Q1. What are environmental health sciences?

A1: The environmental health sciences (EHS) are the set of scientific disciplines that investigate the relationship between physical, chemical and biological exposures in the environment (including the occupational environment) and human health. EHS is a widely multi-disciplinary field, encompassing toxicology, microbiology, environmental and occupational epidemiology, exposure assessment, radiation biology, ergonomics, and geospatial analysis, among others. It should not be confused with the environmental sciences, where the focus is on the natural environment, rather than human health.  

Q2.  Should the letters of reference go to the same address as the application? 

A2:  Yes, the letters of reference should be sent via email or mail to:

Gayle Cepparo, Project Coordinator
Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
School of Public Health, #7360
University of California
50 University Hall, Room 745
2199 Addison St.
Berkeley, CA 94720-7360
Tel:  510-642-0571
Fax: 510-642-5815
Email: gcepparo@berkeley.edu

Q3:  To whom should the letters of reference be addressed, and how and in what manner should they be delivered?

A3: Letters should be addressed to Gayle Cepparo, Project Coordinator, or to the STEER Program, as the writer prefers.  Letters can be sent via email or mail (see addresses above).

You may also hand deliver your application and letters to University Hall, Room 745 if that is more convenient for you. If you are hand delivering the letters, please have each writer put their letter in an envelope, seal the letter, and write his/her name across the seal.  Electronic signatures are acceptable as are scanned letters and PDF files.

Q4.  Should the Career Center send the letters of references on my behalf?

A4:  We accept letters sent directly from the Career Center, but it is not necessary to have them sent this way.

Q5:  Can the application be submitted via email?

A5:  Yes, the application can be submitted via email, postal mail, or it can be hand delivered to University Hall, 2199 Addison St., 7th Floor, Room 745. If Gayle is not there, please put it in her mailbox near the kitchen. Office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Q6:  Does the application need to be submitted in hard copy?

Q6:  If you choose to submit your application electronically, there is no need to submit a hard copy of your application as well. However, you may submit a hard copy if you would like to do so. 

Q7:  Do transcripts need to be official?

A7:  We will accept unofficial transcripts as long as they are current and reflect your most recent course work. If your transcript does not include your current semester’s course work, please provide us with a list of the courses you are taking currently.

Q8:  Do senior level students qualify for this opportunity? What about international students?

A8:  Yes, seniors who are graduating in Spring 2017 may apply for internships. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to participate unless they have a DACA work permit.

Q9: Is the program just for UCB students?

A9: No, students from colleges and universities from across the US are encouraged to apply.

Q10:  Are all qualified faculty mentors listed on the faculty research list? 

A10:  We try to list all faculty mentors who meet the requirements of the funding agency (i.e., conducting environmental health research), but at times, all eligible faculty may not be listed. If there is a faculty member with whom you would particularly like to work, and his/her name is not mentioned in our list, please e-mail Dr. Michael Bates to describe your interest in working with this particular faculty member. Dr. Bates will then contact the faculty member to see if they would be interested in working with a STEER student.

Q11:  Is there an “ideal” student that you are looking for?

A11:  We are looking for students who have some previous exposure to environmental health concepts or research, or who have a clear idea of what they would like to do. We are also looking for students who are enthusiastic about environmental health and who are committed to working on various aspects of research. A clear goal statement and a commitment to taking advantage of all of the opportunities offered through the internship is advantageous.

Q12:  When obtaining a signature for an advisor or teacher/mentor, is there a preferred signatory? Who is an acceptable signatory?

A12:  Your college advisor or science teacher would be acceptable. Also, if you have worked in another academic internship program, your mentor on that program would be acceptable. Graduate instructors may sign the form, but they must reference the course they taught when they sign your form. Graduate instructors may also write letters of reference, if appropriate.

Q13:  Are the interns expected to attend all of the offered on-site and off-site visits?

A13:  Generally, yes, although occasional exceptions may be permitted. Applicants are expected to attend weekly seminars as part of their internship experience. They are also expected to attend at least two off-site field trips to get the full benefit of the program. Some field trips are all-day affairs, but most are half-days.

Q14:  How much can I expect to earn?

A14:  You will be paid for 40 hours per week for 8 weeks. The pay scale depends on who is accepted into the program and if anyone is a current University of California employee. You can expect to be paid approximately $15.40 for the Summer of 2017 (as of 9/13/2016).

Q15: Is housing provided?

A15: No, housing is not provided as a part of this program, but program staff will try to assist out of state students with housing openings as we become aware.

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STEER was by far the most influential experience I have ever experienced in my college career.

Summer 2016 STEER Intern

It definitely encouraged me to go to Grad School; it opened my eyes to the many different fields of Environmental Health.

Summer 2015 STEER Intern

Yes, exposure to research and other grad/doctoral students gave me a better idea of what it would be like to continue to higher education. Moreover, this experience has given me more confidence that I could succeed pursuing a graduate degree.

Summer 2015 STEER Intern

I could not have asked for a better summer or better people. I think that through this experience this summer, I not only grew as a scientist, but also has a person. I will definitely be looking to come back to UCB for a graduate program.

Summer 2014 STEER Intern

Finals Week photo by Daniel Parks