Grads & Undergrads: Ecosystems Internship With Seattle Public Utilities

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) Environmental Science and Technology Division is seeking an upper division undergraduate or graduate intern to gain experience performing field identification, mapping, and managing inventory of landscape vegetation and urban forest within Seattle Public Utilities assets and lands.

This division provides over one million customers in King County with functional and reliable surface water, stormwater, groundwater, and wastewater infrastructure and associated ecosystem services. The Urban Ecosystems Program manages, protects, and enhances the ecosystem services of streams, ponds, wetlands, landscape and riparian vegetation, urban forest, and the surface drainage network. The majority of the work of the Urban Ecosystems Program is focused within the limits of the City of Seattle.

Learning objectives include, but are not limited to:

  • Improve plant identification skills
  • Utilize and gain skill in the latest mobile and desktop GIS technology for vegetation mapping
  • Gain knowledge about the multiple ecological and social benefits and services that an urban utility provides
  • Learn about the varied urban landscapes and watersheds within the City of Seattle
  • Learn how field data is translated into platforms that serve the operations, maintenance, and management of resources for a public agency, and also provide information to the community.

Job Responsibilities

The successful intern will work with staff to:

  • Identify, collect data, and map native and ornamental trees, shrubs, and ground cover
  • Monitor and maintain current habitat mitigation and restoration sites
  • Support the data collection and monitoring of creek and floodplain aquatic ecology
  • Perform data validation, analysis, reporting, and management.

Work Environment/Physical Demands:

  • Field assignments will entail exposure to all types of weather and physical conditions
  • Must be able to traverse uneven grounds while carrying a 25 lb. backpack for up to six (6) miles per day
  • Must be able to stand, walk, or bend for extended periods of time.


Education: Applicants must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in Horticulture, Forestry, Arboriculture, Landscape Architecture, Natural Resource Management, Restoration Ecology, or other closely related field.

Students must be currently enrolled on a part-time or full-time basis for the duration of the internship. Undergraduate student must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA; graduate student must maintain a 3.0 GPA.


Here is more information and a link to apply for the position:  The application period closes 4/16/2019.  Note that the advertisement lists this internship as summer only, but the sponsor has indicated that it will be full-time in summer and part-time the rest of the year, to accommodate student schedules.