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Internships, Research, and Job Opportunities


Department of Geography Research/Travel Grants

With the recommendation of their faculty advisors, Geography undergraduate students may request up to $250 for expenses incurred while conducting or presenting research related to their major, or $50 if they are only attending a professional conference.  Students should ask for a letter of recommendation from their advisor, who will submit the request to the Department Chair along with a Travel Authorization Request Form for that student. Students will need to provide Patti Malloy original receipts totaling the requested amount after travel.



Internships are a great way to obtain real-world work experience and make personal contacts in your field of interest before you graduate.  Internships are an encouraged, but optional, part of the undergraduate curriculum in the Department of Geography.  Most internships are completed by juniors and seniors because students at that level have a solid background of geography course work.  Many undergraduate students find their own internship opportunities through internship clearing houses, such as the Student Conservation Association (, or directly from nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, or private businesses.  A few internship opportunities are prestigious, selective, and seek applicants annually (National Geographic Society, National Weather Service), but most aren't.  Some agencies and companies offer student interns pay, while others don't.  Whether or not an internship is paid, students have the option of earning Geog 4910 (Internship) credit hours for most internship experiences.  If you would like more information than is provided here, feel free to contact your advisor or any faculty member in the Department of Geography. 



Receiving academic credit for internships:


INTERNSHIP COURSE (GEOG 4910): An undergraduate geography student interested in undertaking an internship for GEOG 4910 credit hours arranges to do so with an OU geography professor who agrees to be the academic supervisor for the internship.  To enroll, your professor will provide you with the course call number for his or her section of Geog 4910.  Your professor will need the contact information for your field supervisor at the internship.


CREDIT HOURS: The number of credit hours to be earned and whether the internship will receive a letter grade (A-F) or be taken for credit (CR) are determined in consultation with your professor.  Typically, each credit hour of GEOG 4910 represents two hours of internship work per week during a 15-week semester.  Although GEOG 4910 can be taken for 1-12 credit hours, a maximum of only 5 credit hours (combined) of GEOG 4910 and GEOG 4930 will count toward a geography major (any track). In addition, the College of Arts and Sciences allows a maximum of 15 hours of course work (combined total) taken for "CR" to apply toward the 120 hours required for graduation.  


GRADE OPTIONS: To receive a CR, rather than a letter grade in GEOG 4910, students submit to their professor a brief summary of the number of hours spent and the principal accomplishments, skills, knowledge, and/or understanding derived from the internship.  In addition to the information required for CR, a gradable product must be submitted to earn a letter grade in GEOG 4910.  The nature of the product is determined in consultation with the supervising professor at the start of the internship, and depends to some extent on the nature of the position.  It most typically is a "term-paper like" paper or report.  


Examples of the kinds of places that might need interns:

  • OU--Voinovich Center, Office of Sustainability, possibly other OU offices
  • Planning agencies and offices—various cities, counties, regions
  • Economic development agencies and offices
  • Rural Action, Athens
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Watershed groups
  • Ohio EPA (Logan, Columbus, etc.)
  • Other state agencies (ODOT, ODNR, etc.)
  • State and national forests, parks, monuments, etc.—SCA is a great source for many of these
  • U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service offices (there are widespread, e.g., The Plains, OH)
  • State soil and water offices (throughout Ohio)
  • County engineer offices (throughout Ohio)
  • Various conservation organizations—Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, the Crane Foundation, The Wilds, Buckeye Wildlife Institute, etc. 
  • GIS, air photo, GPS, and mapping companies (several in Ohio)
  • TV stations, especially for meteorology students
  • Environmental engineering and consulting companies
  • Energy companies
  • Construction, development, architecture firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Others—be creative (!) and see what suggestions your advisor might have.


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Information on Student Enhancement Awards, Ohio University Undergraduate Conference Travel Fund, and CRSCA Discretionary Fund