"I interned at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to take part in a study on the causes of street tree mortality. The bulk of what I did involved getting out into the field to survey hundreds of trees. The other interns and I would be given GIS maps with pre-selcected trees identified and a kit with which to take various measurements of each tree and then we'd be off to a different part of the city every day. What was great about the internship was that I got to be a part of the first ever study trying to figure out what makes urban trees die or thrive. And in the process, I got to explore myriad parts of the city I had never even though to explore before! I also had the chance to get involved in some of the other tasks of the Parks Department including tree planting, new construction site inspections and responding to residents' warnings about imminent tree-infrastructure conflicts. Working for the Parks Department gave me a glimpse of how a government agency operates, strengths and weaknesses both. Although the study in which I participated has been completed, the Department does a lot of great things and I'd recommend an internship with them to anyone who's interested in being outdoors for the summer, working in a fun and laid-back atmosphere, and experiencing working for a large municipal government agency."
- Akiva Fishman
- NYC Parks
"I interned at the Massachusetts Energy Consumers’ Alliance, a non-profit organization in Boston that works to make energy more affordable and environmentally friendly for consumers in Massachusetts. I spent the majority of my time helping to promote the New England Wind Fund, which subsidizes the creation of new wind energy in New England. Specifically, I worked on a campaign to help my hometown earn solar panels by enlisting companies and residents to join in supporting the fund. I had a great time helping out and learned a lot about renewable energy programs and technology. Even better, it was very rewarding to see the town succeed in the challenge and how my work was helping the environment."
- Gideon Katsc
- Mass Energy Consumers Alliance
Student Testimonial"I worked as the Greening Intern for the Stanley Elementary School in Waltham. This is the first green elementary school (LEED Silver
certified) built in Massachusetts. I worked with the K-12 Waltham School District Science director, Wendell Cerne, in order to make
plans to add an educational component about the school's green facilities for the students and staff. I designed a set of comic strip posters that displayed information about the school's lighting capabilities, solar panels, sustainable building materials, and ways students can live more sustainably outside of school. The posters were made to be put on display in the school's reading circle. I also designed an educational handout that informed teachers about properly using the lighting features in the classroom to optimize energy savings. This experience gave me glimpse into the different avenues of environmental education, allowed me to shape my own projects, and required a great amount of self-motivation. It was definitely a rewarding experience!"
- Jessica Nu
- Stanley School Green Education
"I interned for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) Leading by Example Program, a government agency dedicated to making changes throughout the state in order to decrease the commonwealth's carbon footprint. I interned directly for Eric Friedman, the director of the program. In practice, the Leading by Example Program focuses on establishing models of good environmental practices within the state government. Taking action in readily available places first allows the Program to determine what works well before expanding their efforts to larger initiatives. I was responsible for researching various energy saving initiatives in order to determine their viability. I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in seeing how government agencies operate, including an inside look into their advantages and limitations."
- Maxwell Horn
- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- An Environmental Internship provides you the opportunity to experience first-hand actual environmental challenges in government, industry, public interest organizations, and scientific research institutions.
- An internship experience is a core component of the Brandeis Environmental Studies Program. Because the close connection of internships with the academic curriculum, students interested in this field are advised to seek guidance from the Environmental Studies faculty (see sidebar).
- In addition, pay attention to the Hiatt Career Center calendar for events, info sessions, panels, etc. featuring speakers in this dynamic career field.
Past Internship Sites:
Note: Due to the extensive connection between internship sites and the Program, students are advised to speak with Prof. Laura Goldin about recommendations.
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Charles River Watershed Association
- Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
- New England Aquarium
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- EPA: Toxics Enforcement
- Sustainability Centre, U.K.
- PA Legislature Environmental Politics
- Alternatives for Community & Environment
- Sustainable Endowments Institute
- Maine Audubon Habitat Preservation
- Bikes-Not-Bombs: Youth Empowerment
- Mongolian NGO Sustainable Food Initiative
- Sustainable Lawrence: Changing Communities
- City of Waltham Recycling & Energy Initiative
- MA Executive Office of Env. Affairs: Water Policy
- Waltham Fields Community Farm
- MA Audubon Land Conservation
- Lead Action Collaborative
See a complete list of sites.
Steps to Gain Academic Credit
The faculty contact is Professor Laura Goldin
You must enroll in the Environmental Studies Internship course, ENVS 89, either for the fall or spring semesters during the academic year, or during the summer with the Brandeis Summer School, preferably during your junior or senior year. Internship placements may be in the Waltham area or beyond. During the summer, many students choose to do their internships in other parts of the country or even abroad.
Weekly discussion seminars and assignments provide perspective and an opportunity of analyze the internship experience.
Requirements for ENVS 89a:
- Initial meetings w/Professor Goldin to determine placement and agree on learning “contract” (Start process early!)
- Resume & Cover letter
- Weekly Seminar/online discussion
- Final paper
- Environmental Symposium Presentation