The Increasing Diversity in Environmental Careers (IDEC) program is a strategic partnership between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa (CCMI), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.
The IDEC program provides a unique multi-year college-to-careers pathway for underrepresented college students in STEM fields, including women, racial/ethnic minorities, and individuals with disabilities. The goal of the program is to reduce barriers to successfully completing a STEM degree and prepare participants for post-graduation employment in state environmental careers.
The IDEC program is one strategy to develop and tap into the diverse labor market. In addition to fostering the next generation of innovative environment and natural resource conservation professionals, the IDEC program has a goal of increasing access to outdoor recreation opportunities and promoting diversity amongst outdoor enthusiasts. The program is funded by Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
Components of the IDEC program typically include:
- 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 manages 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 program 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 and gain hands-on experience through paid full-time internships with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. During the first summer internship, Fellows will rotate between the three state agencies to explore the different careers they offer. In the second and third year summer internship, fellows are placed at one of the three state partnered agencies.
2024 Summer Rotational Internship (Cohort 5A)
The IDEC program is offering a 10-week paid ($17/hour) summer Rotational Internship for underrepresented college freshmen (women, racial/ethnic minorities, and individuals with disabilities) interested in learning about environmental and natural resource careers at the state level.
Note – Cohort 5A is unique because it offers a one-time summer rotational internship. Students interested in continuing to advance through the IDEC program and exploring the additional benefits (including Mentorship, multiple Internships, and academic scholarships) may apply for Cohort 5B at the end of the summer.