Why our internships are amazing

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Fire Ecology Internship

As fires in California become more common year after year, fire plays an increasingly large role in shaping Orange County’s landscapes. Each year, students are invited to help Crystal Cove Conservancy, Crystal Cove State Park, and Irvine Ranch Conservancy study the impacts of fire in Orange County by joining us for the Fire Ecology Internship Program. 

Over the course of the internship, high school volunteers collaborate with land managers and researchers to study the impact of fire on our ecosystems in open spaces across Orange County. Student interns gain valuable experience working in the field of restoration, fire ecology, and land management, and help local land managers address real conservation challenges. 

The program runs from December through May. The program includes a combination of in-person field days on Saturdays and virtual meetings over Zoom to be held on weekdays after school. 

Natural Resources Internship

Natural Resource undergraduate interns spend 150 hours throughout the summer working collaboratively on a natural resource project at Crystal Cove State Park.  

Natural Resource summer interns:

  • Work under the guidance of Conservancy and State Park staff to develop a scope of work for a natural resource project at Crystal Cove State Park.
  • Collaborate with a team of undergraduate and graduate interns to implement the natural resource project.
  • Analyze your findings with guidance from UC Irvine researchers and subject-matter experts.
  • Present your final products back to State Park natural resource managers, Park staff and other community stakeholders.
  • Participate in weekly cohort meetings and workshops, where you will meet State Parks natural resource professionals and practice skills to prepare you for State Park and natural resource careers, such as finding and analyzing job postings, applying for state lists, interviewing, and negotiating pay.

Possible intern projects may include:

  • Expanding on a trail camera study to monitor mammals and other sensitive species throughout Crystal Cove State Park.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of different signs and strategies used to protect sensitive natural resources in Crystal Cove State Park’s tidepools.
  • Developing a community science program monitoring the recovery of the Park following the Emerald Fire in February 2022. 
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