Students in the William A. Demmer Scholars Program are paid interns at federal agencies or non-governmental organizations that focus on natural resources. Students also take a senior-level class in natural resources policy that meets one night a week and all day Saturday. The program is led by Mark Rey, executive in residence in the MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.
“Through these internships, the students get real-world experience, see classroom principles applied in practice and make valuable career contacts for educational and employment opportunities in the future,” said Rey. “The course reviews and analyzes how each branch of federal government, as well as non-governmental groups -- including the media -- affect the development and implementation of federal government policy in the natural resources area.”
In 2017, the program’s ninth year, 26 students interned at number of high-profile agencies and groups, including Trout Unlimited, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service. This makes a total of 218 Demmer Scholar Interns since the program inception. To date, more than 50 have found employment in government and nongovernment natural resources positions in the Washington, D.C. area after participation.
The Hal and Jean Glassen Scholars Program offers students exposure to policymaking in Michigan and real-world experience while working full-time as paid interns at state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations or businesses that focus on complex natural resource issues in Michigan. The internship is a paid 12-week, 40 hour per week position.
In addition, a senior-level class in natural resources policy meets one night a week. The internships and course curriculum complement and advance the students’ learning through practical experience that influences citizens and communities across the state on such issues as the role of hunting, fishing and trapping in the future of conservation; parks and recreation; agriculture; the environment; natural resource management; and the economic impacts of these issues in Michigan. The course is taught through lecture and discussion sessions, augmented by weekend field trips designed to give class participants on-the-ground visits and experience with natural resources and conservation-related programs.