In 2008, Conservation Trust for North Carolina established the Diversity in Conservation Internship Program (DCIP) for students of color, focusing our outreach to North Carolina’s 10 historically black colleges and universities. Campus outreach now includes the entire University of North Carolina system. CTNC and its partners introduce promising students and recent graduates to careers in conservation, and connect conservation organizations to potential employees.

Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Leaders

DCIP seeks to engage applicants from underrepresented communities, particularly of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Multi-Racial, and Native American background, in conservation careers. Connecting more diverse applicants to an employment pathway has led to greater equity, diversity and inclusion of all people in conservation. Promising students and recent graduates are introduced to careers in conservation, and conservation organizations connect to potential employees.

Since inception of the program, CTNC has connected 111 interns to land trusts, government agencies, universities, and nonprofit organizations across North Carolina. More than half of our intern alumni now work and/or volunteer in conservation organizations including the US Forest Service. Read about some of their experiences here.

US Forest Service Resource Assistants Program

In 2016, CTNC partnered with US Forest Service Community Forestry and the Land Trust Alliance as a partner in the Forest Service’s Resource Assistants Program. The goals of this partnership are to provide our interns exposure to the Forest Service mission, provide them with development and training opportunities, and to increase the diversity of the next generation of conservation leaders. Learn more about the program here.

Program Objectives:

  • To introduce promising students to careers in conservation
  • To introduce organizations to promising students
  • To create an employment pathway that promotes greater diversity and inclusion in conservation


  • Undergraduate students serving as first-time participants receive a $4,200 stipend.
  • Returning undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates receive a $4,600 stipend.
  • Each intern is eligible for a $1,200 housing stipend.

How to Apply:

Preference is given to rising juniors, seniors, and graduate/professional students. For the purpose of this program, a recent graduate has been out of school for less than two years. The recruitment period for Summer 2018 is now closed. If you’re interested in receiving updates on the DCIP recruitment and hiring process for future terms, join our interest list by clicking the button below. 

Sign Up for Updates!

For questions, please contact Diversity and Equity Director Victoria Chetty.

Hear what our past interns say about their experience:

“The current conservation field is lacking in diversity, and it is absolutely crucial to have emerging conservation leaders such as ourselves who are able to communicate with and relate to this changing constituency. We will soon be the ones with the power to define how our communities interact with our planet.” –  Gaby Benitez

“Through my internship, I learned it is possible for a group of unlikely partners to come together to benefit a community by connecting the realms of healthy living, environmental stewardship, and education.” – Jendayi Joell

Meet more of the 2017 cohort of DCIP members.