PICS awards 13 internships for students to work on climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions

Engineers in front of wind turbines. Credit: BulentBARIS from iStock images.

From wildfire risk assessment to a zero-emissions transition strategy for the shipping industry, PICS awarded internships this year for students who will work for First Nations, private companies, NGOs and governments to support climate adaptation and mitigation solutions.

The 13 internships will support the hiring of university students and recent graduates, and total $12,000 each, although employers have the option of topping up that amount. As well, many have hired students as employees after the 13-week internships are complete, says Nastenka Calle, PICS’ SFU program manager.

This year, PICS received 42 applications to host the 13-week internships, a third more than an average year. In addition, a number of applicants have previously applied, demonstrating that they see value in the PICS program and the students.

“That shows that this program is really successful. That is encouraging for us,” Calle says, noting employers “really appreciate the opportunity to have a student working with them addressing some research questions they may not have the time for or that are in a specific area of expertise that the students can bring.”

The recipients of this year’s PICS internships are:

  • Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation;
  • Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate;
  • the cities of Kamloops, Kelowna and Terrace, and the District of North Vancouver
  • Engineers and Geoscientists BC;
  • Interior Health;
  • First Nations Health Authority;
  • Transition Salt Spring Society;
  • Climate Caucus Council;
  • Technical Safety BC; and
  • BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Among the jobs interns will be doing:

  • research assistant, wildfire risk in Stswecem’c Xgat’tem Territory;
  • strategy expansion lead, green shipping strategy expansion;
  • climate resilience analyst, District of North Vancouver Resilience Review;
  • research and training assistant, climate change adaptation for watershed resilience and fire resistance; and
  • climate risk and reconciliation research co-op, climate change risks to technical equipment on Indigenous reserve land.

Hiring has begun for some of those positions, says Calle, who encourages students at PICS partner universities — UVic, UBC, SFU and UNBC — to apply through their campus co-op offices.

Eligible students must be enrolled — or accepted for enrolment — in a full-time undergraduate or graduate program at one of the four partner institutions. They must either be returning to complete their degree programs following the internship, or have completed their programs the semester prior to the start of the internship.

For more information, go to the PICS internship program page. To apply to host an internship, check out the Internship Program Guide, then fill out the application form. The next call for applications is expected in November 2022.