Undergraduate research and internship
A requirement for NAU students pursuing ENV and ESS degrees
An internship (ENV 408) OR research project (ENV 485) is required for all the Environmental Science (BS) and Environmental Studies (BA & BS) degrees at Northern Arizona University, along with the minor in Environmental Science. This requirement is designed to give senior students real world experiences in environmental programs.
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 area (check out the faculty directory or ask professors in your current ENV classes for guidance) or talk to the internship & research coordinator, Taylor Joyal. We have also recently created a new partnership with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy that provides a range of research and conservation internship and capstone project opportunities (see below).
Internship (ENV 408) Accordion Open
With ENV 408, the internship requirement, you’ll combine theory and work experience in a non-academic setting—on or off-campus. You’ll be supervised on the job site.
You should take this class after ENV 230, but early enough in your education that you can also take coursework that relates to your internship field.
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
Research (ENV 485) Accordion Closed
In ENV 485, the research project requirement, 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.
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 RAMP, NAU’s new peer-mentoring program for research!
Highlight: Student opportunities with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy
The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is dedicated to global conservation by improving techniques and increasing knowledge through science and research in the Sonoran Desert. They equip a unique collective of volunteers with tools and structure to discover, learn and ultimately teach – empowering awareness through knowledge to transform citizens into stewards of their land.
The School of Earth and Sustainability (SES) at Northern Arizona University (NAU) partners with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy on an innovative conservation practice research program. In this program, undergraduate students at SES will work on applied research projects through internships and research projects (ENV 408 and ENV 485) and group projects (ENV 490) with the Parsons Field Institute, the research center at the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. In this win-win partnership, students will gain hands-on research experience in a critical Arizona ecosystem and access unique opportunities to bridge science and natural resource management.. At the same time, Parsons Field Institute will expand its breadth and scope by combining and magnifying the work of many individual student researchers and creating new research partnerships.
For more information on internships, research, or other opportunities, for more information, contact Dr. Helen Rowe. Or learn more about the Conservancy on: