McKenna Summer Environmental Internship

The Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation Summer Environmental Internship is a University-wide program that supports students who conduct environmental research during the summer, primarily but not exclusively with a focus on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. At completion of their projects, students are expected to complete a brief report for the faculty committee and the McKenna Foundation. They are also expected to present their results at the Kalman Student Research Symposium on campus in the spring following the summer research.

Applying for an Internship

To apply, students must submit both:

  • A research proposal written in consultation with a research adviser.
  • The application form.

More information about the research proposal and finding an adviser are below.

Download the McKenna Summer Application 

Submit proposal materials to: Carilee Dill, cad022@bucknell.edu

Proposal Deadline (summer 2020 internships): Friday, Feb. 7, 2020

Awardees will be announced approximately two weeks after the deadline.

Proposal Requirements

Interested students should have an adviser willing to supervise a summer project of 10 weeks duration. They should work with this adviser to write a research proposal with details about the project they wish to pursue. Research advisers are expected to guide the student in proposal development, but the student should be the author of the proposal. The proposed work may be in environmental science, engineering or another type of environmentally related research relevant to our local area. 

Proposals should include:

  • A title page (with student and adviser name and departments).
  • A body section detailing the proposed project (no longer than four pages single-spaced). A competitive proposal will be well-written and should demonstrate that the student has a clear grasp of the research problem, methods and significance appropriate for the early stages of a project.
  • A references cited section.

Criteria used to award the internships includes:

  • The quality of the proposal.
  • Demonstration of the applicant's genuine interest in environmental science.
  • Evidence of active faculty sponsorship.
  • The strength of the letter of support from the faculty sponsor.

Student Stipends

The program supports from eight to 11 students with $4,000 summer stipends. Stipends are awarded on a competitive basis by a faculty advisory committee. Students are expected to work full-time for approximately 10 weeks and can receive free housing from the University during their summer research. Successful applicants are also eligible to receive up to $500 funding for needed materials and services associated with the projects. Advisers must clear such expenditures in advance with Professor Ellen Herman.

Finding an Adviser

The earlier this process is started, the less rushed you'll be to complete a competitive proposal that demonstrates that you are prepared to begin your research. Given the early February deadline, November or December is a good time to start.

Occasionally, a student approaches a professor with an original research idea of their own. It is more common for students to find advisers by going to several professors in their major and minor departments (or with who they've had coursework) and asking what potential student projects the professors have.

Presenting Research Results

Upon finishing the summer's work, advisers are requested to ensure that an approximately four-page report of the summer's research is delivered to Professor Ellen Herman within four weeks of the beginning of the fall semester. These reports are compiled and delivered to the McKenna Foundation, so the future of this internship program depends in part upon the prompt submission of reports.

Students will be expected to present results at the spring Kalman Student research symposium on campus. Currently, these presentations may be either oral or in poster form.

Professor Ellen Herman

Location

224 O'Leary Center