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Up to 18 graduate students will be selected to be fellows of the Earth Stewardship Initiative.  Three students will be in charge of each of the six project themes. These student fellows will serve as leaders, organizers, and documenters of the Earth Stewardship Initiative.

* Please note that ESI fellows are not to be confused with ESA fellows.


Expectations for Fellows:

  • Attendance: Applicants should commit to attending the entirety of the conference, from August 9th to the 14th.

  • Baltimore Community Workshop (optional) and Webinar: Meet or participate in a webinar with Baltimore’s Park and People Foundation and stakeholders to engage with Baltimore residents and develop outreach and education goals. (May 2015, Date TBD)

  • Partcipation in pre-conference community engagement (optional): Engage with ESI organizers, designers, stakeholders, and community groups during the summer months. (Summer 2015)

  • Participation in conference events: Fellows will take part in field trips, workshops and symposiums relevant to their identified research topics.

  • Collaboration: Fellows will be working closely with their peers as well as professionals in the fields of ecology, landscape architecture and urban design throughout the week.

  • Deliverables: Fellows are expected to record and document their experiences during the conference and be prepared to present them at charette sessions and the final forum. Fellows will have the opportunity to work on articles based on the activites.

  • Webinars as part of a graduate seminar: A course will be organized for the Fall 2016 at yale University. Fellows will be expected to participate in two webinar sessions to coordinate with students in this course. There may be an option to organize a distributed graduate seminar for the fall semester 2065 as well.

  • Data Sharing and authorship: Fellows must agree to share their findings from the conference with supporting institutions and organizations. 



  • Funding: Research fellows will be offered an honorarium that they can use towards the conference to cover, for example, registration, field trips, or other incurred costs. 

  • Networking opportunities and professional development:  Research fellows will enjoy opportunities to connect with distinguished professionals in ecology, landscape architecture and urban design, as well as leading academic and civic institutions in addition to stewardship groups and city agencies.


Important Dates:

  • Priority deadline: June 10th (applications submitted after this date will be considered based on availability)

  • Fellows notified of award: June 15th

  • Early-bird ESA registration deadline: 5pm EST June 18th, 2015. Students are responsible for their own registration. We encourage you to register before the early-bird deadline

  • Community Workshop (optional) and Webinar:  May 2015 (date TBD)

  • 2015 conference in Baltimore, MD:   August 9th – 14th, 2015

  • Two week synthesis documentationAugust 15th – 30th, 2015

  • Two Webinar interfaces with Yale University fall course on ecological design: dates TBD



Fellowship Research Areas  (Each fellow will focus on one of the six project themes.  In your application please indicate first and second choice topic of interest)

  • Resilient Communities through Public Health, Access, Education, and Recreation: Explore how park networks and citywide greening efforts offer opportunities to integrate landscape ecology and design with community outreach and public health goals that promote environmental justice, access to green spaces, recreation, and education.


  • Vacant Lots, Degraded Sites, and Restored Ecosystems: Approach degraded sites as opportunities for social, recreational, and ecosystem regeneration. Foster resilient communities through grass-root initiatives for greening projects of vacant lots and degraded sites. Topics include directed succession and controlling invasive species.


  • Anthropogenic Soils, Landscape Maintenance, and Performance:  Understanding how anthropogenic soils function and how to improve on biogeochemistry (EPA soil taxonomy and infiltration) and landscape performance, in particular to promote sustainable urban food production on many potential sites throughout the city, including community gardens.


  • Watersheds, Hydrology, and Aquatic Habitats:  Fellows will focus on projects at two municipalities aimed at protecting and restoring the urban watershed. In collaboration with the Baltimore city officials, stakeholders, and community-based groups enhance the role of ecologists in clean water initiatives and community-led revitalization efforts. 


  • Biodiversity and Managed Populations:  Focus on urban biodiversity and managed populations including deer populations, lack of regeneration, invasive species management, tree planting campaigns, and forest health.


  • Design and Planning for Climate Change: Spatial planning to manage the effects of climate change on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Incorporating ideas generated from the other research themes to generate a climate change synopsis with an emphasis on policy and planning.



Application Requirements:

  • Applicant must be a student or recent graduate. 

  • Statement of interest. 800 word maximum  (Please identify a first and second choice research topic from the five conference themes above)


Applications must be received by midnight on June 10th, 2015, submitted online or delivered electronically to and


Application submited after June 10th will be considered based on availability. 




Download Fellowship Information



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