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15 Environmental Science Internships for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

college student at campus

15 Environmental Science Internships for High School Students

Environmental science internships provide high school students valuable opportunities to learn more about the field and gain practical experience. These internships help students build a strong foundation for future careers in environmental science and develop important skills and knowledge that will benefit their academic and professional journeys. This article will explore the importance of environmental science internships, the different types available, how to prepare for an internship, and how to make the most of the experience.

1. Student Conservation Association (SCA) Internships

  • Location: United States
  • Registration Fee: unspecified
  • Important Dates: varies
  • Eligibility: High school graduates ages 18 and up

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) offers a variety of conservation internships that provide hands-on experience in environmental conservation and sustainability across the United States. SCA internships are designed for high school graduates aged 18 and up, and they range from 12 weeks to 12 months in duration.  The internships are placed individually with partner agencies, organizations, or sustainable businesses, and they offer critical hands-on conservation experience working as a member of an agency, organization, or sustainable business.

SCA internships are not specifically focused on social sciences, but they do provide opportunities for students interested in the intersection of conservation and social issues. For example, the Great Plains Pollinator Internship helps collect data on native bee species threatened by declining habitat quality and the effects of climate change. This internship could provide valuable insights into the social and environmental factors that impact pollinator populations and their habitats.

SCA internships offer personal, professional, and global benefits that will stay with participants long beyond their term of service. Interns may also be able to receive academic credit through their college or academic institution. The SCA offers internships in a wide variety of areas, and they have seen a variety of majors participate, including history, English, art, international relations, business, math, and Spanish. Some positions are looking for applicants with specific backgrounds, while others offer on-site training and only require that applicants be passionate about the position

SCA offers various environmental internships, allowing high school students to work on conservation projects across the U.S. Positions may include trail maintenance, habitat restoration, and environmental education.

2. Environmental Volunteers High School Internship Program (HIP)

  • Location: unspecified
  • Registration Fee: unspecified
  • Important Dates: unspecified
  • Eligibility: unspecified

The Environmental Volunteers High School Internship Program (HIP) is designed to provide high school students with immersive, hands-on experiences that enhance their academic and career development. HIP is a High Impact Practice (HIP) that aligns with research showing the benefits of internships, such as increased student learning outcomes, cultural competence, and retention rates.

During the program, students engage in a variety of activities that may include:

  1. Participating in safety, laboratory, and other training to develop fundamental skills and knowledge in their chosen field
  2. Working alongside mentors in research groups, gaining practical experience, and learning about the day-to-day operations of a professional setting
  3. Attending research seminars, professional development workshops, and social activities to enhance their understanding of their field and to network with peers and professionals
  4. Presenting their work and learning experiences to the community fosters reflection and future planning

HIPs like this one are part of a broader movement to increase the quality of educational experiences and to prepare students for success in their future careers. By participating in HIPs, students can develop a deeper understanding of their chosen fields, make connections with professionals, and gain valuable experience that will help them stand out in a competitive job market.

HIP provides high school students with hands-on environmental education and leadership training. Interns work on environmental projects, lead nature walks, and assist with educational programs.

3. Earthwatch Institute’s Teen Expeditions

  • Location: Varies
  • Registration Fee: Free
  • Important Dates: unspecified
  • EligibilityStudents aged 15–17 are welcome on standard adult expeditions when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The Earthwatch Institute’s Teen Expeditions offers high school students between the ages of 15 and 18 the opportunity to engage in hands-on scientific research and conservation efforts in various locations around the world. These expeditions provide teens with immersive experiences, allowing them to work alongside leading environmental scientists, conduct field research, and contribute to the understanding and protection of natural habitats and wildlife. The program is designed to offer life-defining experiences, foster a passion for science, and provide a glimpse into what a career as a scientist might look like. Teen participants receive training from renowned environmental scientists and their field staff, and no prior scientific experience is necessary, as students from all academic backgrounds are welcome to join.

