Environmental Studies Internships

a hiking trail

Environmental Studies Internship Guidelines

Participation in an internship can be a very rewarding part of any student's program. You gain work experience while making connections between work skills and academic content or coursework.

  1. Find an internship site. An internship is more than a job. You should be performing duties that require you to use skills developed in your major. Find your own internship site or you can get assistance from Career Services or the Environmental Studies Program. The latest announcements about ongoing internship opportunities in Environmental Studies are posted on the bulletin board in the Annex lounge.
  2. Contact the Environmental Studies Internship Advisor, Dr. Kathy O'Neill, and discuss your plans with her, before preparing your application.
  3. Complete an ENVS Internship Application no later than the end of the pre-registration period for the semester in which you will be receiving credit. This means you need to arrange the internship the semester before you will begin the onsite work.
  4. You may be paid in addition to receiving credit, if the internship site offers pay.

Application due date: The completed coversheet is due (to Dr. O'Neill) during the registration period for the semester in which you will earn the credit and do the work. This means you must plan your internship one semester prior to the actual work. You cannot, for example, set up internship credit after working a summer job. Securing a good internship site and negotiating duties can take months, so start early. The work associated with acquiring an internship is part of the learning process, regarding professionalism and responsibility. If you don't want to invest this time and planning effort, then an internship is probably not a good fit for you.

Learning Outcomes: Learning outcomes are statements of what you should be able to do if your internship is successful. Learning outcomes will help you connect your work to academic experiences. Get help from your internship site supervisor and Dr. O'Neill to craft these. Good outcomes include action verbs such as explain, describe, analyze, write, etc. that specify what you can do. Do not use verbs such as know or understand. Your application must include at least two learning outcomes.

Internship requirements: All ENV Studies internships require

  1. A minimum of 10 hours of work/week on the internship site for a full unit of credit or a minimum of 5 hours of work/week on the internship site for a half unit of credit. The total number of hours required for a full unit internship is a minimum of 110 hours on site and for a half unit of credit is a minimum of 60 hours on site.
  2. A reflective journal. For each day that you work, your journal should have an entry with
    1. Date and hours worked
    2. Description of activities and responsibilities
    3. Reflection and academic connections. Internships in the Environmental Studies program follow the college-wide Pathways model for experiential learning. As part of this, you will engage in a process of on-going guided reflection throughout the semester. Weekly reflection prompts will be posted on the internship Inquire site. Prompts will require you to examine your internship to enhance your knowledge and articulate your learning. Remember that you are getting academic credit in addition to work experience. Academic connections are required.
  3. Participation in meetings with the Faculty Internship Coordinator, Dr. O'Neill.   There will be 4 - 6 group meetings per semester, scheduled at times that work for all students, if there are multiple students engaged in ENVS internships.  Attendance and preparation for these meetings is mandatory.
  4. After completing work at your internship site, you must
    1. Have a letter of evaluation sent from your site supervisor to Dr. O'Neill stating whether or not your work was satisfactory.
    2. Write a professional quality paper describing your work and academic connections. Describe your work and its setting. Consider including photos and examples of protocols. Specifically address the learning outcomes you wrote in your application. Demonstrate that you have accomplished these. Include any new outcomes that you didn't anticipate. Re-read your journal and expand on those connections and reflections. You may need to do a little background research. Typical papers are 3-5 pages. An electronic copy of this paper is due to Dr. O'Neill by the date she specifies with you. For summer internships, the paper will be due at the beginning of the Fall semester.
    3. Deliver a professional quality poster presentation at the campus showcase held in the semester in which you receive credit for your internship (for a summer internship, you would present your poster in the fall semester following your internship). Posters must be reviewed and approved by Dr. O'Neill prior to the showcase. Photos of your work site are great to include. For summer internships, the draft poster will need to be presented for approval of Dr. O'Neill at the beginning of the Fall semester.

Please understand that non-compliance with any of the above can be a reason to fail the internship. On-site, satisfactory work does not guarantee that a student will receive a passing grade for the internship, if other aspects of the requirements were not fulfilled.

Click here for the Environmental Studies Internship Application Form