Professional Development

Professional Development Workshop Courses (MSCI 717 & MSCI 718, semesters 2 & 4 respectively): Students are required to attend 2 professional development and career-building workshops. These workshops address professional skills, scientific communication, scientific writing, data analysis, ethics and budgeting. RIPTIDES trainees receive training to enable them to reach diverse audiences through effective communication and education, and support policymakers in translating science to inform decisions.
Professional Internship for Academic Credit (MSCI 788, semester 3): The internship experience gives students experience in the use or translation of science or scientific thinking in a non-academic work setting. Students and internship sponsors are matched based on mutual interests and the availability of internship opportunities. Internship sponsors will participate in a brief training to orient them to the objectives of the RIPTIDES program and the expectations for the internship experiences. At the start of the course, sponsors will provide a description of the project(s) they have available for intern(s) to work on at the matching event. Interns will also be provided with guidance on their professional responsibilities as an intern. There is no expectation that the internship experience be linked to the thesis research project, but in some cases the internship activities could form a core or an extension of the thesis project. Though RIPTIDES trainees will complete only one internship, group meetings will be designed with the goal of sharing things learned in each trainee’s internship across the entire class at least three times throughout the semester.


Photo: Students in the RIPTIDES program listening to partners from the Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC) give pitches about their available internship opportunities at the beginning of the semester. This gathering is known as our yearly “matching event” in which hosts and students get to meet and network.