Rachel Carson Council Fellowship 2023-2024

The RCC Fellowship Program is designed to identify outstanding students with a passion for environmental education, organizing, and advocacy and provide them with financial support to carry out valuable projects and campaigns on behalf of the RCC. To apply to the program, students propose their own projects that are focused on sustainability and environmental justice to be carried out on their campuses and in their communities. Individuals considering applying to the program may consider a wide variety of potential projects. Former fellows have run projects ranging from divestment campaigns to podcasts on environmental justice issues and campaigns for renewable energy infrastructure on their campuses.

Special consideration will be given to fellows applying in areas where the Rachel Carson Council has ongoing campaigns or work. These include, but are not limited to, divestment, renewable energy, particularly solar energy, and environmental justice. More information about RCC’s work can be found on our website.

RCC Fellows are nationally recognized youth leaders and organizers.

If accepted into the program, Fellows will become active members of the RCC national campus program with over 5,000 active faculty, students, staff and administrators at 63 campuses and benefit from the mentorship of Leading climate and environmental author, Dr. Robert K. Musil, and Associate Director Mackay Pierce.

About Us

Thank you for your interest in the Rachel Carson Council Fellowship program. The Rachel Carson Council is a national environmental advocacy organization founded in 1965 to carry on the work and legacy of Rachel Carson. We promote Carson’s ecological ethic that combines scientific concern for the environment and human health with a sense of wonder and reverence for all forms of life in order to build a more sustainable, just, and peaceful future.

The Rachel Carson Council (RCC) educates, organizes, and advocates at the national, state, and grassroots level for climate and environmental justice, renewable energy, forest and ocean protection, for the advancement of civil and human rights, and American democracy.

How it works

Upon successfully developing a project proposal and being accepted into the Fellowship cohort, fellows will be invited to the 2023 summer RCC American Environmental Leadership Institute. There, Fellows will develop project plans for the upcoming year, participate in trainings to hone their organizing skills, meet their cohort, while also networking and learning from environmental leaders from across the nation from the RCC National Advisory Council.

Following completion of the fellows training, Fellows will report to their campuses and begin their work for academic year 2023 – 2024. Over the course of the year, RCC Fellows will hold monthly check-in calls with RCC staff and periodic calls with other members of the fellowship cohort to strategize and troubleshoot for their projects. Fellows will be responsible for creating bi-monthly writings on their work, two per semester, to be shared on the RCC website. RCC Fellows will also develop critical contacts and experience, and upon completion of their term, join the RCC alumni network as they look forward to careers as engaged environmental leaders.

All Fellows receive a $2,000 stipend.

Read about our current fellows here.

Application Deadline April 1st, 2023.


About the Application

Project proposal:

In three pages or less, describe to us your project or campaign. This is basically a project proposal. In your proposal, be sure to focus on highlighting how your project is related to environmental justice, sustainability, or the climate crisis. Further, be sure to explain what drew you to this issue, why it is unique to your campus or community, and a basic outline of how you hope to achieve your goals. In addition to learning about your issue and your plan, we are interested in your background in environmental work, how the fellowship program will benefit you, why you feel deeply about your issue, and how it connects to the goals of the Rachel Carson Council.

In addition to the project proposal, students will also submit a resume and a letter of reference from a professor or faculty member from their campus.

Starting a divestment campaign on your campus? Resisting pipelines in your community? Developing an organic garden in your neighborhood? Reporting on a story of environmental injustice in your region? RCC wants to work with you!

Your proposal will be strengthened by reviewing the RCC website and especially the work and writing of previous RCC Fellows. Your project will grow out of the unique circumstances of your own college or university but is likely to use techniques and tactics like those used elsewhere. We value creative approaches to environmental and justice issues but also hope your project may stimulate similar ones and be replicable at other colleges even if tailored to meet unique circumstances. Projects can and have involved organizing campaigns on divestment and reinvestment, lobbying on coastal and ocean protection; the arts and communications such as a series of podcasts on factory farms, curriculum development, community engagement, climate, and environmental organizing, network building with Black, and LGBT+ communities; and campus sustainability construction and education for solar installations, campus and community organic gardens, food pantries, and food insecurity.

Need some inspiration? Read about our current fellows here.

Application Deadline April 1st, 2023.

Requirements, For this application you will need:

  • A resumé
  • A letter of reference from a professor
  • A written proposal detailing the issue you care about, the project you are proposing to address it, and how it relates more broadly to modern sustainability issues and the climate. No longer than three pages, please.

Successful RCC Fellowship applicants will demonstrate:

  • Passion for environmental education, organizing or advocacy and that they have identified an issue they wish to work on.
  • Strong academic performance with an emphasis on the environment in various disciplines or majors.
  • Outstanding writing and research.
  • Participation and leadership in campus environmental or related justice activities.
  • Initiative and the capacity to perform creative problem-solving and deal with uncertainty.
  • Appreciation for the mission, goals, and issues of the Rachel Carson Council and Rachel Carson’s legacy.


Benefits Fellows will receive:

  • A $2,000 stipend over the fellowship term
  • Paid attendance at the Fellowship training, known as the American Environmental Leadership Institute
  • National recognition as an RCC Fellow
  • Experience in professional writing and opportunities to publish
  • Training and mentorship from environmental professionals on the RCC staff
  • Professional experience organizing and working for a national environmental non-profit
  • Training in advocacy, organizing, and writing as well as mentorship under RCC staff

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