Minnesota Sea Grant offers paid, for-credit and volunteer internships to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in any Minnesota college or university. Internships are created to help meet students' professional and career development goals and support Sea Grant's mission to enhance Minnesota's coastal environment and economy by supporting research and providing outreach, communication and education.
Paid Invasive Species Internships
Paid internships may be available during an academic semester or quarter, by arrangement, or for a specific time period if associated with a particular project. Minnesota Sea Grant is seeking students enrolled in an undergraduate degree program to fill the following internship positions from late March through September, 2017:
St. Louis County Aquatic Invasive Species Undergraduate Internships
(2 positions available)
Job ID: 315218
Brief Position Description: Conduct community outreach and gain hands-on field experience in northeast Minnesota. Interns will learn about aquatic invasive species, conduct community outreach, gain hands-on field experiences, and develop a creditworthy independent project. Ideal candidates will demonstrate an aptitude for working outdoors, be able to work independently and as part of a team, and have strong, workplace-appropriate written and oral communication skills.
Compensation: $11.00 per hour
Start Date: The week of March 27, 2017
End Date: September 30, 2017, with the bulk of the work being done by August 21, 2017.
Hours Per Week: Varies, depending on school schedule and organizational (Sea Grant) needs. Interns should plan to work an average of 5-10 hours per week during spring and fall semesters and 30-40 hours per week during the summer. July and August are the busiest months. Interns must be able to work some evenings and weekends.
National Park Service Invasive Species Undergraduate Internships
(2 positions available)
Job ID: 315212
Brief Position Description: Live and work at Grand Portage National Monument! Interns will learn about aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, conduct community outreach, gain hands-on field experience, and develop a creditworthy independent project. Housing is provided. Ideal candidates will demonstrate an interest in living and working outdoors in remote areas, be able to work independently and as part of a team, and have strong, workplace-appropriate written and oral communication skills.
Compensation: $9.50 per hour, plus free lodging.
Start Date: The week of May 8, 2017.
End Date:: Monday, August 21, 2017.
Hours Per Week: 40 hours per week, with approximately three weeks of unpaid leave between the start and end dates.
Paid Internship Contact: Marte Kitson, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218) 726-8305
For-Credit and Volunteer Internships
For-credit and volunteer internships can be conducted during an academic semester or quarter or by arrangement. Internship credit hours are usually 120-180 hours and may depend upon the requirements at the student's home institution.
Internship positions are created to help meet students' professional development goals by applying knowledge and skills acquired through coursework to help Minnesota Sea Grant fulfill its mission.
Qualified applicants work closely with extension educators, scientists, and support staff in outreach, education, communication and to develop, coordinate, and implement programs, special events, and/or research. Internships are flexible and usually arranged for credit. Credit hours are usually 120-180 hours depending upon institutional requirements. Internships can be conducted during an academic semester, or by arrangement.
Outreach opportunities may be available in: aquatic invasive species, climate change, coastal resource use, fisheries, aquaculture, land-use planning, maritime transportation, natural resources education, tourism and recreation, shoreland management, stormwater education, and water quality
For-Credit and Volunteer Internship Contact: Doug Jensen, email@example.com, 218-726-8712
Education opportunities may be available in: K-12 curriculum development, informal education for youth, families, and communities.
Communication opportunities may be available in: science writing, media relations, social media, videography and photography, website content development, and graphic design.
For-Credit and Volunteer Communication Internship Contact: Marie Thoms, firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-726-8710.
Q&A From Past Interns
Emily Fleissner | 2016 Intern
- From what college or university did/will you graduate? I will graduate from the University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN.
- In what year did/will you graduate? I am planning to graduate in 2017.
- What is/was your major? My major is environmental science.
- What are you doing professionally now? Since I am still pursuing my undergrad, my closest professional experience includes my UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) for this upcoming (2017) spring. I will work with professionals at NRRI (UMD's Natural Resources Research Institute) on a bioslope/bioswale test plot project for stormwater runoff.
- How did being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern help you professionally? Being a Sea Grant intern improved my workplace communication skills, provided me opportunities to work as a team in a professional setting, and allowed me to experience multiple components of a professional organization.
- What would you tell someone who's interested in being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern? I would tell them that it involves a lot of outreach, and you gain invaluable communication skills. Being an intern requires efficient organization methods and also allows you to work with a great group of people (that very much love what they do).
Nick Wahl | 2015 Intern
- From what college or university did you graduate? St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN.
- In what year did you graduate? 2016.
- What is your major? Double major in biology and environmental studies.
- What are you doing professionally now? I am currently a chemist and lab manager at a metal plating shop in Minneapolis. I perform wet chemistry analysis of plating baths and wastewater discharge as well as general lab management.
- How did being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern help you professionally? I actually use this example a lot in interviews: the experience in speaking with people of non-scientific backgrounds about technical ecological information that they are unfamiliar with in a constructive way that leads to further interest and engagement on their behalf. It is not easy for everyone (especially those in the scientific community) to communicate to others, especially those who do not have similar backgrounds. This communication is vital in all work environments. Through this internship we also got exposure with a number of regulatory and educational groups that offered their own information and experiences. This can lead to both networking and career exploration.
- What would you tell someone who's interested in being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern? Try to decide what your independent project topic is as soon as you can, because it will most likely change multiple times. Also, make the most you can out of your internship with the resources and wonderful people you have at hand.
May Yang | 2015 Intern
- From what college or university did/will you graduate? University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN.
- In what year did/will you graduate? 2015.
- What is/was your major? Bachelor of arts in environment and sustainability studies.
