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Student Opportunities


Sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists

Volunteer to teach and demonstrate area geology in back-country New Mexico! Philmont Scout Ranch is one of three national high-adventure bases owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America. Located in the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico, Philmont is a 137,000 acre ranch dedicated to outdoor activities. The twelve-day backpacking experience serves over 21,000 high-school-age boys and girls from all over the USA as well as several foreign countries.

Fifty-four positions are open again this year, to be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Volunteers will receive a sign-up packet with scout applications (you have to be a scout, at least for the summer!), medical forms, and brochures in May 2016. Students who would like to volunteer must show proof of enrollment in a graduate-level program. The 2016 season begins on June 11. August 6 begins the last session of the program.

For more information and to sign up, contact Ed Warner, 62 South Ash St, Denver CO 80246, USA, +1-303-331-7737, Alternate contact: Bob Horning, P.O. Box 460, Tesuque, NM 87575, USA, +1-505-820-9290, Learn more about the geology of the area at


EARTH Science Writing Externship

EARTH’s externship is an opportunity for select students and inexperienced writers to learn about the process of writing and editing a news story about recent scientific research, and to get professionally edited and published clips. Most of our externs have backgrounds studying science — particularly geoscience-related fields relevant to EARTH's typical content — and are interested in potentially pursuing science writing as a part- or full-time career option. But EARTH welcomes applicants of all backgrounds who are interested in sharing what's new in earth science with a broad audience. We typically work with three or four externs at any given time, but we regularly rotate in new writers as positions come open.

If you are selected as an EARTH extern, the position is essentially an as-you're-available writing opportunity. In any given week or month when you have time to write, you'll email us and say, "Hey, I have time to write." Then, either we can assign you a story or you can pitch stories to us — it's up to you. If you've got a great idea for a story and would like practice pitching your idea to an editor, you're encouraged to do so. On the other hand, if you'd prefer that we provide you with an assignment — as is the case with many first-time externs, for example — that's fine too.

Our extern-written stories typically cover a recent, peer-reviewed scientific study or report, and include quotes about the study from multiple expert sources — obtained via first-person interviews — just as a professional news story would. Before your first assignment, we'll provide guidance about the general style, tone and structure of the news stories we publish in EARTH to help get you started. And then we'll work with you through the writing and editorial process. You're encouraged to ask questions, and you're welcome write as frequently or infrequently as works for you and the magazine's editorial staff.

The externship is a remote position; you can work from any location and at your leisure. Once a story is assigned, you’ll generally have one to two weeks to research, report and write it before turning it in. (We do ask that you stick closely to deadlines, so please keep that in mind when determining your availability to write.) Once edited and finalized, extern-written stories are posted on EARTH's website as soon as possible. Select extern-written pieces may also appear in a print issue of the magazine. Publication, either online and/or in print, is subject to the discretion of the editorial staff and is not guaranteed. The externship is unpaid.

If you're interested in the experience, email a cover letter discussing your interest in the geosciences and why you'd make a great extern at EARTH, your resume or CV, and at least one writing sample to to apply.