Where to Find Conservation, Environmental, and Wildlife High School Internship Programs
Banding birds, tagging salmon, testing water, providing wildfire support, learning to use GIS, habitat restoration, feeding giraffes, and supporting outdoor recreation programs are just a few of the experiences you can have while still in high school. There are many biology and other science high school internship programs around the country and locally that will give you hands on experience while learning from professionals in an environmental or wildlife career that interests you. You will learn if this is truly to job of your dreams and about the many other related job opportunities.
When you find opportunities that interest you, send in your applications early. Many summer internship positions and opportunities close as early as the end of January.
The American Fisheries Society runs this summer mentoring program. High school students in 11th or 12th grade can apply. Accepted students spend eight weeks in the summer working side by side with a professional in the field of fisheries and earn a $3,000 scholarship. Accepted students are partnered with mentors in their area to keep travel minimal.
The BLM manages public lands for recreational use and conservation. The BLM’s STEP “gives high school and college students an opportunity for paid internship positions working in a wide variety of career fields, from administrative positions to recreation services to fire support.” Through STEP, you can get a paid summer position working for a local BLM office.
The Student Conservation has listings for both paid internships for those ages 18 and over, as well as programs for ages 15 and older. High school students ages 15 to 19 can join a National Conservation Crew building back country trails and restoring habitat for 3 to 5 weeks in the summer, or join community programs. Community programs place high school students on local habitat and conservation projects during weekends and summers. Participants may get paid or earn credits for community service work.
The U.S. Geological Survey has several programs for youth. These are often for paid positions, sometimes with benefits for youth at least 16 years of age and enrolled in school. Student are encouraged to contact their local USGS office for more information and local opportunities.
The National Weather Service, many fisheries, and ocean science fall under the duties of the NOAA. As a high school student, you have the opportunity to intern for one of several NOAA youth programs, such as the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center and the METCON Engineering and Science Career Orientation Summer Program in Washington, DC.
Through an EPA internship, you will learn just how complex environmental work can be. The “EPA hires high school and college interns for administrative/clerical positions as well as technical positions in areas such as life sciences, program or policy analysis, and engineering.”
Finding Local Conservation, Environmental, and Wildlife High School Internship Programs
Call your local zoo, wildlife center, nature center, state game and fish office, nature preserve, or outdoor recreation area for more opportunities to volunteer, intern, and get a paying job in the wildlife and conservation field. Also, look for positions with through city and county governments. Many science departments in colleges and universities also offer summer high school programs. Any of the places you would be interested in a future career or education may have volunteer and internship programs geared towards high school students.
*Clean up photo by maigidesign/Bigstockphoto.com