The Teen Expeditions involve activities such as hands-on field research, training from environmental scientists, and the opportunity to explore vibrant global cultures and stunning landscapes. Participants also receive additional supervision and support from trained Earthwatch Facilitators, and the expeditions include accommodations, food, local transportation, and emergency medical and evacuation insurance. The program aims to empower teens to make a real difference in the world while forming lasting friendships and gaining a deeper understanding of conservation and scientific research.

 Earthwatch offers Teen Expeditions that allow high school students to join scientific research teams on environmental projects worldwide. Participants engage in fieldwork and contribute to real scientific studies.

4. National Aquarium High School Internship Program

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Registration Fee: $40
  • Important Dates: July to August
  • Eligibility:  Open to local high school students rising into grades 10 and up

The National Aquarium High School Internship Program provides high school students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in various departments throughout the aquarium. The program is designed to match interns with work that complements their studies, interests, and skills. Students may apply for up to two internships per term, and the program is available year-round. Eligible applicants must be college-enrolled or have graduated in the previous semester, and complete applications will include answers to all application questions, including biographical information, availability, and short answer questions, as well as a copy of an unofficial transcript and contact information for two references. The program provides valuable job experience and establishes professional contacts, and interns receive training from aquarium staff and work alongside professionals in their chosen field.

The National Aquarium also offers a Youth Exhibit Guide Program for local high school students rising into grades 10 and up. This program provides students with a realistic look at careers in marine biology, valuable work experience, and an opportunity to connect with other students who share similar interests. The program includes intensive volunteer training courses, including the study of exhibits and their inhabitants, Chesapeake Bay, conservation, interpretation techniques, and customer service skills. Students will be notified of their selection within two weeks of their interview, and if accepted into the program, participants will be asked to provide a $40 fee for course registration and materials. The program provides a unique learning opportunity and valuable work experience with a wide range of perks, including staff discounts and privileges, social opportunities and activities, and two general admission tickets upon successful completion of the program.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore offers high school internships where students participate in marine science and conservation projects, engage with visitors, and assist aquarium staff.

student in front of university building looking at camera

5. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Internships

  • Location: Edgewater, Maryland
  • Registration Fee: Free
  • Important Dates:  February 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be currently enrolled undergraduate or beginning graduate students, or have recently graduated from an undergraduate or master’s program

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Internship Program offers undergraduate and beginning graduate students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in environmental research and public engagement. Interns work on independent research projects under the direction of SERC mentors, with projects spanning various disciplines such as environmental chemistry, marine and estuarine ecology, molecular ecology, and terrestrial ecology. Additionally, opportunities in public engagement, including environmental education, Participatory Science, and science writing, are available

During the program, interns:
  1. Conduct independent research projects, expanding their knowledge in a selected field of study and learning a variety of research techniques through firsthand experience.
  2. Present the findings of their independent projects in a formal seminar to the SERC community.
  3. Participate in an ongoing seminar program that brings in noted outside speakers on a variety of topics in the environmental sciences.
  4. Have the opportunity to attend experiential field trips to the Smithsonian museums and galleries on the National Mall, when conditions permit.

The program is tailored to provide the maximum educational benefit to each participant, and interns are expected to commit fully to the completion of a project. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center has maintained an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) site since 2001, and those students sponsored have used the professional training programs as a stepping-stone to pursue advanced careers in the environmental sciences.

: SERC provides high school students with research opportunities in environmental science, including fieldwork, data analysis, and laboratory work. Interns collaborate with scientists on ongoing projects.

