University of Delaware
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DNREC Policy Internship Program

Photo of DNREC intern Sarah Taylor

The Delaware Environmental Institute works in partnership with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to provide internship opportunities in environmental policy. The research focus of each internship is determined by DNREC, based on state environmental needs, and the intern works under the mentorship of DNREC personnel. DENIN assists with intern recruitment and provides a stipend for the typically eight- to ten-week experience.

DNREC internships provide advanced undergraduate and graduate students with real-world policy experience. Most internships culminate in a written report and presentation to DNREC's senior leadership in which the interns present policy recommendations based on their research. These recommendations often result in real environmental policy changes in Delaware. For example, in June 2013, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed House Bill 32 into law, ending outdated oil spill liability limits that left Delaware taxpayers vulnerable to footing the bill for most spill cleanup costs. This legislation was based on the research and recommendations of a student policy intern.

Summer internships are full-time, generally from mid-June to mid-August, while those during the academic year are part-time. Interns work with a mentor at DNREC but must also be comfortable working independently. Most often, interns work in DNREC's main offices in Dover but sometimes at other DNREC offices or field locations. Students from the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Delaware Technical Community College, or Wesley College may apply. Financial support for the internships is provided by Delaware's National Science Foundation EPSCoR grant.

Photo from the signing ceremony for House Bill 32We are currently seeking applicants for two internships during the period June 5–August 11, 2017. 

Applications are due April 7, 2017. These internships involve full-time work over the 10-week period for a stipend of $4,000. Advanced undergraduates and graduate students are eligible to apply. See the project summaries for each internship below and download documents that include full project descriptions, application instructions, and a link to the online application form. If you have questions about the DNREC internship program, contact Jeantte Miller at (302) 831-4167.

(1) Creating an inventory of wetland carbon stocks and mitigation strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware
This multidisciplinary and comprehensive intership has two primary objectives: (a) to compile an inventory of wetland carbon sequestration and standing stocks from the different coastal habitat types found throughout Delaware using an intensive literature review, and (b) to conduct an economic evaluation and policy review on the inclusion of wetland restoration and protection as a carbon emissions reduction strategy for Delaware. Download this project description.

(2) Approaches to ecological revitalization of sites under the oversight of the Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances
This internship involves reviewing current law and regulations in the region and comparing various mechanisms to accomplish a revitalization goal. The work will involve surveying brownfield developers, designing a public outreach plan, and making recommendations regarding implementation of policy, guidance, and best management practices toward ecological revitalization or enhancement and sustainable remediation. Download this project description.