Internships, Seasonal Jobs, and Volunteer Opportunities in Environmental Science


Organizations offering internships, seasonal jobs, and volunteer opportunities in environmental science are indicated below.  This list is a partial compilation only; students are encouraged to search the Internet for additional opportunities.  Many of the internships and seasonal jobs listed below have application deadlines during the preceding winter or early spring.  Although many of the internships are unpaid, several organizations provide lodging and a small stipend or allow the student to work from home.


Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission:

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is one of the best remaining examples of an inland pine barrens ecosystem in the world.  It is well known for its population of the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly.  The Commission protects and manages open space and wildlife at the Preserve through methods such as seed collection and prescribed burning.  It maintains hiking trails for recreation and operates the Discovery Center off of New Karner Road.  Several seasonal internships and jobs as well as numerous volunteer opportunities are available each year.


Audubon International:

Although still incorporated as the Audubon Society of New York State, Audubon International has expanded the scope of its mission to facilitate the implementation of environmental management practices that ensure natural resources are sustainably used and conserved.  Its former headquarters, Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary, is a 140-acre birdwatcher’s paradise located adjacent to Onesquethaw Creek in Selkirk, New York.  Several internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities are available at their new headquarters in Troy, New York.


Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries:

Headquartered in Beacon, New York, the Beacon Institute is a non-profit environmental research organization affiliated with Clarkson University.  Its mission is to monitor the health of New York’s rivers and estuaries and to develop long-term public policy solutions to protect these waterways while advancing responsible economic development along them.  Jobs for students interested in biology, sustainability, and public administration are occasionally available.


Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies:

The Cary Institute, located in Millbrook, New York, is a leading independent environmental research organization with expertise in freshwater quality, the ecology of infectious diseases including Lyme disease, environmental chemistry, invasive species, and climate change.  Seasonal and permanent jobs for students interested in atmospheric science, biology, chemistry, and public health are available in Millbrook and Baltimore, Maryland.


Center for the Urban River at Beczak:

Located along the Hudson River at Habirshaw Park in Yonkers, New York, the Center for the Urban River at Beczak is an alliance of Sarah Lawrence College and the Hudson River Valley Environmental Education Institute.  Its mission is to advance environmental knowledge and stewardship by providing high-quality K-12 environmental education for the local community, establishing a regional hub for research and monitoring focused on Hudson River estuary and urban watershed issues, and serving as a welcoming open community space for a variety of civic and cultural activities.  Internships and volunteer opportunities during the spring, summer, and fall semesters are available.


Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station:

Located in Rensselaerville, New York, the Huyck Preserve is a non-profit organization dedicated to research, education, recreation, and conservation.  It contains trails providing public access to over 2,000 acres of forest, field, and wetland habitats, as well as to Lake Myosotis and Rensselaerville Falls.  Facilities include the Eldridge Research Station and the Visitors Center.  The Preserve offers the unpaid Odum Internship annually, as well as several volunteer opportunities monitoring bird populations and establishing the timing of seasonal plant and animal cycles.


Institute for Health and the Environment:

The Institute for Health and the Environment, located on the Health Sciences Campus of the University at Albany in Rensselaer, New York, promotes interdisciplinary research among University faculty and students and other local institutions focused on environmental science, ecology, environmental policy, environmental health, environmental law, geographic information systems, hazardous waste management, occupational health, risk assessment, management and communication, urban environmental health, and the social and psychological aspects of environmental pollution in regard to human behavior.  Recent internships have supported projects documenting past and present sources of chemical pollution in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.  Students should contact Pat Russo at for more details.


Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory:

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is a research unit of Columbia University located in Palisades, New York.  Its scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean.  The Summer Intern Program offers undergraduate students the chance to experience scientific research under the guidance of faculty mentors.  The program is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have completed their junior or sophomore year in college with majors in earth science, environmental science, chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, or engineering.


Mohonk Preserve:

The Mohonk Preserve is New York State’s largest non-profit privately owned nature sanctuary with over 8,000 acres of cliffs, forests, fields, ponds, and streams located in the Shawangunk Mountains near Gardiner, New York.  It is home to more than 1,400 plant and animal species, as well as to 2,000 acres of rare dwarf pitch pine.  Facilities include the Daniel Smiley Research Center and the Mohonk Lake Cooperative Weather Station.  Two paid internships are available each summer, as are numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the year.


National Park Service:

The National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks since 1916.  Numerous internships, permanent and seasonal jobs, and volunteer opportunities are available each year throughout the United States.  One outstanding program, the George Melendez Wright Initiative for Young Leaders in Climate Change, offers paid summer internships to highly accomplished students.  Those students who excel in their internships become eligible to be hired without competition into certain jobs within the U.S. Department of the Interior for two years.


