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Mid-Hudson YES Fellowships for Teachers

Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Fellowships for high school educators to conduct environmental research and mentor teams of students.

MH-YES RET Fellowship (summer 2020)

MH-YES RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) Fellows will be innovative, local high school teachers interested in strengthening their teaching, research and mentoring skills. They will join a professional learning community focused on engaging a diverse group of students and community members in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

MH-YES students
High school students from the 2018 Cary team Jonathan Huang, Eric Hawkinson, and Nafisa Rashid collect field data with science teacher Lori Hutchinson. Photo: Claire Sickinger.

The RET Teacher Fellows will conduct research in urban stream ecology and hydrology under the mentorship of Drs. Stuart Findlay and Zion Klos. Each Fellow will be an integral part of one of two teams of four high school students, each being mentored by one of the scientists along with an undergraduate student. These teams will collaborate to design and carry out a research project during the summer program.

Drs. Findlay and Klos have extensive experience working with high school teachers as RETs and through several education programs with Cary educators. The Fellows also will be mentored by Dr. Alan Berkowitz (Cary Head of Education) and Ashley Alred (Cary Education Program Leader) in both the research and education components of the experience.

The Fellows will develop applications of the ecological research to her/his teaching, producing an instructional unit to pilot test in the 2020-21 school year. We will follow-up with the RET Fellow periodically during the school year, coming into the classroom to observe and assist during implementation of  their units, and helping with assessment and documentation. Each Fellow will produce a small portfolio at the end of the school year to document their experience and insights from the program.


Application deadline: February 28th, 2020

Work with scientists and educators to mentor students in authentic research!

YES Teacher Fellows will spend six weeks this summer working with an undergraduate to co-lead research teams made up of 4 high school students, under the mentorship of Cary Institute and Marist College scientists and educators.

Both research teams will focus broadly on current water quality issues in the Hudson River watershed, including but not limited to: Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) in the Hudson and its tributaries under our warming climate, tributary flashiness, turbidity and water chemistry responses to storm events.

While the general research topics are set, it is the YES Teacher Fellows will work closely with the high school students, undergraduate researcher, and participating scientist to develop specific questions and experiments. We are especially interested in local teachers who have experience working with students in the MH-YES Program target demographic.

Participants can expect to gain:

  1. Training in scientific research and mentoring practices targeting students from under-represented groups
  2. Experience collaborating with undergraduates on leadership and mentoring
  3. Experience conducting aquatic ecology field and lab research
  4. A stipend of $7000 participating as a YES Teacher Fellow in the MH-YES Program  
  5. A supplies stipend of up to $1,000 for materials needed to implement their instructional unit in their classrooms in the 2020-21 school year

Total time commitment and stipend:

  • 6 weeks (June 29 - August 7 2020) during the summer program - $6,000 stipend
  • Up to 1 week of time including help with program planning and student selection (March - May 2020), mentor training (June 2020) and program evaluation and documentation (September 2020 - June 2021) - $200/day up to $1,000

*Some travel support is available for teachers

If accepted as a MH-YES Teacher Fellow, you will agree to:

  • Complete pre- and post-program assessment surveys about your teaching, environmental science knowledge, and mentoring approaches, and a final portfolio summarizing the results of school year implementation of lessons, pedagogies or activities developed during your Fellowship.
  • Attend and actively participate in occasional program planning and mentoring training sessions prior to the start of the program. Sessions will be scheduled to accommodate teacher availability, and participants will be compensated for their time.
  • Meet as needed prior to the program start date with scientists, educators, and undergraduates to organize research and mentoring activities of the MH-YES Program.
  • Work full time with a high school team in the field and lab from June 29th-August 7th.
  • Attend and actively participate in two community outreach days, one to be scheduled by teams in mid to late July, and the other held on August 7th.  
  • Produce a classroom implementation plan of how you will take this experience back into your classroom. This could be:
    • a new lesson or small unit (e.g., something on riparian zones in streams),
    • infusing a new pedagogy (e.g., student-generated inquiry) or science practice (e.g., data sense making) into existing instruction,
    • developing a new assessment for a related aspect of student thinking/capacity (e.g., assessing their investigation design skills), or
    • offering an enrichment program to students after school (e.g., initiating a student research program).
  • Provide advisory feedback to Cary Institute educators that will help improve the MH-YES Program.

You will be notified by March 13, 2020 regarding your acceptance into the program.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Alan Berkowitz: or (845) 677-7600 x 321.