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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERS & SCIENTISTS

MESSAGE FROM EMILIO LOPEZ, CEO OF STOP OCEAN POLLUTION

Before we met on September 21, 2016, several members of the environmental community worldwide shared advice for future stewards of the environment. They also provided information about internship opportunities within their organizations, and those details are included below. 

 

VOLUNTEER, INTERNSHIP and career OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteer opportunities with Save Our Sea at Bay of Bengal Link for more information

Volunteer opportunities with Save Our Sea at Bay of Bengal

Link for more information

At Back Bay NWR internships are be available throughout the year, in both biology and visitor services (public education). Students interested in an internship should contact the refuge at (757)301-7329 to check on the availability of internships. Students can also contact national wildlife refuges and national parks near where they live to see if internships are available. Often the best internships start with a phone call.

At Back Bay NWR internships are be available throughout the year, in both biology and visitor services (public education). Students interested in an internship should contact the refuge at (757)301-7329 to check on the availability of internships. Students can also contact national wildlife refuges and national parks near where they live to see if internships are available. Often the best internships start with a phone call.

New Haven Land Trust always love interns. Please contact Justin Elicker for details justin.elicker@newhavenlandtrust.org

New Haven Land Trust always love interns. Please contact Justin Elicker for details justin.elicker@newhavenlandtrust.org

Career opportunities with Malama Maui Nui in Hawaii. Link for more details

Career opportunities with Malama Maui Nui in Hawaii. Link for more details

In the near future (february-march 2017) the ROLE Foundation will need engineering minds to create or tweak CAD drawings, create 3D models and build machines for their recycling and upcycling site inside the Environmental Center. For more details, contact zerowaste@rolefoundation.org

In the near future (february-march 2017) the ROLE Foundation will need engineering minds to create or tweak CAD drawings, create 3D models and build machines for their recycling and upcycling site inside the Environmental Center. For more details, contact zerowaste@rolefoundation.org

A Rocha is a Christian organization engaging communities in nature conservation. We are active in 20 countries in six continents. See our list of opportunities including jobs, internships and short- and long-term volunteering.

A Rocha is a Christian organization engaging communities in nature conservation. We are active in 20 countries in six continents. See our list of opportunities including jobs, internships and short- and long-term volunteering.

Internship opportunities with Fairfax County, VA Link for internship information

Internship opportunities with Fairfax County, VA

Link for internship information

Marine Lab in the Florida Keys posts seasonal positions for the spring and fall. Their next upcoming seasonal position will be in January.

Marine Lab in the Florida Keys posts seasonal positions for the spring and fall. Their next upcoming seasonal position will be in January.

Internship and volunteer opportunities with Cleveland Metroparks in Cleveland, OH. Link for more details

Internship and volunteer opportunities with Cleveland Metroparks in Cleveland, OH. Link for more details

Internship opportunities with Indonesian Waste Platform in Indonesia. Interns would need to be willing to learn basic Bahasa Indonesia and stay for minimum 6 to 8 weeks. Contact Nina van Toulon for more details nina@indonesianwaste.org

Internship opportunities with Indonesian Waste Platform in Indonesia. Interns would need to be willing to learn basic Bahasa Indonesia and stay for minimum 6 to 8 weeks. Contact Nina van Toulon for more details nina@indonesianwaste.org

Ocean Sole in Nairobi Kenya would be very happy to have interns. Simply get in touch through their website and they can see what opportunities are available at that specific time.

Ocean Sole in Nairobi Kenya would be very happy to have interns. Simply get in touch through their website and they can see what opportunities are available at that specific time.

EcoPazifico works on environmental projects with communities around the world. Link to their volunteer application

EcoPazifico works on environmental projects with communities around the world. Link to their volunteer application

Internship opportunity with Lynnhaven River  NOW in Virginia Beach, VA Download internship application

Internship opportunity with Lynnhaven River  NOW in Virginia Beach, VA

Download internship application

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is accepting internship applications. Link to download the application.

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is accepting internship applications. Link to download the application.

Internship and volunteer opportunities with INMMAR in Mexico. INMMAR accepts proposals for internships or volunteering projects. This year, one of their interns came with an idea and they converted it in a project and opened volunteer positions for her to get help.

Internship and volunteer opportunities with INMMAR in Mexico. INMMAR accepts proposals for internships or volunteering projects. This year, one of their interns came with an idea and they converted it in a project and opened volunteer positions for her to get help.

Internship and volunteer opportunities at Heritage Conservancy in Doylestown, PA. Link for more details

Internship and volunteer opportunities at Heritage Conservancy in Doylestown, PA. Link for more details

Evergreen Labs is happy to have motivated people join their team in Danang, Vietnam. 

