Water Resources Experiential Learning for USDA Careers
USDA NIFA AWARD No. 2015-38422-24058
Award Title: Water Resources Experiential Learning for USDA Careers
Lead Agency: Cal State San Bernardino University Enterprises Corporation (FF20717)
Award Period: 09/01/15-08/31/19
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 2016-2017 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). You must be enrolled as a student in Fall 2017 to be eligible. To be clear, you are not eligible if you will graduate before or in May 2017, unless your project ends prior to your graudation date. 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, 2017.
Interns are paid $4,500 for their project completion, with undergraduates earning
$12.50 per hour for 360 total hours and graduates earning $15.00 per hour for 300 total hours. The project also provides up to $560 per student for the purchase of approved supplies and materials. (No single item may exceed $500.) 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 Monday, August 1, 2016 through 5 pm Pacific on Sunday, October 2, 2016 and the internships will be awarded approximately the end of December.
For more information, contact Christina E. Rodriguez (at 909-537-3615 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
OVERVIEW OF PROJECT WITH BASIC ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE LEAD AGENCY AND COLLABORATING CAMPUSES
This project is limited to full-time students that are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate disciplines at any of the twenty three California State University (CSU) campuses and/or the one hundred thirteen California Community Colleges (CCC).
It is aimed at students in the following primary disciplines and subject matter areas: Water Science/Water Resources, Environmental Sciences/Management, Conservation, Renewable Energy, and Natural Resources including Forestry and Ecology/Wetlands, Biological Sciences including General/Basic Biotechnology, Biochemistry, and Microbiology, Plant Sciences and Horticulture including Turf Sciences, Agricultural/Biological Engineering, Agricultural Social Sciences and Soil Science. These disciplines will prepare students for occupations which the USDA Office of Human Capital Management has identified as Mission Critical, including Forestry Technician, General Biological Scientist, Biological Science Technician, Soil Conservation Specialist, Soil Conservation Technician, Forestry Specialist, Soil Science Specialist and Statistician Specialist. Please note: the project is not exclusive to these disciplines and areas because the USDA employs a variety of college-educated specialists.
The primary objective of this annually renewable 4-year USDA Regional or National Collaboration project that was awarded to CSU’s Water Resources and Policy Initiatives (WRPI) is to measurably increase the encouragement, retention, graduation, and USDA career attainment of underrepresented California State University and California Community College students. The project is managed by the Water Resources and Policy Initiatives at Cal State San Bernardino and administered as a Sponsored Program of the University Enterprises Corporation.
The strategic goal of this project is to measurably increase 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.
This project provides funding for 50 paid Water Resources Internships per year for a total of 200 internships to eligible students over four years. The internships provide an experiential approach to learning in the field of water resources and/or watershed management which helps students gain real-world experience in natural resource protection while developing new knowledge, skills, and abilities in problem-solving from a watershed perspective. The total salary paid to each undergraduate-level Water Resources Internship is $4,500 with students earning a salary of $12.50 per hour for 360 total hours. The total salary paid to each graduate-level Water Resources Internship is $4,500 with students earning a salary of $15.00 per hour for 300 total hours. The project also provides up to $560 per student for the purchase of approved supplies and materials. No single item may exceed $500.
Activities performed by interns during Water Resources Internships are to be related to aspects of natural resource protection as it is carried out by three particular USDA agencies: the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Forest Service (FS). The training provided is aimed at preparing 80% of these 200 participants for USDA natural resource careers within NRCS, ARS and FS, all of whom are seeking graduates from populations currently underrepresented in their workforce. Each student awarded a Water Resources Internship will be required to identify any mandatory courses that are required as a prerequisite to submitting a USDA application and whether the CSU/CCC campus they attend offers the necessary courses. Students attending a CSU/CCC campus that does not offer the courses needed on their home campus will be required to identify where those classes are available, whether that is at another CSU/CCC or a nearby institution, and the date by which the student will complete those classes. Job descriptions for USDA entry-level positions will be placed on the WRPI website which will enable each participating student to select a position of interest and complete the proper academic preparation and work experience.
It is the sole responsibility of each participating CSU/CCC campus, with support provided by WRPI staff, to recruit underrepresented students, particularly Hispanic students, and submit eligible Applications for Water Resources Internships. To foster the success of this project, internships cannot be held for any CSU/CCC campus that fails to participate. The WRPI will also provide resources to CSU/CCC institutions enabling them to feature this project at on-campus programs aimed at recruiting Hispanic American students to enroll in higher education. Applications submitted outside of the open solicitation dates will be accepted, however these applications will be placed on a wait list until timely applications are reviewed and awarded.Applications for Water Resources Internships are submitted to and evaluated by the Internship Manager, Christina Rodriguez, and the WRPI Project Director, Dr. David Zoldoske, to ensure that each student, as well as the proposed scope, meets project objectives and represents the demographics of each institution while also complying with requirements of California’s Proposition 209, which amended the state constitution in 1996 to prohibit public institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity in selection decisions.
Project Participant Responsibilities
Applying for Internships
Full Application Form for USDA Water Resources Internships (intern and project)
Liability Release Forms - Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Chico, Dominguez Hills, East Bay, Fresno, Fullerton, Humboldt, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Cal Maritime Academy, Monterey Bay, Northridge, Cal Poly Pomona, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Jose, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Marcos, San Diego State, Sonoma, Stanislaus, California Community Colleges
Supplies and Transportation
USDA Career Identification Requirement
Christina Rodriguez, Internship Manager
Water Resources Institute, CSU-San Bernardino
Dr. David Zoldoske, Project Director
Water Resources and Policy Initiatives, CSU-Fresno
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