[Usdasupervisors] Call for Applications - USDA Internship Projects 2018 - Deadline 9/30/18

The Water Resources and Policy Initiatives is pleased to announce the call for applications for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded Water Resources Experiential Learning for USDA Careers Internship Program for the 2018-2019 year. Contingent upon continued funding, this Program provides paid Water Resources Internships (50 per year) for full-time students that are enrolled at any of the 23 California State University (CSU) campuses and 113 California Community Colleges (CCC). The objective of this collaborative Program is to measurably increase the encouragement, retention, graduation, and USDA career attainment of underrepresented CSU/CCC students while increasing student research skills that ensure our national forests and private working lands are conserved, restored, and made more resilient to climate change, while simultaneously enhancing the sustainability of the Nation’s water resources.
The Program targets students underrepresented in the USDA workforce, currently defined for this Program as Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, and disabled; however all ethnicities are welcome to apply.  Applicants should have a sincere interest in working for the USDA. The internships are available for undergraduate and graduate students that are majoring in the following disciplines:
  • Water Science/Water Resources (including Water Quality and Watershed Management); especially those disciplines involving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that support the above water disciplines
  • Environmental Sciences/Management
  • Conservation, Renewable Energy and Natural Resources (includes Forestry and Ecology/Wetlands)
  • Related Biological Sciences (includes General/Basic Biotechnology, Biochemistry, and Microbiology)
  • Plant Sciences and Horticulture (including Turf Sciences)
  • Agricultural/Biological Engineering
  • Agricultural Social Science
  • Soil Science
  • Others as appropriate
These experiential learning internships should be focused on natural resource and water-related activities and the applicants should propose a project with an advisor from their campus, USDA agency, state or local agencies, or other approved organization.
Since this is a USDA-funded Program, priority will be given to applications that propose an internship with a USDA agency, especially the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Forest Service, and Agricultural Resource Service.  The projects must be completed by September 1, 2019.
Interns are paid $4,500 for their project completion, with undergraduates earning
$12.50 per hour for up to 360 total hours and graduates earning $15.00 per hour for up to 300 total hours. The hours allocated are subject to change as required by applicable rules regarding PERS eligible employees and city/county laws regarding higher minimum hourly wages. The project also provides up to $560 per student for the purchase of approved supplies and materials.  (No single item may exceed $500, including tax.) Interns may also be eligible at a later date for $20,000 scholarships in furtherance of their Doctorate-level degree in a natural resources or water related discipline.
Applications will be accepted from Wednesday, August 1, 2018 through 11:59 pm Pacific on Sunday, September 30, 2018 and the internships will be awarded no later than the week of January 7, 2019.  The application process has been automated to assist with reporting requirements and data capture. The application is an online form, but will require that you complete some forms prior to starting the application.  The following forms will need to be completed, signed (as required), scanned, saved, and then uploaded into the application when prompted.
All applicants will need to also complete and upload the Sensitive Position Determination Form. Our office will complete the Account, Fund, Department, and Project fields of this form.  The project supervisor (who will be managing the interns’ work) will need to complete the rest of the form, sign it, scan it, and upload it when requested to do so as part of the application. This form is attached to this email.
Once we have received your project application and all projects have been selected by the blind committee, we will forward the Preliminary Application to your selected students.  If you need assistance with student recruitment (as indicated in your application), we will contact you to develop a recruitment plan.
It is important to remind you of a few points as you start your application:
  1. This system allows you to pick up where you left off as long as you use the same IP address. If you try to access the application from a new computer, it will assume you are a new user and you will have to start from the beginning.
  2. This system allows you to go back and check your answers, but we are unable to change your application once it has been submitted.  Please check all of your answers before you submit your application as complete.
  3. You are able to submit more than one project.
You may access the application here: 
Additional information on our Program including complete student eligibility requirements, the process for applying and other Program-related documents are available on-line at  http://wri.csusb.edu/watershedManagementExperientialLearning.html.
For more information, contact Christina E. Rodriguez (at 909-537-3615 or chrodrig@csusb.edu) or Dr. Brett Goforth at bgoforth@csusb.edu.