Experiential Learning Opportunities

Students kayaking on Lake LaSalle.

Environmental research and internships are crucially important to learning your specific niche in this broad subject. We encourage all students to take at least one internship during their time at UB. 

A world of experience awaits you....

Environmental research at UB is conducted on a wide array of topics and includes faculty modeling the movement of pollutants in aquifers in Western New York through to examining the ability of reef corals to respond to global climate change, and faculty research sites extend from western New York to the tropics to the Greenland icecap. These and many similar projects provide undergraduates in Environmental Geosciences opportunities to learn about and participate in research.

Internships within Environmental Studies (facilitated by Prof. Sandy Geffner) have been a very strong part of the Environmental Studies and Geoscience programs. In any given year, students obtain around 150 environmental internships for credit through Mr. Geffner. A sampling includes:

  • New York State Office of the Attorney General
  • Erie County Department of Environment and Planning
  • Buffalo Niagara Waterkeepers
  • US Fish and Wildlife Services
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • New York State Parks
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
  • Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve of the Buffalo Zoo
  • Earth Spirit Educational Services, Inc.

We have over 60 internship relationships, and growing, which span the areas of environmental policy, resources and education. More than a third of these sites have hired our students on either a part-time or full-time basis as a result of their experiences during the internships. Students have been employed, for example, by NYSDEC, the National Park Service, the Attorney General’s Office, US Fish and Wildlife Services, Severn Trent Laboratories, and Clean Air Coalition of Western New York and many others are examples of recent employment confirmations. These opportunities provide students with real-world problem-solving skills, hands-on experience, and often result in full-time employment for its graduates.

The program in Environmental Studies requires practical fieldwork through an internship experience. The course is usually taken in the senior year.

Study Abroad

The Department of Environment and Sustainability encourages students in both majors to take part in a study abroad experience. Advisors in the program will work with students to review study abroad courses for possible use in the major.

Project Portal

Start a project to build skills and gain real-world experience for your career. The Experiential Learning Network's Project Portal is the easiest place to get started! Once you start a project, you can also pursue an ELN Digital Badge to display your accomplishments to future employers and graduate schools.