Community Engaged Internship for Undergraduate Students

Application packets are due by March 31, 2023.

Sea Grant’s Community Engaged Internship (CEI) aims to broaden participation in coastal, ocean, Great Lakes, and marine sciences by offering training and mentorship, through paid internships, to undergraduate students from under-resourced, underrepresented and/or indigenous and tribal populations. This program aims to broaden participation in coastal and marine profession by engaging and recruiting diverse undergraduate students in place-based research, extension, education, and/or communication that respects and integrates local ways of knowing. 

The students will work a minimum of 8 week starting no later than June 1, 2023 though students may start earlier or end later depending on schedules and available funds. A series of four professional development trainings will be offered during the 8-week program with topics that can include crafting an application, building partnerships, exploring career pathways or building your brand.


The IISG Sea Grant intern will be part of a national cohort of students. Each intern is expected to participate in all aspects of the CEI program: 

  • On-the-ground learning experience, including completion of a project that extends the knowledge of community stakeholders to address a coastal, marine or Great Lakes issue of environmental, economic and/or social importance.  
  • Mentoring by Sea Grant and other professionals, Sea Grant funded researchers and Knauss Fellows. 
  • Virtual professional development sessions and training opportunities. 
  • Graduation Ceremony to celebrate accomplishments, network with peers and other professionals (in-person or virtual meeting to be determined). 
  • Participation in pre/post evaluation.

The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG), in cooperation with the Chicago Wilderness Alliance (CWA), is offering a CEI opportunity to support the implementation of the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap. The CWA is a regional collaborative of hundreds of partner organizations and individuals working to implement landscape-scale approaches to conservation in and around the southern shores of Lake Michigan including members from Southeast Wisconsin, Northeast Illinois, Northwest Indiana, and Southwest Michigan. We bring leaders, experts, and mid-career and young-career conservation professionals together to share diverse voices and perspectives and to work toward a common vision: creating and protecting a vibrant, accessible region where people and nature thrive.

Working with Increasing Equitable Access to Nature Initiatives leads, the CWA coordinator and communications consultant, the intern will undertake implementing the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap by supporting creation of an emerging professional’s café series and growing CWA resources. This support will involve research, data entry, digital asset management, and writing on the part of the intern and could also require interviews with the Alliance partners for more information. The intern could also assist the Alliance Green Vision Initiatives, communications consultant and coordinator with creating newsletter, website, and social media content. As part of these communications, an intern who is bilingual in Spanish and English is preferred. The main language of the written research articles will be in English; however, being able to produce one or more in Spanish is preferred. Lastly, the intern will assist as needed with the creation and implementation of 2 field trips scheduled for the summer of 2023.

For eligibility, students must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree at a 2- or 4-year college or university, at the time of application. IISG and CWA encourage applicants from groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences, including African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic and Latino/a/x, female, first-generation college students, veterans, LGBTQ+, and students with disabilities. The program is also open to students who have experienced and worked to overcome educational or economic disadvantages, and/or who have personal or family circumstances that may complicate their career paths.


  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and remotely
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Multicultural competency
  • Professionalism in social media
  • Ability to assist with digital asset management

LOCATION: Remote/hybrid if desired. The office location will be in the Chicagoland area if hybrid.

SALARY: CEI intern will be paid 17.00 per hour, work up to 37.5 hours per week and up to 12 weeks. Start and end dates are flexible depending on the student’s academic schedule; however, the position will start no later than June 1, 2023. Work schedule is generally Monday through Friday (8 hours per day). Occasional work during evenings may be required. The intern will be a student employee of University of Illinois.


Applicants should submit the following application materials, using the link below. All questions should be directed to Angela Archer,, 765-496-3722. Please note – each CEI opportunity has its own application process. After creating an account at eSeagrant, please select Internships to open the group, revealing both National Park Service and Shedd Aquarium. You may apply to one or both.

  • Cover Letter, please tell us about yourself and how you fit into the goals of the CEI program and how this internship will help you with your career goals. Please address what you think are the biggest barriers facing emerging professionals considering a career in conservation in the Chicago and Great Lakes region and how these might be addressed. (2 pages max).
  • Curriculum vitae or resume detailing education and work experiences (2 pages maximum).
  • One letter of recommendation; which can be sent directly to on your behalf or included in your application (1 page max).





Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
The people of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant value diversity, equity, and inclusion in both our organization and the communities we serve. Therefore, we strive to make access to research, outreach, education, and employment opportunities available to everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, place of origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, disability, or veteran status. The full IISG values statement can be found at

Chicago Wilderness Alliance
The Chicago Wilderness Alliance values the diversity inherent in the ecological and human communities that it serves. To fulfill our mission, we work to be inclusive of all people regardless of age, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, family status, spirituality, education, geographic location, social and economic class, and physical and mental ability. Learn more at:



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