6. California Academy of Sciences – Careers in Science Intern Program

  • Location:  Golden Gate Park
  • Registration Fee: Free
  • Important Dates: April 27, 2024
  • Eligibility: Must be currently enrolled full-time as a 9th or 10th-grade student in a San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) school, maintain a GPA of 2.5 and a grade of C or higher in science and math

The California Academy of Sciences – Careers in Science Intern Program is a multi-year, year-round, paid internship and youth development program for San Francisco high school students who come from communities underrepresented in STEM, including girls and students of color. The program is designed to provide students with opportunities to learn, teach, and do science in and around the California Academy of Sciences. Interns enter the program in June as rising sophomores or juniors and continue through high school graduation. The program provides a variety of unique opportunities, including learning science at training, lectures, workshops, and conferences, teaching science to the Academy’s audiences, and conducting scientific field research and data analysis with Academy experts. Interns also attend interactive trainings twice a month to develop science communication skills, learn about careers from practicing STEM professionals, and receive guidance on topics like financial literacy and the college application process. In addition, interns attend college tours, present at STEM conferences and festivals, and help inform the design of Academy exhibits and educational materials.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be currently enrolled full-time as a 9th or 10th-grade student in an SFUSD school, maintain a GPA of 2.5 and a grade of C or higher in science and math, be able to obtain a valid work permit (US citizens and others authorized to work in the US), commit to all attendance requirements for 2 or 3 years, through high school graduation, be able to commute to the Academy and nearby locations after school and on Saturdays during the school year, and on weekdays in the summer (some remote work may be required), and demonstrate interest and enthusiasm for learning, teaching, and doing science. Applications for the internship open in February and close in April, and selected applicants will be required to attend an in-person group interview. The program is highly selective, and the California Academy of Sciences is committed to ensuring that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

 The Careers in Science Intern Program at the California Academy of Sciences allows high school students to work on scientific research, exhibit design, and education projects.

7. Audubon Centers’ Environmental Education Internships

  • Location: Montana Audubon Center
  • Registration Fee: unspecified
  • Important Dates: unspecified
  • Eligibility:  Individuals who want to gain hands-on experience leading outdoor and environmental education programs

The Audubon Centers’ Environmental Education Internships provide hands-on experiences in environmental education and conservation. Summer-Fall Environmental Education Interns are responsible for teaching the Summer Nature Program sessions for children ages 3-11, as well as assisting with the teaching of environmental education programs to school groups. During the rest of the year, interns help with the planning, set-up, and implementation of special events, such as Enchanted Forest and Audubon Kids’ Day, and contribute to other aspects of a nature center’s day-to-day operation.

The internships are designed to help interns:

  1. Gain hands-on experience leading outdoor and environmental education programs.
  2. Develop naturalist interpretation skills for educating people about plants, birds, mammals, and more.
  3. Assist with landscape restoration.
  4. Design and implement conservation projects.
  5. Collaborate on capstone projects focused on environmental justice and engaging people in conservation issues

These internships are unpaid, but interns may earn academic credit through their college or university. They are open to individuals who have completed at least two years of college coursework in the environmental or life sciences, and some teaching experience and/or curriculum development is necessary.

Various Audubon Centers across the U.S. offer environmental education internships for high school students. Interns assist with educational programs, habitat restoration, and bird monitoring.

8. Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) High School Internship Program

  • Location: unspecified
  • Registration Fee: unspecified
  • Important Dates: unspecified
  • Eligibility: unspecified

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) High School Internship Program offers high school students the opportunity to conduct ecological research in the Rocky Mountains. Interns work alongside scientists and contribute to ongoing field studies. The program is designed to provide students with hands-on research experience and to immerse them in an active scientific community, with up to 180 scientists, postdocs, graduate students, undergraduates, staff, and family members living onsite. The program runs for 10 weeks, typically from June to August, and some students may be asked to arrive earlier or stay later if necessary for their particular project. The internship involves working with a mentor to develop a testable hypothesis, gather field data, analyze it, and produce metadata, as well as produce a written and oral report. Additionally, students participate in workshops on experimental design, data analysis, data management, and science communication, among other topics.

The RMBL High School Internship Program provides a unique opportunity for students to gain practical experience in the field of ecology and to develop important skills for future careers in environmental science. The program is open to students with a sincere interest in a career in field biology research, and there are a substantial number of full and partial scholarships available, so financial need should not stop students from applying. Accepted students have the option of turning their research into a Senior Thesis at their home institution. The program also offers various levels of support, including a stipend, depending upon the strength of the application, financial need, and student motivation. Overall, the RMBL High School Internship Program is designed to help students build a strong foundation for future careers in environmental science and to provide them with valuable hands-on experience in the field.

