Kappa Psi Upsilon Environmental Studies Maine Based Fellowships
Sarah Corkum '21 - Natural Resources Council of Maine
An internship at the Natural Resources Council of Maine consists of a wide variety of projects and experiences. The summer fellow participates in all aspects of the organization, with topics including forests and wildlife, climate and energy, and state and federal policy. As an advocacy-based position, this internship allows the fellow to see the inner workings of legislative strategy and environmental policy. Projects include compiling data on legislative bills, researching current environmental issues, and analyzing political decision making. This internship allows the fellow to directly participate in the organization and gain experience in environmental policy and advocacy.
"My favorite part about working at the Natural Resources Council of Maine has been the ability to experience the inner workings of an environmental advocacy organization. I have attended legislative hearings, compiled data on environmental bills, and participated in meetings ranging from climate policy to the proposed CMP corridor. This summer I have been able to take what I have learned in my classes and apply it to the type of job I want to have in the future.”
This summer, Anna worked for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in their Division of Environmental Assessment. She primarily assisted the lake assessment unit with a study examining the impact of shoreline development on habitat for aquatic plants and animals. This entailed visiting numerous lakes and ponds in Maine and examining its shore health by completing surveys at 10 evenly spaced but randomly placed points. This research will be used to determine the efficacy of Maine’s shoreline zoning policies. With the help of her fantastic coworkers, she learned how to drive a motorboat, identify aquatic plants, and pass the time on long truck rides to the most remote corners of the state.
"Through this fellowship at the Department of Environmental Protection, I have learned so much about Maine’s lakes and ponds. Surveying shorelines across the state has shown me the impact of development on habitat for aquatic life. Every day at DEP presented a new opportunity to explore various corners of the state and understand the importance of lake health for humans, wildlife and the environment."
Mohamed Oday '20 - Maine Coast Fisherman's Association
This summer, Mohamed, the fellow for the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, works on gathering the latest research on the value of eating seafood for the body and mind as well as the impacts of fisheries on the greenhouse gas footprint as a food choice. This information will be further distilled down for a general audience through infographics, blogposts, etc. Lastly, Mohamed is using GIS data to create maps that show the impacts of sea level rise on different waterfront communities throughout Maine. This data will then be used for a working waterfront report the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association will be producing.
"As a Bowdoin Student, I live in Maine for most of the year. However, I haven’t been able to integrate myself and truly call this place home. It was not until I started working with the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association that I truly felt that I was a part of Maine community. Maine is known for its fishing industry and being a part of an organization that works with such an integral part of the culture here provides a way in."
Over the course of her fellowship at Growing to Give Claire has been immersed in sustainable agriculture, which ties in with her Environmental Studies and Philosophy coordinate major which focuses on how climate change affects food systems. She has had tasks that range from feeding goats to preparing beds for planting to harvesting broccoli. In order to give back to the organization Claire researched sustainable and efficient composting systems in order to implement a new system on the farm. She started a new compost pile using a layering technique and began making compost tea to use instead of solid compost.
“Working with Growing to Give has been one of the most incredible opportunities. Throughout the summer I have enjoyed getting to know the volunteers and immersing myself in Maine’s food systems. I have learned so much about agriculture and running a non-profit, which I look forward to taking with me as I continue working with the effects of climate change on food systems.”
As a fellow at CEI, Beckett worked in the lending department, assisting with two projects relating to the company’s mission of environmentally sustainable development. The first involved researching electric school bus infrastructure in the United States and writing a report with findings and recommendations for implementation strategies in Maine. Research involved outreach to stakeholders, including superintendents, school transportation directors, the Maine Department of Education and organizations including The Nature Conservancy and The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. The second project was to calculate the carbon footprint of CEI’s loan portfolio using a new methodology in carbon accounting in order to understand the environmental impact of the money CEI is lending to businesses across the state.
“I spent my summer exploring the exciting opportunities that the green economy has to offer. I have come to deeply value CEI’s mission of helping Maine achieve economic prosperity through environmentally sustainable enterprises. CEI gave me abounding resources at the intersection of green energy finance, environmental legislation and sustainable community development which have helped me understand the future of sustainable development in my home state of Maine.”
As a summer fellow with KELT, Ely had the opportunity to engage in environmental work on the local scale and contribute to the numerous roles a land trust plays in the local community. The KELT summer fellowship is for anyone who is eager to learn about environmental work on the local scale. Ely's summer fellowship included conducting water quality sampling with a team of volunteers in Georgetown and Phippsburg, building and maintaining trails, monitoring marsh birds at dawn, installing data loggers, monitoring easements, making maps in ArcGIS, digging for clams, sitting in on meetings for large-scale regional projects, working at KELT Kids Camp, and so much more. In working with the team at KELT, Ely was able to experience the teamwork and coordination that allows a small nonprofit to have a big impact.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have had the experience of working at KELT for a summer. I can’t think of anywhere else where I’d have the chance to get a taste of so many different aspects of environmental work in such a short amount of time. It has been eye-opening to see the level of teamwork and coordination needed to make a small nonprofit work.”
