Three recent graduates will work alongside National Park Service scientists and educators to develop professional skills in conservation fields, advance science in the park, and engage learners of all ages in science.
Working at the intersection of conservation, scientific research, education, and communication, the 2023 Cathy and Jim Gero Acadia Early-Career Fellowship announced its 2023 Science Research Fellow, Science Communication Fellow, and Environmental Science Education Fellow. The cadre of early-career professionals work alongside National Park Service (NPS) and Schoodic Institute scientists, educators, communicators, and resource managers in Maine’s Acadia National Park and surrounding areas.
Established in 2022, the Cathy and Jim Gero Acadia Early-Career Fellowship is a competitive 10-month program for recent college graduates to develop professional skills in conservation fields, engage learners of all ages in science, and advance science to inform park stewardship. Past fellows have led educational programming for Maine youth and so much more.
The fellowship is made possible by the support of Catherine and James Gero, NPS, the Schoodic Institute, and the National Park Foundation (NPF).
“Getting to work with these bright fellows gives me much optimism for the future of conservation,” said Schoodic Institute President and CEO, Nick Fisichelli. “This fellowship program is an opportunity to help bridge the college-to-career gap in our field, develop a more diverse and skilled workforce, and create a better future for parks, people, and the planet.”
Meet the Fellows
Zoë Kennedy of North Reading, Massachusetts, is the Environmental Science Education Fellow. Since graduating from the University of Vermont, Kennedy has applied her degree in environmental studies to work as an outdoor educator and a student success coach in public schools. As part of the fellowship, Kennedy is supporting the Schoodic Education Adventure program that brings middle school students for an immersive, multi-day experience in Acadia.
“I feel so fortunate to be a member of this team and to be able to combine my interests in environmental stewardship, history, and education,” said Kennedy.
Catherine Devine of Brooklyn, New York, is the Science Communication Fellow. A graduate of New York University with a degree in journalism, Devine is lending her experience in multimedia storytelling to create stories and a new season of the Sea to Trees podcast, produced in partnership with Acadia National Park.
“I’m so lucky to have the chance to develop and apply my multimedia skill set to amplify Schoodic Institute’s research and conservation efforts, something that very much aligns with my personal values. This fellowship has given me the unique opportunity to produce a podcast completely on my own - something that normally doesn’t happen until much later on in my field,” said Devine. “Getting to live and work in Acadia National Park is truly a once in a lifetime experience that has brought me a lot closer to the natural world — something I hope shines through in the podcast.”
Brooke Goodman of Goshen, N.Y., is the Science Research Fellow. Goodman recently graduated from State University of New York, Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and applied statistics and brings experience conducting ornithological field research in New York and Montana. Among other activities, Goodman is helping establish bird monitoring programs associated with restoration of Great Meadow Wetland and Bass Harbor Marsh in Acadia National Park.
"Being an early-career fellow with the Schoodic institute will allow me to apply the skills I developed in college to study the conservation issues I care most about. I am excited to be designing bird monitoring projects and making critical career connections in my field, while being given space to grow as a scientist," said Goodman.