We are proud to support the career development of students who are pursuing studies in education, natural and/or social sciences at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. There are many ways a student can become involved at the Center, such as joining our educational programming team as a paid staff member, pursuing an Internship or a year-long Fellowship, or participating in project based learning.
I believe that I got into graduate school and got my scholarship because of all the experience and projects I could reference from my work at the EIC.
Holland Family Internship
The Holland Family Internship is designed to introduce interested students to different aspects of running a nature center. The position is highly versatile and can accommodate a vast array of skills and interests. Among others, the intern will assist the EIC Director, Dr. Claudia Walters, with developing virtual and hardcopy instructional materials (e.g., interpretive signs), redesigning the EIC website, and incorporating geospatial technologies into the EIC operations. They will also assist with sustainability initiatives.
The applicant must have a passion for nature and sustainability and a desire to help others learn about it. They must demonstrate a strong interest in a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and discovery about the natural world, communication of this knowledge, and commitment to the preservation of natural areas and biodiversity. They should be comfortable using different types of technologies.
- Excellent verbal communication skills
- Experience with graphic design
- Basic knowledge of geospatial technologies (i.e., GIS, GPS, remote sensing)
- Interest in web content development (does not involve coding)
- This paid internship runs from September through December
- The time commitment is approximately 12 hours per week.
- Fill out the application form and submit your resume and a cover letter detailing your interests and relevant qualifications.
All of the mentors I had in my educational, and later professional, career stemmed from work I did, and skills I developed, at the EIC. I would not be where I am today without the EIC.
Kenneth and Marion Parkhurst Natural Areas Fellowship
The Kenneth and Marion Parkhurst Natural Areas Fellowship is designed to provide experiential learning for a prospective leader of environmental interpretation and community education. This fellowship provides an opportunity for students to gain practical experience promoting environmental awareness. The Parkhurst fellow will help lead educational programs for K-12 and other audiences. They will also assist in developing new programs and in environmental monitoring.
The applicant must have a passion for nature and a desire to help others learn about it. They must be comfortable working outdoors. They must also demonstrate a strong interest in and commitment to a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and discovery about the natural world, communication of this knowledge, and commitment to the preservation of natural areas and biodiversity. While the applicant may be enrolled in any concentration or program, they typically pursue a degree in Environmental Studies, Environmental Sciences, or Biology.
The Parkhurst Fellow is expected to have an understanding of natural history and the ecological processes of the UM-Dearborn Environmental Study Area, be interested in developing their interpretive and research skills, be adaptable and patient with children, have initiative and leadership skills, as well as high quality communication and interpersonal skills. They must be reliable, able to work independently, and a good team player.
This paid fellowship runs from September through April, with the possibility of extension through August.
The time commitment is 12-15 hours per week.
Fill out the online application form and upload your resume and a cover letter detailing your interests and relevant coursework. The application period is generally in July.
- 2022-2023 Valerie Osowski
- 2021-2022 Courtney Wagner
- 2019-2020 Dale Browne
- 2018-2019 Griffin Bray
- 2017-2018 Brandon Thomas
- 2014-2015 Sara Whitaker
- 2012-2013 Raymond Michael Sullivan
- 2011-2012 Mary Fastiggi
- 2010-2011 Mary Fastiggi
- 2009-2010 Dana Wloch
- 2008-2009 Deirdre Devlin
- 2007-2008 Emily Hughes
- 2006-2007 Katherine Evans
- 2005-2006 Jeffrey Boutain
- 2004-2005 Katherine Evans
- 2003-2004 Katherine Evans
- 2002-2003 Kimberly Daly
- 2001-2002 Andrew Tluczek
- 2000-2001 Jennifer Panek
- 1999-2000 Stephen Locke
The EIC relies on UM-Dearborn students to help with educational programs.
As part-time member of our naturalist interpretive staff, you will receive training in the principles of environmental interpretation and inquiry-based learning and instruction. Student program leaders are expected to have good communication skills and an ability to interact well with others, especially children. Also, student staff members must possess a genuine interest and at least some familiarity with local flora and fauna and the natural history of the region.
The Student Naturalist position is a part-time, paid position that involves leading groups of school children for educational programs. These nature and science-oriented programs take place outdoors in the campus Environmental Study Area.
- Interest in nature
- Comfortable working outdoors in sometimes challenging field conditions
- Some level of familiarity with local flora and fauna
- Patient with children
- Positive attitude
- Good verbal communication skills
- The employment period is variable and influenced by the K-12 school calendar.
- Hours: minimum availability 3 weekdays per week, 5 hours per day, 9AM to 2PM.
- Training is provided by experienced EIC naturalist staff and student program leaders.
To find out more, contact the EIC Program Supervisor, Rick Simek at [email protected].
My childhood experiences at the EIC, like participating in the Young Naturalist program, helped spark and nurture my love of the outdoors. It also introduced me to the joy of environmental interpretation. Not only did my time at the Center give me the skills of the profession, but it also showed me that this could be (and later would be) my life's work.