Environmental Learning Center providing summer internship opportunities

Summer Intern Team researching Terrapins on an Indian River Land Trust Property with Indian River Aquatic Preserve staff.


The Environmental Learning Center has announced internship programs in education and conservation for high school and undergraduate college students for the upcoming summer season.

The high school program, “Career Training for a Sustainable Future,” has been increased this year from two to eight positions, funded by the United Way and by Grand Harbor Community Outreach. Open to students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, these interns will explore careers in a broad variety of fields through working with ELC staff and volunteers. They will help with teaching summer camps, do scientific field research on Indian River Land Trust properties, work at landscape maintenance, marketing and communications, admissions/gift shop and general guest services, public programming, and in aquarium and touch tank maintenance. They will also take part in mentoring and professional development workshops from nature center staff.

The college intern program is open to undergraduates with multi-disciplinary interests who will explore career avenues in environmental education and conservation through assisting staff in teaching nature-based camps for children, conducting ecological field research in conjunction with the Indian River Land Trust (IRLT) and maintaining large display aquaria used for public education about the Indian River Lagoon. The college interns, while working on independent research projects, will directly mentor high school students, serving as a resource for them throughout the summer and working together on campus education programs and on field research days.

Sarah Rhodes-Ondi, ELC Naturalist and the Internship Program Manager, shared, “We are excited to welcome a new, diverse, creative and enthusiastic high school and college intern team to the Environmental Learning Center.  This internship program is growing significantly this year from four to ten students thanks to the generosity of community partners.  Our interns confirm each year that this experience is a fun, inspirational, grand adventure, exposing them to career opportunities they didn’t know existed.”

The Environmental Learning Center is located north of Vero Beach off County Road 510 at the end of the Wabasso Bridge. Its mission is to educate, inspire and empower all people, including those with minimal access to nature, to be active stewards of the environment and their own wellbeing. The 64-acre campus includes exhibit areas, native plant gardens, picnic facilities and visitor center. ELC membership benefits, a list of its many field excursions, EcoVentures, including nature walks, canoe excursions, and boating adventures can be found at www.DiscoverELC.org.

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