Bren Environmental Leadership (BEL) Program
The BEL program offers paid summer fellowships for pairs of undergraduate and graduate students (Bren MESM & PhD) to work on environmental science projects. The program includes a wide range of projects each year, including both academic environmental science research and internships with Bren-UCSB partner organizations. The mission of this program is to increase the number of first-generation, low-income, and/or underrepresented students working towards careers in the environmental field and natural sciences. The 10-week intensive summer program provides fellowship support, networking, and training opportunities for BEL Fellows through connection with learning communities, career skills workshops, and presentation opportunities.
Continue reading to learn more about program details, eligibility, and how to get involved!
- Undergraduate students receive direct support from a Bren graduate student mentor, and graduate students gain valuable mentoring and project management experience
- Summer program includes weekly professional development workshops and community building events during summer quarter
- Project teams prepare short, flash-talk style presentations to the BEL community at the end of the summer and are invited to participate in the Mantell Symposium in Environmental Justice and Conservation Innovation in Fall
Opportunities for Summer 2024
Applicants to the BEL program must be full-time continuing UCSB undergraduate students (e.g. not graduating in 2024 calendar year). Some positions have additional eligibility restrictions. Please click on the project to download the full position description and application requirements. Submit your application here!
- The Observatory of Environmental Justice in Latin America (The 2035 Initiative): Organize a dataset of public health outcomes in Mexico for localities exposed to mining and oil and pilot a survey about attitudes and responses to extractive industries.
- Policy and Communication for Wildfire Resilience (The 2035 Initiative): Produce policy and communications materials the project's research outputs, implications for communities, and information to guide strategies for effective prescribed burns.
- Evaluating Rapid Response Devices for Island Biosecurity (The Nature Conservancy): Use remote cameras to test devices designed to exclude native species from rat traps on Santa Cruz Island through field experiments on the mainland and on Santa Cruz Island.
- A How-To Guide for Detecting Whales from Space (The Nature Conservancy): Create a technical user guide for using a machine learning whale detection tool to create actionable data on the presence and distribution of whales in VHR satellite imagery.
Please check back soon for additional opportunities, as positions will be posted on a rolling basis through the rest of Winter Quarter.
For questions about the program or application process, please contact the BEL Program Coordinator, Cori Lopazanski.
Examples of Past Fellowships
- Previous internships include:
- Previous academic research topics include:
- Examining abandoned agricultural land in Hawai’i
- Methods to transform biosolids to eliminate release of PFAS and other contaminants to agricultural areas
- Transition to aquaculture in community-based fisheries
- Understanding the relationship between social and environmental sustainability in the apparel industry.
- Connections between water quality and coral reef health
- Using deep learning to map irrigation development in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Foothill fire research in wildland urban interface areas