Internship Overview

What is the Community Engaged Internship?

The Community Engaged Internship (CEI) is a national program partnering with Sea Grant at colleges and universities in all coastal states. The CEI program goals are to recruit, retain, and engage diverse students in place-based research, extension, education, and/or communication that respects and integrates local knowledge systems. CEI aims to broaden participation in coastal, ocean, and marine sciences by providing training and mentorship to early-stage university and community college students from under-resourced, underrepresented, and Indigenous and tribal populations.

USC Sea Grant seeks to recruit one student intern for the summer of 2022.

Is the internship paid?

A $6,000 stipend will be provided for the 10-week internship.

How will I get paid?

The stipend will be provided directly to the intern at the beginning of the internship.

How many hours are required?

A commitment of 32-40 hours per week for ten weeks. Some evening or weekend hours may be required.

What are the start and end dates of the internship?

June 1, 2022, through August 15, 2022.

What is the focus of the CEI summer program?

The intern will be funded to complete an environmental literacy project that is relevant to the student’s studies and to the Compton Creek Watershed.

What is the Compton Creek Watershed?

The channelized creek begins in neighboring South Los Angeles. It travels along the border of Willowbrook and then transects the City of Compton, changing to an earthen bottom as it reaches the city’s boundary before continuing through Rancho Dominquez, where it finally joins the Los Angeles River that empties into the Pacific Ocean.

A Compton Creek Master Plan was developed in 2006. The plan was created with community input and various projects were identified to transform the neglected channel into an active multi-purpose corridor that would help address water quality issues and provide a sense of pride for the community. Multiple projects listed in the Master Plan have been completed and more are in the planning stages.

What will the CEI intern do?

The intern will work with USC Sea Grant, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, and Compton Advocates Coalition, and other community partners in an effort to bring awareness to Compton Creek and increase environmental literacy within the community. This effort will include joining discussions with organizations working in the area to help relate local challenges and stories in the watershed and the work being done to address those challenges.

The intern will become familiar with the Compton Creek Watershed and the local environmental, economic, and social challenges it faces. The intern will create watershed educational materials that can be utilized by the community stakeholders, including the school district and local non-profit organizations, for community outreach.

The intern will be part of a national cohort of students.

The CEI will engage with other students nationwide through participation in all CEI professional development and training opportunities. Virtual professional development sessions will allow the intern to interact with other interns in the cohort. Mentoring will be provided by Sea Grant professionals, Sea Grant-funded researchers, community partner organizations, and Sea Grant Knauss Fellows. A graduation ceremony to celebrate the cohort’s accomplishments will take place through a virtual platform. The intern will also complete a pre- and post-evaluation.


Eligible Applicants

Who Should Apply?

Interns must be enrolled (6 units or more) in an undergraduate degree at a 2- or 4-year college or university and legally able to work in the United States. CEI encourages applicants from groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences, including African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic and Latinx, female, first-generation college students, veterans, LGBTQ+, and students with disabilities. The program is also open to students who have experienced and worked to overcome educational or economic disadvantages, and/or who have personal or family circumstances that may complicate their career paths. The intern must live, study, volunteer, or work in the City of Compton or the Compton Creek Watershed.

Do I need to be a student at USC?

No, you don’t need to be enrolled at USC. However, you must have completed at least one semester of community college/university and be enrolled for the Fall semester of 2022.

Do I need to be associated with a Compton organization?

Having an established connection to a community organization is strongly encouraged but not required.

Does the intern need to be a Compton resident?

The intern must live, study, volunteer, or work in the City of Compton or within the Compton Creek Watershed.


Application Materials and Review

What are the application requirements?

To apply for the CEI opportunity, please provide a resume or CV, personal statement, and letter(s) of recommendation. All materials must be emailed to by 5 pm PT on Monday, May 9, 2022.

Personal Statement (1-2 pages)

  • Please describe your current degree program and how this internship will help you fulfill your degree requirements, a thesis or project for your degree, and/or career goals.
  • Tell us about yourself, your area(s) of interest, and how you fit into the goals of the Compton Creek Watershed Internship.
  • A short description of your community involvement and some ideas on how to raise environmental literacy awareness.

Letter of Recommendation (Only 1 letter is required but 2 letters are welcome)

  • A letter from a community mentor or supervisor detailing the applicant’s involvement in the community and describing the applicant’s skills and leadership ability to successfully complete the project.
  • A letter from a professor who can describe the applicant’s academic skill level and leadership ability to successfully complete the project.

What is the application deadline?

Applicants must submit all materials by 5:00 pm PT on Monday, May 9, 2022, to

How will the intern be selected?

The evaluation criteria and weighting of the criteria are as follows:

  • Personal statement (40%)
    Letter(s) of recommendation (40%)
    Resume or CV (20%)

The USC Sea Grant Internship Committee will review each application based on the evaluation criteria listed. Each committee member will score each application and scores will be averaged and ranked by the committee. The selected applicant will be notified by May 16th. USC Sea Grant has one undergraduate position available for the summer of 2022.

Are there any other requirements?

Intern must agree to USC’s COVID-19 Vaccination policy and follow current health and safety guidelines established by city, county, and/or state health departments.