Summer Environmental Stewardship Fellowships

In 2007, former K College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The College developed a Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP) to guide our work towards meeting the commitment, and began sponsoring student summer projects that help us reach our SCAP goals. In the winter of 2016, President Jorge Gonzalez signed the Higher Education Climate Action Letter, affirming his and Kalamazoo College’s continued commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Through the Center for Environmental Stewardship there is funding to support multiple projects that advance environmental stewardship and sustainability in our community. 

Students can apply for funding for two types of fellowships:

  1. Apply for one of the following Environmental Stewardship Fellowships. Check out the full position descriptions! The fellowships offered this summer are:
    1. Carbon Sequestration Fellowship at the Lillian Anderson Arboretum (mentor: Binney Girdler)
    2. Gardening in Community Fellowship (mentor: Amy Newday)
    3. Land Conservation Fellowship with the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy
  2. Apply for a Self-Designed Fellowship on campus, the Lillian Anderson Arboretum or in the Kalamazoo community. Each Self-Designed Fellowship must be mentored by a Kalamazoo College faculty or staff member. Mentors will receive a stipend for their work.

Logistics

Environmental Stewardship Fellows will receive a $400/week stipend for fellowship projects between 4 and 10 weeks duration (each week is expected to be 32-40 hours of work). Proposals for fellowship projects that advance the goals of the Center for Environmental Stewardship and the Kalamazoo College Sustainability and Climate Action Plan are preferred but any proposal related to sustainable practices on campus will be considered. Campus initiatives could include, but are not limited to: habitat restoration, invasive species control, native pollinator conservation, behavioral changes to promote sustainability or conservation, communication (written or visual) about climate change, composting, waste reduction, recycling, energy-use monitoring/reduction and the LEED certification of buildings. If you are looking for an idea, check out our on-campus idea list for future fellowships.

Environmental Stewardship Fellows with a self-designed research project must work with an on-campus faculty or staff member, who will receive $100 per week stipend. In addition, fellows may also seek the guidance of an off-campus mentor or community partner. 

Proposals from all disciplines are encouraged. Consideration will be given to students with high financial need (as determined by the Office of Financial Aid) and first-generation college students.

Completed applications are due Friday, April 17th, 2020

In addition to the goals of the fellowship, each fellow is required to:
  • Create a learning contract with their mentor (or Director of Center for Environmental Stewardship)
  • Complete weekly online reflections
  • Meet with their mentor weekly to review goals and challenges
  • At the end of the fellowship,
    • Submit a final written report
    • Submit a final visual project
    • Present their fellowship at a campus forum in the fall or winter to share their experiences
Application Materials (due April 17, 2020)
  • Complete the online applications:
  • A brief summary of your proposed research including background, goals, duration (in weeks), and anticipated outcomes
  • A brief personal statement about your commitment to environmental stewardship practices and your understanding of how the work described in your proposal addresses the goals of the Kalamazoo College Sustainability and Climate Action Plan or sustainable campus practices in general.
  • Your resume, including relevant experiences and coursework, and names of two references we may contact (e.g., professors, academic advisor)
Mentor Letter (due April 24, 2020)

If you applying for a Self-Designed Fellowship, you must work with an on-campus faculty or staff member, who will receive $100 per week stipend. 

Please work with your mentor before submitting your application! Once your application has been submitted, a Mentor Form will be sent directly to your mentor to complete by Friday, April 24th.

Mentors, if you have questions about this process, please contact Sara Stockwood

On-Campus Mentor Requirements

On-campus mentors are expected to work closely with their student for the duration of their fellowship. They should meet (in person or over the phone) at least once per week. Mentors will receive a portion of each weekly online reflection and are responsible to review goals, learning outcomes and final projects with the student.

Mentors will receive a $100 per week stipend for their contribution to the students fellowship.

Stipend Details for Accepted Fellows

The $400 per week stipend will be paid in two installments: 3/4 at the end of June and 1/4 at the completion of your fellowship (and finishing reflections, final report and final visual project).

Stipends will be paid through direct deposit. If you have not signed up for direct deposit, please do so at the business office website.

International students will be charged a 14% tax on all reimbursements and stipends, in accordance with IRS regulations.

Because this stipend is awarded primarily for the purpose of supporting your ability to participate in a summer research opportunity, the stipend is generally taxable. However, the College is not required to report this stipend to the IRS on Form W-2 or 1099-MISC and no taxes will be withheld.  You should keep a copy of your award letter with your tax records.  If you have further questions about the tax implications of this award, we recommend you consult with your personal tax advisor.

Self-Designed Project Idea List

Are you looking for a summer project, but are unsure what to apply for?
We’ve been compiling a list of project ideas! Reach out if you are interested, or have questions about any of these ideas.

  • Waste stream analysis for campus. Where does it go? What are the environmental costs? Social costs? (~4 weeks)
  • Compute the solar potential of the campus. Identify, quantify and rank potential solar installation sites on campus (~10 weeks)
  • Research anaerobic digestion and assess the campus potential for methane generation from biological waste streams (~10 weeks)
  • Study the potential for electric peak-load shaving using load shifting, load shedding, on-site generation and electrical energy conservation measures (~10 weeks)
Information Sessions

Please plan to attend one of the following sessions to learn more about the Summer Environmental Stewardship Fellowships! We’ll discuss the application process, discuss application types and help you think through ideas for applying.

Monday, April 6th, 11:00-11:45am via Zoom Call (eastern time zone)

Monday, April 13th, 3:00-3:45pm via Zoom Call (eastern time zone)

Questions?

For general questions about the Summer Environmental Stewardship Fellowship program, please contact EnvironmentalStewardship@kzoo.edu

For questions about your application, please contact Sara Stockwood.