Finding Jobs & Internships in Environmental Studies
Helpful Tips & Hints
At a minimum, we require students to complete one internship prior to graduation. Interns receive 3 credits from ENVN 4800. In addition, internships and jobs give students exposure to the types of careers available in the field of environmental science. Jobs and internships can be found at universities, in the private for-profit and not-for-profit sector, and with local, state, and federal government agencies.
Prepare Your Résumé
The first step in finding jobs and internships is to prepare a résumé and to write out a short (one paragraph) description of the type of position you are hoping to find. Help with résumés is available from the UNO Student Career Center in 211 EAB.
If you are early in your career a general résumé outlining your education, paid and volunteer experiences, and extracurricular activities is sufficient. As you progress in the field your career your résumé will become more detailed and specific to the field of environmental science.
We also suggest asking your professors and advisors to read your résumé and make comments. The description of the position you are looking for may be fairly general and can be made more specific as you get a better idea of the type of jobs you are going to apply for.
Timing and Employment
Decisions you need to make at this point include the type and timing of employment you hope to find. Are you looking for a position you can work at while also attending classes or are you able to devote full time (such as over summer) to work? Do you need to stay in the Omaha area or are you able to expand your horizons and accept a temporary position in another state (or country!)?
What are your financial requirements? For many students with limited experience, volunteer work is an effective way to get your foot in the door and work towards a paid position. The more flexible your demands are, the easier it will be to find that all important first job.
Find open positions. The obvious starting point is with your professors. Faculty are often aware of groups searching for new employees and may have positions available as research assistants. You can also talk to the Environmental Studies Life Sciences advisor, Dr. John McCarty, 402.554.2849;, Department of Biology, 402.554.2641. Dr. McCarty maintains an email list that includes job and internship announcements - contact him if you would like to be added to the list.
There are huge numbers of temporary positions available for students and recent graduates. Many of the most desirable positions will receive dozens of applicants from all over the world.
You should plan on applying for as many jobs as possible in order to ensure that you get an offer.
|Volunteer Opportunities Around Omaha|
|Internship Opportunities Around Omaha|
|General Job Listings|
- Fontenelle Nature Association: Volunteers have worked in resource management and in environmental education.
- National Wildlife Refuge System: if you are interested in volunteering at the Federal Wildlife Refuges, contact your advisor.
- Allwine Prairie and Davis Prairie nature preserves are maintained by UNO with the help of an active group of volunteers.
UNO students have found volunteer and paid positions with:
- UNO Faculty Research Projects
- Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
- Pottawattamie County Conservation Board
- U.S. National Park Service Regional Office
- U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
- All jobs with Federal Agencies (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, etc) are processed through a central office - the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Each job is advertised on the OPM website. You may apply for jobs during a limited "open" period only - this period may be as short as one week so it pays to visit the OPM site early and often!
To find a federal job go to the USAJOBS website. USAJOBS lets you search for jobs based on the amount of experience you have, location, agency, and type of job opening. Most federal jobs are classified based on a "GS"level. GS-2 and GS-4 jobs are relatively low paid and require little or no experience. As you gain experience and education you qualify for jobs at higher GS-levels.
A great feature of this site is the ability to enter a set of job criteria and have new job openings emailed to you on a daily basis. Even if you are not actively searching for a job I suggest setting up a search so you can get an idea of what types of jobs are opening in your field.
The federal government has job programs directed specifically towards students and recent graduates. There are a number of special programs to attract talented students to careers with the federal government. Programs such as Pathways are designed specifically for students. These programs can both help you work your way through school and can be a great entry point in to full time employment with federal agencies. Talk to your advisor for more information.
Jobs with state agencies (Game and Parks agencies, Natural Resource agencies, etc) also tend to be available online but the system is not as centralized as for federal jobs (these are different governments after all!). The sites below are not an exhaustive list but do give you a place to start. Links to some of the job pages change so if you have problems go to the main website listed and search from there.
- Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
- Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
- Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
- Iowa Department of Natural Resources
- South Dakota Game Fish and Parks
- South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources
- The Conservation Job Board includes jobs in ecology, forestry, wildlife biology, fisheries, marine science, environmental education, and more and is updated every day.
- A broad selection of jobs are advertised at Environmentalcareer.com
- Texas A&M University maintains one of the best listings for jobs in fisheries and wildlife.
- The Nature Conservancy career page is a good place to learn about jobs with the world's preeminent conservation organization
- The Society for Conservation Biology has a job page.
- The Ornithological Societies of North America maintain an extensive list of jobs related to birds. You can also sign up to have these emailed to you on a regular basis.