Chesapeake Research Consortium C-stREAM Internship

Group of students laboratory lab in science classroom

C-StREAM is a program focused on recruiting, advising, and mentoring college students from typically under-represented groups to prepare them for careers in environmental protection and restoration. We are especially interested in supporting students whose success will help increase the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of leadership within the environmental workforce, and especially within the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership.

Through this program, we work with successful applicants to identify internships and mentors for summer internships for at least one summer (and multiple summers if possible), and we also strive to stay connected with the students and their home institution mentors during the following academic year in order to help the students find their own best track for success.  An early-draft concept document defines the goals and current structure of the program.  Potential  partners are welcomed to contact us at CRC-Director@chesapeake.org.

Summer internships with C-StREAM partnering institutions are awarded each year on the basis of applications that are solicited annually between early December and March 1 of each academic year.  Internships are typically available at the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Program offices in Annapolis, MD, and Oxford, MD, at the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office in Annapolis, MD,  and within selected on-going summer internship programs at our seven CRC member institutions

Applications for summer 2019 are now closed, but descriptions of 2019 positions can be found here, as examples of the kind of internship experiences that are supported. We anticipate posting applications for summer 2020 by the middle of December.

A full application comprises 7 components, the first 6 of which are uploaded and submitted by the applicant via web portal.  (Note that an “Apply Here” link will be provided during the application period.)

The 7 components are:

  • Application form
  • Ranked position choices (Example form from the 2018-2019 application period is provided.)
  • 1 page cover letter
  • 1-2 page statement of interest (this is described further in the application form)
  • Resume
  • College transcripts (unofficial is fine)
  • Two-three letters of recommendation  (These should be submitted through this page by your recommenders.  Please be sure to notify them of this.)

Program Description

C-StREAM (Chesapeake Student Recruitment, Early Advisement, and Mentoring) is CRC-coordinated program initiated in 2018 with the intent to enhance and diversify the workforce for environmental restoration by finding, inspiring, and mentoring talented college students – primarily from heretofore under-represented groups – toward leadership positions in environmental protection and restoration.  The program strives to engage the student through extended involvement in interesting projects with multiple mentors — from both their home institution and one or more CRC members or other C-StREAM partnering institutions — in a program of longer-term advisement and assistance. An early draft “concept document” for the program can be found here.

The program got off to a great start in 2018 as described in an August 2017 CRC Quarterly newsletter article. For summer of 2019,  the CRC will be supporting a total of eight (8) summer interns, as made possible through through generous funding support from the US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP; 3 interns), the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office (NCBO; 4 interns), and the CRC member institutions (1 intern). In addition, three other students who are being supported for 2019 summer internships by other means will be brought on as C-StREAM Fellows for follow-up mentoring and support.

Of the eleven 2019 students, six  will be participating in summer research experiences with faculty scientists at one or more of our seven CRC member institutions, three will work with the Chesapeake Bay Program Office in Annapolis, and two will work with the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office (NCBO), including one intern at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory in Oxford, MD.  Each 2019 C-StREAM fellow will receive a stipend of either $5,000 or $6,000 (commensurate with the host institution’s program and duration) as well as either free housing or a $1,000 housing allowance. For some cases (dependent on the host institution’s program), additional allowance will be provided for round-trip travel and/or food.

Who Can Apply – Application to a C-StREAM summer internship is open to undergraduates at any level of study, including post-baccalaureate.  Preference is given to

  • students from cultures and backgrounds that are typically under-represented in environmental science, engineering, and management (relative to watershed populations);(These include, for example, native Americans, African-Americans, students of Hispanic descent, and all first-generation college students.)
  • returning applicants who have done well in prior years and can show cause for continuing support;
  • sophomores who have aspirations for long-term mentorship toward an environmental career and have identified a “home institution” faculty member willing to sponsor their application and follow up with advisement; and
  • juniors, seniors, or more advanced students from under-represented groups who have clear plans or aspirations that include involvement of committed mentors following their internship  experience.

Mentors – Mentoring scientists will include agency project managers, faculty, and other scientists who volunteer to participate at host organizations: US EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, and at any of the CRC member institutions. Participating faculty and scientists will review the more competitive applications and best matches will be made based on student and mentor interests.  To make this internship as valuable as possible, applicants who have existing relationships with potential mentors (or who are especially keen to work in a specific laboratory) should mention this in their applications.

Finally and importantly: We ask that each C-StREAM applicant identify a second mentor at their current home undergraduate institution (or graduate institution of choice for post-baccalaureate students) — this should be a person who has interest in the student’s future and with whom the CRC and the summer mentor can engage following the internship. The intent is to develop a team of supporters who can collaborate with the student on continuing professional development toward a leadership position in research, education, or management toward environmental restoration and protection.

Simultaneous Applications to Other Programs – We encourage students from typically under-represented groups who submit an application through this C-StREAM program to consider also applying to  one or more of the NSF-supported REU programs managed  separately by CRC member institutions, such as (for example) the REU programs listed below under “Special Note.”  For selected Fellows who have informed the CRC of any such parallel applications, we will work collaboratively with the coordinators of our partners’ programs to  maximize funding and support opportunities for the student while strengthening the  diversity and richness of the partnering program.  In this regard,  C-StREAM aims to embed its Fellows within existing  cohorts of student interns and young professionals, thus enlarging and enriching the program and providing the C-StREAM Fellows with a network of peers and new opportunities for professional development.

Partners – The CRC hopes to engage a broad group of partners in helping us further the mission of C-StREAM, which is  find, recruit, and provide long-term professional development to promising students from historically under-represented groups into leadership roles in solving environmental problems and better managing our living resources.  The CRC continues to seek active partners for this program, in regard to home institution mentoring (undergraduate advising), host institution mentoring (hosting a summer intern), and program development (intern sponsorship and program development).  If you work at a government agency, non-profit non-governmental  organization (NGO), or college-level academic institution that participates within the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership and would like to help, please contact the CRC Director for details about how you can get involved.

Special Note.  Early applicants (those applying prior to March 4) were also considered for research positions at some of the academic institutional members of the CRC. These applicants were also encouraged to consider simultaneous application to the NSF REU and other internship programs at CRC member institutions for possible co-support.  Some of the potentially relevant programs at CRC member institutions include the following:

Summary – The goal  of the C-StREAM program is to help motivate and support students from typically under-represented groups toward leadership roles and careers relating to the science, engineering, management, and policy of ecosystem protection and restoration, including (but not limited to) academic careers, careers in environmental policy and management, or careers in non-profit advocacy and community involvement. Toward this end, the CRC and its partners intend to work closely with each selected internship recipient and her/his mentors — at both the home and host institution — to provide continued mentoring not only for an initial internship experience, but also during the following academic year and subsequent summers The objective is to develop a network of involved mentors who can provide a  sustained program of support that leverages other investments and provides continuity and integration of mentoring.

For more information and how to apply click here.

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