Conservancy-CSU Bakersfield Partnership
California State University, Bakersfield, (CSUB), one of Tejon Ranch Conservancy’s local institutions of higher learning, is proving to be an exceptionally rewarding partner for advancing its mission and programmatic directives. Although the Conservancy has facilitated research access to the Ranch for a number of faculty members for many years, the developing gem of the CSUB partnership is the summer, science-based internship program. Funded by a Bakersfield philanthropist and coordinated by CSUB’s College of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering, the internship program is equally beneficial for the Conservancy and the students that are chosen to become interns.
On the student front, interns are exposed to a diverse array of Conservancy activities, spanning science, stewardship, public access and education. Importantly, interns don’t just play a peripheral role, but become fully integrated into daily field and office activities to provide them with the richest possible work experience. In return, the Conservancy’s internal capacity to collect, process and analyze ecological data significantly increases, as does its community outreach abilities and capability to host special-interest groups eager to experience Tejon.
The overarching goal of the Conservancy’s summer internship program is to expose CSUB students interested in the natural sciences to the day-to-day and inner workings of a local nonprofit conservation organization. By doing so, interns gain invaluable experience beneficial to their academic and professional pursuits, while playing integral roles in helping the Conservancy meet its organizational objectives.