Internship or Research Requirement
Everything you need to know about the ENV 408 / ENV 485 requirement
If you are majoring in Environmental Sciences (BS) or Environmental & Sustainability Studies (BA & BS), or pursuing a minor in Environmental Science, you are required to complete either an internship/fieldwork (ENV 408) OR an undergraduate research project (ENV 485) before you can take your capstone, ENV 490C. This requirement is designed to give senior students real world experience in the environmental field.
NAU students have done internships and research projects all over the world. They have worked for cities, tribes, states, NGOs, and federal agencies, studying everything from pronghorn antelope to hazardous waste management. In terms of topics, you are only limited by your imagination.
For help finding an internship or research project relevant to your interests, talk to professors in your emphasis or interest area (check out the faculty directory or ask professors in your current classes for guidance), scroll down to see lists of updated internship opportunities and inspiration, or talk to the internship & research coordinator, Taylor Joyal.
Internship/Fieldwork (ENV 408) Accordion Open
In ENV 408, you’ll combine theory and work experience in a non-academic setting—on or off-campus. You’ll be supervised on the job site. Internships must be at least 150 hours and have an environmental or sustainability focus. Talk to Taylor Joyal if you want confirmation on your internship choice before you apply.
ENV 408 will help:
- prepare you to enter the field of your choice
- refine and develop your professional skills
- guide you as you choose a profession after graduation
Undergraduate Research (ENV 485) Accordion Closed
In ENV 485, you’ll apply current research techniques to answer a question within your field. You’ll be supervised by a university professor, researcher, or professional in the field. You are allowed to work with professors outside of ENV (such as in FOR, BIO, COM, etc). Your research must have an environmental focus.
ENV 485 will help:
- introduce you to the planning, implementation, and interpretation of original research in your field
- refine your focus on a study area and on professional choices
Need some help getting into research? Check out this page for much more info on funding, peer mentoring, and opportunities.
Check this page for options to fund research through NAU grants.
Process to enroll in ENV 408/485/497
Step 1: Acceptance
First, you’ll need to be accepted to an internship or research opportunity. Identify internship options using your own job searches or our list below, or identify research opportunities by talking to faculty members. Apply for an internship through an organization or request undergraduate research with a faculty member. Once you’re accepted/approved, you can start the enrollment process.
Step 2: Project proposal
Put together an internship (ENV 408) or research (ENV 485) project proposal that explains the internship/research, the tasks you will perform, your learning goals, and a description of an independent project you will complete. You should establish what your proposal will be with help from your internship or research supervisor. Please reference the sample proposal on the right under “ENV 408 / 485 Files” as a guide as you write your proposal.
Step 3: Submit forms
Once you’re done, please email Taylor.Joyal@nau.edu your project proposal signed by your internship or research supervisor and complete both the enrollment and individualized study forms (found under “ENV 408/485 Files”). Be sure to enter 3 credits on the enrollment form. The three credits represent the required 150 hours of internship or research work. Dr. Joyal will reply with an enrollment code after he approves your proposal.
Step 4: Enroll & complete work!
Once you have permission code, you can add ENV 408/485 to your shopping cart or schedule. Make sure that you select 3 credits when enrolling, because otherwise LOUIE will automatically assign you 1 credit. Once you’re enrolled, you will have access to the Canvas course shell at the beginning of the semester or summer session where you can find the syllabus, due dates, upload sites for project reports and hourly logs, and examples of student reports and portfolios. Please email Taylor Joyal with any additional questions or concerns.
** Note: these are just ideas and starting points for your internship search. Internships from any of these organizations are not guaranteed. Once you have found something, emailto confirm that it works!
Multiple Locations / Remote Accordion Closed
These could be in Arizona, remote, or elsewhere. Filter through the options for specific locations!
