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Increasing Diversity in Environmental Careers

At a Glance





Age Ranges

Varies (See qualifications)


  • Ethnic or racial minorities, women, or individuals with a disability (definition of Disability defined by MN Statute 363A.03 Subdivision 12)
  • Authorized to work in the United States
  • For 2022, second or third year student enrolled full-time at an accredited Minnesota state, community, private, or tribal college/university, with at least two years remaining to degree completion
  • Currently pursuing a STEM/Natural Resources degree with a desire to work in environmental/natural resources careers upon graduation.

Interest Areas

  • Communications/Marketing
  • Habitat Management & Improvement
  • Mapping & Data Collection
  • Parks
Find Open Positions

The Increasing Diversity in Environmental Careers (IDEC) program provides a unique college-to-careers pathway for underrepresented STEM college students, specifically, women, racial and ethnic minorities, or individuals with disabilities, who want to pursue a career in environmental and natural resources fields. Students receive a fellowship, mentorship, and paid internship during their academic journey.

IDEC is a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR), Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa (CCMI), the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).

Program Components:

  • Fellowship: The IDEC fellowship provides students with a supportive community of peers, yearly academic scholarship, and professional development opportunities. Fellows work with the program manager who coordinates resources and helps students navigate challenges during their academic journey.
  • Mentorship: Fellows connect with professionals in the field who share their experiences and provide support. The mentorship aims to enhance college success, encourage personal and professional development, and promote career advancement by pairing fellows with employees at one of the participating state agencies.
  • Internship: Fellows learn more about environmental and natural resource career paths through paid full-time internship experiences with the MN DNR, MPCA, and BSWR. The IDEC program includes a first-year summer rotational at each of the three agencies and a second and third-year summer internship at one agency.