- What is/was your minor? Geography.
- What has your career path been since you graduated from UMD? I worked with Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa Individual Placement at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge as the Community Outreach Corpsmember within the past ten months. The Refuge is located five minutes away from Mall of America in Bloomington. I mainly focused on the urban program and introduced nature-based programs to the underserved communities in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St.Paul).
- What are you doing professionally now? I am the Community Outreach Coordinator with Great River Greening, a non-profit organization which focuses on restoration work through volunteers' help in order to preserve natural areas and protect clean water for Twin Cities residents. It is a dream come true. I have always wanted to work in an environmental non-profit organization in my hometown of St Paul.
- What is your advice for undergraduate students? If plan A does not work, then that is fine. It is not the end of the world and there are endless opportunities! Keep on believing, work hard, and don't give up!
Jeffrey Perala-Dewey | 2014 Intern
- From what college or university will you graduate? Macalester College, St. Paul, MN.
- In what year will you graduate? 2017.
- What is your major? Chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry.
- What is your minor? Biology and environmental studies.
- What are you doing professionally now? Aside from classes, I work as a teaching assistant in chemistry labs and as a research assistant with a professor in the environmental studies department researching biological productivity in the paleo-oceans.
- How did being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern help you professionally? Interning at Minnesota Sea Grant helped me primarily with thinking about how to communicate science to the public and how to create a pathway for scientific knowledge to affect the actions of individuals. While this was focused on the topic of invasive species in my case, these communication skills are applicable in many areas of science, especially when considering environmental concerns.
- What would you tell someone who's interested in being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern? In many cases this internship is about relaying a message, and simply relaying the message will have little value to you unless you understand the arguments and reasons behind that message. The internship gets much of its value from you engaging with the material and forming your own arguments on why you think something needs to be done.
Claire Spangenberg | 2014 Intern
- From what college or university will you graduate? University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.
- In what year will you graduate? May 2017.
- What is your major? Environmental science with concentrations in geology and biology.
- What has your career path been since you completed your internship? The summer after my internship I got a research position with one of the geology staff at St. Thomas. My first research project was on rates of erosion along Mississippi River tributary streams in the metro area.
- What are you doing professionally now? I'm currently working on a different project with the same professor (Jeni McDermott) at St. Thomas. Our research explores the timing of extensional faulting in the Himalaya. We went to Nepal this past summer to do field work for the project and I've been working in the lab since June (2016) preparing rock samples for thermochronology, a technique that gives us the date that those samples were at a certain depth in the Earth.
- How did being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern help you professionally? Working at Minnesota Sea Grant I improved my skills in talking about scientific concepts with the average "Joe." It was also the first experience I had where I had to report my work to a supervisor and have regular meetings so I feel like it was a valuable experience in that I learned how to have a real job for the first time.
- What would you tell someone who's interested in being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern? I would tell them that there are many nice people to work with at Sea Grant. I learned to be an independent worker and to communicate clearly with others.
Erica (Evert) Klingfus | 2012 Intern
- From what college or university did you graduate? University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN.
- In what year did you graduate? December 2013.
- What is your major? Environmental science.
- What has your career path been since you graduated? I got a job in the environmental field directly out of one of my college internships. I have been working in the environmental consulting business as an environmental scientist for the last two and a half years.
- What are you doing professionally now? I am currently working as an environmental scientist at MSA Professional Services, a multidisciplinary consulting firm in Duluth. My job consists of both field work (e.g., groundwater sampling, soil borings, tank excavations, etc.) and office work (e.g., site investigation reports, spill reporting, case closure documents, etc).
- How did being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern help you professionally? Being a Sea Grant intern helped me develop important interpersonal and communication skills through teaching and community outreach opportunities. These skills have been valuable in both the consulting business and everyday experiences.
- What would you tell someone who's interested in being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern? A Sea Grant internship is a great opportunity to hone your communication skills while providing important information to the community about aquatic invasive species.
Mallory Anderson | 2010 Intern
- From what colleges or universities did you graduate? University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN. 2011
- In what year did/will you graduate? 2011.
- What were your areas of study? Environmental studies with concentrations in economics and policy.
- From what colleges or universities did you graduate? Lund University, Sweden.
- In what year did/will you graduate? October 2014.
- What were your areas of study? Master of science in environmental management and policy.
- What has your career path been since you graduated from UMD? I was fortunate to get an internship at Minnehaha Creek Watershed District very soon after graduation. I stayed for two years, first as an intern. I started school again while there. I worked on a range of work, mostly focused on education to policy officials, property owners, and the general public on stormwater runoff. We also expanded work on education and aquatic invasive species management while I was there. In addition, I helped run their education grant program and assisted with a research study on the impacts of development and climate change on local storm water systems.
- What are you doing professionally now? I currently work for Hennepin County on their Business Recycling program. I assist in the management of the Business Recycling Grant Program. I've also worked on a pilot program called the Zero Waste Challenge. I've recently increased my work on Product Stewardship, and coordinate with the Minnesota Product Stewardship Council. I also work on other efforts to engage and help the commercial sector to reduce waste and increase their diversion to organics recycling for composting and mixed recycling.
- How did being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern help you professionally? Without my internship at Minnesota Sea Grant I may not have been hired as an intern at the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, who had hopes I'd be helpful in their roll-out of their Save Our Summers! campaign to help reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species. My experience with aquatic invasive species education as well as providing environmental education at community events is what I think gave me my competitive edge.
- What would you tell someone who's interested in being a Minnesota Sea Grant intern? It'll open doors. If you're smart about it, it could provide experience that'll get you a job.