The Earth Grant program is a year-long leadership development program for a diverse cohort of select UArizona students passionate about environmental and community resilience. Individually, each student is matched with a mentor working in their field of interest for a 5-20 hr/week paid internship. As a cohort, students engage in weekly activities to gain cross-sector leadership skills within a supportive peer group. By the end of the program year, Earth Grant students have contributed to real-world outcomes for people and the planet, gained career-ready leadership and professional skills, and formed lasting relationships within a growing peer-mentor network.
FAQs for Students
Eligible Earth Grant recipients are undergraduate students in any major enrolled for at least 6 units of credit at the University of Arizona for Fall 2022, planning on being enrolled in at least 6 credits for Spring 2023, eligible to work in the United States, living in Tucson during the 2022-23 academic year, and passionate about environmental and community resilience. Students with underrepresented identities in environmental fields are encouraged to apply, including students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and students living with disabilities.
Earth Grant students commit to participation for the duration of the academic year (Fall 2022 and Spring 2023), including both working at an internship and consistent participation in weekly cohort meetings/activities.
Note: Participants in the Diana Liverman Scholars program cannot participate in the Earth Grant program in the same year. For students interested in both of these programs, we encourage you to participate in each of these programs in separate years.
Each Earth Grant student is matched with a professional mentor working in the student's realm of realm of professional interest for a 5-20 hr/week academic year paid internship. Through this internship, students take the lead on a specific project as well as provide general support at the internship organization and build relationships with other professionals. Students select up to three internships of interest in the application. Learn more about our 2022-23 internships.
Additionally, Earth Grant students meet weekly as a group for facilitated activities, guest presentations, and discussions related to leadership, communication, problem solving, career planning, social and environmental issues, and diverse representation in environmental fields. One reflection or practice assignment will be given each week, related to group activities. In this participatory space, students co-design the cohort curriculum and identify specific topics and activities for deeper exploration.
Students gain real world professional experience related to their specific environmental interests, the ability to make real impact related to the Earth and society, comprehensive leadership training, and lasting relationships with other environmentally-focused students in a highly supportive environment. Additionally, students join a lasting network of other current and emerging environmental leaders, who stay connected after the program year through annual events, social media and the Earth Grant e-newsletter.
Students are paid $18/hr for internship hours worked, and receive one academic credit each semester for their participation and co-leadership in weekly cohort meetings. Students may additionally receive internship credit through their home department for their Earth Grant internship. Talk with your academic advisor for information and requirements to receive internship credit, as requirements differ by department.
Weekly cohort activities will be in person on the University campus. Current CDC and University guidelines for COVID-19 safety will be followed. Internship activities may be virtual, in person, or a mix of both, dependent on the specific position. In all cases, mentors and mentor organizations commit to following CDC and University COVID-19 safety guidance, as well as clearly communicating any additional organization-specific guidelines.
Earth Grant internships are real jobs. You are contributing to projects with real-world impact, working alongside other professionals, and paid an hourly wage. Although Earth Grant students may work a second job while participating in the program, especially if they choose a lower time commitment internship, applicants are encouraged to seriously consider their course load and work-life balance when considering this program.
Please note that an undergraduate student may work no more than 25 hours per week, per UA policy. International undergraduate students may work no more than 20 hours per week. For example, if a student already has a 10hr/week job on campus, they could be employed up to 15hrs/week maximum in an Earth Grant internship.
Applications are due Monday, April 25, 5pm AZ time. Here's the application process:
1. Review all program information and internship descriptions. Please direct any questions about eligibility or program details to Leona Davis at email@example.com
2. Complete and submit the application online by April 25, 2022. Interested students are encouraged to view the application before applying. As part of the application, you will be asked to indicate your top three internship choices if selected for the program.
3. If your application is selected for consideration, you will be invited to schedule a 30 minute zoom interview with one or more potential mentors, during the weeks of May 16-June 3.
Round One- An internal review committee will review all student applications for the following criteria:
1. Demonstrates knowledge and interest in issues related to environmental and community resilience.
2. Describes skills and/or knowledge gained from previous work/volunteer/school experiences that would contribute to success at an Earth Grant internship.
3. Based on described previous experiences and personal identities, would bring a unique perspective to the student cohort and to environmental resilience work.
Round Two- All student applicants will be notified via email by May 12 regarding status of application. Students moving on to Round Two will receive additional communication via email from the mentors at their top internship placements (identified in the application) to schedule a brief, informal zoom interview. Applicants will be notified via email regarding their acceptance to the program and internship placement by June 15.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Student application portal opens
Friday, April 15 12:30pm-1pm
Student info and application webinar. Click to join: https://arizona.zoom.us/j/85905435582
Monday, April 25
Student applications due
Week of May 9
Students will be notified whether their application has been accepted for consideration. If so, the student may be invited to schedule an interview with one or more potential internship mentors
May 16 - June 3
Window for student-mentor virtual interviews
Students receive final notification of acceptance to the program and internship placement
Week of Aug 22
Earth Grant student cohort meetings begin (continues weekly)
Week of Aug 29
Orientation meeting with all mentors and students, date and time TBD
Week of Sept 6
Dec 8, 2022 – Jan 11, 2023
Optional for student internship work (Winter Break)
Mar 4 – 12
Optional for student internship work (Spring Break)
Program term ends
Inspired by the models of the NASA Space Grant and NOAA Sea Grant programs, Arizona Institute for Resilient Environments and Societies (AIRES) at the University of Arizona launched the Earth Grant program in 2021 to support emerging environmental and community resilience leaders across sectors – in the streets, in research labs, in non-profit organizations, and in government.
At University of Arizona, we know our diversity is our strength. As both a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), and home to fourteen Student Resource Centers that provide culturally relevant student engagement and support programs, we create intentional spaces where Wildcats with underrepresented identities in environmental professions can grow, learn, and thrive. Additionally, this program leverages AIR’s existing network of multidisciplinary faculty, community stakeholders, private industry, and nonprofit agencies, to provide a diversity of professional environmental spaces and strategies where Earth Grant students can get involved.
Donations directly support paid internships for underrepresented students. Make sure to designate your gift to “Earth Grant.”