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Environmental Careers & Internships

In an effort to help pave the wave for a more diverse and representative environmental workforce, researchers at American University’s Center for Environmental Policy have developed the following table to identify and help promote paid internships and fellowships in the environmental, sustainability, and natural resources fields for students and early-career professionals.

This table is designed to be a working document and regularly updated, therefore, please submit additions or corrections to with the subject line "environmental internship" or submit your responses here. Thank you for your contributions!

Agency Program Name & Application Link Audience Authority Hiring & Job Process Pay
U.S. Department of Interior

DOI FWS – The Directorate Fellows Program

Rising Senior Undergraduate / Graduate Students

16 U.S. Code § 742f

Direct Hire Authority, 11-week project that allows direct hire without competition upon graduating

$540 weekly stipend, housing and travel costs may be provided for projects

U.S. Forest Service

US Forest Service – Resource Assistantship Program

Current students, recent graduates, underserved populations

16 U.S. Code Chapter 37, Subchapter II - Resource Assistants Code §1725

Direct Hire Authority, Noncompetitive Hiring Eligibility for 2 years after completion of program

Stipend (varies), housing (varies), travel & training (varies) optional healthcare

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Association for the Advancement of Science – Fellowship

Scientists, engineers, and mathematic students

Partners with American Physical Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Serve for one year in the federal government through fellowship

$75,000-$100,000 stipend, health care, and targeted travel and training

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA ORISE Research Participation Programs

STEM scientists (students and recent graduates)

EPA & DOE interagency agreement

Each year, 9000 participants are placed in labs, offices, centers, and universities across the US

Stipends: Undergraduate $2-3k, Post BS $3-4.5k, Graduate $3.5-6.5k

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)

Sea Grant University Partnerships (NOAA) Knauss Fellowship Program

Graduate students interested in oceans, coastal, and Great Lakes policy work

33 U.S.C. 1121et seq

Direct work in legislative or executive branch of government jobs for one year

$66,500 to cover all expenses

U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

Presidential Management Fellowship

Currently enrolled or recently completed an advanced degree (Master’s, PhD, JD)

Executive Order 12008

Upon certification of completion, which permits immediate noncompetitive conversion to a permanent or term position and carries prestige anywhere you go thereafter

Varies – median pay $55,000; Pre-qualified at the GS-9 level, agencies can appoint at GS-11, GS-12 levels, or equivalent

U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship Undergraduate & graduate students (may also have had to participate in a World Food Prize Youth Program)

United States Department of Agriculture and the World Food Prize Foundation

Hired as federal employees of US Dept of AG – paid on federal government’s General Schedule, full time (40 hours per week, 8 week minimum commitment) (Est.) $70,000
U.S. Department of Energy Sustainability and Climate Green Fellow Graduate students enrolled in a Master’s degree program Department of Energy and Environment (DC) – Green Fellows Leadership and Development Program Fellows are recruited at a Grade 7/ Step 1 and participation in the Program is considered a temporary “time-limited” appointment in the Career Service position. No guaranteed employment after. $20.72 per hour
U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Conservation Green Fellow Graduate students enrolled in a Master’s degree program Department of Energy and Environment (DC) – Green Fellows Leadership and Development Program Fellows are recruited at a Grade 7/ Step 1 and participation in the Program is considered a temporary “time-limited” appointment in the Career Service position. No guaranteed employment after. $20.72 per hour
Agency Program Name & Application Link Audience Authority Hiring & Job Process Pay
Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality

E&E Internships

Undergraduate & graduate students

Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment

Work for the department to learn effective and efficient energy and environmental solutions


California Water Boards

Water Board Internships

Undergraduate & graduate students

California State Budget

Work with dedicated mentors on important issues including climate change, water conservation, drinking water, water quality, and groundwater

Varies, generally lasts four months, hours vary

State of California / Sacramento State

Capital Fellows Program

Completed bachelor's degree by September 1st of the fellowship year; Applicants must be 20 years of age or older by Sept. 1

Sacramento State

Capital Fellows are placed at some of the highest levels of California state government and assist state legislators, senior-level executive staff, and court administrators with a broad range of public policy issues and projects

Monthly stipend of $2,964, as well as medical, dental and vision benefits; fully-paid enrollment and earn six graduate units; student loan deferment; upon successful completion of the fellowship, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Policy and Government

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Internships

Undergraduate & graduate students

Florida state budget

When approved for an internship, students will be provided with an outline of expectations. At the end, interns will conduct an exit interview and there could be a possibility for hire.


Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

Conservation Corps IDEC Fellowships, Mentorships, & Internships

Underrepresented STEM college students

Partnership between MN DNR, CCMI, MPCA, & BWSR

Intern at MN DNR, MPCA, or BSWR with first, second, and third-year opportunities

Varies, interns

Yearly scholarships, fellowships

State of Illinois

Michael Curry Summer Internship Program

College juniors, seniors, and graduate students

Illinois state budget

Full-time placement in the summer across various state agencies

Monthly stipend of $2250

University System of Maryland

MDSG State Science Policy Fellowship

Undergraduate & graduate students

Sea Grant Maryland

This unique opportunity will place fellows in coastal sustainability, coastal management, and environmental policy positions within Maryland

Base annualized salary of $45,000 plus access to benefits including health care options

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Summer Professional Development Program

College students or recent graduates

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Provides students with real-life experiences working alongside the department’s engineers, scientists, and other professionals


