Student intern using GPS equipment in a field

Bringing together the practical and the theoretical through real-world, hands-on experience.

We strongly encourage you to engage in internships, independent study and research, supervised field studies and practicum projects as an integral part of your undergraduate education. With proximity to the shores of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains, Vermont presents a living laboratory to explore plant and animal communities and understand human interactions with the environment.

Whether or not you earn credit, faculty will support you in finding hands-on learning opportunities through internships, research, extra-curricular clubs and activities, and other volunteer or paid positions. Exposure to different activities, people, work settings, mentors, and practical application of skills is useful and rewarding - and sought after by employers.

The Environmental Sciences degree program stresses hands-on experience to test out your career objectives, broaden your worldview, build your resume and help you gain professional experience. These extracurricular experiences range from contributing to ongoing field research at the Harvard Forest, to interning at environmental consulting firms, to assisting with compliance and planning at government offices.


Relevant internships allow students to earn academic credit for contracted work experiences. ENSC students work with their faculty advisor, student services staff, and the UVM Career Center to identify opportunities. Students interested in earning Environmental Sciences credit for internship or research experiences should contact Rubenstein School Director of Student Success and Experiential Learning Anna Smiles-Becker (

For students enrolled as of Spring 2022, internship credit is also possible through the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and students should talk with their advisors to sign up for the appropriate credits in their home colleges.


Undergraduate research is a great way to hone skills and techniques learned in the classroom and gain valuable experience to boost future job and graduate school applications. UVM offers many opportunities to work with faculty and graduate students on research projects or on independent research studies with faculty advisors. More information on research opportunities.

Study Abroad

Studying abroad offers rich learning opportunities and experiences that allow students to grow both personally and professionally.  Many ENSC students study abroad in one way or another—either through a UVM faculty-led course, summer, or semester abroad programs. Some students use their study abroad to complete their concentration requirements, taking advantage of the opportunity to immerse themselves in courses and experiences related to their specific disciplinary interests that may not be available at UVM. There are many programs tailored especially for environmental students. View some of the most common programs chosen by ENSC majors.

Explore study abroad opportunities through the UVM Office of International Education


Students are regularly engaged in real-world projects through their ENSC coursework. For example, in ENSC 160 (Pollutant Movement) students partner with a local landowner to monitor and analyze pollutant levels, as well as develop pollution mitigation plans. In ENSC 201 (Ecological Restoration) students work in local degraded landscapes to develop and implement a restoration plan to improve ecological structure and function.

Internship Spotlight

Hands-on experience in invasives management

student on mountain

Environmental science major Lily Canavan '19 served as team captain and coach of the UVM Climbing Team, so the location of her summer internship couldn’t have been more ideal—the slopes and canyons of northern Utah. What’s more, a College of Arts and Sciences intern scholarship paid for her travel and living expenses during the summer. Canavan spent nine weeks working as an invasive weeds intern for the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation where she monitored plant populations, pulled invasive weeds, and scouted for rare plants. 

“The internship had direct connections with what I’ve learned in my classes about the impact of invasive species on biodiversity, water quality, and overall ecosystem functioning,” she said.


Service-Learning Spotlight

Students put restoration ecology into practice at local park

Two students plant seedlings

Armed with shovels, tree tubes, and brush mats, students in Professor Bill Keeton's environmental sciences course practiced restoration ecology science and techniques to improve McKenzie Park in Burlington’s Intervale. In partnership with Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, the students designed the restoration plan and provided the labor to plant seedlings, control invasive Japanese knotweed, and stabilize the riverbank.

“We tackled a bunch of different issues in the class,” said environmental sciences major Kate Bullock '17. “The course introduced us to environmental problems and a huge sampling of potential restoration solutions."