Internships

Q: Do EPAP and ESM require internships?

A: The EPAP major encourages, but does not require, an internship. The ESM major requires 3 units of internship in order to graduate.

 

Q: What counts as an internship?

A: The main requirement for the type of internship required by ESM is that the internship should be science-based and related to the environment, but within those parameters we are very open to what you do. It could be teaching environmental science to children or working in a professor's lab on campus or working for the Air Resources Board in Sacramento. It can also be paid or unpaid.

 

Q: How many units of internship do I need?

A: The ESM major requires three units of internship. The guideline for determining internship units is 1 unit per 3 hours per week over a 10-week quarter, or essentially 30 hours per unit. The hours per week is just a way of expressing the overall number of hours required per unit. It is ok to do 3 hours per week, all 30 hours in 1 week, or to split them up however it works best for your particular internship. You can do all three required units at once or do them one at a time, again, however it works best for your specific internship or internships.

 

Q: How do I get an internship?

A: If there is a professor doing research that you are interested in, stop by their office or send them an email to see if they need any research assistants. Professors hear from students they do not know all the time and most professors do not expect you to have much, or sometimes any experience, so don’t worry about that when you talk to them.
Keep an eye out for internship opportunities on the ESP email listserv. If you would like to be added to the ESP listserv send a request to Melissa Whaley mmwhaley@ucdavis.edu and she will add you to the listserv.
We also highly recommend talking to the Internship & Career Center and/or checking out AggieJobLink.

 

Q: Where can I look for jobs?

A: Some great places to look for jobs are professional organization's websites. Below are some professional organizations focused on the environment.

Good national site: http://www.ecojobs.com

An analogous site for the UK: https://www.greenjobs.co.uk

Ecology positions relevant to the Ecology, Biodiversity, and Conservation track students:

http://esa-ecophys.org/temp.html

http://esa-ecophys.org/undergrad.html

Professional organizations of interest to Watershed Science track students (among others)

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

American Water Resources Association (AWRA)

Resource Conservation Districts. Many counties have resource conservation districts, such as the Yolo County RCD.

 

Q: Can I do my internship in the summer?

A: Yes, summer is a great time to do an internship. If you are planning to do a summer internship there are two options for earning unit credit. You can sign up for units during the summer when you are doing your actual internship, in which case you would pay summer school fees. You could also choose to sign up for units in the fall, after your internship has already been completed.

 

Q: How do I get credit for my internship?

A: If you are working directly with a professor you should be able to get credit through that professor’s home department.
If you are working for a grad student or researcher on campus, they should have a professor that they work with closely and should be able to arrange credit through that professor.
If you are working off-campus or on-campus but with someone who is not associated with a faculty member or department, you can arrange for a faculty sponsor. A faculty sponsor will provide you with internship credit in exchange for doing something like writing a paper or keeping a lab journal. We encourage you to seek out a faculty sponsor who you’ve connected to in a course or whose research is relevant to your internship, as this is an opportunity to foster a mentorship relationship with someone who can provide career advice tailored to your interests. The faculty sponsor could also become a potential reference or letter of recommendation writer who can speak to both classroom and extra-curricular activities. If this is not possible for you, you can contact the master advisor for your major and talk to them about finding an internship sponsor.

 

Q: I have a faculty sponsor, now how do I sign up for internship units?

A: If you are working with a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP), please complete this form Request for Approval of Internship and submit it to Melissa Whaley in 2134 Wickson Hall. If you are working with a professor outside of ESP, you will work with their major advisor to determine how to arrange for internship units. Each department has their own process for signing up for internship units so you will have to talk with their major advisor to find out what that process is. If you are unsure of the home department of the faculty member you are working with, you can ask them for clarification.

 

Q: Where have students interned before?

A: Here are just some of the places that ESM students have had internships:

Wild Campus at UC Davis
Project Compost at UC Davis
Raptor Center at UC Davis
UC Davis Arboretum
Governor's Office of Planning and Research in Sacramento
UC Berkeley's Camp Oski
Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve at the University of Minnesota
Aizu Electric Power Company in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service
Biological Orchard and Gardens (BOG) at UC Davis
Department of Public Works for the City of Davis
Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology at the California Academy of Sciences
Napa County Wildlife Rescue Center
Solano County Water Agency
Sprout Up: Environmental Education for the Next Generation
Wildlife Care Association
CalPIRG - UC Davis Chapter
UC Center Sacramento

 

Q: When should I start looking for an internship?

A: There is no specific time when you should start looking for an internship but starting to look in sophomore or junior year is typical. Generally students obtain their internships in their junior or senior year. Please do not wait until your last year to begin looking for an internship as it may be harder to find one that you enjoy.

 

Q: Does the course need to be ESP 192 or ESM 192 to count for the ESM major?

A: Not necessarily. For example, if you are working with a professor in the Plant Sciences department you will most likely sign up for PLS 192 or if you are working with a professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology you will most likely sign up for WFC 192.