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Alaska: Elon in Alaska - Summer
Multiple Cities in Alaska, United States
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Restrictions: Elon applicants only
Budget Sheets Summer
Fact Sheet:
 Class Eligibility:
0-First Year and Above
 Minimum GPA:
 Housing Options:
Apartment, Dormitory, Rustic (Camp, Hut, etc), Shared Hostel/Hotel
 Program Type:
Study USA - Summer
 Internship Option:
 Max Credits To Receive/Transfer:
 Program Advisor/Manager:
Phil Smith
 Program Leader 1:
Barbara Gordon
 Program Leader 2:
Joe Jacob
Program Description:
Elon in AlaskaIntroducing Elon in Alaska!
A full-summer program including a literature course, a 12 day learning adventure in South-central Alaska, and an 8-10 week internship.  

About the Location:
At 586,000 square miles, Alaska is an area where humans and wildlife have lived in harmony for thousands of years. The state is known for stunning scenery - tall mountains with narrow valleys, turquoise-colored lakes and rivers, vast ice fields and glaciers, tundra and northern boreal forests. We will explore this varied landscape on land and water, possibly viewing native species including moose, Dall sheep, caribou, brown and black bear, salmon, seals, otters and whales.

Elon Students in Alaska

One of the key ideas underlying this course and one that separates it from other travel courses is Jerry Mander's idea that the essential cultural difference is between technological [urbanized] people and native [nature-based] people. This course examines that most radical and important difference in culture and its significance. Students will have a short but intense experience of nature, read about the experience of others who have sought out or lived in this region, and have contact with residents, both native and non-native of the Kenai peninusula and surrounding area.

Course Information:
GST 255/ENG 255-US (4 credit hours, including a 1 hour course taken the second half of the spring 2014 semester) - This is a hybrid course that takes place in the Spring semester at Elon, online and on-location in Alaska (begins in Anchorage, Alaska May 27).  This course fulfills either the Literature or Society requirement and (when combined with the internship) satisfies two units of Elon's experiential learning requirement.  This course combines experience in Alaska with the study of its people and its natural environment through the work of well known environmental, historical, and literary writers. Students will explore ways different native and non-native peoples have perceived Alaska and examine how their own perceptions of Alaska have been constructed. 

Spring STU Preparatory Course:
This program will include a MANDATORY 1hr preparatory course for the second half of the Spring 2014 Semester.

Students will also be able to complete a 2 credit hour internship at one of numerous businesses, non-profits, and governmental agencies located on the Kenai Peninsula.  Students must apply for and secure interships, and will be aided by our Study USA internship coordinators.  Students completing the course and internship will earn up 6 credit hours for the summer.  

Alaska InternshipsCost:
The cost of this program will be based on individual internship sites as some internships include housing.  For those not including housing, we have options for students at a reasonable cost.  Otherwise the base cost before housing is $6500 (includes ground transportation & meals during the 12 days of travel, as well as Elon tuition and program fees). Students are responsible for transportation to and from Alaska, and for transportation and meals after the course and internship orientation ends June 8th.  

For students electing to take only the GST/ENG 255 course, the base cost is $5000 (includes ground transporttaion and housing & meals during the 12 days of travel, as well as Elon tuition and porgram fees).  

Students will be housed during the course and internship orientation portion of the program (May 27-June 8) and then housing is based on individual internship site.  Some internships include housing - for others we will utilize local facilities and the prices will vary based on location and length of internship.  

To apply click the "Apply Now" button above.  You will be prompted to answer demographic questions, complete a brief essay, sign the Study USA Risk & Responsibilities form, and pay a $400 application deposit.  This deposit is refundable until the March 15 application deadline. Students are strongly encouraged to apply during the "Priority Application" period (before Dec. 1) for best consideration and preferred internship selection.  Summer financial aid is very limited and is administered by the Office of Financial Planning.  Students should apply for summer aid through that office.  Note: University aid for the summer is not determined until early May, after the payment deadline.  Our office will be in communication with Financial Planning to determine any aid you may be receiving and we can waive that amount from your final amount due.  

