The Internship Program gives ESS undergraduate students the opportunity to earn academic credit for integrating real-world work experience with academic work. 


Student Spotlights

Photo of ESS student intern, Juanne Deguzman

Juanne Deguzman 
Orange County CoastKeeper, Fall 2014

Juanne's internship with the Orange County CoastKeeper combines her interests in both education andenvironmental studies. As an intern, she uses her knowledge to further environmental education for students ranging from kingergarten to 12th grade. This internship experience will help prepare her for a future in environmental education and outreach.




Photo of ESS student intern, Thanushka Fernando

Thanushka Fernando
Demenno/Kerdoon, Fall 2014

"I'm interning for the World Oil Corp. in a company called Demenno/Kerdoon. Demenno/Kerdoon is the largest waste oil, antifreeze, and wastewater recycling organization in the Western United States. We recycle these hazardous wastes into quality products through our processing systems and units. We recycle used oil and antifreeze into new products such as Marine Diesel Oil (used for ships) and new antifreeze for cars. We also recycle and treat wastewater and send it to the city. As an environmental compliance intern, I work with agencies such as the Department ofToxic and Substance Control (DTSC) and the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) by continuously monitoring and reporting our emissions to make sure we are meeting good air quality standards by abiding by our permit conditions. Since we handle hazardous wastes we do have to constantly monitor and handle this waste from start to finish from the time it's coming in from railcars and trucks to the time it's at the refinery. As an Earth System Science major here at UCI and studying air emissions such as SOX, NOX, and VOC's has helped me see how important environmental compliance is in protecting our atmosphere."


Independent Study in Earth System Science

ESS 197: Independent Study gives undergraduate students the opportunity to earn academic credit for internships (field work, educational outreach, or other independent projects) under faculty direction.Interested students should arrange with a faculty member in the Department of Earth System Science to supervise and support an independent study project. Students must submit an application to the department and be authorized to enroll in the course.

Grading: Pass/No Pass. Based on the supervisor's evaluation of the student's work, the student's participation in meetings with his or her faculty sponsor, and the quality of the student's written summary, required at the end of each quarter.

Credit: 1-4 units per quarter (maximum of 12 units can be taken for credit).

Restricted to juniors and seniors in good academic standing, with minimum overall GPA of 2.0.

Independent Study Requirements

  • 25 hours of independent study per quarter = 1 unit of academic credit.

  • Hours worked before the first day of placement period will not be credited toward the field work requirement.

  • Student should meet weekly or bi-weekly with faculty advisor.

  • An evaluation form from the independent study supervisor verifying completion of field site requirements and assessing the quality of their field work.

  • A term paper integrating field observations with course work.

  • All independent study sites must be approved by the Earth System Science Department in order to receive academic credit.

Steps for Enrolling in ESS 197

  1. Get an internship.

  2. Submit an Independent Study Application to the department for approval.

  3. The department will provide authorization to enroll in ESS 197 via email.

  4. Enroll in ESS 197 and start your internship.

Note: Students may not change their internships after the course enrollment deadline.

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