Pew Grant aids students in environmental research
By biconews On 8 Feb, 2000 At 05:00 AM | Categorized As Archives | With 0 Comments

By Katie Schomaker

In the fall of 1996, Bryn Mawr received a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts for the purpose of promoting environmental studies more across the campus. The final portion of this multi-year grant will be used this summer to support six students in internships and research projects involving environmental studies.

The grant, worth $1,100,000, has increased the quality of environmental studies at Bryn Mawr in several different areas over the last two years - after taking a year to get going. Through the grant, the College created the Environmental Internship Office and hired Jan Newberry, Coordinator for Undergraduate Internships and Research Activities. This office has increased the availability of internships for students and has established a better data base of internship information for them to use.

The grant has also supported environmental research by awarding summer stipends to faculty. It has led to faculty course development relating to environmental studies in multiple academic fields, including the humanities and social sciences. The College has also been able to offer released time support and course replacements for faculty interested in developing new courses related to environmental studies.

In addition, part of the Pew has been given toward “instructional support to help teach environmental study classes,” said Newberry. The grant has supported “smart” classrooms and technology that facilitate environment-related classes. The College also tried “to make better connections to the education program and better connections to the social work program,” added Newberry, but those initiatives “have not gotten as much in return … from the grant.”

Finally, the grant has supported environmental internships for students and faculty/student research projects. For the past two years the school has awarded six students $3000 stipends each for their summer environmental endeavors. Bryn Mawr junior Elissa Underwood was one of the six who received

the award last summer. The Pew Grant allowed her to work at the Clean Air Council as Transportation Intern, “something which may have been a volunteer position” without the grant, she said. From this experience, Underwood said she further developed skills in communication, computer and internet research, and organization and planning.

The final six awards of $3100 for approximately ten weeks will be given for this summer. Natalie Doe, a Bryn Mawr sophomore, is interested in an internship with the Maine Audubon Society, where she would monitor tern populations. She hopes the grant money “will be a motivation for them to take me on as an intern.” Without the grant, Doel would not be able to work with the society.

Although Doel is a biology major with a concentration in environmental science, students from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Newberry emphasizes that the environmental internship can be in a number of fields, such as art or creative writing.

The intent of the grant, which will expire in August of this year, was to begin environmental studies support at Bryn Mawr. Although the grant will soon expire, many hope the school will continue funding what the grant has established. Bryn Mawr junior Andrea Friedman, along with Bryn Mawr seniors Michelle Hersh, Adrea Lovejoy and Laura Rice and Haverford senior Kate Stephenson, have been developing recommendations for the support of environmental

programs at Bryn Mawr. Together with the Environmental Sciences Concentration Steering Committee - Professor of Science and Environmental Studies and of Geology Maria Luisa

Crawford, Professor of Biology Karen Greif, and Professor of Anthropology Rick Davis - these students have been pushing to continue the expansion of environmental programs. Newberry echoed their sentiments: “The idea is that this [development of increased environmental studies] is started [with the Pew Grant], and the College should pick up the slack.”

For more information about applying for a summer grant, visit www.brynmawr.edu/Acads/Environ.

If you would like to know more about the recommendations to continue environmental studies support, or are interested in helping organize such support, contact Andrea Friedman at

afriedma@brynmawr.edu.

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