RED Hearts: The Perfect Environmental Internship

RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today. Today's RED Hearts post is from Amy Hunt, 19, reporting from Huntingdon, PA, who has an awesome internship plan: I know what I did last summer: pretty much nothing. I couldn’t get a job and didn’t even have my driver’s license until August, a nice three-plus years after turning sixteen (don’t laugh at me). I ended up volunteering a little at a local museum and even got to DJ on the radio. But overall my summer was full of boredom and lacking in green -- of both the money and the nature varieties.

Which is why I’m so determined to start now in finding myself an internship for next summer -- and was so pumped when a professor pointed out to me the Student Conservation Association. It's a great tool that lists internships at numerous national parks, wilderness areas, and other sites looking for hands-on help with jobs dealing in conservation.

Listings range from places as popular and familiar as Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park to intriguing-sounding others largely unknown (at least to me!), like the Salmon-Challis National Forest of Idaho and New York’s Clay Pit Ponds State Park. The jobs deal with all aspects of conservation: field work, education, research, preservation, and management.

What's even better about the SCA is that since many students don't live anywhere near the parks that they may be interested in interning at, the organization provides intern housing at pretty much any of the locations, as well as paying for travel to and from the site. The SCA wants students to get involved in conservation, meaning they want to help us out in any way they can.

So if you’re like me and are dying to get away, gain some experience, save the planet -- save yourself from summer boredom -- and maybe even learn some life lessons, try checking out the SCA. It's a great place to start, and a happy reminder that internships don’t have to be in musty old museums or law offices but can take you to the forests and mountains and along the coasts, and really can be found anywhere.

Watch a video about the SCA here:

RED Hearts guest poster Amy Hunt is an author of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today, which is now out in paperback.