Student Opportunities

BRANCHES – Young Environmental Scientists (YES)

Branches is Parks & People Foundation’s innovative year-round internship and summer jobs program for Baltimore City youth ages 14 to 21. Begun in 2004, Branches addresses two vital needs in Baltimore City—the need for meaningful employment for economically disadvantaged youth and the need for a trained workforce caring for our parks and open green spaces.

Team members learn environmental skills including tree and natural resource management, urban agriculture, water quality monitoring and more. The program meets 8 hours per week during the school year and 25 hours per week during the summer.

Branches has one team dedicated to ecological field research called the Young Environmental Scientist (YES) team. BES educators and researchers have collaborated with PPF to develop a rigorous and meaningful YES program.The Branches YES team collects ecological field data at real BES research sites and contributes findings to BES scientists.

Branches is a paid internship program for high school students. To learn more, please email Sam Little or call (410) 448-5663 ext 127.

Baltimore Data Jam Competition

Students in grades 6-12 are invited to participate in the Baltimore Data Jam Competition, a creative data competition which challenges students to use their creativity to tell stories for a general audience using data from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study and other sources. For more information or to participate, visit the BALTIMORE DATA JAM COMPETITION page.

Students Restoring Urban Streams (SRUS)

Led by the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, SRUS is a multi-partner effort to increase the tree canopy of Baltimore City while providing environmental education and service learning opportunities for City youth. For more information, or to participate, contact: Desiree Shelley,

Undergraduate and Graduate Opportunities

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

Each summer, 1-2 REU opportunities are available to qualified students directly through BES. These positions are funded by supplements from the NSF to the primary BES program grant, and usually involve a 10-12 week independent study in Baltimore with one or more BES scientists. Students receive stipends and a small budget for their research expenses.

The application period for summer 2020 REU internships is now closed.

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies’ (REU) program provides an opportunity for students to conduct independent research in ecology with scientists at a renowned research institute. Students receive a stipend of $6,000 for their participation in the program, which runs for 12-weeks from the end of May to late August, as well as free housing and a food allowance. Students of diverse backgrounds come from different parts of the country to participate in the program. Past Cary REU students, working with BES scientists, made Baltimore the focus of their REU project. For example, a recent student sampled two urban/degraded, two restored, and two forested/natural riparian zones in the Baltimore area to look at the effectiveness of current restoration efforts to bring a degraded urban stream back to a semi-natural stream and to assess if restoration was working to halt or reverse eutrophication. For more information about the Cary REU program, contact Alan Berkowitz at, or visit the Cary REU website. Cary Institute REU program website

SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology, Education, Development, and Sustainability)

SEEDS is the flagship award-winning education program of the Ecological Society of America. Its mission is to diversify and advance the ecology profession through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of underrepresented students to participate, and to lead in ecology. Focused mainly at the undergraduate level, with extension services for communities, high schools, graduate students, and international collaborations, the SEEDS program promotes an ecology profession with wide representation to ensure environmental understanding and a sustainable future for all. Fore more information visit the SEEDS website. SEEDS website

Field Work

Opportunities for work collecting field data are often available through BES or one of our partners. Please visit the following websites for postings about field work opportunities:

Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education at UMBC opportunities

On a case by case basis, BES may provide internships, field trips and other visitation opportunities to students at all grade levels. Please fill out the form below so we may better address your inquiry. Accommodating requests are contingent on staff and funding availability. Inquire about student opportunities here.