Apply to be a 2023 ESI mentor

Applications due Fri, May 5 - 5 pm
Virtual and in-person
ESI 2021 cohort with their mentors

ESI mentors with backgrounds in arts or sciences work with fellows during our six-week summer program. Apply to be a mentor by May 5, 2023 using the form below.

Mentors have become an integral part of FMR's Environmental Stewardship Institute (ESI) program. Our mentors, professionals and graduate students with a background in STEM, join us at our group meetings, work one-on-one with students on their individual projects, help their students develop a professional network and speak 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) 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 2023, 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 meet weekly in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays for half days - from 1:00-5:00 pm. Before the program starts, we will have a hybrid program training and orientation dinner on May 30, 2023 from 5:30-7:30 pm. The start date for ESI is June 20, 2023, and our program ends on July 28, 2023. 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. Tuesdays will typically be our scheduled outdoor field experience and Thursdays will typically be our indoor sessions which will include am online option to Zoom in for a portion of the meeting.

Ideally, mentors will attend at least 2 hours of programming on Tuesday or Thursday each week, and schedule a 15-minute check-in with their fellows about their project at least once a week outside of the scheduled time via phone or virtual meeting platform.

Mentors will be expected to RSVP on Mondays during the weeks of the program so FMR can plan accordingly for their presence at ESI throughout the summer.


FMR has practice 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 in-person programming for the 2023 ESI cohort. 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 encouraged, but not required for this program.

We are currently planning on 50% of the program taking place outdoors, with safety measures in place based on the recommendations at the time. However, no one is required to be present in person, and limited virtual options will be available for anyone uncomfortable with a group or indoor setting.


Learn more

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

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Minneapolis
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
South Branch Vermillion Aquatic Management Area, Hastings
Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Hidden Falls Regional Park
Ole Olson prairie, Mississippi River, Minneapolis skyline

Celebrate 30 years of FMR!

For our 30th anniversary, our wish is for you to join us in restoring, protecting and enhancing the Mississippi River.