Internships & Study Abroad
The Environmental Studies & Sciences Program encourages students to gain experiences that will enhance their academic studies and provide meaningful connections “beyond the gates.”
Through partnerships with the Memphis Zoo, the Wolf River Conservancy, Greening Greater Memphis, Project Green Fork, Livable Memphis, Bridges USA, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, local government, and many other business and community foundations, the Environmental Studies and Sciences program provides opportunities for students to explore career options and begin establishing a professional network both in Memphis and in other regions.
Internships count toward the Environmental Experience required for all Environmental Studies & Sciences majors and minors.
Students Pursuing 4 Credit Internships (ENVS 460, F11 credit) in Environmental Studies and Sciences
Before considering an internship in Environmental Studies & Sciences, students should speak with the director of the Environmental Studies and Sciences program.
1. Students will spend at least 10 hours per week in their field placement for the full 14 weeks of the semester (140 hours total), as required by the College′s official policy on 4 credit internships. This internship should bring students into substantial and sustained contact and dialogue with members of the Memphis community who are working on environmental issues, policies, or practices. The Office of Career Services maintains an up-to-date list of environmentally-related internships.
2. The internship experience must be approved by the director of the Environmental Studies & Sciences program. Students must also complete all required paperwork by the Office of Career Services. Once approved, students enroll in ENVS 460.
3. Students will keep a weekly journal of their experiences in the field, recording and reflecting on the work they have done. In particular, students should discuss how their in-class study on environmental topics relates to their field experience.
4. Students will submit this journal once every 2 weeks to a Rhodes faculty supervisor from the Environmental Studies & Sciences program for review.
5. Students will read 2 books (or the equivalent number of articles) on subjects in Environmental Studies or Sciences relevant to the fieldwork which the student is undertaking. Readings will be chosen by the faculty supervisor in consultation with the student.
6. Students will meet once per month during the semester with a Rhodes faculty adviser. During that meeting, the student and faculty member will discuss the fieldwork, how it connects to environmental issues, and the reading which the faculty member has assigned.
7. Students will write an essay of no fewer than 3,000 words due at the end of the semester. In this essay, students will discuss connections between their environmental coursework at Rhodes, their field work, and the course readings for the internship.
Jenna Hurt ′09, spring intern with the Refugee Empowerment Program, Memphis
"As an International Studies Intern to the Refugee Empowerment Program, I have learned a lot about refugees and their transition experiences and have also gained a greater appreciation for cultural differences. This experience has taught me about NGOs, the process of getting grant funding, and the relationships between NGOs and other organizations advocating on behalf of refugees. While refugee issues may be at the back of some of our minds, these issues will be increasingly important as environmental changes cause increases in migration in the decades to come."
Sample of Resources for Internships
Policy on Applying Study Abroad Courses to Environmental Studies Major or Minor
Students may apply courses taken abroad toward their Environmental Studies & Sciences major or minor only if the courses have been approved by an academic department at Rhodes or the director of the Environmental Studies & Sciences program, and if these courses have a substantial and sustained engagement with environmental questions and issues. Before leaving the United States, students must provide syllabi and descriptions of the courses they plan to take while abroad to the director of the Environmental Studies & Sciences program. The director will determine whether the proposed course of study abroad contains sufficient environmentally-oriented content. According to Rhodes College official policy, a student must earn at least 50% of his or her credits at Rhodes. No more than 50% of the course requirements can be transferred from another institution for credit toward the Environmental Studies or Sciences minors.