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Geographic Setting of the Rogue Valley
Our field-oriented curriculum takes advantage of the unique environmental setting of our region and provides opportunities to work with local agencies. Southern Oregon, with its Klamath and Cascade Mountains and interior valleys, is an ideal location for studying and experiencing a variety of environmental issues, including water resources, endangered species, timber, natural hazards, and urban growth issues.
The Environmental Science and Policy Program requires work experiences with governmental entities, local agencies and businesses that provide a wide variety of real-world applications of the concepts learned in the classroom. These experiences are carried out in defined internship opportunities which include work in on- or off-campus settings. Opportunities include working with the USDA, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service (Crater Lake and others), local watershed councils, Jackson County, local city and county planning departments, state and federal agencies, and local environmental organizations. Students may also work on-campus as research assistants, as project managers, or through our partnership with The Farm at SOU. Students currently working in the field of environmental science & policy may also work with the departmental internship coordinator to consider credit for current work experience.
Information for Employers
Thank you for your interest in providing an internship experience for one or more students in the Environmental Science and Policy program at Southern Oregon University. Both faculty and students comment that these experiences are a very rewarding part of their knowledge and degree development. Please contact the Environmental Science and Policy Program Internship Coordinator, Dr. Vincent M. Smith, to discuss the possibility of setting up an internship.
Information for Students
The Environmental Science & Policy program requires all students to complete 4 credits of internship experience before graduation. Students are encouraged to complete additional internships or relevant fieldwork during their time as undergraduates. Students may receive 1-credit of ES 498 (Internship) credit per 30 hours of internship experience. Any internship experience hours beyond 120 hours may be taken for credit OR students may elect to complete additional hours without seeking academic credit. Internships may be paid or unpaid.
Departmental Internship Coordinator: Dr. Vincent M. Smith
Steps for Completing an Environmental Science & Policy Internship:
- Identify a suitable internship opportunity in consultation with your faculty advisor or departmental internship coordinator.
- Before registering, you must complete and submit the following internship paperwork to the departmental internship coordinator.
- In consultation with your internship supervisor and the departmental internship coordinator, identify at least 10 learning objectives associated with your internship experience.
- Meet with the departmental internship coordinator after you have completed roughly 60 hours of internship service. This meeting can take place on-campus or via video or teleconference. Your internship coordinator will review your progress as it relates to your learning objectives.
- Upon completion of your 120 hours of internship work, you will be asked to provide evidence of completion. This evidence could be provided in the form of completed time sheets or a letter from your internship supervisor speaking to your hours of service.
- Finally, you will submit a 5-page reflection of your internship to the departmental internship coordinator.
In addition, you must Sign up for at least 4-credits of ES 498 (Internship) during any regular academic term. If you choose to sign up for an internship during the summer term, you will need to speak with the departmental internship coordinator in advance of registration. You may sign up for internship credits at any point during your internship. If you do not complete your internship during the term in which you have signed up for internship credits, you will receive an incomplete until the hours are completed, at which point your grade will be changed. If you sign up for internship credits after your internship is completed, you will need only to have your materials reviewed before internship credits are awarded.