Wrigley Institute Internships

Environmental Leadership Training for USC Students

Every discipline plays a role in saving our planet. The Wrigley Institute offers internships during the summer and throughout the school year for USC students from any field who want to make a difference for the environment and sustainability.

Applications for 2023 Environmental Summer Awards are now open. Applications for 2023 Zinsmeyer internships will open soon. For additional information about internships listed on this page, contact Wrigley Institute Executive Director Dr. Jessica Dutton.

Environmental Summer Awards

Have you found the perfect internship, but it’s unpaid – or doesn’t pay quite enough?

Each summer, the Wrigley Institute offers a limited number of competitive summer awards for USC undergraduates participating in unpaid or underpaid professional development opportunities related to the environment and sustainability. Awards fund direct expenses (such as housing or registration fees) connected with these experiences, or help “top up” stipends that are insufficient for a student’s financial need.

Due to the way the awards are distributed, they are available to continuing undergraduate students only. Awards are usually between $500 and $3,000; the average award amount is $1,000. The following kinds of experiences are eligible:

  • Participation in USC co-curricular experiences through the Environmental Studies Program or Wrigley Institute
  • Participation in summer undergraduate research opportunities at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island
  • Participation in USC faculty-led research experiences or government/nonprofit internships that help equip students for careers in the environment or sustainability (minimum 50 hours recommended)
  • Attendance at trainings, workshops, or professional/scientific meetings in environmental and sustainability fields (costs may not exceed $1,000)

Other Internships

The Wrigley Institute offers a varying number of project-based and school-year internships related to the institute’s ongoing research and other projects. Eligibility is limited to current USC undergraduate students, with preference given to students from the Environmental Studies program. For more information, contact Dr. Jessica Dutton, Associate Director for Research and Engagement.

Conservation Internships

For 2023, the Wrigley Institute is partnering with the L.A. Zoo and the Catalina Island Conservancy to offer conservation internships for USC students! More information about each internship is below. Please see the application portal for full details. Priority will be given to undergraduate applicants from the Environmental Studies program.

Application deadline: March 27, 2023

Apply for a conservation internship >>

L.A. Zoo Conservation Internship (part-time)

Location: Hybrid, with work at near the L.A. Zoo

Dates: June 5-August 12, 2023

Time commitment: 20 hours/week for 10 weeks. Specific shift days and hours will depend on the project for which the intern is selected.

Pay: $16.10/hour (approximately $3,220 for the summer)

This internship provides the opportunity to gain career experience in zoo and conservation fields, and to develop technical skills for conducting background research, data collection, and analysis. Interns will work directly with the Zoo’s conservation team on projects supporting the Zoo’s 5-year Conservation Strategic Plan. Note: this internship is designed to increase equity and inclusion in the field of conservation. First-year and sophomore undergraduates of historically marginalized identities are especially encouraged to apply.

Catalina Island Conservancy Internship (full-time)

Location: In person on Santa Catalina Island, CA

Dates: Negotiable, can begin as early as May 11, 2023

Time Commitment: Full-time for 10 weeks

Stipend: $5,000; shared housing on Catalina Island is included

This internship focuses on the Catalina Island Conservancy’s plant conservation programs and will introduce students to invasive plant management, horticulture, native plant restoration, and vegetation monitoring. Note: duties will involve significant administrative duties and extensive field work in a rugged environment.