, and headed home. Some students, though, have chosen to stay behind. Among those remaining on campus for summer jobs and internships are the Environmental Studies department's Psi Upsilon and Logan Environmental fellows. During the next few months, the fellows will work with various organizations around Maine on projects ranging from developing a bike and pedestrian plan in Bath to helping create a management plan for the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
The environmental summer fellowships have a relatively new history at Bowdoin. The Psi Upsilon program began in 2000 when proceeds from the sale of the Psi Upsilon house (now Quinby house) were used to create the Kappa Psi Upsilon Environmental Studies fund. The Logan Fellowship started soon after in 2002. The two funds now provide seven Bowdoin students each summer with the opportunity to explore their interests in the environment by placing them in stipended summer fellowships with Maine non-profit organizations and governmental agencies.
Teona Williams '12, a Logan Fellow, recently started her fellowship with The Nature Conservancy in Maine where she will be splitting her time between stewardship duties and helping with their external affairs programs. And, it seems, The Nature Conservancy has not wasted any time putting their new fellow to work. "So far in my two wonderful weeks I have put up trail signs, build bog bridges, toured the Penobscot River Restoration Project...attended meetings on climate change, worked with GIS to help map species and habitats, and worked a little bit on the Forest Legacy Grant. I am currently working on creating talking points for an acceptance speech that will be given in D.C. on Tuesday," says Williams.
Fellowships with the Logan and Psi Upsilon program not only give students a taste of environmental work, they also allow students the chance to explore their unique environmental interests in a meaningful way. During Williams' time with The Nature Conservancy, she will be working on a project looking at issues of diversity in an environmental context. Kate Dempsey, one of Williams' mentors, explains, "One of my favorite things is to connect a student with a place in the world s/he is passionate about. We hope to be able to do (that) with Teona by connecting some of her research she is already doing with some of our efforts to connect more and more young people and people of color with the outdoors right here in Maine."
"I am really excited about getting an opportunity to look at what percentage of people of color in Maine use different nature reserves or outdoor recreational sites in Maine," says Williams, "...any project that will allow me to explore the important issue of diversity will have me off the wall!"
Psi Upsilon Fellows
"One of my favorite things is to connect a student with a place in the world s/he is passionate about" -- Kate Dempsey, senior policy advisor at The Nature Conservancy