About the Summer Sustainability Fellowship

The UNE Summer Sustainability Fellowship program pairs UNE students and recent UNE graduates with local municipal, business, and non-profit community partners (host organizations) to collaborate on specifically designed sustainability projects. We define sustainability broadly, using the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework.

Each UNE fellow undertakes a full time (approximately 400 hours) challenging site-specific project over 10 weeks during the summer that includes defined deliverables. The fellow is provided a $6,800 stipend and up to three internship course credits.

UNE fellows are mentored by dedicated individuals from the host organization and advised by a program team at UNE. Host organizations and fellows co-create a work plan that guides the fellows’ work over the course of the summer, with designated tasks, duties, and deliverables that also allows flexibility to adapt as needed over the course of the project. Fellows meet weekly in small groups (four to five students in each group) organized around project themes. These groups are led by the UNE program team. Fellows also participate in program events (orientation, weekly professional development events for fellows, a mid-summer workshop, and final presentations) that are designed to encourage relationship building with other fellows, mentors, and the UNE project team.

Applications for a 2024 Summer Sustainability Fellowship are now closed.

Sustainability Fellowship Details and Application Instructions

Program Goals

Educating and cultivating the next generation of sustainability professionals and leaders

Fellows gain valuable experience and hone their skills as they work to apply their academic training to real-world sustainability challenges. This theory-to-practice experience provides unique professional development for the fellows that will support development of career-readiness skills and prepare them to be effective sustainability professionals and leaders.

Building more sustainable institutions and communities

UNE collaborates with host organizations to hire exceptional UNE students to serve as Summer Sustainability fellows to work on specific, well-designed, and mentored sustainability projects. Fellows are expected to make substantial progress on the specific sustainability challenge and complete a set of deliverables described in the work plan.

Building a larger and stronger network that supports and connects sustainability professionals

The UNE Summer Fellowship program is designed on principles of collaboration and shared investment of time, mentoring, and resources to develop the next generation of sustainability leaders. We expect relationships among participants, alumni, the UNE community, and host organizations will grow and evolve over time to establish a community and shared understanding of pressing sustainability challenges and how to address them at local to regional scales. Our vision is to grow into a broader network of sustainability professionals across the region that provides mutually beneficial support and enhances regional collaboration and problem solving.

Compensation, Housing, and Expectations

Compensation for Fellows

Fellows are employees of the University of New England and receive an hourly wage of $17 per hour for 400 hours of work (total of $6,800) over a 10-week period from June 6 to Aug. 14.

For those students who are interested, the program will also cover the expense of three internship course credits.

Housing

Fellows use their stipends to pay for their own living expenses, including housing and food. Affordable residence halls on the UNE Biddeford Campus will be available for fellows over the summer if they have not made previous arrangements. The cost of the residence halls is the responsibility of the fellows.

Expectations

  • Participate in program orientation at the start of the Summer Sustainability Fellowship (June 6–7).
  • Commit to 400 hours of program participation over an 11 week period (from June 6 – Aug. 14), which allows  time off during the fellowship term.
  • Work full time with the host organization and adhering to the professional standards and practices.
  • Complete project deliverables according to the work plan (with adjustments as necessary and mutually agreed upon with host organization, the fellow, and UNE program team).
  • Participate in weekly advisory group meetings and in summer professional development opportunities organized by the UNE project team.
  • Present results at a mid-summer workshop and final presentation event.

Application Instructions

Applications for summer 2024 fellowships are now closed.

Review program information

Review the program information in the sections above, including program goals, compensation, housing, and expectations, and important dates.

Explore the Sustainability Fellowship Position Descriptions

Choose one or two fellowships that are of interest and that align with your skills and background.

Prepare all of your application materials

Before beginning the online application process, prepare a cover letter(s), resume, reference list, and writing sample. Student applicants should work with their academic and career advisor and/or the internship coordinator in the Academic and Career Advising Center to develop their materials and prepare their application for submission.