RMBL allows high school students to conduct ecological research in the Rocky Mountains. Interns work alongside scientists and contribute to ongoing field studies.

9. Chicago Botanic Garden High School Internship Program

  • Location: Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL
  • Registration Fee: unspecified
  • Important Dates: April 16
  • Eligibility: Current sophomore or junior in a Chicago Public School

The Chicago Botanic Garden High School Internship Program offers high school students the opportunity to explore a diverse array of scientific fields related to plant biology and conservation. As interns, students will be trained in all stages of research, from hypothesis formulation through experimental design, data collection, analysis, and presentation of results through a public research symposium.

During the program, interns will:

  1. Participate in a near-peer mentorship network, known as the Science Career Continuum
  2. Receive training in scientific communication
  3. Present at local research symposia
  4. Develop professional development workshops and field trips to local partner research institutions
  5. Work with graduate students and other mentors to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field

The Chicago Botanic Garden REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) Program is particularly interested in helping students who lack research opportunities at their home institutions, who have not participated in a REU or similar experience in the past, and/or are from groups traditionally underrepresented in the biological sciences.

The program is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and aims to improve student retention in the STEM fields by providing high-quality research experiences for undergraduate students.

The Chicago Botanic Garden offers high school plant science, conservation, and horticulture internships. Interns engage in hands-on projects and educational activities.

10. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) High School Internships

  • Location: unspecified
  • Registration Fee: Free
  • Important Dates: unspecified
  • Eligibility:  Full-time undergraduate students

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) High School Internships provide high school students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in renewable energy and environmental sustainability. Interns work on research projects and gain insights into clean energy technologies. During the program, interns:

  1. Gain access to state-of-the-art systems and seasoned mentors
  2. Strengthen skills through professional development
  3. Hear from world-class experts and top executives during NREL’s lecture series
  4. Learn about NREL’s lab buildings and the work going on by taking virtual tours
  5. Engage with other interns by joining clubs and resource groups

NREL offers a variety of internship opportunities, including on-site, hybrid, and virtual internships, to help students develop a strong foundation for future careers in renewable energy and environmental sustainability.

NREL provides high school students with internships on renewable energy and environmental sustainability. Interns work on research projects and gain insights into clean energy technologies.

11. New York Botanical Garden – Bronx Green-Up High School Internship

  • Location:  Bronx, New York
  • Registration Fee: unspecified
  • Important Dates: unspecified
  • Eligibility: Graduate students

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) offers the Bronx Green-Up High School Internship, which provides students with hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The internship program includes activities such as actively engaging visitors at science and technology exhibits, facilitating design-based activities, and participating in career development opportunities, including workshops, field trips, and networking events. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in STEM and the built environment, offering a unique opportunity to gain exposure to various STEM careers and develop communication and teaching skills.  The internship typically runs for six weeks during the summer, and students are encouraged to apply for this valuable learning experience.

The internship also involves training alongside experienced teachers, gaining hands-on experience in a classroom setting, and participating in informal “support group” sessions with fellow interns.  The program aims to train aspiring teachers to better serve the needs of South Bronx schoolchildren in high-need urban populations. The internship provides a valuable opportunity for students to explore and learn about STEM, interact with the public, and develop essential skills for future careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

The Bronx Green-Up program at the New York Botanical Garden offers high school students internships in urban agriculture, community gardening, and environmental stewardship.

12. Smithsonian’s National Zoo – ZooTeens Program

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Registration Fee:  unspecified
  • Important DatesApplication closes: April 12, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students ages 14-17

The ZooTeens program at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo offers teenagers the opportunity to engage in various activities related to animal care, conservation, and education. Participants may be involved in animal enrichment, which includes providing training sessions, objects, toys, sounds, and smells to encourage animals to engage in their natural behaviors in new and exciting ways. The zoo is home to a diverse range of animals, including cows, alpacas, hogs, donkeys, goats, chickens, fish, Sumatran tigers, African lions, caracals, bobcats, black-tailed prairie dogs, and North American porcupines. Additionally, the zoo is involved in the preservation and study of the genetic materials of rare and endangered heritage breeds of domestic livestock, aiming to protect genetic diversity and the global food chain.

