2018 Summer Intern Noah tests a submarine in Lake Tahoe

Internship Opportunities

At this time, UC Davis TERC is accepting applications for our 2023 summer internship program. While our office and lab operations are currently reduced on account of COVID-19, policies are consistently subject to change. If you have any follow-up questions, please contact antoy@ucdavis.edu. Scroll to the bottom of this page for full application instructions. APPLICATIONS DUE April 1. 

UC Davis TERC Internships for Scholars

The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) has led the continuous investigation and monitoring of Lake Tahoe for over 50 years. Known for its beauty and remarkable transparency, Lake Tahoe is a natural jewel in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. However, the lake and its watershed continue to face numerous challenges from eutrophication, food web alterations, aquatic invasive species, wildfires, population pressures, and more. TERC’s research is directed toward finding solutions for these and future challenges as well as working with government agencies and other partner organizations to see these solutions implemented.

The TERC Internship for Scholars program offers students a unique opportunity to be a part of this applied research experience. The program runs for eight weeks beginning June 20 and ending on August 11, 2023. Interns are required to be present during the entire period. This competitive and highly selective program is limited to a maximum of 8 participants. Interns will be chosen based on a combination of their academic records, their career aspirations, and the needs of the TERC program. Interns will work with TERC faculty, staff and graduate students on current projects related to limnology, hydrology, aquatic chemistry, forest ecology or science education. In addition, each Intern will be expected to complete an independent project related to their work tasks.

After selection, Interns will be assigned a mentor. Mentors will provide an outline of the summer work that will be completed by the end of the program. Each week will include a professional development Seminar featuring expert speakers. Interns will have the opportunity to attend the Annual Tahoe: State of the Lake Presentation and the Annual Lake Tahoe Federal Summit, where State and Federal elected leaders convene at Lake Tahoe.

Summer Stipend: $3000 per student


A minimum of 32 hours/week, timing will be determined with the mentoring researcher.

Adhering to an established work schedule.

Attending all Program events (seminars, events, final poster presentations, etc.)

Eligibility Information:

Must be available June 20 - August 11

Minimum age requirement: 18

U.S.A. Citizenship or Permanent Residency

Example Opportunities:

Lake Measurements

Assist researchers in understanding how anthropogenic effects alter the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems in the mountains of California. Research will be conducted in Emerald Lake (Sequoia National Park), Castle Lake (Shasta-Trinity National Forest), and at other small mountain lakes located throughout the Sierra Nevada. Applicants should have considerable backcountry experience and the ability to carry heavy (50 lb.) loads extended distances over steep and uneven terrain.

App Development

Work with a team from TERC to develop a Citizen Science App to assess the condition of lakes in the south of Chile.

Chemistry Lab 

Interns will assist with nutrient chemistry analyses for water samples from Lake Tahoe and other project locations.  Each analysis requires set up, glassware cleaning, sample inventory, standard preparation, SRM preparation, reagent preparation and final reading on the spectrophotometer. Responsibilities will vary depending on training and experience. Resulting data from each analysis will be assessed by the QA/QC standards set up by the Limnology lab.  Once the data is passed, it will become a part of the long-term data set of Lake Tahoe.


  • Learn to use GPS equipment and tablets to georeferenced planting locations.
  • Assist with climate resilient reforestation activities which would include geolocating and ground-truthing planting microsites (site assessments) identified from comprehensive GIS databases, planting and watering of seedlings where needed, and seed acquisition.
  • Interns will gain applied experience in STEM (e.g., geographic information systems science, plant sciences, drone technology, and ecosystem restoration).

Education and Outreach

  • Special projects include formal evaluations of the Augmented Reality (AR) app Find Tahoe Tessie and summer science education programs.
  • Educate the public and special tour groups about the research conducted at Lake Tahoe at TERC’s education centers.
  • Assist the education team in developing curriculum for environmental science programs for special events and field trips.


  • Help TERC promote current events and research
  • Increase Social media engagement
  • Logo design for Tahoe Science Advisory Council
  • Create content for website, social media, and physical advertisements

Project Ideas

  • Each summer intern is required to do a summer project and present their efforts at a public TERC event
  • We welcome ideas from applicants. Take a close look at our programs and research, is there something where you expertise can add something different, promote our efforts, augment the current research, or more? 
  • If you have any suggestions, feel free to include that in your cover letter.

How to Apply:

Send the following documents to antoy@ucdavis.edu.

  1. Cover letter - Specify career aspirations
  2. Resume
  3. Unofficial College Transcripts
  4. Contact information for 3 references

2023 Timeline:

April 1: Applications due, incomplete applications will not be considered

April 13-31: Applicant Interviews

May 1: Award Notification

May 8: Official Acceptance

June 20: Start date and Orientation at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences in Incline Village

August 10: Final Poster Session

August 11: End Date