• Do EPAP and ESM require internships?
  • The EPAP major encourages, but does not require, an internship. The ESM major requires 3 units of internship in order to graduate.
  • How do I get an internship?
  • We have set up a google doc that lists opportunities for on-campus environmental internships. Many of the internships are ongoing and still accepting applicants even if they were posted quite a while ago. The California Intern Network is a good resource for off-campus internship opportunities. Another option is to reach out to a professor if there is a professor doing research that you are interested in. For more information on research by faculty members in our departments, please see our ESP & LAWR faculty research spreadsheet, which includes the type of research undergraduates in their groups might do. You can stop by the faculty member's 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 many professors do not expect you to have much 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 and she will add you to the listserv.
    We also highly recommend talking to the Internship & Career Center (ICC) and/or checking out Handshake. There are several advisors at the ICC who can help with careers in ESM and EPAP areas. The ICC has some great information on careers in Ecology and the Environment, including a list of ICC advisors who specialize in those areas. They also have great information about careers in Law and Public Policy, including a list of advisors who specialize in that area. You can search for Atmospheric Science-related internships here.
  • What counts as an internship?
  • 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.
  • Where have students interned before?
  • Here are just some of the places that ESM students have had internships:
    On campus
    Off campus:
  • Where can I look for jobs?
  • Some great places to look for jobs are professional organization's websites and public employment websites. Below are some state and federal public employment websites and professional organizations focused on the environment.
  • Can I do my internship in the summer?
  • 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.
  • How do I get credit for my internship?
  • 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.
  • I have a faculty sponsor, now how do I sign up for internship units?
  • If you are working with a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP), please complete this form ESP/LAWR Internship Form 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.
  • When should I start looking for an internship?
  • 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 is relevant to your interests.
  • Does the course need to be ESP 192 or ESM 192 to count for the ESM major?
  • 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.