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University of Rhode Island — Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
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Internships
Should I apply for an internship?

Working as an intern in a professional setting can be a great way to "experience" the way your discipline serves the community in the real-world. You'll also be able to meet and observe the professionals whom you might aspire to be. These internship experiences often lead directly to job offers after graduation and to acceptance and financial support for competitive graduate programs. Additionally, you might be able to earn academic credit that will count towards graduation for your internship experiences.

Governmental agencies as well as highly dynamic non-governmental environmental organizations offer very sought after internship programs that will provide students with a “preview” of what could become their career and enables them to gain invaluable experience in their field of study. Check out the following websites to learn more about internship opportunities offered by some of these organizations:

Should I apply for an internship?

Option 1
Employer: World Resources Institute (Non-Governmental Organization)
Field of Study: Internship opportunity in Climate Change: The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol

An intern selected for this position is expected to:

  • Conduct interviews and desk research to compile, analyze and write case studies containing both quantitative and qualitative information to establish the business case for measuring, reporting and managing GHG emissions
  • Provide support for an ongoing project on designing training courses based on the GHG Protocol standards and calculation tools, as well as be a part of other GHG Protocol projects in developing countries
  • Interact with companies and GHG programs in many countries including Brazil, Mexico, India and the US
  • Be closely involved in preparing a case study compendium on the benefits of GHG accounting and measurement

Option 2
Employer: The Millennium Challenge Corporation
Program: Student Volunteer Internship
Field of Study: Department of Policy & Evaluation

The intern will have the following responsibilities and duties:

  • conducting research for ERR calculations and economic analyses of country compact portfolios;
  • preparing country ERR models for posting to MCC website;
  • conducting beneficiary analyses to estimate the distribution of benefits from MCC funded projects;
  • assisting with data documentation of current methods for monitoring and evaluating compact programs;
  • conduct research and prepare reports on donor involvement in Threshold countries;
  • generating quantitative and qualitative summaries of country policy performance;
  • preparing country program summaries, performance measurements, and results data for publication and website posting ;
  • monitoring and tracking country policy issues and drafting summaries of issue findings;
  • assisting with preparing policy data reports for MCC senior management, Board of Directors, and external stakeholders;
  • creating/maintaining resource libraries;
  • maintaining the “MCC Effect” database by researching and logging summaries and sources of findings on instances where MCC has been linked with incentives for policy reform in candidate countries;
  • attending internal and external meetings;

Option 3
Employer: Green Restaurant Association (Non-Profit Organization dedicated to environmental sustainability)
Field of Study: Environmental Consulting

The intern will be responsible for assisting consultants in day-to-day operations and conducting research related to environmental sustainability in the food service industry. This is an unpaid internship.

Internships are available as follows:

  • 3 month duration at 20 hours per week
  • 6 month duration at 10 hours per week

Interns work either in our Boston office or on a remote basis anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

Option 4
Employer: The Pew Center on Global Climate Change (Non-Profit Organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change)
Field of Study: Climate Change
Note: This internship is paid and best suited for recent college graduates

The responsibilities and duties of the selected intern will include:

  • Researching emerging state policies and supporting substantive Pew Center work on state and regional climate change initiatives
  • Research and provide support to the Pew Center's technology solutions projects, including the Pew Center's online technology database
  • Analytical projects including both topical, time-sensitive tasks such as writing state news pieces, and longer-term responsibilities such as writing case studies
  • Support research and editing of Pew Center reports and white papers

Option 5
Employer: Environment America
Field of Study: Various critical environmental problems
Note: This is an unpaid internship but has the option to receive academic credit

The responsibilities and duties of the selected intern will include:

  • Conducting research into critical environmental problems and preparing investigative reports
  • Coordinating media events, assisting in the preparation of news releases and opinion pieces
  • Attending meetings with lawmakers and other decision makers
  • Working with coalition partners and state-based environment federation
  • Monitoring the progress of legislation in Congress and the actions of Federal agencies

A great resource for federal internships, summer jobs and other temporary employment opportunities can be found clicking on the web link below:

For other possible internship opportunity, consult the following resources:

You might also explore individual company sites. Many hire academic-year and summer interns. If you don't see an internship listed, don't be hesitant to ask about such a program in the personnel office!

Check out below what our undergraduates have to say about their internship experiences.

“My foundation in the ENRE program allowed me to pursue study and research opportunities at URI and around the globe. In spring 2009, I traveled to Costa Rica to participate in a program on Sustainability and the Environment. While there, I held an environmental education internship with a local school, for which I created land use and community development curriculum.[] Post-college, these experiences helped me earn a position with EarthCorps, a Seattle-based nonprofit”

Marisa Nixon, URI, ENRE, 2009

“As an ENRE major, I worked in the Preisser Ecology lab and later interned at Harvard Forest as a research assistant. Both these experiences have been extremely helpful in concretizing all the concepts and models learned”

Andrea Desaulniers, ENRE, 2010