You go to high school to receive a good education, but in the greater world of environmental sciences, it takes more than a lecture to know what it means to take care of the environment. It would be best to pursue an internship while you study.
But what are the best high school environmental science internships–ones that do not interrupt your school schedule while also granting you the hands-on experience to become a future environmentalist? This article is here to help you find out.
What is an Environmental Science Intern?
An environmental science intern joins one of the many environmental science agencies. You will be tasked to work on various projects, including organizing events for the company or other interns.
However, being an environmental science intern is just getting your foot in the door. To get into environmental science, you need the best internships. Thankfully, we know five of the best agencies and groups to get an internship.
5 Best Environmental Science Internships for High School Students
The best environmental science internships will have you get closely involved with the company as you work while in school. These selections offer flexible schedules, decent pay, and a chance for a full-time position in the future.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The first on our list is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA is an administration that focuses on the weather and the ocean environment, providing weather forecasts and storm warnings daily and helping in coastal restoration.
An interview with the NOAA would put you head first into the environmental science of climate and weather. Projects revolving around this work would have you better understand what makes the weather so unpredictable, as well as how it can start to affect the ocean and the creatures that live in it.
For a first choice in environmental internship jobs, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an excellent choice, but it is not the only choice. Our next agency will have you work with people on grounded soil.
National Park Service
The National Park Service is a unique agency tasked by the United States government to protect and care for the various national parks and monuments throughout the county. While most agencies on this list chart and note various environmental phenomena, the National Park Service keeps them suitable and safe for future generations and further study.
The internship opportunities are numerous, with programs involved with the various parks and corps across the country, including maritime documentation internship, the ancestral lands conservation corps, and the rivers, trails, and conservation assistance program. These internships grant a stipend after an involved schedule interacting with the park service.
The National Park Service is another fantastic internship for those who want to get down and dirty in environmental science. But this next option is a great choice for those who prefer to think and learn about energy.
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is the agency that governs the United States in the matter of nuclear infrastructure as well as the country’s energy policy. If you are the type of student who is curious about tackling various energy-related challenges and environmental crises the country will go through, you will benefit from taking an internship with the DoE.
The Department of Energy has various internship programs, including for students currently in high school. It takes only a half-time course load in accredited high schools to take these internships, with flexible work schedules to avoid interrupting your lectures.
An internship with the Department of Energy is the number one choice for any high school student. But they do not do much in the way of taking action to protect the environment as a whole. For that, you would need to join the Environmental Protection Agency.
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Working closely with the Department of Energy is the Environmental Protection Agency. Like the National Park Service, the EPA must protect the environment through federal action. EPA members protect people and the environment from various health risks. They conduct and sponsor research and most importantly enforce various environmental regulations. An internship with the EPA would give you a better look at the legal processes of protecting the environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency has various programs for students who want to see what it’s like to work at the EPA. Other internships grant additional opportunities to minority groups such as Hispanic and American Indian students.
Getting an environmental internship job with the Environmental Protection Agency is like putting your foot into the federal government: it can grow to a job that puts you in a position to start changing how people address environmental issues through the law. However, we have one more internship for those who love to know the raw statistics and information about the environment.
United States Geological Survey
Finally, the United States Geological Survey is our final best choice for environmental service internships. They are the best group to follow if you want raw and direct information like the magnitudes of earthquakes in Turkey or which volcanoes will erupt. The United States Geological Services has influence all over the country and beyond.
If you become an intern at the USGS, you will be enrolled in a program that grants you various opportunities to work in agencies and explore federal careers. The USGS’ Pathways Internship Program is a charitable internship available for all kinds of students, from high school to college students to vocational or trade school students.
Interns of the Pathways Internship Program can enjoy valuable work experience related to their academic field of study, combining the typical lecture and learning experience with practical, on-the-job experience. Under this program, you can taste what it is like to work with the United States Geological Survey and turn that potential experience into a future job if you play your cards right!
3 Tips to Find the Best for Environmental Science Students
Look Out for the Qualifications
The first thing you should look for in an environmental science internship is whether you can even take it at all. Not every agency is willing to give high school students an internship.
Some internships are exclusive to students currently attending school. There is additional fracturing depending on if that student is a high school student, a college student, or a student of a trade school or medical school.
An internship may need additional documentation, proof of satisfactory academic performance from students, and evidence that the potential intern lives in the United States.
Whether you qualify is the first thing you should address in a potential internship.
Find Your Subject of Interest
Another tip for searching for the ideal environmental science internship is to find one that fits your subject of interest. Environmental science isn’t just one idea, after all: it is a broad field consisting of various other subjects, such as geology and meteorology.
You may be looking at an internship and realize that it isn’t suited for you in the end, which can make your chances of finding other internships more difficult if that is true. You should also be prepared to look out how an internship teaches and grants experience. Some internships are mainly about the learning process, like the classes you are likely already taking. Other internships are more about hands-on experience, much like people who do regular work. They may give you projects that you would need to complete.
Finding the kind of internship that best fits your interest is a fine way to spend your time looking for internships.
Paid vs. Unpaid Internships
Unfortunately, not every internship allows you to get paid for your work. If you have already gotten their unpaid internship, then do not feel bad, as working will grant you a wonderful experience regardless.
We feel strongly that you should pursue internships that pay their interns. Being paid for your work is why you are doing an internship in the first place. Obtaining the necessary experience on top of what an internship can give you otherwise will ensure that you finish both school and your internship rounded in your line of work!
Wrapping Things Up: 5 Best High School Environmental Science Internships
The best high school environmental science internships will have you work on the ground floor with agencies and groups as you gain a greater understanding of the environment, as well as pay well, fit your chosen study of interest, and fit within your schedule so that you can still be a high school student. When you choose the right internship, your environmental science future becomes much more secure.