The ZooTeens program at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., offers high school students the chance to work on conservation projects, assist zookeepers, and engage with visitors.

13. California State Parks Foundation Youth Conservation Corps

  • Location: unspecified
  • Registration Fee: unspecified
  • Important Dates: unspecified
  • Eligibility18-25 years of age, or military veterans up through age 29

The California State Parks Foundation Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) offers young adults the opportunity to engage in various conservation projects and learn valuable skills. Participants, aged 15 to 18, work on a variety of tasks such as building trails, maintaining fences, cleaning campgrounds, improving wildlife habitat, environmental education, and stream restoration. The program is non-residential, meaning that participants must commute to and from the site daily, and transportation to the site is not provided.

The California Conservation Corps (CCC), a separate but related program, is the oldest and largest conservation corps in the nation, providing young adults aged 18 to 25 with a year of paid service to the State of California. Members work on environmental projects and respond to natural and man-made disasters, gaining skills and experience that lead to meaningful careers. The CCC is a state agency, certified by The Corps Network, and has been in operation since 1976.

Both the California State Parks Foundation YCC and the CCC are dedicated to providing young people with education, certification programs, and career development to build skills for life.

The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program in California State Parks offers high school students opportunities to work on environmental restoration and conservation projects in state parks.

14. Denver Zoo Youth Volunteer Program

  • Location:  2300 Steele St, Denver, CO 80205
  • Registration Fee: unspecified
  • Important Dates:  January 31, 2024
  • Eligibility:  Both adults and teens

The Denver Zoo Youth Volunteer Program offers teenagers the opportunity to participate in various activities related to animal care, education, and public engagement. The Zoo Crew program is a summer volunteer program for teenagers aged 13 to 18, where participants work 75 hours each summer and must be at least 13 years old by May 1st. During the first year, teens participate in a variety of activities to support Denver Zoo and engage the public, such as working alongside a veteran teen volunteer in an animal area, interacting with zoo guests at education stations on zoo grounds, and supporting summer youth camps. During the second year and beyond, teens have the opportunity to apply for specific volunteer positions throughout the zoo, working in different animal areas and departments of their choice.

The search results do not provide detailed information on the specific activities of the Denver Zoo Youth Volunteer Program beyond the Zoo Crew program. However, the Denver Zoo offers a Teen Advisory Council, which is a group of teens that helps to inform and plan future and current teen programs, share insights regarding relevant issues, and promote awareness of teen-driven happenings at Denver Zoo. The council meets monthly and offers Denver Zoo perks, such as a super snazzy Advisory Council t-shirt, food at each meeting/event, bus passes/gas cards to get to and from the meetings/events, and free admission to Denver Zoo.

The Denver Zoo’s Youth Volunteer Program allows high school students to engage in conservation and education initiatives, assist zoo staff, and participate in special events.

15. Monterey Bay Aquarium Teen Conservation Leaders Program

  • Location: Monterey, California
  • Registration Fee: unspecified
  • Important Dates: unspecified
  • Eligibility: Open to students entering 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade in the fall of 2024, who are at least 14 years old by June 10, 2024, and demonstrate an eagerness to learn about ocean conservation and leadership

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Teen Conservation Leaders (TCL) program is a service-learning program for high school students aimed at developing career and life skills while building self-confidence and an ethic of service. The program integrates and expands the aquarium’s existing teen education programs, providing extraordinary experiences for students to connect with marine science and learn about ocean conservation. Through the TCL program, teens engage in various activities focused on supporting ocean conservation efforts, which may include participating in virtual programs, developing leadership skills, and contributing to the aquarium’s reopening efforts. The program offers students the opportunity to become the next generation of ocean leaders by immersing them in marine science and conservation initiatives.