  • Cover Letter: Write a cover letter for each Fellowship you apply for (up to 2). Your cover letter should indicate exactly which project/organization you are applying for. Good cover letters express enthusiasm for the project and topic and make a clear connection between your skills and interests as well as the needs for that project.
  • Resume: Prepare a resume that highlights your background relative to the fellowship(s) you are applying for.
  • Reference List: List three references (academic, professional, or volunteer) who know you and are willing to discuss your specific skills, experiences, ability to work independently, collaborate, and adapt to new situations. For each reference provide their title, organization, preferred contact information (phone and/or email).
    Note that letters of recommendation are not required.
  • Writing Sample: Submit a writing sample (one to two pages) from your academic or professional work. It is not necessary to demonstrate knowledge of relevant content, but rather this will help us gauge your skill in written communication. Select a writing sample that demonstrates your ability to communicate in a style that is most relevant to the project(s) of interest to you. Feel free to submit excerpts from longer pieces, just include an explanatory note.

Assemble your application package

Combine your materials into a single PDF in the following order: cover letter(s), resume, references, writing sample. Name the PDF file using this format:FirstName_LastName_SF_2024.

Complete the online application form, upload your application package. Applications for 2024 are now closed.

Next Steps

The UNE program team will review your application shortly after March 12. Most applicants who are invited to interview for a fellowship(s) position will be contacted in mid-March. We plan to conduct interviews during the last two weeks of March and most offers are extended by late-March.

Contact

For any questions about the process contact Kate Vose at kvose@une.edu.

Fellowship Opportunities

Sustainable Business Plan Fellow

The Ecology School, Saco, Maine

About the Ecology School

The Ecology School is an environmental living and learning center that inspires stewardship of and connection to the natural world through experiential learning in ecology, conservation, farming, and sustainability.

About the Fellowship Position

The fellow will draft a comprehensive five-year economic/business strategy plan for The Ecology School at River Bend Farm through the lens of sustainability with a focus on business and education.

The project will build on The Ecology School’s prior business plan, current standing in the local and regional market, competitive analysis, opportunities for growth, and strategy for achieving growth on the 313-acre campus. With consideration of the environment, education, equity, and economy as a four-part framework, the fellow will help outline a 2024-28 strategic plan, the next fundraising campaign, and economic impact within the community. Ultimately, this plan will quantify both the societal and economic impact of The Ecology School for stakeholders.

The fellow will be introduced to all facets of the organization to develop a comprehensive understanding of the work, roles and responsibilities, and growth of the organization. While this project includes independent research and work, there will be lots of opportunities for interpersonal engagement and hands-on experience within our sustainability education programs at the River Bend Farm campus.

Deliverables

The fellow is expected to provide:

  • A written report summarizing the economic vitality of The Ecology School as a sustainability-focused educational nonprofit organization in Maine with national and international connections.
  • An updated draft sustainable business plan that builds on the “pre-COVID-19” business plan, including strategic direction and planning.
  • Research for the next fundraising campaign.
Desired Qualifications
  • Possess a sense of curiosity, creativity, and appreciation for The Ecology School’s mission and work.
  • Ability to think and work independently while exhibiting a commitment and drive to complete the project.
  • Foundational understanding of online research, business operations, data analysis, planning and strategy, and systems thinking are important.
  • Knowledge or experience of nonprofit organizations and operations is a plus.
Location

The Ecology School
184 Simpson Road, Saco, Maine

Mentors
  • Drew Dumsch, President and CEO, The Ecology School
  • Leanna Bonds, Director of Advancement & Community Partnerships, The Ecology School

Building Municipal Resilience to Extreme Heat Fellow

Town of Kittery, Maine

About the Town of Kittery

Founded in 1647, Kittery is Maine’s oldest incorporated town. Located at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, the town has a working waterfront, significant open space and parkland, and multiple vibrant commercial hubs, including its Foreside district, outlet malls, and its public marina at Pepperrell Cove. The Kittery Town Council recently adopted the community’s Climate Action Plan Strategies. These were developed over a year-long community engagement effort. 

