Internship Information & Resources
Listed below are:
- Background: Internships
- Current Local Internship Opportunities
- Past Local Internship Opportunities
- General Online Internship Resources that can be used to find potential internships, both locally and beyond.
- Notable Community Service Programs
Internships involve working for an organization for a set fixed period of time, typically 3 to 9 months. Internships can be full-time (typically offered during the summer) or part-time (typically offered during the school year), ranging from 8 to 40 hours (1 to 5 days) a week. They can be paid or unpaid (internships with government entities are often paid, those with non-profits are often unpaid, while internships with businesses may or may not be paid). The main benefit with an internship is the work experience gained, which benefits students both in terms of their job resumes, as well as in “trying out” a specific job/career path.
Unfortunately, while internships can be very valuable experiences, there tends to be only a limited amount of them available (with most being offered during the summer), and it can be hard to find out about them, as they are not typically advertised as widely/strongly as regular jobs openings. The resources provided below are designed to help you identify internship opportunities.
Here in the Environmental Studies Dept, we can potentially offer you academic credit (1-4 units worth) for your internship through our ES 95A-D Internship class. However, you MUST set this up with a willing faculty member who will oversee/monitor your efforts BEFORE you begin the internship.
Lastly, there are two viable alternatives to internships:
- Community Service Positions: Similar to internships, third parties (such as AmeriCorps) arrange for students (and others) to work for/with government agencies or non-profit organizations on community service projects, such as environmental restoration work. Like internships, these are temporary assignments (typically 3 to 12 months), may be full or part-time in nature, and may be paid or unpaid (although living expenses are typically paid for). As opposed to internships, the work is often team-based.
- Volunteering: A viable alternative to internships when it comes to non-profit organizations. For many non-profits, volunteers are an indispensable resource, and are treated as such. Becoming a regular volunteer with a non-profit can give one valuable experience and insight and can potentially lead to formal internships or even paid employment.
Resources for finding both community service positions and volunteering locally are provided further below
Past opportunities have included internships with:
- Acterra (Palo Alto) (unpaid PT internships as:
- Community Engagement Intern
- GoEV Intern (electric car workshops/demo drives)
- Social Media Intern
- Communities for a Better Environment (unpaid internships working on local environmental justice issues)
- Environmental Volunteers (Palo Alto & Santa Clara) (paid PT internships in:
- Education Materials
- EcoCenter Support
- Communications and Outreach
- Non-Profit Development and Operations
- Grassroots Ecology (summer internship in habitat restoration)
- Greenbelt Alliance (San Francisco) (unpaid PT internship as a Campaigns Intern working on community organizing & policy advocacy)
- GreenCitizen (an electronics recycling company in Mountain View) (paid PT internship as a Community Eco-Center Associate)
- Marine Mammal Center (Sausalito) (variety of unpaid PT 3-month internships offered, mainly at their Main Hospital in Sausalito).
- Our City Forest (FT paid internship working on a large-scale water conservation initiative; also various unpaid PT & FT internships)
- Santa Clara County Dept of Environmental Health (paid summer internship assisting the Hazardous Materials Program)
- Santa Clara Valley Water District (paid PT internship during the school year working on water conservation programs; also paid FT summer Internships in various disciplines)
- Save the Bay (Oakland) (unpaid PT Fellowships in:
- Development & Fundraising
- Events & Outreach
- Habitat Restoration Field & Office
- Nursery & Habitat Restoration
- Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter (Palo Alto) (unpaid PT internships as:
- Community Advocacy & Engagement Intern
- Conservation Programs Intern
- Environmental Grant Writer
- Environmental Impact Analysis Intern
- Fracking Action Intern
- Fundraising & Special Events Intern
- Habitat Conservation Intern
- Journalism Advocate Intern
- Latino Community Engagement Intern
- Recycling & Zero Waste Intern
- Social Media & Electronic Communications Intern
- Water Advocacy & Education Intern
- Veggielution (urban community farming in San Jose) (unpaid PT internships in the following areas:
- Outreach & Marketing
- Farm Distribution
- Watershed Project (Richmond) (nupaid internships in:
- Communications & Education
- Watershed Education
- Healthy Watersheds
- Wild Shorelines
- Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley (unpaid PT internships providing care to orphaned, sick & injured wildlife)
- Zero Waste Energy Development Company (paid internships in Environmental Compliance)
Note: Many job boards list internship opportunities as well; hence, many regular job boards are posted below.