National Weather Service:

Part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts, and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy.  Internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities are available at many of its 122 weather forecast offices, 13 river forecast centers, and 9 national centers.  The local Albany Weather Forecast Office is located on Fuller Road adjacent to the University at Albany’s Uptown Campus.


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

The Department of Conservation is an agency that combines all programs designed to protect and enhance the environment of New York State.  It is responsible for the administration and enforcement of New York’s Environmental Conservation Law.  It also operates over 85 Wildlife Management Areas and two Environmental Education Centers throughout the state, several of which are located within a 25-mile radius of Albany.  Numerous internships, permanent and seasonal jobs, and volunteer opportunities with highly varied responsibilities are available each year throughout the state, as are naturalist internships at the education centers for students interested in environmental education.

New York State Mesonet

In January 2014, the Department of Homeland Security established the New York State Early Warning Weather Detection System.  The centerpiece of the system is the New York State Mesonet, a network of 125 weather stations across the state, with at least one site in every county, which is currently under construction.  Each site will be capable of recording temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, solar radiation, and certain soil information.  Students should contact Dr. June Wang at for information concerning internships and occasional job opportunities maintaining the weather stations.


New York State Museum:

Located near the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany, the New York State Museum contains a wealth of artifacts and specimens in its archived collections that support research by personnel on the anthropology, archeology, biology, geology, paleontology, and cultural history of New York.  Permanent and temporary exhibitions provide a glimpse of a small portion of these collections.  A variety of unpaid internships and volunteer opportunities exist for undergraduate environmental science students throughout the year.


New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation:

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation administers all of the state parks, historic sites, nature centers, and bird conservation areas throughout New York.  Several of these state parks, including Grafton Lakes, John Boyd Thacher, Peebles Island, and Schodack Island, are located within a 25-mile radius of Albany.  A variety of permanent and seasonal jobs are available each year.


New York Water Science Center, United States Geological Survey

Located in Troy, the New York Water Science Center is part of the U.S. Geological Survey and provides real-time surface water, groundwater, water quality, and precipitation data for over 300 collection sites linked by the most extensive satellite network of stream- and tide-gaging stations in the state, many of which form the backbone of flood-warning systems.  Permanent and seasonal jobs and volunteer opportunities with the U.S. Geological Survey, and occasionally in the Water Science Center, are available.


Radix Ecological Sustainability Center:

Located in downtown Albany, The Radix Ecological Sustainability Center promotes ecological literacy and environmental stewardship through educational programs based around demonstrations of sustainable technologies.  An emphasis is placed on issues of food security, health, the remediation of contaminated soils, and renewable energy systems.  Internships, which may include responsibilities designed by the student, are available.


Sustainable Climate Risk Management, Network for

Centered at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania, the Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management links a transdisciplinary team of scholars at 19 universities and five research institutions across six nations to answer the question, “What are sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient, and ethically defensible climate risk management strategies?”  Its Summer Scholars Program enables selected undergraduates and early career graduate students to work full-time on independent research projects under the mentorship and support of researchers.


Vermont Center for Ecostudies:

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies, located in Norwich, Vermont, branched off of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in 2007.  The Center advances wildlife conservation through scientific research on birds, insects, amphibians, and other wildlife from Canada to South America and by engaging citizens.  Seasonal jobs and internships are available, as are numerous volunteer opportunities ranging from monitoring bird populations to assessing mercury levels in vernal pools.


Vermont Institute of Natural Science:

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science is a non-profit, member-supported, environmental education, research and avian rehabilitation organization headquartered in Quechee, Vermont.  Its raptor enclosures are particularly well known.  Seasonal jobs and internships are available, as are numerous volunteer opportunities.


Westchester Land Trust:

Located in Bedford Hills, New York, the Westchester Land Trust works with public and private partners to preserve land in perpetuity, and to protect and enhance the natural resources in the cities, towns, and villages of Westchester and eastern Putnam Counties.  It has preserved approximately 7,500 acres in these communities.  Recently, the Land Trust launched a proactive forest stewardship program to manage the formation of canopy gaps created by forest pests and diseases and offered a paid forest management internship in 2015.  Permanent and seasonal jobs and volunteer opportunities are often available.


Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park:

Located in Gansevoort, New York, the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park was established by the Nature Conservancy, the Town of Wilton, and partners to preserve the land, ensure the survival of native wildlife and natural communities, protect and provide habitat for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly, create a natural area for education and recreation, and maintain the rural character of the local community.  Contact the organization about available internships.