PLEASE NOTE:  This is a new program and some details are still being fiinalized.  While we have made every effort to fully and accurately describe the program, some information is subject to change.  Please check back on this site for any updates and feel free to ask any questions at  

Draft Itinerary for the 12 day travel portion of the course:
Day 1  Arrive in Anchorage, AK
5/27/14 Check into the Alaska Backpackers Inn
Tuesday Dutch-treat dinner

Day 2  Early morning drive to Palmer, AK
5/28/14 Brief stop overlooking the Matanuska River & Valley
Wednesday Continue drive north toward Denali State Park
  Picnic lunch next to the Susitna River
  Dinner overlooking the Chulitna River & Mount McKinley
  Set-up camp in Denali State Park

Day 3  Identify animals, wildflowers & trees
5/29/14 Hike on Byers Lake Loop Trail
Thursday Picnic lunch along the trail
  Optional hike on Troublesome Creek Trail
  Dinner & campfire
Day 4  Drive to Little Coal Creek Trailhead
5/30/14 Hike to alpine country
Friday  Picnic lunch along the trail
  Return to trailhead & camp
  Dinner & campfire

Day 5  Break camp after breakfast & drive to Willow, AK
5/31/14 Lunch in Nancy Lake State Recreation Area
Saturday Hike to Red Shirt Lake
  Canoe across lake to rustic cabins & settle in
  Dinner & campfire

Day 6  Launch canoes
6/1/14  Explore Red Shirt Lake & lakeshore by canoe
Sunday Return to cabins for lunch
  Continue afternoon canoeing & exploring
  Return to cabins for dinner & campfire

Day 7  Pack up gear after breakfast
6/2/14  Canoe back to trail
Monday Hike back to trailhead
  Drive back to Anchorage
  Check into the Alaska Backpackers Inn
  Dutch-treat dinner

Day 8  Begin drive to Hope, AK
6/3/14  Look for Dahl Sheep along cliffs
Tuesday Lunch along Turnagain Arm
  Visit Glacial Interpretative Center
  Stop at wildflower meadow along Six Mile Creek
  Set-up camp in Hope

Day 9  Drive to Gull Rock trailhead
6/4/14  Hike to Gull Rock
Wednesday Lunch at scenic overlook
  Return afternoon hike
  Dinner back at camp

Day 10  Drive up Palmer Creek Road above tree line
6/5/14  Lunch next to a babbling brook
Thursday Cross-country hike in alpine country
  Dinner back at camp

Day 11  Break camp & drive to Whittier, AK
6/6/14  Afternoon cruise in Prince William Sound
Friday  Early evening drive to Anchorage, AK
  Check into the Alaska Backpackers Inn
  Dinner at the Tai Kitchen

Day 12  Morning visit to Alaska Natural & Cultural History Museum
6/7/14  Afternoon hike on the Coastal Trail
Saturday Dutch-treat dinner

Sample Internships:

