University of California, Riverside

Environmental Sciences

Fertile Future Internship Program

Fertile Futures

Pathways to USDA Professions for Environmental Science Students

What is Fertile Futures?

Fertile Futures: Pathways to USDA Professions for Environmental Science Students is funded by a 4-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the Department of Environmental Sciences at UCR. The program seeks to addresses two major problems:

  • Low participation of underrepresented minorities in environmental science fields and USDA mission critical occupations, and
  • Low community college transfer rates into Environmental Sciences undergraduate program

What are the goals of the Fertile Futures Program?

  • Goal 1: Increase the number of community college transfer students into the UCR Environmental Sciences major.
  • Goal 2: Improve student preparation and ease transition for community college students entering UCR.
  • Goal 3: Provide experiential learning experiences and develop leadership skills.
  • Goal 4: Improve graduation rates and guide students toward careers in Federal agricultural and resource management agencies.

What does the Fertile Futures Program consist of?

After being accepted to the Fertile Futures Program students will participate in a number of activities designed to increase their success at UCR and to guide them towards employment in the USDA:

Summer STEM Pathways – Improving Student Success

Fertile Futures students will attend the CNAS Summer STEM Pathways in their first summer. Pathways is a paid ($5,000) ten-week, research experience for first-time incoming community college transfer students.

Community Building and Outreach

Fertile Futures students will have opportunities to perform public service and outreach to local students and the larger Riverside community on agriculture and the environment.

Internships at USDA Laboratories

Fertile Futures students will be assigned 10-week, paid internships at the U.S. Salinity Laboratory or the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station where they will work with USDA scientists on pressing issues facing agriculture and natural resource management. Both USDA facilities are within two miles of campus, where interns will work 9-12 hours per week.

What are the eligibility requirements for Fertile Futures?

  • Community college transfer students currently enrolled at UCR
  • Community college students who have applied for transfer admission to UCR
  • Students must be in good academic standing when applying and must maintain good academic standing while in the Fertile Futures program
  • Students enrolled in all UCR Colleges are eligible, but preference will be given to students enrolled in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and the Environmental Sciences major.
  • All community college transfer students to UCR are eligible, but preference will be given to students from Mt. San Jacinto College
  • Students are expected to participate in all major program components (Summer STEM Pathways, Outreach & Community Service and USDA Internship)

Who can I contact for more information?

Dr. James Sickman is the program director for Fertile Futures and can be contacted at:

How do I apply to the Fertile Futures Program?

Applications for 2019 will open on March 1st 2019

Please submit the application form:

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Environmental Sciences
Geology 2460

Tel: (951) 827-5116
Fax: (951) 827-4652