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What Are the Different Types of Earth Science Internships?

Erik J.J. Goserud
Erik J.J. Goserud

Studying earth science, or geoscience, is an important and exciting endeavor. Those who wish to go into this field should be very savvy with their scientific and research skills and possess a genuine passion for the field. One important way for aspiring geoscientists to get started is to take part in earth science internships. The types of earth science internships vary in a number of ways, as do most positions in this scientific discipline. Typically, earth science internships vary are in duration, compensation, and responsibility.

Interns can come from many different backgrounds. Sometimes, interns are bred for a field. Others may be career changers hoping to find their way in foreign situations. Regardless of why a person wants an internship in the earth sciences, there is probably a fit for everyone.

Scientist with beakers
Scientist with beakers

The first difference in types of earth science internships are the durations. Some internships may be very short, spanning a few weeks or a couple of months. This can be ideal for someone who is planning on getting a taste for the field or trying out different aspects of the physical sciences. Other people may prefer longer-term internships, which are also plentiful. Long-term internships offer a greater opportunity for experience and tend to expect more responsibility out of an intern. Each variation certainly has its draws and drawbacks.

Another type of earth science internship is paid. Interns rarely have benefits, but certain paid interns may be able to pay the bills while working as conditional employees. Other internships may be compensated in other ways, such as academic credit. The universal compensation of all internships is the opportunity to learn skills, gain experience, and network in a field that the intern hopefully aspires to go into.

The amount of responsibility and job duties is perhaps the most distinct variable among interns. Some interns resort to getting coffee for the higher-ups, while others actually play important roles in projects. Certain internships may be business oriented, while others could involve research. It is very important that any prospective intern does research to figure out if the position he or she is interested in will provide an opportunity to use or gain skills.

Many earth science internships involve field work. This could be collecting samples, organizing materials, or performing research. In the private sector of this field, interns could also be involved in some aspect of commercialization. There are many different ways in which interns can fit into the field of earth science and hopefully accomplish their goals along the way.

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      Scientist with beakers