DENIN Environmental Scholars

Photo of a young woman standing in front of her research poster
The DENIN Scholars present their research projects at a symposium held each year in May.

The DENIN Environmental Scholars Program is a paid undergraduate research internship that provides interested students with a sustained environmental research experience during the academic year. Scholars work with faculty research mentors at the University of Delaware and partner institutions. Students may select from the projects shown on this page. Opportunities are updates multiple times a year, so check back for updates. 

Undergraduate students from any major may apply. The research project descriptions below specify any coursework or prerequisites for the opportunity. In addition to research, DENIN Scholars are required to attend workshops in career development and effective communication, as well as occasional field trips or social events. Scholars present the results of their work at a student symposiums in May and August.


Current Opportunities

2024 ShoreRivers Summer Internship

Complete project description available here

Application Deadline: 11:59PM EST, March 1, 2024.

Overview: ShoreRivers seeks applicants for an exciting, hands-on summer internship experience in the environmental field, based in the Chester and Sassafras watersheds. ShoreRivers is a nonprofit organization that protects and restores Eastern Shore waterways through science-based advocacy, restoration, and education. Before applying, please visit to learn more about our organization and our programs.

Dates of Internship: Minimum of 10 weeks between May and August; start and end dates and vacation days are flexible.

Location: This internship is based in the Chestertown and Galena offices, with fieldwork across the Chester and Sassafras watersheds, and occasional travel throughout the ShoreRivers region.

Eligibility: Rising college junior or senior, or recent college graduate. Graduate students who do not hold other research or teaching obligations over the summer are also welcome to apply. Degree in Biology, Environmental Science, or related field encouraged.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Outgoing personality with good communication skills. Must be able to work with a team, but also be self-motivated in individual tasks.
  • Able to lift at least 50 lbs, swim, feel comfortable on boats and kayaks, and do physical outdoor activity in various weather conditions.
  • Willing to work a flexible 40-hour schedule with some evening and weekend hours.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office software.
  • Must have a driver’s license.

Intern Responsibilities: 

  • Obtain a Maryland boater safety certificate
  • Tidal water quality monitoring by boat with Riverkeepers
  • Water Chestnut eradication work on the Sassafras
  • Bacteria sampling at local swim sites
  • Submerged aquatic underwater grass monitoring by kayak
  • Co-leading community kayak tours
  • Community outreach and events
  • Agricultural site visits and project monitoring
  • Boat and water quality equipment maintenance

Stipend: $5,000 provided by the Delaware Environmental Institute through the Carski-Ruhl Giving Fund.  Student housing at Washington College for the duration of the internship can be provided free of charge. 

How to Apply: Complete the following application form by March 1, 2024: A current resume and cover letter are required. 

Questions about this internship or the application process can be forwarded to Sam Clem.

2024 Coastal Critical Zone Summer Undergraduate Research Interns

Application Deadline: 11:59PM EST, March 15, 2024.

Overview: The Coastal Critical Zone team is inviting applications for paid undergraduate research internships for summer 2024; interns will be part of sub-teams in hydrology, biogeochemistry or ecosystem research. Research will involve a combination of laboratory, outdoor field work and/or computational environments. We seek a diverse group of undergraduate students to join our team in a welcoming, collaborative environment.

Dates of Internship: June 3, 2024 – August 9, 2024

Location: Dependent on project; See project descriptions for details. 

Eligibility: Applicants must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate academic program, including Associate’s and Bachelor’s programs. Non-resident Aliens are eligible to apply, but please note that taxation of the stipend will depend on the student’s tax county and may entail up to a 30% tax withholding. 

Project Descriptions: There are five internship positions available in 2024, working on four different projects. Click the title of each project for more details.

Stipend: Each 10-week internship provides a $6,000 stipend, with additional funds available for housing assistance. 

How to Apply: Complete the following application form by March 15th, 2024: Have the following documents prepared to submit in .pdf, doc., or docx format: 

  • A current resume
  • Academic transcripts (unofficial transcripts are accepted)
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Two short essays:
    • Essay 1: Discuss why you are interested in Coastal Critical Zone research and the experiences you’ve had that have prepared you to do such research. (500 word limit)
    • Essay 2: Explain why participating in undergraduate research is important for your professional goals. (250 word limit)

Questions about these internships or the application process can be forwarded to Sam Clem.

2024 Summer Internships for Environmental Justice and Ecological Restoration

Complete project description available here

Application Deadline: Friday, February 23, 2024. 

Overview: These internships provides a unique opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in environmental justice and ecological regeneration projects around the state and the region. In an era of dramatically compromised ecological systems, economically impoverished and minority communities have experienced the brunt of this environmental degradation, and are particularly vulnerable to stressors like flooding, droughts, heat waves, pollution, and disease caused by climate change. Through this internship, students will gain deep experience in restoring our human and ecological communities; ecological science; social justice history and dynamics; non-profit operations; community development; and narrative storytelling.

Working closely with Professor McKay Jenkins and community partners in Delaware and Baltimore, student interns will join exciting teams engaged in:

  • Indigenous land restoration
  • Urban reforestation, including invasive removals and tree planting
  • Food Justice Farming, including planting, harvesting, and delivery

Length of Internship: 10 weeks, June – August, 2024. Approximately 20-25 hours a week. 

Location: Various locations in Delaware and Baltimore. 

Eligibility: Applicants must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at the University of Delaware. Interns must have access to personal transportation to travel between sites in Delaware and Baltimore. 

Stipend: $4,000 – $5,000

How to Apply: E-mail a resume and one-page cover letter that explains your interest in this internship and any related experience to Professor McKay Jenkins,