- DeAnza CTE Job & Career Services (lists internships as well)
- Environmental Career Opportunities (ECO): https://www.ecojobs.com
(Note: A subscription service, but the subscription is relatively cheap)
- Idealist.org: https://www.idealist.org
(Note: Their stated mission is to "connect idealists with opportunities for action")
- Internships.com: https://www.internships.com
(Note: Billed as the world's largets internship marketplace)
- CoolWorks.com: https://www.coolworks.com
(Note: Focuses on "jobs in cool places" - national parks, ski resorts, retreat centers, etc. While not internships, many of the jobs are temporary (seasonal) and internship-like.)
- USAJobs (Federal Gov't Job Board) "Pathways": https://www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads
- GovernmentJobs: https://www.governmentjobs.com
(Note: National job board focused on positions with local gov't)
- City of San Jose Job Board: https://www.sanjoseca.gov/your-government/departments/human-resources
- City of San Francisco Job Board: https://jobapscloud.com/sf/
- City of Oakland Job Board: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/oaklandca
- Association of Bay Area Gov'ts (ABAG) Employment Links: https://abag.ca.gov/about-abag/careers/local-government-job-lists
(Note: Contains links to Local Gov't Job Boards within the Bay Area)
- Santa Clara Valley Water District Summer Internships: https://www.valleywater.org/SummerInternships/
- East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) Job Board: https://www.ebmud.com/jobs/
- BayWork Job Board: https://baywork.org/jobs/
(Note: BayWork is a consortium of Bay Area water & wastewater utilities promoting careers in water & wastewater)
- National community service program sponsored by the federal gov't.
- Participants serve from 3 to 12 months (PT or FT) working with local non-profits and gov't agencies in the fields of disaster services, education, energy and conservation, health care, and veterans/military families.
- To search for current openings, go to:
(for local Bay Area opportunities, select "San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose" under "Metro Areas")
- Service programs include:
- Young Adult (18+) Programs: 3 to 12 month long, FT (40 hours/week), expense-paid positions that can be either individual internships (working with partner agencies) or team-based (as part of the SCA Corps).
- "Gap Year" Program: One year commitment typically undertaken after high school and before college (the "gap year") which can be either an individual internship or team-based.
- Field Leader Program (Ages 21+): Short- and long-term paid positions leading youth or young adults in SCA conservation crews and projects.
- Focus areas include 1) Recreation Mgmt, 2) Visitor Services & Site Operations, 3) Wildlife Mgmt, 4) Natural Resources Mgmt, 5) Cultural & Historical Resource Mgmt, 6) Backcountry & Trail Work, 7) Geographic Information Systems (GIS/GPS), 8) Sustainability, 9) Education & Interpretation.
- To search for current openings, go to: https://www.thesca.org/serve/positions
Volunteering offers a potential viable alternative to a formal internship. For many non-profit organizations, volunteers are an indispensable resource, and are treated as such. Becoming a regular volunteer with an organization can give one valuable experience and insight and can potentially lead to formal internships or even paid employment.
Local environmental non-profits that seek volunteers on a regular basis include:
- Audubon Society of Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino)
- Committee for Green Foothills (Palo Alto)
- Communities for a Better Environment (Richmond)
- Ecology Action (Santa Cruz)
- Ecology Center (Berkeley)
- Environmental Volunteers (Palo Alto)
- Grassroots Ecology (Palo Alto)
- Guadalupe River Park Conservancy (San Jose)
- Marine Science Institute (Redwood City)
- Our City Forest (San Jose)
- Save the Bay (Oakland)
- Sierra Club-Loma Prieta Chapter (Palo Alto)
- Surfrider Foundation (Santa Cruz & San Mateo County Chapters)
- Veggielution (San Jose)
- Watershed Project (Richmond)
- Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley (San Jose)