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USM Environmental Science students' research and internships made possible by gift from Poland Spring®

Environmental Science faculty and students receive check from Poland Spring rep

USM's Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) program recently announced that they are the recipient of a $25,000 gift from Nestlé Waters North America’s Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water.

The gift will be used to support ESP students’ educational efforts working on various environmental projects surrounding water, such as monitoring the Presumpscot and Saco River watersheds, and providing much-needed equipment for the program’s research lab.   

“This gift will let us create more opportunities for students in water-related projects, research and internships. It supports our mission of educating environmentally-trained students for the workforce,” said Robert Sanford, Ph.D., professor and chair for the Department of Environmental Science and Policy.

Poland Spring’s Natural Resource Manager Mark Dubois presented the check recently to several USM Environmental Science and Policy professors and students on the Gorham campus. Among the group was Environmental Science student Maria Guerra, the first student to make use of the gift.

This summer Guerra will be doing an internship with the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, testing watershed streams for bacteria, dissolved oxygen and more. It’s a community partnership position, something she is proud to be a part of.

“I’m excited to be able to reach out to the community to get people to be more aware of the issues around the watershed, and this gift helps makes this opportunity possible” she said.

Heather Printup, community relations manager for Poland Spring, noted that the company has been a proud supporter of University of Southern Maine for many years, adding, “Poland Spring is pleased to again partner with USM to help arm the next generation of environmental stewards with the resources they need to protect our planet.”

“Given our company’s own commitment to sustainability, this partnership is a natural fit for us, and we applaud USM’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy for teaching students how to care for our environment and natural resources,” Printup said.

The University of Southern Maine’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) is an interdisciplinary program offering a B.A. in Environmental Planning and Policy, and a B.S. in Environmental Science. An accelerated program allows students in the B.A. program to work towards a Master's degree in Policy, Planning, and Management. For students who wish to become teachers, there is also a pathway leading to secondary science certification. The program also offers minors and/or certificates in Environmental Sustainability, Applied Energy, Nature Tourism, Environmental Science, Environmental Education and Environmental Policy.