Local Government Fellowships - Funding Provided by Lee Lockwood P'01
Cooper Dart '21 - Town of Brunswick
As a summer fellow for the Town of Brunswick’s Department of Planning and Development, Cooper (Environmental Studies and Anthropology major) engaged with many of the diverse responsibilities of local government. His major project for the summer involved crafting policy recommendations for the town’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan update which will better support and encourage agriculture in Brunswick. This work involved creating maps to inventory the Town’s agricultural land and conducting interviews with local farmers and nonprofit directors. In addition to agriculture research, Cooper monitored the Town’s conservation easements, assisted with updating the local Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, and analyzed local land cover change and habitat loss using GIS.
“I have always been interested in land management and community-level conservation, and my fellowship with the Town of Brunswick provided me with a fresh perspective on the work of municipalities. Town Hall is a dynamic, bustling place where I rarely found myself doing the same thing as the day before. I was able to interact with a multitude of stakeholder groups on a daily basis, all while working on projects that had a direct effect on the local community.”
Emma Kyzivat '21 - City of Bath
Emma's fellowship with The City of Bath Manager’s Office focused on updating the city’s energy inventory and climate action plan. She was responsible for gathering all data related to greenhouse gas emissions within the City, and entering it into a software provided by ICLEI that calculates the city’s emissions in terms of greenhouse gas equivalents. The data collection process involved talking to different departments within the city’s government, and communicating with statewide agencies such as the Maine Department of Transportation, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and Central Maine Power. Once all the data is collected, she worked with the ICLEI software to develop charts and graphs that can be used as the base for writing an updated climate action plan.
"Completing an inventory of The City of Bath’s greenhouse gas emissions and updating their climate action plan has provided me with a new understanding for the inner workings of municipal government, and has allowed me to gain valuable insight into the ways in which small communities can impact global climate change. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with city officials, employees, and citizens, and have loved getting more connected with the beautiful City of Bath and larger midcoast region."
Nick worked with the Planner, Assistant Planner, Assessor, and Economic Development Director on GIS mapping projects, bicycle and pedestrian facility inventories and assessments, municipal climate action planning, policy writing and project management. He created new web pages for the Town’s Historic District and transportation facilities, helped draft and present a Complete Streets Policy to the Town’s Board of Selectmen, and completed a neighborhood analysis that will hopefully serve as a resource for establishing community centers in the future. Apart from these main projects, the open and dynamic nature of the Planning Office rounded out Nick’s fellowship experience with supplementary functions such as providing land use information to residents and sitting in on various meetings and conferences.
“Having the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned from so many classes I’ve taken at Bowdoin—from policy writing to promoting sustainability through GIS mapping—has been amazing and helped me to partially realize the careers I might look into for the future. Working for a Planning Department is truly a multidisciplinary role that I have a newfound appreciation for, and I could not have asked for a better place to learn that than with the Town of Topsham.”
Logan Environmental Fellow
Samara conducted a feasibility study on a Water Fund project in Tanzania for TNC’s Africa team. Through the communications department, she wrote stories as part of an outreach plan for the Coastal Risk Explorer tool. She assessed culvert data and adjusted outputs TNC attained. Samara assisted with trustee, staff and board meetings. For the development team, she helped with donor events, wrote a grant proposal, interviewed seasonal staff and developed reports for donors. Samara worked with the Environmental Changemakers to address equity issues in the outdoors. She added capacity during field work.
"A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined myself successfully pitching for a hydropower project in Gabon during a trustee meeting or conducting a feasibility study on a Water Fund in Tanzania. I have stayed in touch with home and contributed to development work there and in Maine through TNC as an international conservation group. On a day-to-day basis, I analyze culvert data, write reports about TNC’s conservation efforts, engage in fieldwork, conduct interviews with seasonal staff and learn the ins-and-outs of philanthropy."
Environmental Health Fellowship - Funding Provided by Shelley Hearn '83
Riley Harris '20 - Environmental Health Strategy Center
The Environmental Health Strategy Center is a Maine-based public health organization working to protect communities from chemicals linked with cancer, asthma, and other health problems. The fellowship provides an opportunity work in a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary, science-based policy organization and build skills in community organizing, public policy, and campaign advocacy. Riley worked with other fellows primarily on the Strategy Center’s arsenic in well water campaign. He collected signatures for future legislation, distributed test kits, helped families apply for state remediation funding, and organized community events. The end goal of this project is to ensure that there are no barriers to clean water in the state of Maine.