New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services NHDES Summer Internship Undergrad or graduate Students in the sciences, engineering, computer science, business, education, journalism, media and public relations New Hampshire state budget Various environmental positions with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Science Varies, hourly
New York City Department of Environmental Protection NYC DEP Internship Opportunities Undergraduate or graduate students New York City Budget Various positions across multiple agencies Varies, paid
New York State Department of Environmental Protection NYS DEP Internship Opportunities Undergraduate or graduate students New York State Budget Various positions Varies, paid
North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality Environmental Scientist Intern Undergraduate or graduate students North Dakota State Budget Equips students with professional experience in the environmental field Varies, paid
Portland, OR Environmental Services Environmental Services Internship Programs Undergraduate & graduate students Portland government Directly placed into various governmental departments for various amounts of time (1-3 years) Varies, $15.50-$18.50 per hour
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources DCNR Internship Undergraduate & graduate students Pennsylvania state budget As a DCNR intern, you can play a role in protecting and enhancing the natural lands, overseeing the state park system, managing state forest lands, and/or expanding outdoor education and recreation opportunities throughout the state Varies, $15.49 per hour +
University System of Virginia VASG Graduate Research Fellowship Undergraudate & graduate students Sea Grant Virginia The VASG Graduate Research Fellowship represents an investment in the success and professional development of graduate students engaged in education and research Up to $40,000 per year for two years and professional development opportunities
Department of Ecology, State of Washington Washington Conservation Corps 18 to 25 year olds Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) The majority of AmeriCorps member positions are 11-month crew positions, who serve on crews of five members led by a WCC crew supervisor. There are limited nine-month and three-month positions offered in spring and summer. Provide 15 Individual Placement positions that are limited to 11-month positions only. $1116 twice a month, AmeriCorps Education Award (scholarship) available to members upon completion of service term: Full-term positions (11 months): $6,345. Three-quarter-term positions (9 months): $4,441.50. Quarter-term positions (3 months / 450 hours): $1,678.57; health insurance included
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources State of Wisconsin Student Diversity Internship Program 18+ and be intending to or have recently graduated from college or trade school Bureau of Equity & Inclusion The goal of the program is to provide those students with an opportunity to experience the professional work environment of Wisconsin State Government. Placed more than 4000 students in over 30 state agencies since inception.

Varies, $11 per hour +

Agency Program Name & Application Link Audience Authority Hiring & Job Process Pay
Citizens' Climate Lobby Climate Advocacy Fellows Currently enrolled students or recent graduate (within one year)

Citizens’ Climate Higher Education

Work with CCL staff on a day-to-day basis Fellowships – paid ($2500 annually, paid out monthly – and no benefits); internships - unpaid
The Climate Reality Project Climate Reality Project Internships Any students 18 or older (current or recent graduates) Private funding Successful applicants must be at least 18 years of age and will be asked to show proof that they can legally work in the United States. Internships and duties vary across the entire organization. $15.20/hour, up to 30 hours per week
Conservation International Conservation Fellowships 18 and older Private funding
The program engages recognized leaders — Distinguished and Senior Fellows — and emerging talent — Technical Fellows — to provide fresh thinking and extensive leadership to Conservation International’s work around the world.
Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow Graduate students Environmental Defense Fund + Business Fellows join a network of over a thousand Climate Corps alumni and other energy and sustainability professionals, working to advance climate solutions in leading organizations around the world. $1,250 per week (8-12 weeks) plus one week’s salary for program participation
Friends of the Earth FOE Internships 18 and older Private funding Various internships across the organization and duties may vary. ~$17/hour, 15-20 hours per week, 5-7 months
Land Trust Alliance LTA Internships 18 and older Private funding
The ideal candidate is a student or young professional with demonstrated interest in government affairs and conservation policy who is capable of proactively researching political relationships, drafting informational materials on conservation issues and communicating directly with land trusts, coalition partners, and federal officials.
Oceana Oceana Internships 18 and older Private funding
The policy intern works closely with Oceana’s federal policy team in support of Oceana’s U.S. campaigns. The intern assists our advocacy and government relations work to end offshore oil drilling, reduce plastic pollution, protect whales and other marine mammals, promote responsible fisheries management, protect sharks, and deter illegal fishing through transparency.  
Partnership for Public Service The Public Service Internship Program Undergraduate & graduate students, recent graduates Partnership for Public Service + Business + Universities Responsibilities vary but often include event planning and execution, research, writing and outreach to external partners, including federal agencies and colleges and universities.

Full-time interns will receive $1,500 per month; Part-time intern compensation will be pro-rated accordingly

Pathways to Science Pathways to Science Positions Undergraduate & Graduate STEM students Pathways to Science Various programs (fellowships/internships) and contacts in different institutions throughout the United States offered from high school through PostDoc (worldwide opp.) Varies, internships & fellowships
Sierra Club Sierra Club Internships Undergraduate & Graduate students Private funding Various programs that work in all aspects of the Sierra Club via hourly internships. Varies in job length and amount of hours per week. Varies, $15-20/hour
The Wilderness Society Wilderness Internships Undergraduate (Junior or Senior), graduate students Private funding Internships are structured around school semesters. TWS hires among any of its departments, with work including drafting memos, attending meetings with other organizations and legislators, and other research. Varies, ~$16/hour
World Wildlife Fund WWF Internships Varies, college-level senior or graduate student Private funding
This part-time, paid internship is based in the US and will provide an opportunity for a college-level senior or graduate student to play a role in building out programmatic communications for a team focused on long-term, large-scale area-based conservation and the benefits those initiatives can generate for communities, climate, and biodiversity.
Varies, $16/hour, part-time 20 hours per week