The search results do not provide specific details about the activities within the TCL program. However, the program is designed to offer high school students a comprehensive experience that fosters a deep understanding of marine science and conservation, potentially involving a range of educational and hands-on activities to support the aquarium’s mission and initiatives. For more detailed information on the specific activities within the TCL program, it is recommended to visit the official website of the Monterey Bay Aquarium or contact the aquarium directly.

The Teen Conservation Leaders Program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers high school students the chance to participate in marine conservation projects, engage with visitors, and assist aquarium staff.

Understanding the Importance of Environmental Science Internships

Environmental science internships are crucial in shaping high school students’ interest in environmental science career paths. These internships provide students with hands-on experience in the field, allowing them to apply classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios. By participating in internships, students can better understand the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability.

Building a Foundation for Future Careers

One of the primary benefits of environmental science internships is the opportunity to lay a strong foundation for future careers. Through internships, high school students can explore various subfields of environmental science, such as ecology, conservation, and environmental policy. By gaining practical experience in these areas, students can determine which specialization aligns with their interests and goals.

Moreover, internships allow students to work alongside professionals and researchers in the environmental science industry. This exposure will enable students to learn from experienced mentors, ask questions, and gain valuable insights into potential career paths they may wish to pursue.

For example, during an internship at a local environmental organization, students may be able to assist in conducting water quality assessments in nearby rivers and lakes. This hands-on experience not only helps students understand the impact of pollution on aquatic ecosystems but also allows them to develop practical skills in water sampling and analysis techniques.

Asian student girl looking at group mate talking

Developing Practical Skills and Knowledge

In addition to building a foundation for future careers, environmental science internships help high school students develop practical skills and knowledge. These internships typically involve fieldwork, laboratory experiments, and data analysis, giving students hands-on experience in various scientific techniques.

Furthermore, internships provide opportunities for students to work on research projects, contribute to data collection efforts, and engage in environmental monitoring activities. These experiences help students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are essential in the field of environmental science.

For instance, during an internship at a wildlife rehabilitation center, students may care for and rehabilitate injured or orphaned animals. This hands-on experience allows students to learn about wildlife conservation but also helps them develop skills in animal handling, nutrition, and habitat management.

Overall, environmental science internships offer high school students a unique opportunity to gain practical experience, explore different career paths, and develop essential skills and knowledge. By participating in these internships, students can become better equipped to address the environmental challenges of the future and positively impact the world around them.

Types of Environmental Science Internships

Environmental science internships come in various forms, each focusing on different aspects of the field. Here are three common types of internships that high school students can consider:

Research-Based Internships

Research-based internships are ideal for students who wish to investigate scientific investigations and contribute to ongoing environmental research efforts. These internships often involve working in laboratories or field settings, assisting researchers in data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Through research-based internships, students can gain valuable insights into the scientific process and contribute to meaningful environmental research.

For example, a student participating in a research-based internship might have the opportunity to assist in studying the impact of climate change on coral reef ecosystems. They could spend their days collecting water samples, analyzing data on temperature fluctuations, and observing the behavior of marine organisms. This hands-on experience would deepen their understanding of environmental science and contribute to the broader scientific community’s knowledge of coral reef conservation.

Conservation-Focused Internships

Conservation-focused internships are geared toward students passionate about protecting and preserving the natural environment. These internships offer opportunities to work with organizations and agencies dedicated to conservation efforts, such as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, or environmental non-profit organizations. By participating in conservation-focused internships, students can contribute to conservation initiatives, assist in habitat restoration projects, and raise awareness about environmental issues.

Imagine a student interning at a national park as part of a conservation-focused internship. They might spend their time monitoring wildlife populations, conducting surveys to assess the health of ecosystems, and educating visitors about the importance of biodiversity. Through these experiences, students actively contribute to preserving natural habitats and developing a deep appreciation for the interconnectedness of all living organisms and their environments.