- Job boards (a whole bunch of listings grouped together by topic)
Girl + Environment Job Board – Paid Internships (for Black + Brown girls, women, and non-binary individuals – become a member for free to access job board)
MANO Project Environmental Internships through the Hispanic Access Foundation (Latinx students encouraged to apply)
- Government organizations
- Other organizations: Oceans / Water
Water First Internship Program (for Indigenous students only)
- Other organizations: Wildlife / Animal Conservation
- Other organizations: Land Use / Conservation / Biodiversity
- Other organizations: Environmental Law / Policy
- Other organizations: Ecotourism
- Other organizations: Environmental Communication / Journalism / Reporting
- Other organizations
Arizona-based Accordion Closed
Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff
Arizona Conservation Corps Individual Placements (some for Native American individuals only)
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) Internships (for Native American students only)
Flagstaff -based Accordion Closed
Some might require transportation.
Flagstaff Foodlink Community Garden / Urban Agriculture Internships – to apply, email Board Member Ryan Gordon with your interests and availability!
Terra BIRDS Garden Educator Leadership Internship – check their social media for internship postings!
International Accordion Closed
NAU faculty-led trips (look for 408 or 485 credits that have an environmental focus)
Other opportunities Accordion Closed
Talk to Taylor Joyal for more info on the following:
- Support ongoing efforts in collaborative conservation and facilitation.
Arizona // 1-2 interns // Keywords: collaboration
- Collaborate with scientists to develop figures and graphics they need for use in professional and outreach publications.
Remote/Flagstaff // 1-2 interns // Keywords: Scientific illustration, graphic design
- Sort, process, and organize acoustic bat data that was recorded along the Colorado and San Juan Rivers.
Remote/Flagstaff // 1 intern // Keywords: Data management, acoustic analysis, bat foraging ecology
- Work depends on current projects. Reach out to see we have any current opportunities. Find out more about our program at http://www.usgs.gov/sbsc/ramps.
Flagstaff // 1 intern // Keywords: Various fieldwork, computer work/literature reviews, data quality & data control; greenhouse experiments
- Assisting the heritage program botanist with rare plant monitoring on the Navajo Nation. Busiest months for plant monitoring are April-June so any help during that time would be welcome.
Flagstaff // 1-2 interns // Keywords: rare plants, monitoring
- Intern(s) would assist NPS biologists in wildlife surveys including bat mist-netting and hummingbird monitoring, or would assist with restoration projects including seed collecting, invasive species removal, monitoring, and native planting.
- Hummingbird monitoring is twice a month beginning at sunrise and lasting 5 hours. Bat surveys will be several times a month and generally begin about an hour prior to sunset until around midnight. We have ongoing projects at Montezuma Well and Tuzigoot.
Camp Verde/Cottonwood // 2-4 interns // Keywords: wildlife, biology, monitoring, invasive species management
- Interns would assist in the development of “case studies” to be shared through handouts and a online platform (CCAST) hosted by the Bureau of Reclamation and other partners.
- This is an ongoing opportunity, and would provide students the opportunity to learn about projects happening on the ground, develop science communication skills and network with professionals in various geographies on topics of a the intern’s interest.
Remote/Tucson // 1-3 interns // Keywords: outreach and communication
- Assist with native plant nursery maintenance including transplanting, pruning, watering, and exotic plant removal at Grand Canyon National Park or conduct an independent study with propagation or seed cleaning protocols.
- Summer internship for native plant nursery maintenance needs. Ongoing research and database analysis for seed collection, seed cleaning and propagation protocol independent studies. Outreach pamphlets, maps or reports on native seed material collections are possible independent study subjects needed for Grand Canyon’s Vegetation Program.
Remote/Grand Canyon National Park // 1-2 interns // Keywords: Native plant propagation, seed scouting and collection, nursery maintenance
- Intern will consolidate information on Mojave Seeds of Success seed collections into a single database. Intern will also assist with wildland operational and conservation seed collections, and with leaf tissue collections in support of ongoing seed transfer zone research. May be stationed in Palm Springs or Moreno Valley, CA.
