Environmental Fellowship Program Broadens Career Opportunities for Young Professionals
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—Mass Audubon has introduced an Environmental Fellowship Program (EFP) designed to support early career professionals with identities who have been historically under-represented in the environmental and conservation fields.
The program garnered an impressive pool of more than 300 applicants for the five fellowship positions—a solid indication that there is a desire and demand among recent graduates for such career-launching programs.
Each fellow is based out of a different Mass Audubon department aligned with their career interests: Conservation Science, Education and Engagement, Land Conservation, Marketing & Communications, and Policy & Advocacy.
The 14-month program further signals the statewide conservation organization’s commitment to DEIJA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Accessibility) principles and greater access to nature for all, as prioritized in its five-year Action Agenda.
Fellows have access to a wealth of opportunities to build their professional and personal networks, learn about and develop skills to prepare for future roles, and engage in meaningful work in their departments.
In addition, professional development workshops around topics such as resume’ building and finding a workplace where you can thrive bring the fellows together to learn from one another and from experts in the environmental and conservation fields. Throughout their time at Mass Audubon, each fellow also designs and executes a project that dovetails with the Action Agenda, contributing their talent and vision to the future of the statewide conservation organization.
“Launching a career in the environmental fields has always been more difficult for people with marginalized identities, who often lacked the time, resources, and networks to obtain pivotal entry-level positions. The Environmental Fellowship Program is just one of the many ways Mass Audubon is working to increase access to nature for everyone.” said Nia Keith, Mass Audubon’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice.
"To solve the climate crisis, we must invest in the leadership and growth of young people, particularly those who are from communities that have been historically underrepresented," Early Career Programs Manager Aisha Farley added. “When I meet with the fellows, I'm excited by their passion for justice and the innovative lens they bring to the work and am inspired by their determination to build careers that have positive impacts on the environment and in our communities."
The application cycle for the next cohort of fellows begins later this fall.
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.