Wrigley Institute Environmental Communications Internship

a man in a wetsuit holds a camera as he stands on a boat ramp next to the rocky shore of a cove

Shape society’s understanding of environmental issues

Science communication and storytelling is an essential skill in the 21st century. As society grapples with challenges at the intersection of environment and society, science communicators help move research out of the laboratory and into the minds and hearts of decision-makers, the public, and next generation change-makers. The USC Wrigley Institute’s 2024 Environmental Communications Internship supports USC undergraduate interns to build skills at this intersection of disciplines, collaborating with leading researchers to amplify their work. The 2024 program will offer both virtual and in-person projects, as well as one internship based on Santa Catalina Island, CA.

Eligibility: Open to continuing USC undergraduate students; preference given to majors in Environmental Studies, Cinematic Arts, and Communications.

2024 Program dates: Monday, June 3-Friday, August 9, 2024

Applications for the 2024 Wrigley Institute Environmental Communications Internship are now closed.

Wrigley Institute Environmental Communications Internship

Who should apply? USC undergraduates, particularly those majoring in Environmental Studies, Cinematic Arts, and Communications, who are interested in gaining experience in science communication around environment and sustainability themes. This program will be especially beneficial for undergraduate students looking to build portfolios and skills in science translation for public outreach and social impact. Demonstration of interest in environmental issues and connecting with public audiences is encouraged.

What students will gain:  

  • Collaborate with one or more USC faculty or departments to develop impactful content related to ongoing research; may include storytelling and visual media projects, written pieces, website design, infographics, videos, social media pieces or more, depending on faculty/department needs and students’ skills and interests.
  • Mentoring by Wrigley Institute science and communications experts
  • Seminars and panel discussions with external science communication professionals
  • Opportunities to showcase your work through Wrigley Institute communications, faculty initiatives, and other media channels
  • $6,000 summer stipend


2024 Internship Projects

See below for areas of focus for the 2024 environmental communications internship.

Graphics For Plastics: Visualizing Sustainable Solutions
Advisor: Megan Fieser – USC Dornsife Dept of Chemistry

Location: Virtual/UPC
The Fieser group is looking for a communications intern to help make graphics that allow us to communicate our sustainability plastics research to different audiences. Graphics to be developed include: table of content graphics for our publications, cover art for particularly exciting manuscripts, graphics for our outreach website, graphics for our scientific presentations, and graphics for our educational aims, as well as a t-shirt design for the year’s beach cleanups. Specific projects will include polls in the L.A. and USC area that target knowledge about the problems in plastic pollution, which will be added to our educational website. Each year, we also come up with new project options, depending on the intern’s interests.

Photographic Storytelling from the Field on Catalina Island
Advisor: Kathryn Royster – USC Wrigley Institute

Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
**Note: This position begins in mid-May and runs 14 weeks instead of the standard 10 weeks; it includes a stipend of $7,000, plus room and board on the island
Based at the Wrigley Marine Science Center (WMSC) on Catalina Island, this internship focuses on producing professional-quality photos, and possibly videos, of research and educational activities taking place in and around Catalina Island throughout the summer. The intern will function as part of the Wrigley Institute’s in-house communications team, and work products will be used in Wrigley Institute marketing and communications activities. This intern may also provide occasional support to WMSC summer programs, such as Maymester and Storymakers. Applicants should have a meaningful photo portfolio to share. As this position involves capturing field activities, applicants must be willing and able to accompany subjects on hikes, boat rides, and other excursions in rugged areas as appropriate.

Improving access to seafood education through the South Central LA Seafood Hub
Advisors: Amalia Almada & Maria Madrigal – USC Sea Grant

Location: UPC for the first half of the summer, option to become virtual thereafter
The South Central Los Angeles Sustainable Seafood Hub was established in 2020 to bolster consumer education about and improve access to local, sustainable seafood in South Central Los Angeles (SCLA). This summer, an intern will help to develop a series of public education videos that showcase the safe handling and preparation of different types of seafood. The student may also help support other ongoing communications needs, including the expansion of our StoryMap website and social media campaigns about the effort.

Public outreach regarding deep ocean DDT contamination in Southern California
Advisors: Karla Heidelberg & Amalia Almada – USC Sea Grant

Location: Virtual/UPC
DDT, a legacy pesticide, is known to have devastating and long-lasting impacts on wildlife, ecosystems, and human health. DDT was banned in 1972, but contamination persists, and the coast of Southern California is home to one of the largest known areas of DDT contamination. This summer, an intern will help to communicate the latest findings from four state-funded DDT research projects through the development of StoryMap content and outreach materials (e.g., one-pagers and social media posts). The student may also help with outreach strategy preparation for a Fall 2024 public community meeting on DDT research findings.

Applications for the 2024 Wrigley Institute Environmental Communications Internship are now closed. Check back in early 2025 for more information about the 2025 Wrigley Institute Environmental Communications Internship.

Past Projects

Check out some of the work completed by previous environmental communications interns! All interns produce a summary video and blog post for the Wrigley Institute, plus specific deliverables for their project: websites, photos, graphics, social media posts, and more.

a student wearing a white top and blue shorts stands in Central Park while holding camera equipment