The Environmental Center in Action – Learning Through an Internship!

An internship with the Environmental Center of San Diego (ECOSD) gives students the opportunity to dive into policy issues that impact local wildlife, habitats and the community in general.

Through the mentoring of the ECOSD Executive Director and other board members, interns attend informative meetings with wildlife and other governmental agencies and work on current, challenging issues that impact the San Diego region. No two weeks are alike at an ECOSD internship!

While the organization often addresses environmental issues that are not the focal point of other groups, there is also an opportunity to collaborate with other organizations that have overlapping goals and missions.

A key component of the learning experience is the interaction that ECOSD interns have with senior/executive level leadership from various agencies and nonprofit organizations. Interns develop the networking skills needed to excel in conservation and environmental fields by working with the ECOSD team on key policy initiatives that have immediate impact on the environment and conservation efforts.

During the duration of the program, students also have the freedom and latitude to research issues of interest and discuss them with knowledgeable environmentalists. The real-world skills developed by making telephone calls to the public, working on social media posts, and writing position letters to governmental decision-makers also enhance a student’s communication skills and experiences in the program.

Interns at the ECOSD have access to the entire board and through a one-on-one mentoring program learn more during their internship than they can imagine at the onset. Interns participate in activities that build a connection to the organization as a whole and encourage personal growth. An internship with the ECOSD gives a sense of empowerment to students and the chance to learn about and enjoy the benefits of multi-organizational collaborative efforts.

If you are interested in applying for an internship with the ECOSD, please email Pamela Heatherington at

Internship applicants can also obtain more details about the experience by reaching out to the ECOSD’s Fall 2021 intern, Marie Brown (, to hear about some of the projects she worked on, including writing advocacy letters for the Clark’s and western grebes at Lake Hodges, helping to prepare for the 5th Annual Environmental Leadership Summit, researching the proposed SANDAG Regional Plan, and working on the maintenance of wildlife corridors through the Wildlife Habitat Conservation Coalition.