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 2021-2022 school year and summer 2022 internships are now closed. For information about internships during the 2022-2023 school year, contact Dr. Jessica Dutton, Associate Director of Research and Engagement.


Zinsmeyer Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Zinsmeyer Summer Program supports continuing USC Dornsife undergraduate students to conduct research at the intersection of the natural and social sciences. Projects are based at either USC’s University Park Campus (UPC) in downtown Los Angeles or the Wrigley Marine Science Center (WMSC) on Catalina Island. 

Each participant receives a $5,000 summer stipend and room and board at their primary research location.

Students participate in:

  • Research training and experience in a guided summer project 
  • Professional development opportunities, both individually and as a cohort
  • Seminars and panel discussions with experts in the fields of natural and social sciences
  • Opportunities to present their research at a regional or national conference

2022 topics include:

  • Local DDT Impacts, Policy and Research (UPC-based)
  • Sustainable Kelp Biofuel (UPC-based)
  • Marine Microplastics at the San Pedro Ocean Time-series (UPC-based)
  • Biology and Ecology of Moray Eels (WMSC-based)
  • Ocean Water Chemistry and Hypoxia (UPC- and WMSC-based)

Environmental Communications Internship

Science communication and storytelling is an essential skill in the 21st century. As society grapples with challenges at the intersection of environment and society, communicators help move research out of the laboratory and into the minds and hearts of leaders, the public, and the next generation of changemakers. 

The Wrigley Institute’s Environmental Communications summer internship supports USC undergraduate interns to build skills at this intersection of disciplines, working with USC researchers to amplify their work. This program is especially beneficial for undergraduate students looking to build portfolios and skills in science translation for public audiences.

Each participant receives a $5,000 summer stipend.

Students participate in:

  • Collaboration with USC faculty to develop engaging content related to ongoing research, including written pieces, website design, infographics, videos, social media posts, and more
  • Mentoring by Wrigley Institute science and communications professionals
  • Weekly seminars and panel discussions
  • Opportunities to showcase your work through Wrigley Institute communications, faculty initiatives, and other media channels

2022 Topics include:

  • Environmental Decision-Making
  • Coral, Symbionts, and Climate Change
  • Sustainable Plastics
  • Marine Biology and Field Programs

This internship is open to continuing USC undergraduate students (those not graduating prior to the internship). Preference is given to majors in the Environmental Studies Program, School of Cinematic Arts, and Annenberg School. No experience is required, but demonstration of interest in environmental issues or the project topics is desirable.

Environmental Summer Awards

Each summer, the Wrigley Institute offers a limited number of competitive summer awards to support students participating in unpaid or underpaid professional development opportunities related to the environment and sustainability. Awards are meant to help fund direct expenses (such as housing or registration fees) connected with these experiences, or to 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 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 training workshops or presentations at 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.