Evergreen Labs is happy to have motivated people join their team in Danang, Vietnam. 

CNMI Public School System (PSS) in the Northern Mariana Islands is currently (always) looking for highly qualified teachers. The sciences have been painfully under staffed for years.  

CNMI Public School System (PSS) in the Northern Mariana Islands is currently (always) looking for highly qualified teachers. The sciences have been painfully under staffed for years.

 
Contact Shaun Auckland for internship opportunities with the Environmental Quality Program: shaun.auckland@traviscountytx.gov Park positions listed on this page.

Contact Shaun Auckland for internship opportunities with the Environmental Quality Program: shaun.auckland@traviscountytx.gov

Park positions listed on this page.

 

ADVICE FOR STUDENTS

Volunteer, network and be open to trying opportunities as they arise.
— Nicole Pringle, Education Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator University of Texas - Marine Science Institute
The greatest lesson I have learned in the environmental business is that successful advocacy is based on politics, more than science. The science has to be there, but it doesn’t persuade decision-makers in and of itself.
— Paul DeOrsay, Executive Director Freinds of the Bay (Oyster Bay in New York)
Two major tips:
1. give people good feedback and good feeling about their voluntary work. people tend to underestimate their actions, especially when facing a big challenge like garbage in the oceans...
2. collaborate- find partners that have interest in your activity. you will help them and they will help you. for example. the beach management department in Tel aviv municipality helped us with driving the air tanks from the diving club to the diving site, while they could say they were part of the event.
— Sarah Orca The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel
My very personal advice is; being a conservationist in true sense doesn’t mean having a ‘job’ in conservation or development sector, or being a member of academia who has interest in conservation. It’s about building one’s life around nature. If one has conviction to dedicate his whole life and concentration around nature conservation and can develop himself as a true ‘volunteer’, he or she will always contribute as a conservationist no matter what profession he is persuing.
— Mohammad Arju, Marine Conservationist and Journalist, Founder Save Our Sea (non-profit in Bangladesh)
Make sure you are always friendly. You never know who you are talking too and it is actually easier to smile then frown. If you do get down go look at some memes or funny dog videos. Its worth the minute wasted to be in a good mood again.
— Max Mungall, Director of Group Sales and Community Outreach Fury Water Adventures in Key West
Keep with your efforts, it takes time to raise awareness and get others involved.
— Jessica Gauley Honey Island Conservation Program (Pearl River, Louisiana)
I am a recent graduate who recently entered in the field of environmental conservation. My best advice would be to utilize any available tools, workshops, and conferences to broaden your knowledge in the field. This not only gives you the opportunity to learn more but it also is recognized by future employers on your resume or LinkedIn.
— Emily Bodsford, Lynnhaven River NOW Community Outreach Assistant Brock Environmental Center (in Virginia Beach, VA)
Get involved in your community. Almost all activities I go to lately are volunteers that are over 50+ years old. I keep asking myself where are the youth? Sign up for events, we need your help, you are the future.
— Linda Barfield, ISA Certified Arborist, MD RLA Urban Forest Management Division Department of Public Works & Environmental Services in Fairfax County, VA
Follow your instinct. If you see problems that aren’t getting solved, look at them as opportunities. A lot of times people think a particular issue is “someone else’s problem” and we assume someone else fixes it. Really, far too often EVERYONE is thinking that very thing, and when that happens, littering continues, invasive plants continue to spread, coral reef degrades. It takes LEADERS to step up. Leadership is truly the magic that makes environmental conservation work. It’s a tough field. You have to have principles and patience. I say just do it and go for your dreams because no matter what happens you fight the good fight!
— Michael D. Loftin, Executive Director - 808 Cleanups
“Persistence pays off”, it takes awhile but it’s worth it.
— Adam Morley Captain/Guide for St. Augustine Eco Tours and Candidate for Florida House, District 24
Through my work as an environmental educator I have realized that is extremely important that those of us in the environmental profession be good communicators and advocates for the environment. As the world becomes more urbanized we are seeing a trend of fewer and fewer people feeling a connection with or appreciation of nature. As environmental professionals we have the opportunity to reach out to our communities and encourage our neighbors and friends to enjoy and value the natural world that surrounds us.
— Erica Ryder, Visitor Services Specialist Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach, VA
Just be passionate about what you do. If you are, that passion will spread.
— Rhonda Harvey, Executive Director Keep Charlotte Beautiful
It’s cliche, but never give up. Don’t let those that call you “extreme” bring you down. Environmental professionals will face much adversity in their quest to cleaning up our environment, and they must be different in order to enact change. They should get their friends, coworkers and families involved in what they’re doing. It makes a difference, passing along what they’ve learned onto others.
— Kristin Weed, President and Founder Kent Island Beach Cleanups-KIBCU
For me the most important thing is, to raise awareness to the participants (and the “accidentally observers” during the Clean-up…). And it is important to try to make a good public relation with newspapers, internet……
And it is an advantage, to work with the local “Household waste disposal service, garbage disposal, Waste administration…” together.
— Angelika Heckhausen Project Blue Sea e.V. in Berlin
Do not get discouraged. It can be challenging at times to look at all the environmental problems, but every little project can help and tackling one problem at a time is essential. Bringing in groups, the local community, schools, volunteers, and other collaborative organizations is essential to the success of any environmental initiative. Don’t underestimate the impact you may have on someone of any age by sharing your tips, ideas, or knowledge on how to help the environment.
— Shannon L. Fredebaugh, Senior Community Engagement Associate Heritage Conservancy in Doylestown, PA
For future environmental professionals, I think it is of great necessity to make shared spaces larger and with clearer indications of ‘how to share the road’ to make shared spaces more comfortable. As a bicyclist, I often feel guilty when I ‘scare’ pedestrians when informing them of my imminent approach. I am mindful of using my bell well away from those I will pass, biking slowly, and verbally indicating that I will be ‘passing on your left’. However, clearer indications on sidewalks and signs so both bikers and pedestrians can know ‘the rules of the road’ I think will bring even more enjoyment to those using these spaces.
— Kate Dubickas, Student University of South Florida College of Marine Science
I always tell my students to get some specialized skills/knowledge. My background is in conservation genetics... so genetics has really opened a lot of doors for me. Whether it is chemistry, GIS, statistics/modeling... something that will make you stand out over other candidates when you’re applying for an “ecologist” position. Internships are important, too. They help you narrow down your focus and can give you a wider breadth of experiences and network.
— Kim Pause Tucker, Ph.D., Director Center for Environmental Stewardship and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Stevenson University
Future environmental professionals should always look further than today. The world changes very fast, and the environment too. What is an issue today or will be one tomorrow is important, but we should also see what will be an issue after tomorrow, as nobody is looking in that direction and when they do, it would probably be too late.
— Diana Antochiw, General Director INMMAR (a research institute in Mexico)
First advice: Work together. Do stuff together. Look for solutions together. Don’t antagonize each other. Very easy for greenies to say “industry pollutes”. Very easy for industry / engineers to think that environmentalists are always “causing trouble” by pointing out problems.