- Database work has no seasonal constraints. Field scouting and collection can occur February – October.
Palm Springs or Moreno Valley, CA // 1-2 interns // Keywords: Seeds of Success program, data management, seed collection, leaf tissue collection
- Assist wildlife staff with diverse work tasks including desert tortoise telemetry and construction monitoring. Data entry of wildlife observations into database.
Twentynine Palms, CA // 1-2 interns // Keywords: Desert tortoise telemetry and desert tortoise construction monitoring; raptor nest monitoring in spring;
- Assist in organizing the Annual Moab Festival of Science. Intern will work with science committee to develop program and activities, design and produce promotional products, coordinate advertising via newspaper articles, posters, radio, social media, and presentations to local groups. Coordinate with government, university, public school, NGO groups.
- A lot of work can be done remotely, if intern wants to come to Moab we have office space where the intern can work. Host can coordinate several field opportunities as part of the internship if the participant desires to have a field component to the work. Festival is Sept. 18-22, hopefully the intern could participate in at least the weekend activities
Remote/Moab, UT // 1 intern // Keywords: outreach, science, community
- Examples of specific duties include, but are not limited to the following: assisting with management of the BLM NMSO Herbarium, editing and developing documents related to Special Status Plant Species management, performing literature reviews, helping with tasks related to rare plant monitoring and native plant materials development, developing outreach materials for the botany program, assisting Southwest Seed Partnership staff with native plant materials development efforts.
- Office work (data management, outreach, etc.) has no seasonal constraints. Fieldwork occurs May – November
Santa Fe, NM // 1 intern // Keywords: BLM-NM Botany Program Development: data management, herbarium management, outreach, literature reviews
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM is recognized worldwide as the most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. It uses a system based on five criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of species and subspecies throughout all regions of the world. The IUCN Red List is scientifically based and used to track the status of biological diversity worldwide. For more information about the IUCN Red List, please visit http://www.iucnredlist.org/about.
- In 2019, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) approved and established the Sonoran Desert Plant Species Specialist Group within the Species Survival Commission (SSC). The primary goals of this species specialist group are to assess all of the nearly 4,000 plant species in the Sonoran Desert, and plan and catalyze relevant conservation action.
Flagstaff/Scottsdale // 2 interns // Keywords: Assess global conservation status for a set of Sonoran Desert plant species
- Maker Class. The class consists of science activities and experiments, as well as education about sustainability. Interns would also assist with some lesson planning and preparation for that same class.
Flagstaff // Varies
- CAMP COLTON is looking for NAU students who might be interested in fulfilling their Internships hours for NAU! We have 7 weeks available to complete your required hours. We are looking for Environmental Educator Instructors to teach science lessons outdoors to 6th grade students. We are flexible with a university student’s schedule.
- The shift hours are 7:30 am to 4:30 pm (9 hours/pay $139.50). We also have Night Counselor positions as well.
Flagstaff // Varies // Keywords: environmental education, camp
1. When should I start applying?
You need to have an internship or research project completed before beginning your capstone course, ENV 490C. Start looking into opportunities as early as possible, and plan to complete your internship sometime in your junior year or the semester before you graduate!
2. Can I intern over summer?
You absolutely can—summer internships give you more freedom to travel, more time to focus on your internship work, and greater flexibility in location. However, you will be required to enroll in 3 units to actually complete ENV 408, which will cost summer tuition.
3. What if I’m having trouble finding something?
No worries! Some other ways to find internships are to:
- Visit NAU Career Development or the CEFNS Career Development office for help searching
- Talk to Taylor Joyal to find relevant organizations
- Talk to professors to get recommendations
- Check Handshake
- Check Indeed
- Go to the Environmental and Sustainability Student Research and Internship Capstone Symposium (once per semester) to see what other students have done.
You can also look into undergraduate research, an independent study (ENV 497), or the CUPI program to fulfill your internship/research requirement.