Business/Organization:  Alaska SeaLife Center
Address:  Seward, AK
Number of internships available:  See below
Category of internship(s):  (Marketing/Business/Comm./Environmental/Etc.)
Opportunities were available in the following areas for the summer 2013 season:
Aquarium Husbandry, Avian Husbandry, Dive/Aquarium Husbandry, Eider (Sea Duck) Husbandry, Eider (Sea Duck) Laboratory, Interpretation - Avian, Interpretation - Conservation, Interpretation - Education, Interpretation - Eider, Interpretation - Exhibits, Interpretation - Mammals, Interpretation - National Park Service, Marine Animal Stranding Program, Marine Mammal Husbandry, Sales & Marketing, Steller Sea Lion Research, Steller Sea Lion Video Monitoring - Chiswell Project, and Veterinary Laboratory Assistant
Beginning/ending dates? Flexible?:
Minimum of 10-12 weeks between May 1 – September 30
Fulltime/Part-time? Days/hours each week?:
Full-time (40 hrs./week)
Paid or unpaid?  If paid, terms?:
What academic major(s) would make excellent candidates for your internship(s)?:
Biology, Education, Communications and Business
Brief description of duties:
The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) sponsors an internship program for college students or graduates who are interested 
in gaining an educational experience in a world-class marine facility. ASLC internships offer a well-rounded, educational experience working in a variety of areas within the Center. Depending on the type of internship, duties may include assisting aquarium, avian or marine mammal staff with animal husbandry tasks; helping with marine-related research projects as well as teaching and/or preparing lessons in their education department. Interns will be required to participate in a variety of areas and all interns are required to participate to some extent in the interpretive aspects of their operation. Interns will not be permitted to participate in ASLC activities on vessels unless specified in the internship.
Application process:
Apply online between early December and early January.  Application process is found on website.
Housing provided?:
If so, describe:
Dormitory-style housing at the University of Alaska/Fairbanks and one other facility provided that include full kitchens.
Other notes/comments:
Interns are responsible for meals and travel expenses.  Limited ground transportation provided locally to buy groceries 
and visit the Kenai Fjords National Park.
Program Requirements:
Applicants must be college graduates or currently enrolled in an accredited college or university with a 
background or coursework in a related field. Applicants must have the ability to understand and follow written 
and oral instruction, have excellent communication skills, and good organizational skills with attention to detail. 
Applicants must possess the ability to adapt to an ever-changing work environment, and be available to work 
weekends, evenings and holidays.  Public speaking skills, a familiarity with video equipment and software, and 
experience with education programs are highly encouraged. 

Business/Organization:  Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
Address:  Homer, AK
Number of internships available:  Varies each year
Category of internship(s): (Marketing/Business/Comm./Environmental/Etc.): Education, Biology & Ecology
Beginning/ending dates? Flexible?:
Some flexibility
Fulltime/Part-time? Days/hours each week?:
Paid or unpaid?  If paid, terms?:
See information under “Brief description of duties”
What academic major(s) would make excellent candidates for your internship(s)?:
Biology, Ecology & Education
Brief description of duties:
Positions available are geared towards college seniors and recent college graduates.  A great way to get your foot in the door in Environmental Education!  Begin the season by shadowing, training, and helping with programs for the first month and then share the lead on programs.  Programs based out of Peterson Bay Coastal Science Field Station and the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory across from Homer, AK.  Train as a residential instructor/group leader for Alaska Coastal Ecology field trips and Homer based activities for school groups, grades 4-12.  Duties will include instruction, leading beach and forest hikes, and performing routine maintenance of aquaria.  Field sites feature rocky intertidal areas of outstanding diversity, a coastal forest trail system, and salt and freshwater wetlands.  Position requires knowledge of basic intertidal, marine, and forest ecology; experience instructing and organizing school groups or children, good physical condition, and ability to live and work in a residential situation with school groups and other staff.  Alaska or similar experience and experience with stocking and maintaining salt water aquaria preferred.  One position available in 2013 @ $1,200/mo +housing.
NATURALIST INTERN - Wynn Nature Center
Gain skills and experience to lead Wynn natural history hikes and tours and participate in a research or environmental education project.  Energetic, creative individuals needed with academic background in botany and forest ecology with field courses preferred; and some experience with teaching or interpretation.  One position available in 2013 @ $1000- 1200/month BOE + on-site housing.
NATURALIST INTERN - Peterson Bay Field Station
Gain skills and experience to lead Peterson Bay natural history hikes and tours and participate in a research or environmental education project.  Energetic, creative individuals needed with academic background in forest ecology and intertidal and marine ecosystems with field courses preferred; and some experience with teaching or interpretation.  One position available in 2013 @ $1000-1200/month BOE + on-site housing.
Application process:
Check at in winter 2013 for 2014 internships and/or contact Beth directly.
Housing provided?:
If so, describe:
A small amount of space is available above the Center’s main office and at the Wynn Nature Center and Peterson Bay Field Station.
Business/Organization:  Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Address:  Homer, AK
Number of internships available:  Two
Category of internship(s):  (Marketing/Business/Comm./Environmental/Etc.): Environmental Education

