Fellowship Program

Each summer, twelve students are selected for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend seven weeks in the Virginia Piedmont, while studying with seasoned professionals in land conservation, planning, agriculture, and more.

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, the 2021 Fellowship is being planned as a digital-only curriculum. 

2020 fellows on google hangouts
The 2020 Fellowship was moved to an online format due to Covid-19.

Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders in Environmental Conservation

Are you an undergraduate or recent graduate interested in learning more about a career in environmental conservation? If so, you should consider applying for the 15th Annual Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) Fellowship Program, based in Warrenton, Virginia! Twelve students will be selected for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend seven weeks in the Virginia Piedmont, while studying with seasoned professionals in land conservation, land use planning, agriculture, habitat and more.

The PEC Fellowship is much more than an internship. For the first five weeks, the program combines classroom discussions, field trips, and hands-on activities to give participants a comprehensive understanding of the work that PEC does. For the last few weeks, the fellows work on a collaborative practicum, focused on their interests as well as a particular aspect of PEC’s work in the Piedmont.

Through this personalized experience, participants gain the practical knowledge and skills necessary to successfully transition into careers in conservation, urban planning, agriculture, historic preservation, public policy, and other related fields. In addition to providing fellows with local housing, PEC covers all program-related expenses and provides a stipend to cover living expenses.

The 2021 application and other updated information will be posted in late December. Please check back then!


What’s Provided

Local housing: Housing is provided at no cost by PEC supporters who live in the Warrenton area. Though we try to find housing as close to town as possible, accommodations are typically located 20-30 minutes away from the classroom location. *Personal transportation is required. 

Classroom facilities: Meetings take place at the PEC Headquarters Office in Warrenton. The classroom also serves as a workspace for fellows during the practicum portion of the fellowship.

Activities and special project expenses: For all group outings, PEC covers admission fees and travel expenses. Expenses associated with practicum projects may also be covered.

Stipend: For each of the seven weeks, fellows receive a stipend to help with meals and expenses. Stipend amount TBD, based on  housing and program costs.

Subjects Covered

  • Land Conservation
  • Wildlife Management
  • Historic Preservation
  • Land Use Planning
  • Transportation
  • Water & Air Quality
  • Energy Conservation & Policy
  • Agriculture & Best Management Practices
  • Working with State & Local Government
  • Communications and Development
  • Pre-professional Development


Eligibility and Application

The program is designed for undergraduate students and recent grads interested in careers in environmental stewardship, land conservation, historic preservation, community planning, agriculture, and other related fields.

fellowship reunion

Alumni Experiences

Find out what former fellows thought of the program. Hear what Fellowship Alumni had to say in their own words.

Fellows learn more about native plants

Academic Portion

The academic portion of the fellowship includes a combination of classroom sessions, hands-on activities, and field trips. Most classroom discussions take place in Fellows Hall at PEC’s Headquarters Office in Warrenton.

Practicum

For the final three weeks of the program, the fellows focus on a collaborative practicum, designed to meet their expressed skills and interests. Each pair of Fellows is mentored by a PEC staff person or a professional from one of PEC’s many partner organizations. At the end of the final week, the fellows present their work to PEC’s staff and board of directors.


Fellowship Blogroll

fellows on video chat
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Welcome 2020 Fellows!

2020 PEC Fellows participating in an online session. Our 2020 Fellowship program is going digital this summer. Eleven college students from around the country are participating in our 14th annual PEC Fellowship Program. They will spend seven weeks immersed in ...
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PEC Fellows walk in a field
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Eligibility and Application

2016 fellows on a tour of the Bruce Jones Nature Sanctuary. Photo by Bri West. * The 2021 application will be posted some time in late 2020 / early 2021. Eligibility Requirements The program is designed for undergraduates and recent ...
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fellowship reunion
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Alumni Experiences

Find out what former fellows thought of the program. Hear what Fellowship Alumni had to say in their own words. What former Fellows say: "The PEC Fellowship was an incredible experience that I will not soon forget as I move ...
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Happy Anniversary PEC Fellowship!
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Happy Anniversary PEC Fellowship!

It all started ten years ago with a phone call to Doug Larson, PEC’s former Vice President. 2016 PEC Fellows take a walk through Jones Nature Preserve. Photo by Bri West “A prospective donor called him one day and asked ...
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Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders in Environmental Conservation

2015 Fellows. Photo by Paula Combs This summer marks our ninth Summer Fellowship Program, an annual seven-week educationalprogram for college students and recent graduates. The fellowship combines classroom discussions, field trips, hands-on activities and collaborative practicums. Through this experience, the ...
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Looking Ahead
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Looking Ahead

PEC’s Fellowship Program, which just finished its 7th year, gives college and graduate students a comprehensive look at the work PEC does in this region. Through classroom discussions, field trips, hands-on activities, and a final project—participants gain practical knowledge and ...
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Academic Sessions (weeks 1-5)

The academic portion of the fellowship includes a combination of classroom sessions, hands-on activities, and field trips. Most classroom discussions take place in Fellows Hall at PEC’s Headquarters Office in Warrenton. Though most sessions are taught by PEC’s staff, a ...
Read More
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Practicum (weeks 5-7)

2015 Fellows Michael Carter and Nic Wells present their final practicum. Photo by Paula Combs For the final three weeks of the program, the fellows focus on a collaborative practicum, designed to meet their expressed skills and interests. Each pair ...
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Changing Perspectives: My time as a PEC Fellow

PEC’s Fellowship Program, which just finished its sixth year, gives college and graduate students a comprehensive look at the work PEC does in this region—with the hope that the participants will take what they learn in the program into their ...
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Fellows2011 024
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Fellowship Program – Five Years In

This summer marked the fifth year of the PEC Fellowship Program, which is becoming a nationally known educational program for students with an interest in environmental work. Each year, twelve college students, graduate students, and recent graduates spend seven weeks ...
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