About the Fellowship Position

The fellow will inventory and map heat islands and shade tree canopy and help develop a town-wide tree program that encourages the protection and planting of climate-resilient trees and shade areas. (Kittery Climate Action Strategy #6 (PDF)). The overall objective is to reduce the extent of heat islands in town over time (including preventing future heat islands) and to ensure tree canopy is managed and protected against climate-related risks, including drought, storms/extreme precipitation, and invasive plant and bugs.

This project is a specific Climate Action Plan Strategy adopted by the town council. The project will also be an important component of the policy and ordinance development associated with other components of the Climate Action Plan related to low-impact development, improving walkability (shade trees improve pedestrian safety and experience), reducing paved areas, and ensuring municipal decision-making and funding strategies considers resilience and sustainability.

Deliverables

The fellow is expected to provide:

  • GIS-based map of current heat islands and shade canopies with an accompanying report providing key findings.
  • Analysis of inequity within the community relative to access to shade and heat-relief building on the existing analysis of social vulnerability in Kittery provided in 2023 report.
  • Develop a Shade Tree policy for public spaces.
  • Summarize findings in a PowerPoint presentation and present findings to the Town of Kittery.
Desired Qualifications
  • Ability to take large projects and break them down into manageable components with reasonable milestones.
  • Familiarity with GIS to identify, quantify, and map heat islands and shade canopies.
  • Knowledge or interest in the role shade canopy and trees have in climate action and resiliency and public health.
  • An understanding or interest regarding how municipal policy is shaped, and the need to balance ideal objectives and real barriers will be beneficial.
  • An interest in climate solutions and building resilience to climate change that is equitable.
Location

Town of Kittery
200 Rogers Road, Kittery, Maine

The fellow should plan to visit and work in Kittery for a portion of the fellowship. However, GIS, satellite imagery, and other data sources will provide much of the necessary information, and that work can be done remotely. We anticipate incorporating the assistance of an arborist in the project to provide technical information and guidance on the policy relative to tree species and tree risk management.

Mentors
  • Kendra Amaral, Town Manager, Kittery
  • Judy Spiller, Chair, Town Council, Kittery 

Maine Climate Action Business and Innovation Network (Maine CABIN) Fellow

ClimateWork Maine, Portland, Maine

About ClimateWork Maine

ClimateWork Maine is a network of businesses and business leaders that are taking action on climate change to meet its challenges and seize the opportunities it presents to build a more sustainable economy for the future. It is an organization that is set up to give businesses the information and support that they need and to connect them with others who share their willingness to take action. We believe that the future success of our businesses — and the success of the state overall — is directly tied to our ability to reduce and adapt to climate change and to embrace new ideas, new companies, and new technologies that help preserve the character and quality of Maine and attract and retain new talent and investments across all of Maine.

About the Fellowship Position

Assist with the creation and implementation of the Maine Climate Action Business and Innovation Network (Maine CABIN), a new statewide business support service system for businesses of all sectors, sizes, and locations. The Maine CABIN will be built to be a bold, comprehensive, effective, robust, and inclusive program that engages businesses, workers, and communities; strengthens partnerships with Maine’s private, public, and nonprofit sectors; and supports the growth and deployment of climate solutions in operations, products, services, projects, and with economic and workforce development strategies.

The Maine CABIN project will establish a sustainable, ongoing resource to shelter and support businesses in a climate-change-constrained economy. This program will lead to significantly lower greenhouse gas levels and a diversity of opportunities for a diversity of Maine businesses. The Maine CABIN will help them navigate and access new and existing resources they need to grow and succeed. The Maine CABIN will house companies that can provide jobs for hundreds of Maine’s engineers, installers, fishermen, foresters, service and utility workers, and small and large business owners and their employees. Engaging small businesses and startups especially will help them grow their businesses and workforce, market their products and services, and contribute to climate solutions.

