Henry W. Offen Internship

Henry W. Offen NRS Undergraduate Internship for UCSB Students

UCSB Natural Reserve System

2021 – 2022

Coal Oil Point Reserve

The Henry W. Offen NRS Undergraduate Internship celebrates the life of Dr. Offen, Chemistry Professor and Emeritus Professor at UCSB for more than 45 years. Dr. Offen served as the first Director of the UCSB Natural Reserve System (NRS), a position he held for 16 years. He understood the value of the UC Natural Reserves for research and teaching that contribute to the wise management of the earth.  He was particularly interested in fostering students’ interests in conservation and management of the earth’s natural resources by providing opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research and management activities at the Reserves. 

The Henry W. Offen UCSB Undergraduate Research Endowment was set up to honor his memory and legacy through the generous donations of family and friends.  The Endowment provides an annual stipend to support the Internship.  To be eligible applicants must be registered undergraduates at with sophomore, junior or senior standing when they apply.

This year’s Intern will work on management-related projects at the Coal Oil Point Reserve  (https://copr.nrs.ucsb.edu/). COPR is located 4 miles north of the UCSB campus.  One of seven reserves managed by the University of California Santa Barbara Natural Reserve System, COPR offers a variety of research and education opportunities for students seeking to gain hands on experience.  The staff of the COPR is trained in a range of topics including marine biology, botany, conservation, and restoration. 

The specific projects of the internship will be decided between the student and the reserve staff and include activities that help the reserve staff with management of the reserve.

Internship Details

  • The Internship stipend is $1000.  The intern will be responsible for transportation to the Reserve.  
  • Hours are flexible but the student should be prepared to work for periods of 3 hours, including some weekends, from the start of the internship in Winter 2022 through Fall 2022.
  • Please note that this internship includes 2022 Summer and Fall work. Make sure you are available during this time before applying.
  • The Intern will be supervised by the Coal Oil Point Reserve Director and will work with Reserve conservation and restoration staff.
  • The internship offers a wide variety of hands-on participation and training in a number of areas in Reserve Management including but not limited to:
    1. Restoration of native plants in Winter and Spring.  Tasks include propagating and caring for plants in the greenhouse, planting seedling in the field, watering and weeding, assisting the land steward with supervising interns and volunteers on workdays. 
    2. Assist with the Snowy Plover program in the Summer and Fall.  Tasks include tracking snowy plover predators, counting snowy plovers, collecting beach use data, entering beach use data into an excel database, informing beach users of the reserve rules and snowy plover biology, conducting surveys. 
    3. General stewardship of the reserve. Tasks include installing fences and signs, maintaining trails.


All applicants must submit an application form, which can be accessed HERE and includes:

  • A 300 word essay explaining your career goals over the next 10 years and how you see participation in the UCSB NRS Internship Program furthering those goals.
  • A copy of your resume/CV, including a list of classes you have completed or are currently taking and your GPA.
  • A letter of support from a faculty member, mentor, advocate, post-doctoral fellow or graduate student you have either had as an instructor or T.A., or have worked with during your undergraduate career.  This may be submitted as a separate confidential letter/email if preferred by the letter writer.

A brief final report to summarize the student’s accomplishments and experience is required at the conclusion of the internship.

 The completed application and accompanying letter of recommendation are due by 5 pm, January 14, 2022.  Late applications will not be accepted. The internship will begin February 7 2022 through October 2022. Please submit your application materials via email to: admin@nrs.ucsb.edu(link sends e-mail)

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Cris Sandoval, Reserve Director, email: sandoval@ucsb.edu(link sends e-mail), or Dr. Marion Wittmann, Executive Director, UCSB Natural Reserve System, email: marion.wittmann@ucsb.edu