Second advice: Beware of simple answers to complex issues. How to live sustainably in this earth is a complex problem. Very easy to throw out simple solutions such as, “let’s all change from plastic bags to paper bags”. Well if we did, how many more millions of acres of land would we need for the paper industry? Would that drive food prices up? With complex issues there are things we can try, but actually we’re never sure of the results before we try (and sometimes we never do). This 2nd advice goes well together with the first advice, because we need each other even to tell us that our beautiful solutions may have flaws.
— Júlio Reis, Local Coordinator, Western Portugal – A Rocha (international Christian conservation organization)
The career path in environmental fields is tough. As far as engineering, I think there is a bright future in alternative energy and sustainability. As far as other careers, things have tightened up. Get out there and explore internships, meet people, make connections. Take advantage of opportunities like Americorps Vista, USFWS’s Pathways Program, etc. as mechanisms for youth to enter government career fields. Do this while you are an undergrad or grad student, don’t wait for graduation! Be persistent, but not pushy.
— Kristie Killam, Park Ranger Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
I have been exposed to a lot of environmentally-based “messaging” over the years, so my “advice” in that context is this: if you have a message to share, always be as succinct as possible, and write in a way that the general population can understand. If you are talking about birds, say “birds,” not “avifauna.”
And if you are not constrained by guidelines and are doing social media/blogs, don’t write for your peers/people in your own field – they are already on board. Try to find ways to reach the non-environmentalists.
Use your own voice, and if humor is appropriate, go for it.
— Arden Miller - Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
Follow your passion and be persistent. If you are interested in doing something and someone tells you it is impossible, do it anyway: find a new route and innovate. The global problem with plastic pollution and marine debris will take myriad different solutions, and not just one. I would attempt to surround yourself with people who respect you and are willing to be part of a team.
And in the meantime....I would encourage every student to look up the LITTERATI movement (instagram and free app)
— Megan Lamson Hawaii Wildlife Fund
As far as advice for students: I would thank them so much for choosing an environmental career! We need dedicated professionals now more than ever. Even though you most likely won’t get rich in this field, you can use your passion to be instrumental in helping to shape, protect and advocate for our environment...how fantastic is that?!
— D'Edra Thompson, Education Specialist Cleveland Metroparks Zoo