The Coastal Solutions Fellowship program builds from the “Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation Strategy” and pinpoints two strategies to address threats to shorebird and coastal habitats across the Flyway: 1) fostering collaborations among scientists, planners, and developers and 2) building the knowledge-base, resources and skills of Latin American professionals across these sectors.
A Fellowship Program is a mechanism to do so and it offers a unique opportunity to develop cross-sector collaborations by building a hemispheric collaboration network, providing strategic training and supporting fellows to develop site-based coastal solutions along the Pacific Americas Flyway.
Coastal Solutions Fellows will become the next generation of Latin American coastal scientists, planners and developers who will push forward coastal conservation across the Flyway.
Build a collaborative network: Establish a cross-sector and cross-hemisphere Coastal Solutions Collaboration Network (CSCN) along the Pacific Americas Flyway
Train Latin American human resources: Over the course of six years, the CSF will fund 30 two-year fellowships to promote capacity building and coastal solutions along the Pacific Americas Flyway
Support Senior fellows and the Collaboration Network: Provide continued support for Senior Fellows and the CSCN to develop and implement coastal solutions through collaborative grants
Support the fellows: Support the fellows to develop at least 3 cross-sector and cross-hemisphere research and collaborative partnerships during their fellowship
The Life Cycle of a Coastal Solutions Fellowship
Eligible candidates start the process by applying for either a “Science fellowship” or a “Planning / AEC fellowship.” The application is divided into two phases:
Candidates submit a 1-page project idea (pre-proposal) to be evaluated by the Program Staff.
Applicants submitting quality projects aligned to the Program’s mission will be invited to
prepare a full-proposal for a project to be implemented during the 2-year fellowship.
The program will support projects focused on developing and implementing solutions to environmental challenges on important shorebird site(s) (See Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation strategy for suggestions). Candidates must also secure collaborators and a mentor who is preferably based at the candidate’s institution. Candidates whose 1-page project idea has been approved, will receive feedback and support from the Program Staff during the full-proposal preparation. A group of members from the technical committee will evaluate the application and the selected candidates will be notified and awarded a confirmation letter.
Fellows commit to working full-time on their projects with the support of their mentors and collaborators. During the first year, we will require fellows to attend a 2-3 day training retreat designed based on feedback from fellows and mentors. The retreat will include peer-to-peer learning, as well as targeted training in line with fellow’s needs.
Fellows continue to implement their projects. Fellows will also conduct a “travel-to-train” experience with an out-of-country collaborator. The program will provide funds for 2-4 weeks of “travel-to-train” in a foreign country to obtain skills and knowledge not available at home, also encouraging strong, on-going partnerships with out-of-country collaborators.
After the fellowship, fellows will become part of a lifelong network of outstanding scientists, planners, and developers finding innovative solutions to coastal threats along the Pacific Americas Flyway. We will encourage Senior Fellows to continue to participate as mentors, collaborators, or members of the Program’s Technical Committee. Senior Fellows will also be eligible to apply for “Collaboration Grants” (total < $30,000 USD a year) to work together on a solution for a coastal threat at a site(s) along the Pacific Americas Flyway.
First e-meeting with fellows
Staff plans retreat
Fellowship starts: Fellows and Mentors retreat
Fellows project implementation
Second retreat and travel-to-train experience
Fellow’s project implementation
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One of nature’s greatest wonders is at risk of vanishing.
Each year, millions of shorebirds migrate thousands of miles along the Pacific coast of the Americas, from their breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra of North America to their wintering grounds at the southernmost tip of Chile. These long-distance migrations evolved to depend on stopover and wintering sites - a network of coastal wetlands, estuaries, and beaches - known as the Pacific Americas Flyway.
The habitats along the Pacific Americas Flyway also provide important ecosystem services to growing coastal communities. Many of these coastal ecosystems and the services they provide are threatened due to increasing pressures from expanding human development and climate change, which are contributing to on-going shorebird declines.
Senner, S. E., B. A. Andres and H. R. Gates (Eds.). 2016. Pacific Americas shorebird conservation strategy. National Audubon Society, New York, New York, USA. Available at: http://www.shorebirdplan.org.
New collaborations, new solutions
In order to target the complex challenges surrounding coastal development, we need new solutions that combine knowledge, expertise, and ideas from multiple disciplines and sectors.
To address this need, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have partnered to create the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program. The Program is building a community of early-career leaders from the academic, private, and non-profit sectors that are working on new approaches to coastal development and ecosystem management.
Want to learn more? Watch our video.
For the next decade, the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program will support early-career planners, developers and scientists from Latin America to collaboratively design and implement new solutions to tackle current challenges facing coastal ecosystems and communities.
The program will support six young professionals per year to implement a project at a priority shorebird site in Latin America along the Pacific Americas Flyway. Fellows will be provided two years of funding, mentoring support, and professional development opportunities, including annual retreats that combine peer-to-peer learning and strategic trainings.