Apply to be a 2022 ESI mentor

ESI mentors with backgrounds in arts or sciences work with fellows during our six-week summer program. Apply to be a mentor by April 29, 2022 using the form below.

In 2021, we introduced mentors as a new element in our Environmental Stewardship Institute (ESI) program. Our mentors, professionals and graduate students with a background in STEM, joined us at our group meetings, worked one-on-one with students on their individual projects, helped their students develop a professional network and spoke on a panel about their career path. Mentors add invaluable resources to this program, and this year we're excited to open up the field to anyone with a background in STEM or the arts. Join us for a summer of collaborative learning, field trips and independent project development!

What is the Environmental Stewardship Institute (ESI)?

The Environmental Stewardship Institute (ESI) fosters a diverse next generation of environmental leaders through an immersive program of local river issues and professional development that supports an interdisciplinary exploration of the environmental field.

During the summer ESI fellowship, we work with up to 24 fellows (rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors) in two cohorts over the course of a six-week program. Together we explore environmental topics, visit field sites and labs, learn professional skills and support fellows' independent projects.

We understand that everyone in the program brings their own knowledge and expertise, as well as opportunities to learn — fellows, mentors, staff and visiting experts all included. We aim to create a space where all program participants feel on equal footing and are equally excited to share their own knowledge as well as learn from one another.

In 2022, we'll explore site-based learning at one site in St. Paul and one in Minneapolis. Our two cohorts will encounter similar learning materials and experiences at their respective sites, but will be divided based on the format of their final projects. One cohort will be focused on STEM projects, and one will be focused on art projects. Fellows will explore environmental topics alongside the program assistants, mentors and FMR staff through self-directed projects, job skill-building, discussions, presentations and interactive activities about local environmental issues.


Each mentor will work closely with two fellows. Mentors will facilitate each fellow's individual project, setting goals together and ensuring that project work is progressing throughout the program. Mentors will also act as resources for fellows: providing information based on their area of expertise and the fellows' areas of interest, and connecting fellows to professional contacts, experts in the field and resources for their projects. Mentors will also participate in discussions, activities and field trips alongside fellows.

We are looking for an equal number of mentors with backgrounds in STEM as in the arts.

Time commitment

The ESI summer program will start June 20, 2022, and our last program meeting will be on August 5, 2022. We'll meet weekly in person on Monday and Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and virtually on Fridays (time TBD). Before the program starts, we'll have a program orientation in late May or early June. The program will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual meetings; the exact structure will depend on the status of the pandemic during the summer. Ideally, mentors will attend meetings alongside their fellows, whether in-person or virtual, as well as check in with their fellows at a different time during the week.


FMR has practices in place to keep all of our volunteers and participants safe as we continue to provide environmentally relevant programming to the greater metro area. We are prepared to provide a hybrid of online and outdoors, socially distant, in-person programming for the 2022 ESI cohorts. As always, we stay up to date on the ever-changing COVID-19 safety protocols and our scheduled activities may shift as needed to prioritize everyone's safety. In-person participation is not required for this program, and there will be virtual alternatives for anyone who can't be in a group setting.


Please apply by May 6, 2022.

Learn more

To learn more about the ESI mentor experience, please contact or call 651.222.2193 x27.