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IDEC Fellow - Cohort 5B

Various, MN

The Increasing Diversity in Environmental Careers (IDEC) program is a strategic partnership between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa (CCMI), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (MBWSR). The IDEC program is one strategy developed by the state to tap into Minnesota’s diverse labor market. In addition to fostering the next generation of innovative natural resource and conservation professionals, the IDEC program is committed to increasing access to outdoor recreation opportunities and promoting diversity amongst outdoor enthusiasts. The program is funded by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. 

Cohort 5B – Multi-Year Program (September 2024 to May 2028) 

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 natural resource careers. The IDEC program creates a cohort of 14 – 16 students and provides support in three areas… 

  1. Fellowship – During the school year, students will build a supportive community with their cohort. Students will receive academic scholarships (each semester) and professional development opportunities (once a month). Students work with the program manager during the school year to navigate challenges that may arise during their academic journey. A mandatory Cohort Orientation will be held on August 23rd, 2024 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This in-person event will be held at the Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa office (60 Plato Blvd E Ste 210, Saint Paul MN, 55107). 

  1. Mentorship – Students connect with professionals in the field who share their experiences and provide ongoing support during the school year and summer. The mentorship program aims to enhance college success, encourage personal and professional development, and promote career advancement by pairing students with employees at one of the partner agencies.   

  1. Internship – During the summer, students learn about natural resource career paths and gain hands-on experience through multiple full-time internships ($19/hour) with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. During their first summer internship, students will rotate between the three state agencies as a group, to explore the different careers they offer. In the second and third summer internship, students are placed at one of the three partner agencies. 


Additional Details 

  • During the school year, students will participate in… 

  • 7 mandatory professional development events throughout the school year. These events are typically hosted on Saturday morning.  

  • 2 mandatory mentorship events throughout the school year. These events are typically hosted during the work week, depending on mentor/mentee availability.   

  • 8 mandatory monthly meetings (15 to 30 minutes) with the IDEC program manager. 

  • During the summer, students will participate in… 

  • 1 Rotational Internship during summer 2025. This is a full-time paid 10-week opportunity. The work schedule is Monday through Friday (35 to 40 hours per week). 

  • 2 Agency Internships during summer 2026 and 2027. This is a full-time paid 10 to 12-week opportunity. The work schedule for each internship is unique and will be determined prior to the internship start date. 

  • Travel accommodations will be provided (amount based on location).  

  • Housing or housing stipends are not provided. 


Participation Requirements 

If accepted into the IDEC program, students are expected to… 

  • Attend the mandatory Cohort 5B orientation on August 23rd, 2024. 

  • Attend all mandatory events and meetings during the school year. 

  • Commit to completing 1 Rotational Internship and 2 Agency Internships.  

  • Complete multiple surveys throughout the school year and summer. 

  • Submit a copy of your unofficial transcript at the end of each semester. 

  • Pursue a STEM degree and maintain full-time student status. 


Program Qualifications 

To be considered for participation in the IDEC program, students must… 

  • Identify as ethical or racial minorities, women, and/or individuals with a disability. Definition of disability is defined by the MN Statue 363A.03 Subdivision 12

  • Be accepted to or currently enrolled in a 2 or 4-year fulltime undergraduate program at an accredited state, community, private, or tribal college or university in Minnesota. 

  • Pursue a STEM degree (list of accepted STEM majors

  • Be interested in learning about natural resources careers and working in the public sector after graduation.  

  • Be legally authorized to work in the United States. 

  • Provide a copy of your most recent resume and unofficial transcript.  

  • Submit a complete Cohort 5B application.  


Note for International Students 

Unfortunately, the IDEC program does not have the capacity to support international students. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

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