Summer Funding Opportunities

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 Larry J. Bell ’80 Environmental Stewardship Center there is funding to support multiple projects that advance environmental stewardship and sustainability in our community. 

Students can apply for two types of funding:

  1. Apply for an Environmental Stewardship Grant on campus, the Lillian Anderson Arboretum or in the Kalamazoo community.
  2. Apply for the Seminary Hill Sustainability Grant which provides funding for a student completing an internship within the sustainability field – preferably focusing on sustainable agriculture or sustainable architecture.


Recipients of Environmental Stewardship and Seminary Hill Sustainability Grants will receive a $500/week stipend for projects between 4 and 8 weeks duration (each week is expected to be 32-40 hours of work). Proposals for projects that advance the goals of the Environmental Stewardship Center and the Kalamazoo College 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 and energy-use monitoring/reduction and. If you are looking for an idea, check out our on-campus idea list for future fellowships.

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 Sunday, April 28th, 2024

In addition to the goals of the proposal, each student is required to:
  • Create a learning contract with their mentor (or staff from the Environmental Stewardship Center)
  • Complete online reflections
  • Meet with their mentor regularly to review goals and challenges
  • At the end of the project,
    • 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 28, 2024)
  • Applications will be accepted through the Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships website.
  • Proposals should include 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 Climate Action Plan or sustainable campus practices in general.
Stipend Details for Accepted Fellows

The stipends will be paid in two installments: 3/4 at the beginning of the grant period and the final 1/4 at the completion of your grant period (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.

  • Compute the solar potential of the campus. Identify, quantify and rank potential solar installation sites on campus (~8 weeks)
  • Research anaerobic digestion and assess the campus potential for methane generation from biological waste streams (~8 weeks)
  • Study the potential for electric peak-load shaving using load shifting, load shedding, on-site generation and electrical energy conservation measures (~8 weeks)

Past Projects include:

  • Campus Waste Analysis
  • Environmental Justice training design & development
  • Analyzing spatial interactions of Pitcher’s Thistle 
  • Tree biodiversity, tree cover and park accessibility at 6 Kalamazoo area parks
  • Invasive species mapping at the Lillian Anderson Arboretum
  • Carbon sequestration survey at the Lillian Anderson Arboretum
  • Gardening fellowship at Harvest of Joy Farms & K-College Hoop House
  • Comparison of carbon reporting platforms 
  • Energy, gas and water collection with RStudio


For general questions about the Summer Environmental Stewardship Grants, please contact