Policy and Advocacy Internships

Policy and advocacy internships focus on the intersection of environmental science and policy-making. These internships involve working with governmental bodies, non-profit organizations, or research institutions to support environmental policy development and implementation. Students participating in policy and advocacy internships may engage in activities such as researching environmental regulations, analyzing policy documents, or contributing to environmental advocacy campaigns.

For example, a student involved in a policy and advocacy internship might collaborate with a non-profit organization promoting renewable energy. They could assist in researching the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy sources, analyze current energy policies, and advocate for adopting sustainable practices. Through these efforts, students gain a deeper understanding of the political landscape surrounding environmental issues and actively contribute to shaping policies that can have a lasting impact on our planet.

college student holding her books

Why should you join Environmental Science Internships?

Participating in environmental science internships as a high school student offers numerous benefits that contribute to both personal and academic growth. Here are several advantages of joining environmental science internships for high school students:

  1. Hands-On Learning: Internships provide practical, hands-on experience in environmental science, allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world situations. This experiential learning fosters a deeper understanding of environmental concepts.
  2. Career Exploration: High school internships offer students insights into potential career paths within the field of environmental science. Exposure to various aspects of the profession helps students make informed decisions about their future academic and career pursuits.
  3. Professional Development: Internships provide opportunities for students to develop essential professional skills, including teamwork, communication, time management, and problem-solving. These skills are valuable for success in both academic and workplace settings.
  4. Networking Opportunities: Internships allow students to connect with professionals, scientists, and mentors in the environmental science field. Building a network during high school can lead to mentorship opportunities and valuable insights into the industry.
  5. College Applications Enhancement: Internship participation enhances college applications by showcasing a student’s proactive approach to learning and commitment to their chosen field. It provides a competitive edge when applying to colleges or pursuing scholarships.
  6. Exposure to Diverse Environments: Environmental science internships often involve working in diverse ecosystems, whether it’s a local park, research center, or conservation organization. Exposure to different environments broadens a student’s perspective on environmental issues.
  7. Research Experience: Many internships involve conducting research, allowing students to gain valuable research experience early in their academic journey. This exposure can be particularly beneficial for those interested in pursuing careers in scientific research.
  8. Environmental Stewardship: Internships instill a sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship. Through hands-on projects, students learn about conservation practices, sustainable living, and the importance of protecting natural resources.
  9. Resume Building: The experience gained during an environmental science internship becomes a notable addition to a student’s resume. It demonstrates initiative, commitment, and a practical understanding of environmental issues.
  10. Project Contributions: Interns often contribute to ongoing projects or research initiatives. Being part of a team and actively contributing to projects fosters a sense of accomplishment and encourages a collaborative mindset.
  11. Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills: Dealing with real-world environmental challenges during internships hones problem-solving skills. Students learn to analyze issues, develop solutions, and adapt to changing situations—essential professional skills.
  12. Increased Confidence: Successfully completing an internship can boost students’ confidence in their abilities and potential career paths. It provides a sense of accomplishment and reinforces their passion for environmental science.
  13. Community Engagement: Many environmental science internships involve community outreach and education. This engagement helps students develop communication skills and fosters a sense of community responsibility.
  14. Awareness of Current Issues: Internships often expose students to current environmental challenges and initiatives. This awareness of ongoing issues prepares them to be informed and engaged global citizens.
  15. Long-Term Impact: By participating in environmental science internships, students contribute to the broader goal of environmental conservation and sustainability. The impact of their work can extend beyond the internship period.

Overall, environmental science internships for high school students provide a transformative learning experience that goes beyond the classroom, preparing them for future academic and professional endeavors while instilling a sense of environmental stewardship.

A man holding his thing

Whether students choose research-based, conservation-focused, or policy and advocacy internships, each type offers unique personal and professional growth opportunities. By immersing themselves in these real-world experiences, high school students can gain valuable skills, develop a deeper understanding of environmental science, and make a meaningful impact on the world around them.

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