Resources for Summer Institute Fellows

Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions about the SIEH. For further questions, please contact Program Coordinator Portia Hardy at [email protected]

ALLEN ISLAND, MAINE – AUGUST 02: A participate swings on the barn swing overlooking Allen Island as part of the Colby Summer Institute in Environmental Humanities Wednesday, August 2, 2023. The Colby Summer Institute in Environmental Humanities (SIEH) gathers scholars from around the globe to collectively explore how the Environmental Humanities contribute to the theorization, imagination, and practice of socially just and ecologically hopeful futures for humans and nonhumans. (Photo by Ashley L. Conti)

Preparing for the Summer Institute 


All fellows will be housed in the Alfond Main Street Commons, an apartment-style residence hall in the heart of downtown Waterville. Fellows enjoy single bedrooms with a full-size bed, desk with chair, dresser, and wardrobe in a shared suite that includes a common living space, a kitchen, and two shared bathrooms. There are no animals allowed in the apartments.  Building access includes use of the Common’s fitness center as well as free-to-use laundry facilities. 

Accommodations are limited to accepted SIEH Fellows. If you are traveling with a partner, spouse, or family members, we encourage you to consider local hotel options. At this time, the SIEH is unable to provide childcare for young family members. If you need alternative or extra housing, we encourage you to consider the three hotels in the Waterville area: The Lockwood HotelThe Hampton Inn and the Holiday Inn

Travel to Waterville and the SIEH

All Fellows and Seminar Leaders are expected to arrive Sunday, July 28, and depart Sunday, August 4. If you are flying in, we recommend that you fly into Portland (PWM), which is the largest airport in the vicinity. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take the following options: A Concord Coach bus from Portland to nearby Augusta; a Greyhound bus, which goes to Waterville; or you can rent a car and drive to Waterville. The SIEH will offer timed pickups throughout the day on Sunday from the Augusta and Waterville bus stops.

Air Connections:

• Portland Jetport (PWM), a 75-minute drive south, and Bangor International Airport (BGR), about an hour north, offer commercial air service from most major airlines.

• Augusta State Airport, 25 minutes south, offers commuter air service with Cape Air from and to Logan Airport in Boston.

• Logan Airport in Boston is the nearest major metropolitan airport.

• Concord Coach Lines offers direct bus services to Portland and Augusta from Logan Airport.

• Car rentals are available at the Portland, Bangor, and Augusta airports.

Bus Information:

• Concord Coach Lines provides daily service from Logan Airport, Boston’s South Station, and Portland to Augusta. Visit here for their schedule from Boston Logan to central Maine, including Portland and Augusta. Please note that their Waterville stop does not run during the summers.

• Greyhound provides daily service between Boston and Waterville. The Waterville terminal is located at the Xpress Stop Service Station at 320 Kennedy Memorial Drive. Please note there is a direct route from Portland to Waterville, however that bus typically arrives late at night. Visit here for more information. 

Rental Car/Vehicle Services

• Enterprise Car Rental is located at the Portland Jetport, Bangor Airport, and on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville. For more information, call 207-877-6601.

• Hertz Car Rental is located in the Augusta at airport on Airport Road. For more information, call 207-621-8116. Visit here for more information.

Visa Help

If you will need to apply for a visa to the United States in order to attend the 2024 SIEH, you are urged to begin the application process as soon as possible, as there are sometimes significant delays in receiving a response. 


To get a feel for the flow of the week, please see the 2023 SIEH schedule below. A typical day will consist of breakfast followed by a morning seminar, a break for lunch, works-in-progress group meetings, and a final afternoon keynote. The 2024 SIEH schedule will be subject to light modifications. 

Covid Protocols 

The health and well-being of our participants is our top priority. In light of that, we request that participants ensure that they are fully vaccinated and boosted before arriving. If you would like to mask, please feel comfortable to do so. As part of our commitment to a safe and healthy experience, the SIEH will provide masks and a Covid testing kit to all participants at check-in. We ask you to test yourself upon arrival.


The SIEH will provide a daily light continental breakfest, opening and closing dinners, and lunch on Allen Island. Fellows are expected to cover the rest of their meals throughout the week. There are a number of restaurants located within a mile of Alfond Commons and in downtown Waterville. A list of these will be provided upon check-in.

