Environmental Studies Field and Internship Program

Open to all UCSC students, the Environmental Studies Field and Internship Program is an integral academic component of the environmental studies major, and it augments the research and professional development of undergraduate students (see Environmental Studies). Interns are placed, individually and in groups, in both on-campus and off-campus agencies, where their work often results in publications and resource documents, and in many cases serves as the primary basis for policy formation within a particular agency or organization. Placements have included research for small businesses; learning all aspects of running an organic farm; writing policy documents for state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and planning departments; assignments as natural history interpretive guides for state and national parks; and apprentice positions with consultants, architects, solar-energy designers, agroecologists, and teachers. Student intern placements are also obtainable working with coffee growers, teachers, and agricultural specialists in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Mexico.

Part- and full-time placements are available, and students may receive two to 15 course credits for their work. Each student’s placement is supervised by a team of supporters: a faculty advisor, field sponsor, and the internship coordinator. Students spend 12 to 15 hours each week on their assignments for every 5 credits they receive.

Internships and fieldwork are designed to complement a student’s coursework and are available for both lower- and upper-division credit. Often, the internship leads to a summer job or employment after graduation. Qualified environmental studies majors may undertake a senior internship to fulfill the department’s comprehensive requirement. In addition, internships provide a fieldwork component for some environmental studies courses. Undergraduates are also afforded ample opportunities to intern on faculty and graduate-student research projects.

Further information is available from the Environmental Studies Field and Internship Program Office, 491 Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, (831) 459-2104, email: ckrohn@ucsc.edu. More information is available at envs.ucsc.edu/internships.