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Internship & Volunteers at EPC

The EPC hosts interns and volunteers mainly in the fields of biology, law, GIS, information technologies (MIS), and environmental sciences. Opportunities exist for experience in our lab and/or in the field learning about natural resource protection, permitting, and enforcement. The descriptions below are of intern/volunteer opportunities that the EPC routinely provides. Please note that there is limited availability and not all opportunities are available each semester.  Also, EPC internship opportunities are unpaid positions unless otherwise stated.

If an opportunity is expected to be offered for a given semester, we will begin accepting applications for that opportunity approximately six (6) weeks prior to the beginning of the semester.  Please apply at that time.


Descriptions of Intern - Volunteer Opportunities

Air Management
- Air Management Division
The Air Division may offer intern opportunities from time to time, as determined by ongoing projects.  Among other duties, the volunteer interns will be able to observe Commission meetings, staff meetings, help manage air quality data, attend field investigations and participate in outreach opportunities.

Community Outreach - Legal and Admin Division, Outreach Dept
Assist the Outreach Coordinator in promoting EPC to the community both directly and indirectly through planning, organization, scheduling, and execution of events. The intern-volunteer will experience each area of the EPC: Air, Waste, Water, and Wetlands through field and/or office work. Normal hours are Monday through through Friday from 8am-5pm. Ability to work some weekends and after hours preferred.

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory - Water Management Division
  Assist in multiple sections of the environmental chemistry laboratory. The majority of the time will be spent assisting laboratory staff with chemical analysis of water, soil and air samples. This task involves preparation, analysis and cleanup of environmental samples for bacteria, metal, organic and nutrient content as well as general chemistry measurements. The lab work requires the ability to handle potentially hazardous chemicals with proper safety equipment. Preferred availability is Monday through Wednesday afternoons, 3 to 4 hours per day. Alternate schedules will be considered. While prior coursework or lab experience is not required, chemistry or biology backgrounds are preferred.

Environmental Monitoring - Water Management Division

Assist the Environmental Monitoring Department which is comprised of: Water Monitoring, Biology Laboratory, and Environmental Restoration. The majority of the time will be spent assisting Water Monitoring staff with field preparation, fieldwork, and the cleanup processes associated with the collection of surface water samples. This task requires the ability to lift and carry moderate weight and work outdoors in the elements while following stringent Standard Operating Procedures. Approximately 200 sites are visited each month, Monday through Wednesday, either by boat or by truck. Minimum requirements are 2 days a week for 8 hours on each of those days (8:00am-4:00pm) with a commitment of 3 months. Monday availability is mandatory, additional internship hours can be completed on Tuesday or Wednesday. Thursdays may be a possibility and can be determined each semester if requested.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Internship Opportunities - Legal & Admin Division, MIS Dept
Intern performs entry-level GIS related tasks under supervision of the GIS Project Manager. Job duties include organizing geographical data in preparation for analysis, generating maps using industry standard mapping tools, and assisting with the update and maintenance of data layers.  Miscellaneous filing, archiving, field work, and other duties may be required as needed. Students with coursework in GIS/Geospatial Science while majoring in Biology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geography, Engineering, or a related discipline are encouraged to apply.  Volunteers with GIS experience but not currently in a degree-seeking program are also welcome to apply.

Legal - Legal and Admin Division, Legal Dept

The Legal Department also works with law schools and individual law students to provide volunteer opportunities for students interested in environmental law. Among other duties, the volunteer interns will be able to observe Commission meetings, staff meetings, and negotiations, assist in drafting legal documents (e.g. – complaints, settlements, motions, etc.), perform legal research, and attend field investigations.  You must be a current law student or recent law school graduate to apply.

Self Study

These internships require the student to propose a self-directed project that they feel could provide a benefit to EPC and Hillsborough County. Upon review and where proposals align themselves with EPC’s mission, EPC will evaluate the possibility of assigning a mentor to assist the student with the project.  Please provide a description of your project proposal (between 25-100 words) on the application page under “Self Study” opportunity areas.

Waste Management
- Waste Management Division
Using multiple resources such as databases, Google maps, and Pictometry, interns will research and gather information identifying businesses that may no longer be active in the Small Quantity Generator - Hazardous Waste (SQG) Program. The interns will work under the direct supervision of the SQG Program Manager and will have regular interaction with the public and SQG staff. Duties will include identifying and contacting business owners to confirm if a business is still active and updating a database if a facility is confirmed to have gone out of business. Interns will shadow SQG inspectors during field visits and be provided opportunities to learn about proper management of solid and hazardous wastes, storm water controls, and waste management regulatory and compliance assistance programs. In addition, interns will have an opportunity to be exposed to different sections within EPC during the duration of the internship period.

Water Facilities – Water Management Division
Volunteer interns will be able to accompany staff on complaint investigations and compliance inspections at industrial and domestic wastewater treatment plants. The intern will be provided opportunities to learn about wastewater treatment and water management regulatory programs, may attend staff meetings and participate in outreach opportunities.  In addition, the intern will have an opportunity to be exposed to different sections within EPC.  The intern must be willing to work outside in adverse weather conditions and comply with EPC safety and dress code.  Other duties will include assisting in routine data entry and other administrative duties.

Wetlands Management - Wetlands Management Division

The Wetlands Management Division may offer intern/volunteer opportunities. Using multiple resources such as aerials, databases, Google maps, GIS, and Pictometry, interns will research and gather information to assist staff in the review of permit applications. Other duties include miscellaneous administrative duties, data entry, attending field investigations, staff meetings, and potential to participate in outreach opportunities. The intern should be willing to work outside in varying weather conditions and comply with EPC safety and dress code. Intern opportunities are available Monday through Friday from 7am-6pm. The intern is requested to be available at least two days a week. In addition, interns will have an opportunity to be exposed to different sections within EPC during the duration of the internship period. 

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