Steffen W. Schmidt, Ph.D
Professor of Political Science and Coastal Policy


S. Paul Schmidt, MS in Science Education, U Mass


Ancient coastal areas

Internships are an excellent way to put hand on reality on the academic material we study. It's also a valuable asset on your resume and a great way of networking with professionals and peers for building on your professional network. Above the image of Earth before tectonic plates separated making many more coastal zones.


Warning: Please do not start an internship until you have contacted the Internship Supervisors Dr. Steffen Schmidt or S. Paul Schmidt.They will discuss this with you. If you don't get permission your internships will not be valid for credit from our program.
1. Download application and approval form.

2. Download the evaluation form your supervisor will fill out.

The Internship Class - Revised and Updated Edition

You must enroll in the 3 credit internship class. Invest at least 3+ hours per week for 12-14 weeks (approximately 42 total hours) in your internship. The internship can be done at a research organization, private company or consulting firm, local, county, state of federal government agency, research lab or institute, or other instructor-approved venue related to coastal zone activities. You will also keep an academic journal of the internship (see below). Your supervisor at the internship venue will also evaluate your performance.

What is an Internship?

To give you the opportunity to experience practical applications of the knowledge learned in academic courses. The internship also lets you explore possible career options related to coastal zone policy or management, and make contacts and learn how to develop a network that can help you in locating employment. You (subject to approval by the program) may arrange an internship on your own or discuss internship interests with the CZM Internship Program Coordinator (me!) who will suggest internship opportunities. Internships must involve substantive assignments and will not be granted for clerical office work or other routine "labor".

Examples of Internship Experiences in Coastal Zone Management or Policy



A. Every two weeks you should send your update on the internship experience in the form of summaries of the most important observations from your journal (diary) which you should keep more or less on a daily basis. Before you go to sleep jot down the most interesting/important thing that happened that day). Your reflections should tie the internship experience to your academic work and specifically to Coastal Zone Management issues or problems. In a typical term-long internship you will be writing up roughly six up-dates (one submission every two weeks for a 12 week term). These should be 1-2 pages long. Download the reporting form template.

Click here for an example of a model two week report.

B. At the end of your internship have your supervisor fill out the evaluation form. If you did not already get that form download the evaluation form your supervisor will fill out.

C. Please send me your journal entries and a five to eight page summary and conclusion to the internship. Summarize and evaluate the range of experiences you have had during your internship assignment.

The following questions and issues must be addressed in the conclusions of your report. Print this and check off each of these parts BEFORE submitting the final report.

  1. How has your knowledge of coastal zone policy and/or management issue been broadened and deepened by this internship? What are three new ideas and concepts you learned on your internship that you did not know about the study of Coastal Policy? Do you see correspondence or contradictions between the accumulated body of facts and theories from your previous Coastal Policy courses and the "real" world as you experienced it in the internship? Explain. Can you cite specific concepts, assumptions, "established facts," prevailing views, and/or theories that have either been confirmed or disconfirmed in your experiences? Please refer to information from specific articles, books, or other academic material from your previous coastal courses.
  2. List and describe the kinds of skills and techniques that you developed during your internship. Are there any skills that you improved such as enhancing your ability to analyze, gaining greater insight into coastal issue "politics", improving techniques of oral argument, presentation, and critique? How much writing and synthesizing of materials were required during your internship? Do you feel that the skills that you acquired can help you succeed after graduation in your profession of choice? In what ways has this internship enhanced your "job marketability?"
  3. In what ways has this experience enriched you personally? Have you learned more about yourself? How were your beliefs about coastal management or the science of coastal policy affected by this experience? In what one or two ways did you gain a greater understanding of the role and/or importance of coastal areas?