The Student Experience:
Students will be matched with a conservation organization and assigned an internship project that falls in line with their interests and academic goals. This cohort will focus on real life natural resource management issues while working with prominent conservation organizations in Vermont.
In previous semesters, students in this COP cohort have worked with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Climate Action Office, Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife, Vermont Land Trust, the Intervale Center, Audubon Vermont, and the Bristol Trail Network, among others. Examples of successful projects include trail maintenance, designing outreach to inform the public about species of concern, monitoring for invasive species, and developing forest management plans for town forests. While many issues of resource management are interdisciplinary with Environmental Justice and other forms of human involvement and impact, this course and the relating internship opportunities will be more developed towards traditional conservation and land management efforts.
Students are encouraged to bring project ideas and internships of their own to class and will be given bonus points for doing so. Working knowledge of GIS highly encouraged, but not required. If field work is desired as a part of the internship, it is helpful to have either a flexible schedule or weekly blocks of time available to commit to working out of the office.
Time commitment: Throughout the semester, students will be expected to work on their projects 8-10 hours a week and attend class meetings with other students in this cohort. The class sessions will help make connections between the internship project, previous academic experience, future conservation career goals, and a personal land ethic.
After completing this course, the student will be able to:
1. Analyze community contexts and understand current issues within various conservation organizations and issues across Vermont.
2. Communicate experiences gained through working with professionals, organizations, and real-world experience.
3. Understand how their relationship with the natural environment and their personal experiences can help develop a sense of their own personal land ethic.
4. Develop important job-search and professional skills (e.g., resume and cover letter writing, researching employment opportunities, etc).