Environmental Fellowship Program for Early Careers

The inaugural cohort of Environmental Fellows, from left to right: Isabela Chachapoyas Ortiz, Isabella Guerero, Anna Cass, Amara Chittenden, and Jovan Bryan
Mass Audubon welcomed the first five Environmental Fellows in June 2022.

Mass Audubon’s Environmental Fellowship Program for Early Careers (EFP) is a 14-month fellowship that expands early career opportunities for young professionals with identities that have been historically underrepresented in the environmental and conservation fields. 

Support for Early Career Development

Fellows work in departments that represent Mass Audubon’s multifaceted approach to protecting the nature of Massachusetts: conservation science, land management, policy and advocacy, marketing and communications, and environmental education.

Over the course of 14 months, fellows contribute to existing projects in their departments and develop their own professional project that connects to the Mass Audubon Action Agenda.

To prepare them for careers post-fellowship, fellows will also attend career panels, presentations about graduate school, and workshops about creating resumes and cover letters that tell their stories and highlight their skills.

Field classes at Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries and trips to local environment-focused organizations provide ways for fellows to build connections to members of other early career programs and professionals in their field.

A Supportive Professional Community

Environmental Fellows Amara and Isabella observe an educator holding a bird of prey at Blue Hills

The EFP is designed to build a supportive professional community through a cohort model and mentorship. All fellows begin their position concurrently, giving them immediate access to a peer group and community to help them thrive.

The Early Career Programs Manager, who oversees the EFP, holds monthly cohort check-ins to create space for fellows to debrief any work-related challenges they may encounter and facilitate discussions of environmental justice, the history of conservation, and any other topics the fellows wish to explore at a deeper level.

In addition to their cohort and department supervisors, fellows are paired with mentors within the organization who have volunteered to be involved with the program. Mentors serve as an additional resource and sounding board to fellows. These pairs meet monthly to discuss the fellows’ future career plans and opportunities to merge their personal and professional interests. Conversations with their mentors help fellows determine what they hope to experience and achieve during their time at Mass Audubon and provide support as they pursue those goals.

Passion Projects Impact Mass Audubon

Environmental Fellow Jovan Bryan holding a magnifying glass

As part of their position, each fellow works on a substantial project that aligns with their professional interests and dovetails with the work of Mass Audubon. Mentors, supervisors, and staff support the fellows as they design and execute their projects.

Throughout the year, fellows will communicate the subject matter and progress of their projects to the Mass Audubon community through social media, publications, and presentations. The fellowship culminates in a symposium where fellows present their projects and experiences to Mass Audubon staff and board members. The symposium is a chance for the community and the next cohort of fellows to learn from these young professionals.

The application period for the 2024-2025 cohort will open in the fall of 2023.

Help This Program Grow 

The 2022-2023 fellows were selected from a competitive pool of applicants. The demand for these types of early career opportunities in the environmental field appears to be strong and growing.

You can help Mass Audubon grow this program, expanding early career opportunities for people with identities that have been historically underrepresented in conservation. 

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