Now Accepting Applications: OPC 2022 Summer Internship Program

OPC is hiring up to five Student Assistants for its 2022 Summer Internship Program. The purpose of the Summer Internship Program is to provide undergraduate college students with an opportunity to gain hands-on-experience with a small State agency focused on protecting and enhancing the state’s coastal and ocean ecosystems and ensuring easy, affordable access to and along the coast for all Californians.

OPC values diversity and equity at all levels of the agency and is committed to fostering an environment in which employees from all backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcome and can thrive.  As such, OPC encourages applications from individuals from a broad range of identities and experiences. It includes those who have overcome personal hardship or other barriers that may complicate their continued progress in research careers, including financial, academic, and social barriers.

The Summer Internship will provide students the experience to learn and build a foundational background and robust overview of California’s coastal and ocean science, policy, and management work. Interns will participate in projects that directly affect and shape California’s coast, coastal waters, and communities. They will be immersed in a wide variety of coastal and marine science and policy issues, including in environmental justice and social equity, and acquire knowledge from experienced staff and mentors. Additionally, interns will have opportunities to participate in multi-stakeholder events and public meetings. OPC staff and/or mentors may provide support and assistance for effective resume-writing and interviewing tips. They may be eligible to receive credit toward college internship requirements based on their university’s criteria.

The OPC Summer Internship is a 10-week, full-time paid internship that includes experiential learning, multidisciplinary collaboration, mentorship, professional development, and opportunities to work with multiple stakeholders. This internship experience will give students opportunities to be actively engaged in acquiring skills, increasing knowledge, and being exposed to what careers in ocean and coastal zone research and management can entail. All of the interns will work on projects and efforts related to advancing the OPC’s Strategic Plan to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean.

Up to five interns will be hired for a ten-week internship between May 20 and September 30, depending on their university’s academic calendar. The internship will take place in Sacramento or will be remote depending on COVID-19. The successful candidate(s) will be hired as a Student Assistant and salary will be consistent with the range defined in that classification and determined on academic and work experience by state human resources staff. This is a non-testing classification, therefore anyone meeting the minimum qualifications listed on the classification specification  may apply for this position.

Interns are expected to work full time, 40 hours a week for 10 weeks. Interns may work as little as 30 hours per week if they have demonstrated school or work conflicts. Flexibility around school and or work will be taken into consideration when determining a start date and work schedule.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Applicants shall be actively enrolled at a California college or university as a rising junior, senior, or upper-level transfer student, in good academic standing (a current GPA of 2.7 and higher is preferred, but not required), and majoring in biological, chemical, physical, environmental or marine science, natural resource management, political science or a closely related policy or scientific discipline.
  • Students in STEM majors with environmental working, volunteer or research experience are also eligible.
  • No prior job experience is required; any combination of experience and education that would likely provide the desired skills is qualifying.
  • Applicants must have a strong interest in protecting California’s coasts and oceans and an interest in state policy and management.

Desired Skills

  • An individual with high potential and the desire to learn more about California’s coast and ocean, climate change, and how government works.
  • An individual with strong oral and written communication skills. Proficiency reading and speaking non-English languages are also encouraged.
  • Interest in learning about general concepts and principles involved in environmental justice and equity issues, including community outreach and engagement strategies.
  • Familiarity and/or general knowledge of vulnerable communities in California, including communities along California’s coast, and experience working with low-income, diverse populations.
  • A highly organized and motivated individual who has demonstrated creative problem-solving skills.
  • The ability to research and analyze problems and make recommendations based on research and findings.
  • One who can work independently and collaboratively as part of a team in both a professional physical office and/or virtual environment.
  • Technically adept with frequently used software tools including the suite of Microsoft Office 365, and potentially GIS and statistical software.
  • Experience and/or willingness to learn how to organize, analyze, and manage large amounts of data, and how to prepare charts, tables, and reports for use by non-experts.

Helpful Resources:

The application deadline is March 17, 2022.  For more details and to apply, please visit:

OPC is a Cabinet-level state policy body that works to ensure healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems by advancing innovative, science-based policy and management, making strategic investments, and catalyzing action through partnerships and collaboration.

Categories: Career Opportunities