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This is a 10-week summer environmental internship for undergraduate students majoring in Environmental Studies, Environmental Engineering, Ecology, or related fields who are passionate about the environment, about human health, and about the link between the two.

2008 group photo of internsA healthy environment should be capable of sustaining a healthy population; however, with 6.3 billion people on the earth, there is a need for more sustainable interactions between humans and the environment.  Environmental issues such as overpopulation, air pollution, food shortage, natural disasters, water contamination, and exposure to toxic substances provide challenges to human health.  Human influence on the environment is the main focus of environmental studies; however there is a growing need to evaluate the effect that the environment has on us.

Harmful environments can increase the risk of many health conditions: asthma, heart disease, cancer, neurological disease, infections, endocrine dysfunction, injuries, and more. Healthy environments, on the other hand, can promote good health in many ways—protecting people from toxic exposures, providing safe water and clean air, and encouraging healthy behaviors such as outdoor recreation.

The link between the environment and health is aptly referred to as “environmental health.” Environmental health is the discipline that focuses on the interrelationships between people and their environment, promotes human health and well-being, and fosters safe and healthy living. This branch of public health is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health.

Environmental health professionals engage in a broad and exciting range of activities—basic and applied research, direct health protection efforts such as chemical disaster preparedness, health education, patient care, policy support, and more. For students interested in environmental studies, health sciences, or both, few fields are more fascinating.

Interns will be placed in environmental health programs at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) at CDC's Chamblee Campus (address). Over the course of the summer, interns will be exposed to a broad overview of environmental public health issues at the federal level.

Interns will participate in environmental health projects, interact with federal officials and scientists, and visit important environmental health sites in Atlanta. Other activities may include "brown-bag" lunches with CDC staff, as well as attending lectures from important environmental health leaders in the Atlanta area. In addition, interns will be able to attend the many seminars offered by CDC during the summer.

The internship program will provide a stipend for living expenses ($500 per week). Travel to Atlanta will be the student’s responsibility. Potential housing options will be provided in advance; however the interns will be expected to make their own arrangements.

CDC has partnered with The Department of Energy (DOE)/Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) to implement the Program. CDC will review applications and make final award selections.


  • Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Application Materials
  • Notification to Interns of acceptance: Wednesday, March 18, 2009
  • Acceptance of Internship offer by student and initiation of paperwork: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
  • Internship Dates: Wednesday June 10, 2009 - Friday, August 14, 2009

Eligibility Requirements

  1. US citizenship or Permanent Resident with a green card,
  2. Full time enrollment at a college or university as a rising junior or rising senior,
  3. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and
  4. An academic major or demonstrated coursework concentration in environmental studies or related fields

Other Important Information

  1. Commitment on the part of the participant, CDC, or ORISE with regard to later employment is neither implied, nor should it be inferred by the offer or acceptance of an award.
  2. Deferrals of the internship will not be allowed.
  3. All participants are considered guest researchers and are subject to CDC regulations governing visiting scientists, engineers, other professionals, and students to determine their access to the hosting venue and eligibility for an internship.
  4. As a guest researcher, each participant is responsible for payment of income taxes and is advised to become familiar with the relevant sections of the current tax codes.
  5. Health-insurance is required for all participants.
  6. Participation in the program is contingent upon the individual's ability to obtain the proper clearance.
  7. All applicants will be subject to a criminal records check and other background investigations conducted by the U.S. Government. These inquiries are conducted to develop information to assess various factors about the applicant, including reliability, trustworthiness, honesty, integrity, character, conduct and loyalty to the United States.
  8. All applicants must have full command of the English language.


This page last updated on December 15, 2008