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Internships and Job Placement



An internship is a limited time period of work experience offered by an organization. They are typically undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field. Therefore internships are a great way to find out more about working in the Earth Sciences.

Why consider an internship?

  • Real Life Experience and Exposure
  • Try out a career/research
  • Build your network and acquire mentors (more in networking page)
  • Employers look for internships on your resume
  • Transition into a full time position
  • Internship may be part of the interview process

Internships can be secured in many types of organizations. Professional companies (e.g environmental service companies, mining, oil and gas companies), Government Organizations (e.g. USGS), Non-Government Organizations (NGO) and at Universities.

You can find an internship in many ways, some of which are outlined below (linked websites are a starting point and are not endorsed by the Department)


Research Based Internships

University of Michigan Opportunities:

Internal Department research opportunities: Faculty in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences host undergraduate students for independent research experiences, both during the academic year and in the summer.   Working alongside a graduate student, postdoc, or faculty member, you can gain experience in cutting-edge labs addressing both fundamental and applied scientific problems. This work can be done for class credit (EARTH 298/299 and 498/499) and/or hourly pay, depending on the availability of funding.  There are several routes to pursue such opportunities:

  • Contact faculty directly.  First, identify faculty whose research interests you; their websites are a good resource for learning about their research.  Second, send them an email, introducing yourself, explaining your interests, and the project(s) you are potentially interested in working on.  Include a resume with relevant lab and coursework experience, if any.
  • Apply to the Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP) program. This program matches students with faculty and provides a variety of support programs to undergraduates doing research.
  • The Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) provides undergraduate students who are underrepresented in their field of study with the opportunity to conduct an intensive graduate level research project with faculty and graduate students at the University of Michigan. 


External Earth Science internship advice/links

  • Look up individual University departments to see if they have any programs
  • Search the National Science Foundation for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
  • Geocorps  - summer internships through the Geological Society of America: GeoCorps
  • Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) – Summer Undergraduate Internship Program: IRIS
  • Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science: LPI
  • The USGS offers a variety of quality student internship opportunities. Be sure to seek out active internships for the coming year by searching for them on the main USGS webpage.
  • National Park Service GeoScientists-in-the-Park program
    The NPS is looking for experienced earth science professionals and students to work with park staffs to help them understand and manage the resources through examining the geology, water, air, and integrated sciences. The work varies greatly from park to park and may be broad or specific in scope. Please see the NPS GIS program website for more information.
  • US Department of Energy –Various, and the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI)
    The DOE provide information on nation-wide opportunities for research participation, fellowships, scholarships, training, and internship programs for undergraduates, grads, postdocs, and faculty. Amongst the opportunities through the DOE, is the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) that places students in paid internships in Science and Engineering at any of several Department of Energy facilities.
  • The JPL Summer Internship Program offers a 10-week, full-time, summer internship opportunity at JPL to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. 

General Internship

Look out for email announcements from Department Faculty and Staff

Attend a University of Michigan Career Fair


Be familiar with University of Michigan Resources:


Search on Job Boards, for example:

Search company websites (online applications, there are many more so look up companies you are interested in and find out the process)


Search on Professional/Government organizations


Earth and Environmental Science department also offer EARTH majors and graduate students the opportunity to set up appointments to meet with the Department internal Career Support Coordinator (Rosie Jowitt) to help you navigate career choices and paths.