Internships | Geography, Environment, and Sustainability

B.A. in Environment & Sustainability


Internships are available with the local environmental organizations, businesses, and government agencies listed below. Internships are entirely optional; no degree requires an internship.

Students are responsible for arranging the internship. Once the student and the organization agree on the terms of an internship, the student should decide if s/he wants it to be purely for the experience (without UNCG credit) or for academic credit (with enrollment through UNCG).  If no UNCG credit is desired, the student and the organization should make all arrangements between themselves. If UNCG credit is desired, the following requirements must be met:

  • Major in Environmental Studies, Sustainability Studies, or Environmental & Sustainability Studies,
  • At least Junior standing (Seniors preferred),
  • At least 3.0 GPA,
  • At least eight hours per week working at internship site, and
  • Scheduling flexibility to be present at internship site regularly at mutually agreed times.

To receive credit, students must submit a request to Dr. Allen for approval to enroll in ENV 399, which will count as an elective in any of the majors or minors in the Program (exceptions are rare but possible).  The request should indicate that all those requirements are met, should describe (in approximately 100 words) the internship site and activities, and should state that the student is willing and able to:

  • Attend class meetings (up to 10 hours total, schedule TBD),
  • Read and discuss appropriate articles and/or books, and
  • Write a final paper (2,000 words) reporting on and analyzing the internship experience.
  • Take responsibility for acquiring (or submitting documentation waiving the need to acquire) the required UNCG insurance (see here and here).

Dr. Allen will follow up as necessary with requests for further information, a potential meeting, and a final decision about whether the internship program is acceptable for academic credit.

Internship Opportunities

See also the list of jobs maintained by the North Carolina Office of Environmental Education and the list of internships maintained by the National Council for Science and the Environment.

Deep Roots Cooperative Market – Deep Roots Market exists to provide healthy food at a fair price for our community. They work with over 100 local producers and farmers. They will accept interns for ongoing special projects for a variety of interests and are open to tailoring one to your specific skill set or your research interests. Interns will have set expectations and hours and will report directly to the General Manager or another appointed manager for the duration of the internship. Contact the General Manager with a 1-page cover letter and a 1-page resume to express your interest in an internship.

Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit – Located in Northeast Greensboro, this small mission congregation is in a low-income area with high ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic diversity.  The church partners with neighbors, other churches, and community organizations to confront racism, pverty, discrimination, and ecological degradation.  Internship possibilities vary and can be customized but have involved developing and maintaining nature trails on the extensive natural area around the church and developing ideas around the spirituality of place. Contact The Rev. Audra Abt, Missionary Vicar (Priest), via their website.

Edible Schoolyard Greensboro – Part of the Greensboro Children’s Museum, The Edible Schoolyard Greensboro empowers children and families to cultivate healthy communities through food education. Interns will spend a semester immersed in this unique 1/2 acre teaching garden atmosphere assisting garden staff to maintain and expand the space, interacting with guests, and learning about seed to table education.  See 2017 information here.

Piedmont Environmental Center – Work on environmental education projects for schoolchildren and other groups who visit the Center. Specific duties might include designing curricular materials, teaching classes, or conducting nature walks. The best opportunities are in the fall and spring semesters, when public schools are in session.

Greensboro Science Center – The Center has an established internship program in which interns rotate through its various departments (zoo, exhibits, education etc.) and then specialize in the area that interests them most. Internships are usually available only in the summer.

North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Depending on the needs of the agency, internships can be be arranged in a number of settings, including state parks, the DENR regional office in Winston Salem, which focuses mainly on water quality work, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh.

North Carolina Sierra Club Chapter – Various internship opportunities are available in areas such as public education, organizing local communities to fight environmental problems, and background research for use in lobbying government about environmental problems. The state headquarters office is in Raleigh. Internships are possible during the academic year but are easier to arrange in the summer.

Piedmont Plateau Sierra Club Group – Work with volunteer activists in the local Sierra Club Group on Group projects in areas such as environmental education of the public, nature conservation, recruitment of members and activists, lobbying, and program planning. Specific projects will vary with the needs of the local Group during the time of the internship. Internships are generally possible each semester and in the summer.