The Maine CABIN will focus on a hybrid delivery of services to businesses and startups that include virtual business support programs, in-person advice and educational sessions, and mentoring opportunities with a statewide, regional partner support component. The programs (or “rooms”) in the Maine CABIN can be developed at different times but eventually will contribute to a virtual/physical “place” that is welcoming to all views and inhabitants.

Deliverables

CWM will work directly with the fellow on components of the project that match their interests and career paths. For example, the fellow may assist CWM with developing an online resource library for its member companies by working on some of the following tasks:

  • A catalog of immediate and tangible actions businesses can take to reduce carbon in their buildings, vehicles, and purchasing.
  • Resources on how climate change relates to their business and how to measure their climate emissions.
  • Financing opportunities for new equipment, emission-reducing technologies, and development of low-carbon solutions (e.g., electricity, heating, electric vehicles, efficient machinery).
  • Accessible information on state and federal rebates or incentives.
  • Practical examples – from within and outside of Maine - of how businesses are implementing low-carbon technologies and reducing emissions across their supply chains.

The fellow may also participate in the following activities:

  • Convene business sustainability directors, experts, influencers, and designated employees to educate, advocate for, and encourage profitable and sustainable businesses in Maine.
  • Define and recognize innovative sustainability business practices
  • Attend CWM and partner information and networking, including our Annual Summit on Maine’s Economy and Climate Change
Desired Qualifications

Preferred knowledge and skills include the following:

  • Strong research, communications, and computer skills and an interest in working with the business community on climate-related issues.
  • Excellent verbal, interpersonal, and written communication skills, with the ability to present information clearly and effectively.
  • Self-motivated with an ability to work independently and collaboratively with teams,  organize and prioritize multiple projects, and seek direction when needed.
  • Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) experience is essential. Experience with data analysis and website management is also desired.
  • Strong entrepreneurial drive.
  • Background or interest in the areas of climate change, energy, sustainability, and/or environmental issues is desired.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and preference for working in a fast-paced environment.
  • Commitment to quality and ability to manage sensitive materials in a confidential manner.
Location

ClimateWork Maine
44 Quebec Street #3, Portland, Maine 

Mentors
  • Jeff Marks, Executive Director, ClimateWork Maine
  • Jen Brooks, Program Manager, ClimateWork Maine

Meadow Woods Preserve Fellow

Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, Kennebunkport, Maine

About the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust

The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust is dedicated to preserving land for use by current and future generations and managing properties in a way that reflects the natural and cultural heritage of Kennebunkport.

About the Fellowship Position

The fellow will assist the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust (KCT) in planning for the future of their newest preserve, Meadow Woods Preserve. The project will begin with a review of existing documents, learning about the history and ecology of the property, followed by meetings with relevant community members (including KCT staff, board members, and volunteers). The fellow would then help to design a perimeter trail on the preserve that is compatible with existing flora and fauna. They would also design a management plan for the invasive plant species in the eastern portion of the preserve. If time permits, trail construction and invasive species management could begin with the help of KCT volunteers. Communicating with KCT staff, board members, and volunteers will be an important part of this fellowship.

Deliverables
  • Plan for a perimeter trail for the Meadow Woods Preserve that reflects the interest of the KCT community and is compatible with existing flora and fauna.
  • Invasive species management plan for Meadow Woods Preserve.
  • Begin training on construction and invasive species management, time permitting.
Desired Qualifications

Required:

  • Good communication skills (written, oral, listening).
  • Ability to work independently and gather information from a variety of sources (professionals, online, literature).
  • Familiarity with interview or focus group methods,
  • Desire to spend time in the field (uplands and wetlands) and physical fitness and know-how for withstanding hot days in the field.
  • Knowledge of southern Maine ecology, ability

Desired:

