Benefits of Mentoring a Coastal and Environmental Fellow

  • Interaction with bright, motivated students
  • Productive timeframe: 8-24 months
  • Assistance in research or outreach activities
  • Screening of prospective graduate students
  • Students as a bridge to other colleagues on campus and/or outside companies or organizations
  • Mentoring and teaching experience for graduate students


  • The Fellowship is an 8-month program, May-December.
  • Students work 10 weeks over the summer, (May-July), at a minimum of 20 hours/wk. and a maximum of 40 hours/wk.
  • Students must be compensated and it is based on the URI undergraduate student pay rate.
  • Fellowship mentors with funding will receive priority placement. Consideration for supplemental funding support will be given to all faculty mentors; however, it is not guaranteed.
  • Fellows and mentors create a Learning Contract together outlining the responsibilities and objectives of the fellowship.
  • Fellows may continue with their research into the fall for 5-10 hours per week, earning up to 3 academic credits, as long as there is research availability.
  • During the Fall semester fellows enroll in a 2-credit seminar course called EVS 366: Communicating Environmental Research and Outreach.  This course is designed to assist students in synthesizing and communicating their fellowship work, and includes instruction needed to produce a professional quality research poster.  Students are expected to work closely with their mentors to create a final product that accurately reflects the scope of the project.
  • The Fellowship culminates in December with the Annual Undergraduate Research Fellows Symposium. The event is designed to encourage project synthesis, reflection, and communication among fellows, mentors, the University and professional community. 


  • Enthusiasm about the project and the work being done.
  • Frequent meetings with fellows on a formal or informal basis throughout the fellowship.
  • Clearly defining the fellow’s role in the project and what is expected of them.
  • Giving students a sense of the big picture, while assigning smaller, more manageable tasks.
  • Treating fellows as professional team members and holding them to high expectations.
  • Showing appreciation for student work and valuing their contribution.
  • Offer students information about career opportunities and exposing them to other professionals and network resources.

External Host Sites

External Agencies and Companies That Have Hosted or Currently Host Coastal and Environmental Fellows:

  • Cape Cod Commission
  • Cape Cod National Seashore, Dr. John Portnoy
  • City of Warwick
  • Cornell University
  • D.E.M Mosquito Abatement
  • Delaware State University, Deptartment of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District
  • Environmental Protection Agency, Narragansett
  • Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  • Jamestown Office of Wastewater Management
  • National Biological Survey
  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Boze Hancock
  • Narrow River Preservation Association
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA
  • Northeast Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit
  • Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Association
  • Northern Rhode Island Conservation District
  • Ocean State Aquaculture Education Project, Perry Raso
  • Providence Energy Corporation
  • R.I. Audubon Society
  • R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council
  • R.I. Department of Environmental Management , Groundwater Remediation and Site Assessment, Michael Cote
  • R.I. Department of Environmental Management, Planning Division
  • R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council
  • R.I. Shellfisherman’s Association
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • Save the Bay
  • South Kingstown Land Trust
  • Southern New England Forestry Consortium
  • Southern Rhode Island Conservation District
  • Town of East Greenwich
  • Town of Narragansett
  • Town of Richmond
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Higher Education Programs
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Suzanne Hoover Paton
  • White Shark Trust, South Africa
  • Wood Pawcatuck Watershed Association, Denise Poyer

If you are interested in mentoring a Coastal Fellow, please contact Sarah Puckett by e-mail at for more information.


2025 applications will be available in November.