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Intern for ODNR
Intern for ODNR

The deadline to apply for the 2021 Ohio Department of Natural Resources Summer Internship Program was December 20, 2020. The application period for the 2022 Summer Internship Program will open in the Fall of 2021..

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) offers some of the most diverse career opportunities in state government. Opportunities expand well beyond parks and recreation. The team of biologists, communications professionals, engineers, and IT specialists, just to name a few, helps the department fulfill its responsibility to manage and protect some of Ohio’s most critical resources – forests, rivers, breath-taking natural areas, shorelines and islands, astounding geologic formations, wildlife, oil, gas, minerals and water resources.

About the ODNR Summer Internship

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 seeks applicants from a wide variety of academic majors, 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
  • HUMAN SERVICES: criminal justice, fire science, outdoor recreation and education, recreation management, tourism
  • 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

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!

An ODNR internship offers:

  • Hands-on, practical experience
  • Flexible hours
  • The option to gain school credit
  • A safe, inclusive, respectful workplace