Internships are a great way to get experience in the environmental industry and to form an understanding of the skills and knowledge required for certain positions. Interns are often given a permanent position within the company when their job expires because they have become familiar with the organization’s objectives and operations, and have acquired the skills needed to perform their job effectively. For example, Solar Energy International, located in Carbondale, Colo., claims that the majority of its current staff members are former interns. Many organizations offer internships, both for students and for others interested in environmental careers.
wide variety of organizations offer internships—from universities and
nonprofits to federal agencies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a
pollution prevention internship program for upper-level university students
attending a training program before beginning their stint. The University of Georgia offers a one-year
internship in its Marine Education Center and Aquarium in Savannah, Ga., in
which interns are encouraged to build a wide variety of skills and experiences,
and to teach marine-related topics to K-12 visitors at the center.
Island Conservancy, a small nonprofit dedicated to the conservation and
preservation of the California island, has a hands-on internship program
wherein the intern first receives specific training in his or her area of
interest, then proceeds to work alongside staff members. All such internships
require a bachelor’s degree.
The Environmental Law Institute, a nonprofit
research and education center in Washington, D.C., has an intern tasked with researching various aspects of
natural resource protection and pollution prevention; this position requires
that applicants have completed their freshman year of college.
Finally, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection offers specialized internships in five areas that focus on environmental protection: environmental resources, watershed management and planning, waste management, water facilities and administration/technical services.