William A. Demmer Scholars Program in Washington, D.C.

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.”

The program started in 2008 and each year about 25 students intern at number of high-profile agencies and groups. Some of these partners include 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.

Since its inaugural program more than 200 Demmer Scholar Interns have participated in the program inception. More than 50 have found employment in government and non-government natural resources positions in the Washington, D.C., area after participation in the program.

The Hal and Jean Glassen Scholars Program

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 student 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
  • The economic impacts of natural resource issues in Michigan

The course is taught through lecture and discussion sessions, augmented by weekend field trips designed to give students on-the-ground visits and experience with natural resources and conservation-related programs. 

The program started in 2014 and each year between 15-20 students intern at a number of prestigious Michigan agencies and groups. Some partners include Ducks Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and The Nature Conservancy.

Since its inaugural program, more than 50 Glassen Scholars have participated in the program. To date, 40% are either full-time or seasonal hires, or remain in some capacity with their original sponsors. Others continue pursuing their undergraduate, master's or law degrees and/or volunteer work with conservation-related NGOs such as Land Policy Institute, Sierra Club and AmeriCorps.


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