Shoemaker Green


PPEH Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships

February 13, 2018
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The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for ten-week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships. We seek to build a vibrant cohort of six Summer Fellows (cohort size is contingent on the receipt of funding for which PPEH faculty have applied). These summer research positions will support work on ongoing and anticipated PPEH faculty projects in or around Philadelphia, addressing urban waters from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives. An important piece of this summer fellowship is comprised by participation in a June On-Water Intensive research seminar, sponsored and taught by PPEH and partners, to be held from June 18-29, 2018. Each of the Research Associates will participate in this seminar intended to jump-start the summer-length public research to be carried out over the rest of the summer, closely mentored by a team of five PPEH faculty.


Each student will pursue place-based research projects and receive mentoring support. Students will be matched to projects during the summer. The projects can be grouped under a few broad rubrics:


Oral Histories and Focus Group Interviews

  • The (ongoing) Eastwick Oral History Project

  • The (anticipated) Bartram’s Garden Anglers and Boaters Oral History Project, and Tinicum Island Oral History Project

  • Interviews (ongoing) with focus groups to measure environmental health literacy

  • Philadelphia Data Refuge Stories


Critical and Creative Maps

  • Tinicum Island Community Memory Map

  • Bartram’s Community Boathouse River Guide

  • Rising Waters Philadelphia digital and print maps of historical and future flows, including the creation and transfer of property and its uses, from the early colonial period to the present


Audio Tours

  • Environmental health literacy tour of Bartram’s Garden


Application materials should include a two-page statement of purpose (to be included as a cover letter), an unofficial academic transcript, and a letter of reference from a faculty member. All applicants will be reviewed for academic excellence, potential or proven experience in public-facing projects, and the applicants’ alignment with one or more of PPEH’s four core commitments:

  1. Broadly interdisciplinary, collaborative research on the environment across the arts and sciences

  2. Arts-driven inquiry into place, particularly our campus and the City of Philadelphia as well as urban ecology in other global contexts

  3. Public engagement, particularly in and with environmental justice communities and concerns

  4. The creation and growth of living archives via practices of urgent collection

Applicants with creative skills in the following areas are particularly encouraged to apply: citizen science, public art, public engagement, graphic design, web design, video editing, social media, and/or journalism.

The Fellowship carries a summer stipend of $4,500. Fellows will work from Mid-May through the End of July, and must be based in Philadelphia.


Application Instructions:

Requirements for this application:

  • Two-Page Statement of Purpose (Included as a Cover Letter)

  • Unofficial Academic Transcript

  • Letter of Reference from a Faculty Member


Submission Instructions:

Application materials must be collated into a single PDF and emailed by March 1, 2018 to

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