Beginning/ending dates? Flexible?:
July 1, 2014 – August 15
Fulltime/Part-time? Days/hours each week?:
30 hours per week, Tuesdays – Saturdays from 9:30am – 4pm
Paid or unpaid?  If paid, terms?:
Unpaid, however housing and a food stipend are provided
What academic major(s) would make excellent candidates for your internship(s)?:
Biology or marine science, environmental education, or related fields

Brief description of duties:
Job duties:  Interns will enhance the experience of Homer visitors through interpretation, one-on-one assistance, and hands-on demonstration related to a variety of marine / coastal environment themes at KBNERR Discovery Labs, outdoor Estuary Hikes, and special events.

30% Provide visitors with thematic information and demonstration / activity assistance during 2-hour Discovery Labs and 1-hour Estuary Hikes.
20% Prepare for public programs scheduled throughout the summer.
25% Interpret visitor center exhibits and respond to visitor inquiries about Kachemak Bay / Alaska at the AK Islands & Ocean Visitor Center information Desk.
10% Set-up and clean-up of lab classroom.
15% Assist KBNERR staff with special projects.

Application process:
Send the attached internship application, resume, 3 references (names with emails and phone numbers), and cover letter to Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, Attn: Internship Program, 95 Sterling Hwy, Suite 2, Homer, AK 99603 or email it to Applications are due by March 14, 2014. 

Business/Organization:  Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
Address:  Soldotna, AK
Number of internships available:  Maximum of 10
Category of internship(s): (Marketing/Business/Comm./Environmental/Etc.): General biological and ecological research dealing primarily with large animal (moose, brown & black bear, lynx, etc.) and bird (swans, arctic terns, etc.) populations and ecological studies dealing with animal migrations and habitat requirements.  Internships can be tailored to the specific interests of a student.

Beginning/ending dates? Flexible?:
Minimum of 10-12 weeks between May & September
Fulltime/Part-time? Days/hours each week?:
Full-time (40 hrs./week)
Paid or unpaid?  If paid, terms?:
Unpaid.  In the past, John has been able to pay for an intern’s transportation to Alaska along with a stipend of $25/day.   That did not happen this year because of budget cuts. No indication at this time as to whether or not funding will be available in 2014.
What academic major(s) would make excellent candidates for your internship(s)?:
Biology & Ecology
Brief description of duties:
Interns will assist field biologists with basic animal and ecological research
Application process:
No formal application process.  Contact John to discuss student’s interest & experience
Housing provided?:
If so, describe:
Five log cabins are available with bunk beds for two interns in each.  A nearby log cabin has a kitchen, shower, washer, dryer and WiFi.
Other notes/comments:
If travel funds become available, interns will have access to refuge vehicles for limited personal use and for research.


Business/Organization:  Kenai River Sportfishing Association
Address:  Soldotna, AK
Number of internships available:  Unknown for 2014 at this time
Category of internship(s): (Marketing/Business/Comm./Environmental/Etc.): Marketing, business, communication, education, biology/ecology and event planning