While at the Summer Institute


When considering what to pack for the Summer Institute, we recommend light clothing that can be layered. The nature of the SIEH is informal. Please pack comfortable clothing, as a significant part of the day involves sitting down. Trips outside of Alfond Commons will occur daily, and local temperatures in the summer are typically between 75 – 85°F (24-30°C). All spaces within Alfond Commons are equipped with air conditioning. 

To prepare for the trip to Allen Island, part of Colby College’s Island Campus, we encourage you to bring or wear the items below.

• Bug Spray 

• Sunblock

• Hat

• Hiking boots or sneakers 

• Raincoat

• Backpack

• Water bottle

Driving Directions

You will be staying at the Colby Alfond Commons at 150 Main Street, Waterville, Maine. The main entrance to the building is on Appleton Street. For construction and traffic information, see travel advisories from the Maine Turnpike Authority.


All-day and overnight parking can be found at 15 Appleton Street, Waterville ME 04904. There will be signage indicating the Colby parking lot. Two-hour parking lots are located around the Alfond Commons; however, leaving your car in these lots overnight will result in a ticket.

Shuttle Services

Transportation for SIEH events has been scheduled in advance. For additional campus visits, Colby College has a shuttle system that runs from Alfond Commons to campus. SIEH Fellows can track shuttles online or through the mobile app available for Apple and Android devices. Please note that shuttle arrival and departure times can change depending on variations in traffic, construction, and weather. Shuttle Hours of Operation are from 7:00am to 11:00pm.

Connecting to WI-FI

Select “Colby Guest Access” as the Wi-Fi network. In the pop-up window, enter your name and email address. Leave “Conference ID” blank. If you agree and accept the terms of use, click “I have read and accept the terms of use.” Click “register.” and open an internet browser. 


Upon check-in at the SIEH, there will be an optional prescheduled trip to a local grocery store for interested Fellows. The Colby shuttle service is able to offer a pick up and drop off service for SIEH Fellows to and from local grocery options, including Wal-mart (80 Waterville Commons Drive) and two Hannaford locations (140 Elm Plaza and 190 Kennedy Memorial Dr). 

Medical Needs and Emergencies 

If you are in need of over-the-counter medicine, pharmacy products, or other medical supplies, please visit the nearby Walgreens (210 Main St), which is within walking distance from the Alfond Commons. If you need more intensive medical care, we recommend Express Care (211 Main St.), a nearby walk-in clinic. 

Entertainment and Activities 

Downtown Waterville is an in-process and growing attraction in central Maine. There are a number of fun events during the week of the SIEH, and you are welcome to participate in them in your free time. A suggested schedule of activities will be provided in advance of the Summer Institute.

Downtown spaces of interest

Paul J. Schupf Art Center

 A lively hub for the visual and performing arts, film, and arts education. Located in the Schupf Art Center, the Maine Film Center is a three-screen independent movie theater. The Waterville Opera House offers live entertainment; theater, comedy, music, and dance.

Head of Falls

•  Located one block away from Main Street, the Head of Falls is a riverfront in what was once a thriving industrial center. Now it is a public park and river walk that is perfect for a relaxing walk and picnic on a sunny day.

Greene Block + Studios

• Greene Black + Studios is a Colby-affiliated arts hub and gallery space that is also home to the Lunder Institute for American Art. 

Central Maine Outdoors

Colby Campus Trails and Perkins Arboretum.

• A network of trails around 4 miles adjacent to the main campus, accessible by shuttle. See here for a full map.

Quarry Road Recreation Area.

• Over 6 miles of trails used for running, walking, and winter events. You will need a car or a bike to reach this space, which is located a few miles from downtown. See here for a full map and description.

Colby Hume Center | 35-45 Bayberry Lane, Sidney, ME 04330.

• Only seven miles from campus, the 10-acre parcel of land has 550 feet of shoreline on Messalonskee Lake, and the property was given to Colby in 1991 by Dr. H. Alan Hume and his wife, Dorothy. We will have an optional visit to this site.

WATERVILLE, MAINE – AUGUST 22: General aerial images from Colby College and downtown Waterville on Wednesday, August 22, 2023. (Photo by Maine Drone Imaging)