Research/Internship Opportunity Detail Page

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Professional Training at SERC

Primary Institution: Smithsonian Institution
Affiliation: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
City: Edgewater
State: MD
Job Duration: 12-week internships
Class Requirement: Completed Freshman Year
Position Type: Research
Discipline(s): Environmental Studies/Education
The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's (SERC) Internship Program offers undergraduate and  beginning graduate students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the fields of environmental research and education. This program enables students to work on specific projects under the direction of SERC's professional staff and is tailored to provide the maximum educational benefit to each participant.

In 2001 the SERC internship program was designated an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) Site by the National Science Foundation.

Research projects include terrestrial, atmospheric, and estuarine environmental research within the disciplines of ecology, biology, chemistry, microbiology, botany, zoology, mathematics, and physics. Projects are also offered in environmental education and environmental information management.

Although students will become familiar with all the  research being conducted by a particular staff member and with much of the research of SERC in general, individuals will devote most of their time to a project and content area of particular interest to them. Students will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a selected field of study and to learn a variety of research techniques through firsthand experience. At the conclusion of the internship, student participants will be expected to present the findings of their independent projects in a formal seminar to the SERC community.

As an additional educational benefit, SERC maintains an ongoing seminar program that is designed to bring in noted outside speakers on a variety of topics in the environmental sciences. During the program's spring and summer seasons, field trips to research facilities and Smithsonian museums conducting similar programs are also coordinated.
Stipend: $400 per week without housing; $325 per week with housing
Benefits: Housing
Application Deadline: 02/01/2008
Job Website:
Additional Information: Selection is based upon the student's academic credentials, extent of relevant training or experience, letters of recommendation, and the congruence of the student's expressed goals with those of the internship program. The Smithsonian does not discriminate on grounds of race, creed, sex, age, marital status, handicap, or national origin of any applicant.

The specific dates and duration of the internship appointment are arranged between the supervisor and the student. However, internship appointments are generally fulltime (40 hours per week), 10 to 16 weeks in length, and coincide with the usual academic semesters and summer terms.
Selected candidates will receive a stipend of $400.00 per week. Limited on-site dormitory space may be available for $75.00 per week. SERC does not supply board, although cooking facilities and utensils are available. The dorm can accommodate up to twelve residents at double occupancy. SERC is located in a semi-rural area seven miles south of the nearest public transportation lines, therefore it is strongly recommended to bring a vehicle for personal transportation, if possible. References may also be available for room rentals in the local area; personal transportation would be necessary for this option.

Research/Internship Opportunity Contact Information

Primary Contact: Daniel Gustafson
647 Contees Wharf Road
P. O. Box 28
Edgewater, MD 21037
Phone: 443-482-2217
Fax: 443-482-2380
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