Paid internships available with Forest Service this summer

Published by Robin Bailey on

Bryan Benz explains his role as a program coordinator for forestry, science and natural resources.
Robin Bruns / The Mainstream

Five paid internship opportunities through the USDA are reserved this summer for UCC students: facility and civil engineering technician positions, facility and water/wastewater system crew member and botany intern.

Science instructor Bryan Benz, current natural resources, science and temporary forestry program coordinator, recently sent out applications to several qualifying students in his classes. Engineering instructor Wayne Fisher is also helping students with the program. 

Student hires in the Forest Service’s Pathways program — either currently-enrolled or recent graduates of UCC — are temporarily employed on a one-year or indefinite period, work full- or part-time and may be considered eligible for later conversion into a permanent position.

Fruits of in-the-field labor

Fish and Wildlife Conservation major and student hire Steve Moss used to work as a botany technician through Pathways; after graduating UCC, Moss has continued working with the Forest Service, Benz says.

“It is so important for students to get experience while going to school,” Benz says. “When you get your degree — and have in-the-field experience — you’re a foot above other job applicants.”

UCC student Joe Godawa, majoring in natural resources, speaks to the benefits of his time working on a Forest Service fire crew. “My experience changed my life, physically and mentally, for the better: I made friends who became family; worked hard, made some money; and learned a lot in just four months,” Godawa says.

For more information, Bryan Benz’ office can be found on the second floor of the Bonnie J. Ford Health, Nursing and Science Center; he may also be contacted at

Opportunities elsewhere: Northwest Youth Corps

Those still looking to pursue “training and hands-on experience with land and water resource management agencies” can find current openings and other opportunities outside of UCC with the Northwest Youth Corps’ (NYC) Conservation Internship Program.

From a 12-week to 12-month period, “public agencies and community organizations host a Conservation Intern to directly address pressing community resource needs,” supported by the NYC’s “placement, administrative and training support.”

Any U.S. citizen, national or lawful permanent resident alien aged 18 or older can apply for the program with the opportunity to work in habitat restoration, improvement and impact mitigation; invasive species management; trail maintenance and recreation infrastructure; interpretation and education of natural, cultural and historical resources; and/or community engagement and outreach.

Oregon’s internship program coordinator is Kate Sanders, who can be contacted by phone at (541) 239-7122 or by email at More information can also be sourced at NYC headquarters’ number, (541) 349-5055, or email,

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