Greensboro Red Cross – Internships focus on response to natural disasters and might involve working on response planning and responding to small scale local disasters.

UNCG Office of Sustainability – The UNCG Sustainability Office is responsible for transforming UNCG into a sustainable campus. Depending on the needs of the Office and the interests of the student, internships might focus on environmental education for students and staff, assisting the staff in preparing sustainability inventories and reports of various kinds, and working with various UNCG departments on projects such as sustainable groundskeeping, developing and promoting recycling programs, and promoting bicycle and mass transit use. Internships are generally possible each semester and in the summer.

Kathleen Clay Edwards Branch, Greensboro Public Library – Work closely with the environmental librarian at this branch of the Greensboro library, which has a special emphasis on the environment. Tasks might include planning programs and special events concerning the environment and helping with the library’s gardening and outdoor education projects to educate children about the outdoors, nature, and gardening.

Piedmont Land Conservancy – The Piedmont Land Conservancy works to protect valuable land in Piemont North Carolina by purchasing it or arranging to put it under legal protection from development. Most of the work is of a fairly technical nature, so students with significant course work in geography and biology are most likely to be needed.

Guilford County Extension, School Garden Network – Work in a program to teach school children in High Point about gardening and nature by developing school gardens. This internship is only available in the fall and spring semesters and requires the scheduling flexibility to be in the schools eight hours a week at the times when the program staff are working in the schools.

Guilford County Environmental Health – Interns rotate through various divisions in this office, which inspects restaurants, swimming pools, and installation and repair of well and septic systems, and handles toxic spills. An internship here would be good preparation for a career as a North Carolina Registered Environmental Health Specialist, which requires at least 30 hours of science courses.

Guilford Courthouse National Park – Work with Park Rangers on a variety of tasks including answering questions from the public, making presentations about nature and military history, removing invasive species, and working on exhibits. This internship is available during regular semesters and the summer, but there are more opportunities in the summer.

Guilford County Open Space Program – Interns will learn about the functioning of the Open Space Program, which acquires and manages open space for Guilford County. They might be involved in writing stewardship plans for the Open Space Program’s nature preserves, assisting with implementation of the stewardship plans (including trail design, signage, and other property improvements), and working on organizing public events, such as volunteer clean-ups and educational field trips, on open space properties.

Carolina Fibre Corporation – This firm is a major local recycler of waste fiber, but they also recycle paper, aluminum, and plastics. Environmental Studies interns might work on projects like identifying potential new sources of recyclable materials and sales. This is a good opportunity for students who might want to work in environmentally friendly businesses.

Commissioning WorCx – This firm works on helping organizations that are upgrading their heating or cooling systems to get the most out of their new equipment. Their work is not only about the technical/engineering side of things, but also about training employees and designing work systems that will help to make the new equipment work at its highest efficiency. An especially good internship for someone interested in environmentally efficient buildings.

City of Greensboro, Water Resources Department – This internship involves working in various tasks related to maintain the purity of Greensboro’s water supply. This can include lab testing at the water treatment plant, field visits to test water at houses where prople have complained of poor water quality, and drawing and processing water samples from city reservoirs. Candidates should have significant course work and lab experience in chemistry.

Office of Research and Economic Development – This internship is best suited to someone who wants to be an environmental or science writer. The primary duty is gathering necessary information and writing copy for magazine articles, web pages, or press releases about environmental research and other environmental activities at UNCG. This internship is best suited for students whoh have taken writing and/or journalism courses

League of Conservation Voters – The League of Conservation Voters (LCV),  a non-partisan, non-profit enviromental advocacy organization, offers an internship focused on political organizing. Interns will assist in reaching out to the community to establish what environmental issues citizens are concerned about. LCV also works to put pressure on lawmakers in both political parties to pass sound environmental policies. Tasks for interns may include making phone calls to the community, asking people to sign petitions and letters to lawmakers, and helping to organize events.