Outside Magazine highlighted the Environmental Science and Policy Program and Southern Oregon University as number twenty in their "top forty universities to learn, live, work, and play."

Geographic Setting

Our field-oriented curriculum takes advantage of the unique environmental setting of our region and provides opportunities to work with local agencies. Southern Oregon, with its Klamath and Cascade Mountains and interior valleys, is an ideal location for studying and experiencing a variety of environmental issues, including water resources, endangered species, timber, natural hazards, and urban growth issues.

The Environmental Science and Policy Program encourages and gives academic credit for work experiences with governmental entities, local agencies and businesses that provide a wide variety of real-world applications of the concepts learned in the classroom. These experiences are carried in defined practicum and internship opportunities which include work in on- or off-campus settings. Opportunities include working with the USDA, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service (Crater Lake and others), local watershed councils, Jackson County, local city and county planning departments, state and federal agencies, and local environmental organizations.

Whether you are a student trying to find out more information or looking to engage a student intern, following the links below to find out how the Environmental Science and Policy program’s practicum and internship process works:

Student Information Page

Employer Information Page

Here is a list of previous practicum and internship experiences of ES students.

Project Type Cooperating Agency/Organization


Air quality

Jackson County Health Department
Jackson County and local cities
Jackson County and local cities
Jackson County GIS Services


Climate modeling
Land use planning
Mapping (GIS)


Coho inventory, recovery

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Rogue Valley Council of Governments
City of Medford
City of Ashland, WISE Project
Bureau of Land Management, Rogue River National Forest
Ashland Parks and Recreation

Poplar trees, water reclamation
Wetlands investigation
Noxious weed removal
North Mountain Park stewardship


Environmental education

Bear Creek Watershed Council Education Partners
Oregon Stewardship
Ashland Parks and Recreation
Rogue Valley Farm to School

Environmental education
North Mountain Park


Ground water data analysis

Jackson County, WISE Project
Jackson County and Oregon Geology and Mineral Industries
SOU, Jackson County
SOU, local schools, local cities
Ashland Parks and Recreation

Geology field mapping
Sediment analysis
Earthquake public awareness
Geology of North Mountain Park

Water Resources

Rural and urban surface water quality

Jackson County and local cities
Rogue Valley Council of Governments
Rogue River Watershed Council
Rogue Valley Sewer Services

Water quality data analysis
Watershed protection
Watershed analysis field work


Urban growth, agriculture

Rogue Valley Council of Governments
SOU, Jackson County
Rogue Valley Farm to School
Rogue Valley Food System Network

Urban growth issues support
GIS projects