Beginning/ending dates? Flexible?:
Priority for interns would be preparation for the Association’s fundraising events that take place during the summer and early fall; 
Kenai River Classic - The Kenai River Classic is an invitational fishing event held each summer to raise funds for habitat restoration projects, fisheries education, research and management.
American Heroes Family Adventures - Instructional Program that brings families from Elmendorf Air Force Base who have been serving overseas and haven't had a chance to spend quality time with their families to the Kenai Peninsula.  During this event the families will experience the Kenai Peninsula with guided fishing on the Kenai River, Fly Out fishing, Halibut fishing and other activities.
Kenai River Jr. Classic - Some young Alaskans have never had the opportunity to go fishing, and that's what the Jr. Classic is all about.  The Association brings kids between the ages of eight and 16 to fish with a professional guide on the Kenai River during the Jr. Classic.  The kids also learn about salmon, river ecology and boating safety. 
Kenai River Women’s Classic - One of the first events of its kind for women in Alaska, the Association, in conjunction with the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce , invites professional women to come to Soldotna in September for two days of silver salmon fishing, networking and educational seminars.
Fulltime/Part-time? Days/hours each week?:
Full-time (40 hrs./week)
Paid or unpaid?  If paid, terms?:
Small stipends are available.
What academic major(s) would make excellent candidates for your internship(s)?:
See categories above.
Brief description of duties:
Interns could be used in marketing the nationally recognized fundraising events and participating in all of the details involved in putting on the events.
Application process:
No formal application process.  Contact Ricky
Housing provided?:
Unknown at this time.  See below.
If so, describe:
The new dormitory at Kenai Peninsula College may be a possibility.

Business/Organization:  National Park Service
Address:  240 W. 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK  99501
Number of internships available: several
Category of internship(s): (Marketing/Business/Comm./Environmental/Etc.): Natural/Cultural Resource Interpretation (Communications), biology
Beginning/ending dates? Flexible?:  
Flexible depending on park unit.  Approximately May 15 – Sept 10 (less if volunteering)
Fulltime/Part-time? Days/hours each week?:
Usually full time – 40 hours per week
Paid or unpaid?  If paid, terms?:
If paid, must apply via announcements posted on USAJobs
What academic major(s) would make excellent candidates for your internship(s)?:  
Communications with a background in natural sciences; biology
Brief description of duties:
This could be quite varied however…
1. Greets visitors to parks, provides general orientation and guidance.  Conducts formal presentations such as nature walks, talks and slide shows.  
2. Assists biologists with field research possibly including fire ecology, small mammal studies, plant and animal inventories – this would include spending time in remote camps working with a small crew in a very rustic camp setting, hiking over rough terrain and likely in rainy conditions.  Work varies by park and projects are not yet determined.
3. Application process:
a. For paid employment students would apply to specific announcements posted on USAJobs.  These would be posted as seasonal jobs and the selectee would work with the supervisor to develop/meet internship requirements.
b. For Volunteer opportunities students can contact parks or Kathleen Kelly for applications for the various opportunities.
4. Housing provided?:  Yes, in most locations.  Housing can be single family home dwellings shared with other employees to small cabins with no running water but a central bath house, and most locations are remote.  It is recommended to bring at least a month’s worth of food to begin with.  Depending on location, rides can be shared for town trips for groceries and supplies or it could be flown in (at an additional cost).  Food is expensive in the park locations.  There is no cost for housing for full time volunteers. Employees have rent deducted from their salary checks.
If so, describe:
Other notes/comments:
We do not have a specific internship program and it is best for the student to contact and work with the supervisor in the park unit.  And although we do not set aside specific internships we can work with you to let the parks know of your program and the students that are seeking internships.

