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Department of Geography

Community Partners

Geography enjoys partnerships with several community organizations.  Our partners will periodically contact us with specific internship opportunities that require certain skills and experience.  Students may also contact partners directly to inquire about possible projects that suit students’ interests and skills.

Community Partners for the Internship in Geography (GEOG 595)

The A.C. Moore Herbarium has the largest collection of dried plant specimens in the state of South Carolina. Run by the Biological Sciences Department at the university, the Herbarium provides learning opportunities for Geography students to develop plant-specimen metadata through georeferencing tools. Activities involve adding mappable coordinates to specimen records and contributing to the seamless Community Georeferencing (CoGe) platform across the Southeastern US. For more information, contact Herrick Brown at

Audubon South Carolina is the state arm of National Audubon Society. Its mission is to protect birds and the habitats they need, now and in the future. ASC is seeking interns with GIS skills for mapping, story board creation, geopolitical analysis, landscape scale analysis, and mapping in support of presentations and grant funding needs. Projects may also involve mobile mapping, story maps, and spatial analysis. ASC owns 22,000 acres of habitat and is working to improve forest management on over 4M acres in SC. Contact person is Sharon Richardson at

Beitz and Daigh Geographics is a Columbia, SC-based mapping technology and data company focused on the commercial real estate industry. Beitz and Daigh Geographics created Planned Grocery® (more details at for companies to better track when and where new grocery stores will be built. Our Planned Grocery® platform (recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal) is used by companies such as Whole Foods, Philips Edison and Company, and Fidelity Investments. We are looking for interns with an interest in real estate and GIS. Please send inquires to

Founded by Dr. Rajeev Bais from the UofSC School of Medicine, the Carolina Survivor Clinic works with recently resettled refugees in the Columbia metro area. The clinic runs a therapeutic gardening project, an academic tutoring program, and other programs and activities for youth and adults. For more information, contact Dr. Caroline Nagel at

The Coastal Conservation League is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the coastal resources of South Carolina. Its mission is to protect the state’s natural landscapes, abundant wildlife, clean water and quality of life. Since 1989, the Conservation League has carried out this mission by working with citizens, local government and the state legislature.For more information, contact Alan Hancock, Energy and Climate Advocacy Director at

ECSC (Cayce, SC) is the statewide service and trade association for electric cooperatives in the state. Electric cooperatives provide electricity to more than 1.4 million South Carolinians on a not-for-profit basis and collectively operate the state’s largest electric system. ECSC is interested in GIS interns with geospatial analytical skills to maintain various spatial/non-spatial datasets and web-based applications. The internship activities will support the ECSC’s GIS capacity for situation awareness and decision making, and enhance students’ experiential learning in human- and business-oriented geospatial intelligence, perfectly fitting in the USGIS GEOINT Certificate program at South Carolina. For more information, contact John Breeden at

The Gills Creek Watershed is among the largest impaired urban watersheds in South Carolina. The Gills Creek Watershed Association is dedicated to restoring the watershed through education, grassroots action, public and private partnerships, preservation, and restoration projects. The program is seeking interns with solid GIS skills to map land use, natural habitat, historical significance, and threat of development. For more information, contact Fran Varacalli, Executive Director, Gills Creek Watershed Association at

The Historic Columbia Foundation conserves and manages multiple historic properties in Columbia and creates educational programs about the city’s rich history. An important goal of the organization is to use a deeper understanding of local history to bring together people from diverse backgrounds. Opportunities exist to research urban history, to create educational materials, and to produce maps and other visuals. For more information, contact John Sherrer at

The LWCD develops and implements programs that study, manage and conserve the state’s land and water resources, and provides guidance in resource development and management through planning, research, technical assistance and public education. The program is seeking interns with solid GIS skills to map the state’s land and water and to maintain its natural resources database. With more information, contact Tanner Arrington at

The Columbia NWS Forecast Office has forecast and warning responsibility for the south Carolina midlands and the central Savannah River area of eastern Georgia, which includes the cities of Columbia and Augusta. The summer intern program allows current college students to gain hands-on operational experience in an NWS Forecast Office and expects that a guided research project will be presented at the end of the summer. Students will be selected through a competitive application (late February) and interview process (mid-March). For more information, contact Science and Operations Officer, Frank Alsheimer at

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The South Carolina chapter is seeking interns with GIS skills for mapping of land protection, natural habitat, and in support of grant funding needs. Projects may also involve mobile mapping, story maps, and spatial analysis. For more information, contact GIS Manager Melissa Strickland at

The NIWB NERR (Georgetown, SC) is one of 29 reserves around the coastal US that form NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The NIWB NERR was established in 1992 and is dedicated to research, education, and stewardship with an emphasis on how human development and climate impact the ecology and condition of the coastal zone. The NIWB NERR is hosted by the university's Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences. It is interested in GIS interns with specific interests that include: high-resolution mapping and photo interpretation to monitor environmental changes in critical shoreline and salt marsh habitats; story-mapping of reserve data and projects within the NIWB NERR; and the development of a catalog of available GIS data and imagery relevant to the NIWB NERR. For more information, contact Erik Smith at or Jennifer Plunket at

The Richland County Dems are seeking interns who are interested electoral politics and who want to learn more about local communities in the County. Opportunities exist to participate in outreach work with prospective voters, neighborhood data collection, mapping, strategizing, and more. For more information, contact Matt Kisner at

The Richland County GIS office manages data and produces maps relating to land assessment, socioeconomic characteristics, voting, boundaries and districts, physical features, and much more. For more information, contact Geoff Schwitzgebel at

Governed by the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association, Seabrook Island Development is a private, gated community development with a variety of Lowcountry beach- and marsh-side living options. The association is seeking student interns with solid GIS and mapping skills to monitor the coastal barrier island in a variety of applications. For more information, contact Steve Hirsch at

The mission of the SC Forestry Commission is to protect, promote, enhance and nurture the forest lands for South Carolina in a manner consistent with achieving the greatest good for its citizens. For more information, contact David Jenkins at

Housed within SCDNR, the SC Heritage Trust Program has preserved and protected natural and cultural properties across South Carolina since 1974. The program is interested in interns to work with its Natural Heritage Database that tracks rare, threatened and endangered species in SC. Interns should have a working knowledge of GIS software, creating and editing spatial databases, and the ability to create effective online mapping products using ArcGIS Online. Must have strong written/communication skills. More advanced modelling projects are optionally available. For more information, contact Geospatial Analyst Joe Lemeris at

The SCO represents the state in all climate and meteorology matters. It provides a unique service to the state by archiving and distributing climate and meteorological data, reports, and research that date back to the late 1800s. The SCO also administers the South Carolina Drought Response Act, which requires the office to formulate, coordinate, and execute a comprehensive drought response program for the State of South Carolina. The SCO is interested in interns with knowledge of some course-work in climate, strong quantitative skills, effective oral and written communication skills, and ability to perform independent research. Please contact: Hope Mizzell, SC State Climatologist, at

The Three Rivers Greenway is composed of the riverfront pathways at the confluence of the Broad, Saluda, and Congaree Rivers in Columbia, West Columbia, and Cayce. The program is looking for student interns with interests in environmental conservation and with GIS skills to map greenway use and preferences. For more information, contact Karen Kustafik at

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