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Summer Internship

Note: The Summer 2020 application period is now closed. Check back in January 2021 for the Summer 2021 application.

The Center for Ecosystem Climate Solutions (CECS), a multi-institution collaboration based at the University of California, announces its Ecosystems & Climate Change Summer Undergraduate Intern Program for 2020. Interns will join a team of scientists and land managers who are working to understand and reduce the impact of climate change on ecosystems and forests. The 8-week summer program includes a kick-off workshop in Yosemite National Park that will include field visits and an overview of the issues; a 7-week internship based at UC Irvine, UC Merced, UC Davis, or San Diego State University; and a close-out workshop at UC Irvine that will include a discussion of progress.

Options for the 7-week internships are available in the table below, and applicants should identify their preference(s) in their statement of interest.

Project number Campus Project Ideal background and skills Skills intern may gain
1 SDSU Assess biomass and carbon flux in the field at SDSU’s Sky Oaks Biological Field Station, calculate carbon storage by stand age in California, and make contacts with stakeholders. Strong science background, GIS and R programing helpful, ecophysiological and micrometeorological instrumentation and approaches helpful Writing, field work, presentation, communication, independent research, ecophsysiological and micrometeorological instrumentation, and working with stakeholders and land managers
2 UC Irvine Field analyses of recent shifts in Southern California ecosystems with climate change Background and interests in forestry, ecology and ability to work at remote field sites Introduction to field data collection and analysis and remote sensing
3 UC Irvine or UC Davis Geospatial analyses and modeling of Sierra Nevada forest health Background and interests in geography, remote sensing, forestry, ecology, or modeling Introduction to Remote sensing, GIS analysis, and machine learning
4 UC Irvine Analyses of wildfire spread in California using remote sensing and machine learning Background and interests in wildfire issues and/or geospatial analysis Introduction to fire science and machine learning
5 UC Merced Assessing the effectiveness of forest restoration projects using remotely sensed data and cloud-computing GIS, programming Geostatistics, geospatial data analytics, and Google Earth Engine
6 UC Merced or UC Davis Developing innovative science communication materials about management options to reduce catastrophic fire Interest in outreach, good writing skills, and interest in emerging tech strategies to communicate science Science communication and community engagement, and scientific writing/publishing


Opportunities range from field and geospatial research to outreach and community engagement. Some interns will focus on the analyses and science needed to develop climate change solutions for natural ecosystems, while other interns will work with UC Cooperative Extension offices, campus researchers, and land managers to identify needs and communicate knowledge to action.

The program targets a cohort of inquisitive and motivated undergraduates who are majoring in fields such as earth science, environmental science and policy, ecology, forestry, natural resource management, geography, hydrology, data science or engineering. Applicants should be currently enrolled undergraduates who will have completed at least their sophomore year by summer 2020; high school students, rising sophomores, or graduate students are not eligible.

Interns will be compensated $15/hr. and will work 40 hrs./ week for 8 consecutive weeks. Interns must be available for the full 8 weeks and may not take vacation during that time. Interns will be based at UC Irvine, UC Merced, UC Davis, or San Diego State University, as noted in the project table.

Interns must be available to start in mid-June and work through mid-August.

Completed applications are due on Friday, March 20, 2020 by 4:00PM PST. Decisions will be emailed to applicants by the end of April.

Required Documents include: A current Resume/CV, Statement of Interest (including note of preferred project(s) and location(s)), Transcript (can be unofficial), and 2-3 References (contact information only).

For more information on this internship, visit our Internship FAQ page.