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Intern for ODNR

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources offers college students extremely diverse career opportunities at locations throughout Ohio. At ODNR our mission is to ensure a balance between the wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.

To fulfill this promise our reach extends well beyond just parks and recreation. There are internship opportunities available in the fields of biology, law enforcement, naturalist, forestry, wildlife and fisheries, and geology to name a few. These divisions work in harmony to responsibly protect and manage Ohio’s expansive forests, winding rivers, astonishing natural areas, beautiful coastline and islands, breathtaking geological features, and natural resources such as oil, gas, minerals, and water.

About the ODNR Summer Internship

An Internship at ODNR offers:

  • First-hand, actual experience
  • Option to gain school credit
  • Safe, inclusive, respectful workplace
  • Flexibility with hours
  • Access to distinctive professional development and training opportunities

Through the ODNR Summer Internship Program, interns will:

  • Gain a comprehensive knowledge of what the Department does and why
  • Have access to unique professional development and training opportunities
  • Play a role in ensuring a balance between wise use and protection of Ohio’s natural resources for the benefit of all

ODNR is seeking applicants from a wide variety of academic disciplines including but not limited to:

  • ARTS: digital arts, graphic design, journalism, visual communication design
  • BUSINESS: advertising, accounting, business, communication, English, finance, history, hospitality management, human resources, information management, information systems, marketing, operations management, public affairs
  • ENGINEERING: architectural, civil, environmental, geological, mechanical, mining, petroleum, engineering technology
  • SCIENCE: biology, botany, chemistry, conservation management, earth science, ecology, environmental studies, entomology, forestry, geography, geology, natural resource management, wildlife management, water management, zoology
  • TECHNICAL: carpentry, facilities maintenance, geographic information science (GIS), welding

Intern Testimonials

2022

Dane DiGeronimo – The Ohio State University
Summer 2022 – Division of Engineering
Interning with ODNR has allowed me to get a true glimpse of the professional engineering world. From visiting sites around the state, to blending our environment with engineering, this internship has everything and more. During my internship I was working on dams and bridges around the state, creating databases for dam inventory, going out into the field, and learning about each step of these projects. Throughout this internship I’ve been able to see some amazing parts of Ohio, and work alongside some incredible people. Everyone in ODNR I have worked with have been extremely helpful and been amazing people to learn from. I feel very prepared about my future in the workforce credited to my time with ODNR in the division of engineering.

Mya Garrison – The Ohio State University
Summer 2022 – Special Projects Intern, Administration
My experience as a Special Projects Intern with ODNR has allowed me to expand on my passion of providing environmental education that gives individuals the opportunity to form a bond with nature. My ideal future career is to have a job that is exciting, enjoyable, and meaningful which is something ODNR has shown me is possible. I am unsure of what I specifically want to do with my career, so one of the most rewarding benefits I have received from this experience is exposure to the diverse number of opportunities the organization has to offer.

Traveling to different parks around the state for the planning and opening of storybook trails was an exciting chance for me to see Ohio’s diverse environment while also educating children on the importance of literacy and having a connection with nature. While aiding a naturalist at Shawnee State Park, I used my classroom knowledge to educate the families that visited the nature center on the importance of protecting our natural world. I enjoyed organizing exciting programs at multiple state parks for the Girls Scouts Love State Parks 2022 event to get girls engaged in outside exploration. The flexibility of this internship has allowed me to explore a little bit of everything and has boosted my excitement for my future in the environmental field.

Katelyn McKee – THE Ohio State University
Summer 2022 – Special Events Intern, Division of Parks and Watercraft
My internship with ODNR has introduced me to some of the most intelligent and helpful people that I have ever met. It is incredibly rewarding to work with people who truly want to see you succeed and are so willing to give you lasting advice along the way.

One of the most memorable days of my internship was helping the division of Wildlife with their Blue Catfish survey on the Hoover Reservoir. I learned new fishing techniques, such as electrofishing, while gaining new insight on the importance of surveying. Although not a blue catfish, I netted a HUGE flathead. Best day of my life!

My advice to future interns would be to REACH OUT! If you see a project, an activity, or an event that you are interested in helping with or want to learn more about, do not be afraid to get the team lead’s contact information and get involved with the project. So many people at ODNR are incredibly knowledgeable and want to share their passion for the work that they are doing. There are endless projects going on within the state of Ohio that will allow you to expand your knowledge and help you network within fields where your interests align.

2020

Isabella Buffalini – Kent State University
Summer 2020 – Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve
My experience as a Naturalist Intern with DNAP not only gave me my dream internship, but also the opportunity to work with some of the best! I’ve grown to love the outdoors and the science behind it more than I’ve ever thought possible. From giving me chances for education (eastern hellbender release!) and seeing things in me that some others may not see, to allowing me to participate in hands-on Stream Quality Monitoring, darter relocation, and pebble counts, to mentorship and unwavering advice from staff, I feel more confident and excited about a career as a naturalist than ever before. I am grateful for the kindness and patience of my supervisors, as I went from knowing very little about natural areas and preserves to feeling capable in sharing this knowledge with others.

Peter Dittrich – The Ohio State University
Summer-Fall 2020 – H2Ohio Program
Ever since choosing to change my major from Chemical Engineering to Environmental Engineering and adding a minor in Environmental Sciences, I have always wanted to combine natural resources with engineering, particularly with wetlands and/or streams. After reading about the start of the H2Ohio program, I knew I wanted to try to get on that team somehow, and thankfully I was given the opportunity to do just that. Being a part of the H2Ohio program itself and doing real-world work on wetlands, which I have been passionate about for years has been the most rewarding. This work is actively helping nutrient runoff to prevent algal blooms in Lake Erie, as well as manage water quality throughout the state, and that, to me, could not get any more exciting. The internship opened my eyes to the steps, processes, and teamwork required to get the wetland projects across the finish line. I definitely feel more prepared to enter the workforce after college, which my goal is to be able to continue to work for the H2Ohio program through the department of engineering at ODNR (fingers crossed!).

Carolyn Mestemaker – University of South Carolina
Summer 2020 – Central Ohio Scenic Rivers Program
The most rewarding aspect of my work during my summer with the Scenic Rivers program was the fact that I was an impactful contributor in the fight for the environment. My work helped to repopulate depleted rivers, assess construction site impacts, aid in stream quality monitoring implementation, organize important/useful data on freshwater mussels, cut back invasive species and ultimately aid the Scenic Rivers program in championing for the environment.

Being able to use the real world as my classroom has most definitely had a lasting impact on me. Learning about bank destabilization from multiple esteemed ODNR associates while kayaking down the Scioto River definitely stuck much more than when the process was read to me off of a PowerPoint in a dim, overly air-conditioned lecture hall.

Scenic Rivers showed and taught me how to work effectively with a team, communicate efficiently, take initiative, and how important it is to have a positive work ethic. After my summer with ODNR, I feel much better about graduating college and entering the workforce. My experience with Scenic Rivers showed me that there are enjoyable, meaningful jobs out there!