“My fellowship with the Environmental Health Strategy Center has afforded me the opportunity to work with a non-profit to whose mission I wholeheartedly subscribe. I have engaged in fundraising, lobbying, and grassroots organizing—mostly for the Strategy Center’s safe drinking water campaign. My fellow interns and I have traversed the state, speaking to communities impacted by arsenic in their drinking water. These conversations have given me a greater appreciation for what environmental justice means and how we can get there.”
Kappa Psi Upsilon Environmental Studies - Environmental Justice Fellowship
Cultivating Community is a multi-program, Portland-based non-profit that seeks to empower communities through the modeling, teaching, and development of sustainable food systems. As an intern in Cultivating Community’s Urban Agriculture program, Jiadi was primarily responsible for maintaining urban gardens throughout the Portland area. This work entailed regular communication with garden members, the researching of sustainable gardening practices, and plenty of field work. Additionally, Jiadi took on the individual task of working to restore the garden space at the Omar bin Al-Khetab Mosque in Portland, developing educated short- and long-term action plans for the sustainable use of the garden and devoting several hours a week to planting, weeding, and constructing the space.
"I wanted this fellowship to allow me to use the privileges of my education and work experience to do the most good. In that regard, my internship with Cultivating Community has been a profoundly rewarding experience. In the vein of one of our core values—digging in—my internship has forced me to deal with unfamiliar situations, build strong relationships, and produce tangible good. I have gained fresh perspectives on environmental justice and the obstacles facing new Americans, which will help guide my career goals."
Kappa Psi Upsilon Environmental Studies - Sustainability Fellowship
Zachary Kaplan ’21 – Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement (JVE International)
Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement, or JVE International, is one of if not the widest ecological NGO(s) for sustainable community development and youth empowerment in Africa. Based in Lomé and Kpélé-Tsiko, Togo. Zachary joined this workforce of activist volunteers in the areas of communication and sustainable agriculture. He primarily helped the Center for Studies and Training in Agroecology (CEFA) expand its visibility, secure financial investment, and report on internal activities, though remained flexible to reach other domains. Apart from online fundraising, writing grant applications or proposals, drafting articles, blog posts, and preliminary research, attending national, organizational, and local conferences, and performing field work, Zachary’s main projects included a capitalization of knowledge related to biodiversity and agriculture, social research focused on education and employment among youth, and collaboration with the Executive Director on a large-scale business presentation, which is continuing into the fall semester.
“JVE is a remarkably active organization whose powerful mission infuses it with an energy for ecological and social reform. My position has given me an impressive view of the complexities, the challenges, the rewards faced by vast, grassroots environmental groups, especially one born and grown in the African context. ‘Sustainability’ does not simply mean, say, promoting clean air, but reversing cyclical poverty, improving childhood nutrition, encouraging job prospects, and removing the economic, political, and racial obstacles to proud, liberated self-sufficiency.”
Cooke Environmental Research Fellowship
Eleanor Paasche '20
As a Cooke Environmental Research Fellow, Eleanor spent the summer talking to farmers, policymakers, and NGOs about the state and federal policies and general trends that have led to the decline of small and medium-sized dairy farms in Maine. She gained further experience in social science research skills by working with Bowdoin librarians and Professor Starobin, as well as attending the Science History Institute’s Oral History Training Workshop at MIT for one week in July. She plans on using the qualitative data collected this summer, as well as her work in the Professor Starobin’s Spring 2018 course Talking to Farmers and Fishermen to pursue an Honors project this Fall.
"This summer has been the perfect culmination of all that I have done at Bowdoin over the past three years as an Environmental Studies and Government major. I finally had the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom and from previous internships into my own independent work, both in the office and out in the field, establishing my own research networks and building relationships and rapport with my interviewees."
Calvin Soule '20
This summer Calvin, who studies Environmental Studies and Government, spent his time interviewing farmers and stakeholders related to food insecurity. Calvin learned more about the pervasiveness of food insecurity in Maine, as well as who the top organizations are in addressing this issue. Working in a research co-lab with Dr. Shana Starobin and Eleanor Paasche allowed Calvin to conduct other interviews/research related to the Dairy industry, and he also spent time developing strong interview, transcription, and data organization skills. Calvin also attended an Oral History and Interview Workshop in which he learned about other ways interviews can be used in research, and what “best-in-practice” interview techniques are.
“The Cooke Fellowship has allowed me to explore a niche in the environmental field that I am interested with. Through this summer work, I have realized my passions for engaging with people who are making a difference, and connecting with people and organizations in my home state. I look forward to reflecting on this summer more as I begin my senior year and try to figure out the next steps in my academic or professional career.”