This virtual internship and online seminar will focus on the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working on research, conservation, and environmental issues. Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, however it is also facing environmental challenges such as deforestation, pollution, overfishing, and resource depletion.
Your program will begin with an introduction to the environmental, social, and political context of Ecuador; workplace norms; and the ethics of working with an NGO in another country. Then, you will complete an online internship focused on environmental issues in Ecuador, such as: online environmental campaigns, planning environmental education programs, monitoring key habitats and species, environmental activism, indigenous rights, or another issue related to your interests and career goals.
Your program will be academically rigorous and will cover topics such as ecosystems functioning, key flora and fauna, impacts of the mining and petroleum industries, deforestation and fragmentation, agroindustry, pollution, and others.
You will be expected to devote approximately 10–12 hours a week both on synchronous and asynchronous course activities. Synchronous activities may include orientation sessions, seminar country and theme specific lectures, initial meetings with your internship advisor, group reflection sessions, and project presentations. Frequency, duration, and scheduling of synchronous activities will be determined the first week of the course in conversation with participants to find mutually convenient times. In the event that a student cannot attend a live session, every effort will be made to provide a recording, transcript, or summary for off-line viewing.
Asynchronous activities may include seat time at your internship, break-out groups, check-ins with your Academic Director, internship coordinator and your internship mentor, writing progress reports, discussion boards, completing assignments and a final paper, and using audio or video to record reflections on the internship experience. Students are required to demonstrate a strong online presence by participating in group discussions, answering questions, and interacting with course participants and staff.
- Engage in discussions about environmental campaigns, environmental education programs, habitats and species conservation, and environmental activism.
- Complete a virtual internship with an Ecuadorian community organization or NGO.
- Develop your professional Spanish-language skills.
- Participate in weekly group reflection and assessments led by the academic director.
- Build your résumé and professional experience with an internship related to your interests.
Two semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent. Previous college-level coursework and/or significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields is highly recommended for this virtual internship.