  • Ability to gather tracks and points with a handheld GPS and map them using Google Earth/GIS software.
  • Knowledge of common invasive plant species and trail construction
  • Knowledge or experience using iMap Invasives
Location

Kennebunkport Conservation Trust
Gravelly Brook Road, Kennebunkport, Maine

Mentors
  • Russ Grady, President, Kennebunkport Conservation Trust Board of Directors
  • Tom Bradbury, Executive Director, Kennebunkport Conservation Trust
  • Pam Morgan, Vice-President, Kennebunkport Conservation Trust Board of Directors

Sustainable Events Fellow

The Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport, Maine

About the Nonantum Resort

A Maine waterfront resort where traditions begin. The Nonantum Resort has been welcoming guests with genuine hospitality since 1883. Enjoy historic charm with just the right modern comforts. Located on the Kennebunk River, along scenic Ocean Avenue, close to the shops and galleries in Dock Square, near Walker's Point and the beaches. Offering casually elegant accommodations (109 guest rooms), award-winning dining, family activities, and a gorgeous setting for special events. Seasonal outdoor heated pool, kayak and bike rentals, trolley tours, scenic lobster boat tours, sailing tours, and fishing charters departing right from the resort's on-site marina.

About the Fellowship Position

The fellow will first become familiar with the sustainability measures Nonantum has in place and recommend new processes and products that will help us establish an industry benchmark for sustainability. Then, at the end of the fellowship, apply that information to help create customer-facing collateral to support wedding, corporate, and social events at the resort and Blackrock Farm under the rubric of developing a sustainability-driven events program. Additional objectives include: developing a statement of the financial benefits and costs of sustainable events; creating an internal sustainability guide to events at the Nonantum that promotes the responsible sourcing of materials and relies on internal processes that are considered sustainable; and working with the marketing and sales department to convert this information to customer-facing content. 

In addition, the fellow would explore operational deficiencies that should be addressed to maximize sustainable program offerings. For example:

  • Can custom table linens be responsibly sourced, cleaned, and recycled for future events?
  • Are there vendors who can create centerpieces from recycled goods, which can then be recycled or donated?
  • Is the food organic and/or locally sourced, depending on the time of year?
  • Is there compostable barware? How are empty bottles and cans collected?
  • Is there a photo booth that can send a picture to a cell phone and offer a non-print option? 
  • Can we provide notepads that use recycled paper or invest in a technology that would allow for an all-digital conference with no printed materials?
  • Are there special steps that we should take at Blackrock Farm to protect the farm from pollutants and waste when events are held?

Then, once all this information has been discovered, evaluated, and categorized, with the help of our marketing and sales department, it will be used  to create customer-facing collateral that will promote sustainably-driven events. 

Deliverables
  • Brief that provides a review of current sustainability measures and recommends new sustainability processes and products.
  • Creation of internal resources for staff to guide guests when they are considering sustainable components of events held at the resort or Blackrock Farm.
  • Value-chain analysis and financial review of sustainable products and processes as applied to Nonantum events.
  • Creation of customer-facing collateral that promotes sustainability in event hosting. 
Desired Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have completed an appropriate collegiate course of study in environmental sciences (or comparable coursework) as well as business courses in finance, management, marketing, etc, perhaps as a minor. Prior experience in a hospitality setting would be beneficial to help the candidate understand the context of the work.

Location

The Nonantum Resort
95 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, Maine

Mentor

Don Golini, Director of Student Employment Programs, The Nonantum Resort

Important Dates

Fellowship Timeline and Deadlines

DateEvent
March 12Deadline for UNE student applications for summer fellowships
March 10–15Students selected for interviews and interviews scheduled
March 18–29Student Interviews with host organizations organized by UNE
March 25–29Check student references and offer Fellowships to students
Early AprilFellowship cohort publicly announced 
June 6–August14Fellowship
June 6–7Orientation 
June 25Mid-summer workshop
August 13Showcase