Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

"You mean what was the highlight of my undergraduate experience?  Easy, the UCSC Natural Reserves.  They were the foundation for the last three years of my undergraduate experience. Since I got involved with habitat restoration at Younger Lagoon Reserve with Tim Brown and Beth Howard, I have experienced a mentorship relationship I have not found anywhere else.  It has provided me with several work and volunteer opportunities, connected me with other organizations and provided a sense of place amidst a hazy and hectic undergraduate experience".

- 2015 undergraduate intern

Due to COVID-19 concerns and shelter-in-place restrictions, Younger Lagoon Reserve staff are now offering a virtual restoration internship, composed of videos, written resources, and weekly discussion sections including featured guests.  For more information on the effects of COVID-19 at UCSC, click here.

Each quarter, dozens of UCSC undergraduates and community members inern and volunteer at Younger Lagoon Reserve.  Student interns range from first-quarter freshman to graduating seniors and spend between 6 and 15 hours a week working on a variety of projects on the reserve. Reserve staff and student supervisors lead interns in a wide variety of field-based research and hands-on-learning experiences.  Most student interns receive academic credit for their internship through the UCSC Environmental Studies Internship Office.  Other students receive credit for their internship through courses that require an internship.  Some of our internship partners and collaborating classes include the Rachel Carson College Sustainability Internship  (CLEI 155), Restoration Ecology (ENVS 160), Senior Seminar in Environemental Studies (ENVS 196) and the Kenneth Norris Center for Natural History

Students and community members interested in interning or volunteering at Younger Lagoon Reserve are encouraged to start with either a 2-unit internship or a 6-hour a week volunteer commitment with the Younger Lagoon Reserve Habitat Restoration Crew.  Habitat Restoration Crew members are involved with every aspect of habitat restoration, including native seed collection and cleaning, native plant propagation, invasive and exotic species removal, land stewardship, plant and animal identification, and more.

Students that have successfully completed a 2-unit internship at Younger Lagoon Reserve may inquire about 5-unit internships and Senior Thesis projects. These opportunites require sugnificantly more commitment than a 2-unit internship on the part of the student, reserve staff, and faculty advisor, and typically result in a substantive project. Previous projects include original research into methods for native habitat restoraiton, the creation of field guides, GIS projects, and more.

If you are interested in interning or volunteering at Younger Lagoon Reserve, please contact Restoration Field Manager Vaughan Williams at vwilliams@ucsc.edu.