Business/Organization:  Southern Kenai Peninsula Parks Advisory Board & Ninilchik Village Tribe
Address:  Ninilchik, AK
Website:  None
Number of internships available:  Depends on student interest & experience
Category of internship(s): (Marketing/Business/Comm./Environmental/Etc.)
There are two, possibly three program needs; two for the Advisory Board and one for the Tribe.  Darrel works for the Tribe and is its representative on the Advisory Board and is the Board’s chairperson.
The Tribe will be conducting ecological surveys in 2014 of the salmon streams on its lands that enter the Kasilof River.   They have subsistence rights to fish the River which now is receiving heavy competition from sportfishing guides.  They want to be sure that this competition is not negatively impacting their subsistence rights.  They could use interns to help them survey the tributary streams and River.  In this particular case, students with ecology or biology majors would be needed.
The Advisory Board’s role in Alaska State Parks is to make recommendations to the Director of the needs of 12 parks/recreation areas within the Southern Kenai Peninsula region.  These parks are spread out over a 50-mile area and are under tremendous pressure from public use and are in need of upgrading to protect the natural and recreational resources and to accommodate the use. Environmental/biological and communication majors would be used to do the following:
1. Develop both a website and Facebook page representing the 12 park/recreational areas.  The idea behind the website and Facebook page is for the Board members to be in better communication with each other and State Parks staff and for the general public to be better informed about the parks/recreation areas so that they become advocates for them,
2. Inventory the parks for both animal and plants and record the park/recreation area and surrounding area history,
3. Interview park users on camera as to their impressions of the parks/recreation areas and needed user facilities.  The idea here is to present State Park officials with a visual assessment of user impressions and needed facilities rather than produce a report that would just be put up on a shelf, and
4. Develop the website in a way that it becomes a virtual representative of the parks/recreation areas and their assets and needs.
The third possible program area needing intern support is an assessment of a hiking/biking/horseback riding trail extending some 60 miles along the beaches of eastern Cook Inlet.  Although there is much private land along the beach bluffs, it only extends out to mean high water which means that for half the tidal cycle twice a day, the public has the right to access.  The parks/recreation areas could serve as nodes (campsites) on a chain of an extended trail system with little or no additional public acquisition of property rights.  A Cook Inlet Beach Trail from Kasilof to Homer could become to the Kenai Peninsula what the Appalachian Trail is to North Carolina or the Pacific Coast Trail is to California.  Both Ecology/Biology  and Communication interns would be needed for such an assessment and documentation.  If the assessment proves positive, later communication interns (i.e., another time period like during the regular academic year) could develop marketing materials that promote trail use.
Alternatively and possibly in addition to work on a Cook Inlet Beach Trail, there is interest in creating a hiking/biking/cross country skiing trail from Kasilof to Anchor Point with side trails to parks/recreation areas and creation of trails within the parks/recreation areas.

Beginning/ending dates? Flexible?:
Fulltime/Part-time? Days/hours each week?:
Full-time.  Flexible days/hours each week.
Paid or unpaid?  If paid, terms?:
Unpaid.  Darrel has indicated that he has access to grants that might be available for paying interns.
What academic major(s) would make excellent candidates for your internship(s)?:
Biology, Ecology & Communications
Brief description of duties:
Se e the descriptions above under Category of Internship(s).
Application process:
No formal application process.  Contact Darrel to discuss student interest & experience
Housing provided?:
If so, describe:
Students could camp at each of the parks/recreation areas while doing their inventory/assessment.  The Ninilchik Tribe has office facilities in Ninilchik where interns could use computers, telephones, copying facilities, etc.  There may also be some rustic accommodations in a camp, but transportation would need to be provided.
Depending on the number of interns, Joe Jacob has some lodging options in Clam Gulch, AK which is located near some of the parks/recreation areas.

Additional Information and Links:
Barbara Gordon (Course Faculty)
Department of English
Whitley 202
2338 Campus Box

Mr. Joe Jacob
Alaska Personal Journeys
P.O. Box 76         
Clam Gulch, AK  99568      

Study USA
CB 2375, Carlton 116
Elon, NC 27244
336-278-6765 (phone)

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2014 04/18/2014 
Rolling Admission 05/27/2014 08/15/2014
 NOTE: Note: This program includes a Spring 2014 prep course. Summer program begins in Alaska on May 27. End dates will vary based on individual internship location. Internships begin on June 9 and may last up to 10 weeks. Students are encouraged to apply in the fall, prior to pre-registration, in order to secure preferred internships and for scheduling of the spring preparatory course.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status in a timely fashion.

Indicates that deadline has passed
This program is currently not accepting applications.