The Internship Program

Scholars complete a nine-week internship in a research laboratory, at a field site, in an environmental nonprofit or governmental agency. The nonprofits vary in size from local grassroots organizations to national and international institutions. Similarly, scholars have interned at local or regional government offices or with federal agencies.  
Scholars work directly with and are mentored by professors, research scientists, and environmental professionals during and after the internship. Program participants also develop networks with each other, program alums, and environmental professionals.   
In 2024, internships will be in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. At the end of summer, scholars make presentations about their summer experiences at the Annual Capstone Symposium.  
A select few scholars will have the opportunity to return for a second year as a peer mentor. The intern in a different organization, laboratory, or field site than in their first summer. Past internships have focused on conservation research, environmental policy, conservation finance, environmental education, environmental justice, energy justice, water pollution, food insecurity, community action, and much more!  
Environmental organizations interested in hosting a scholar may reach out to program staff at

2022 YCS-ELI Scholar Alicia Lundy (second from left) at a community with her team as part of her summer internship with the United States Fish and Wildlife, Rhode Island office. Photo Credit: Alicia Lundy

The Work Week

The duration of the internship is 9 weeks from May to July. Scholars work at their internship site four days per week (Monday-Thursday for a maximum of 32 hours per week. In addition, scholars spend each Friday in professional development webinars, sessions with speakers, workshops, and mentors. Scholars will spend eight hours per week on these activities. 

Select Past Internship Sites*

*Please note: Internship sites change year to year, and previous sites are not guaranteed in the following years. 

Campus Farm Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum  Highstead Foundation
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Huron River Watershed Council
City of Ann Arbor Keney Park Sustainability Project
City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation Legacy Land Conservancy
City of Ann Arbor, Natural Area Preservation (NAP) Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition
City of New Haven - Food System Policy Division Michigan League of Conservation Voters 
City Seed Michigan Sea Grant
Clean Energy Coalition National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station National Wildlife Federation–Great Lakes Regional Office
Connecticut Forest & Park Association Quinnipiac River Watershed Association
Ecology Center Save the Sound
EcoWorks Detroit Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, Great Lakes Great Communities 
Fair Food Network The Legacy Land Conservancy
Farm at St. Joe’s  The Nature Conservancy
Freshwater Future The Trust for Public Land
Great Lakes Commission University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
Greenwich Audubon Center Washtenaw County Health Department
Groundwork Bridgeport, Inc. Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office
Growing Hope Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
Hartford Food Systems  

Internship Locations 2016-2022