icon-arrow-down icon-arrow-left icon-arrow-right icon-arrow-up icon-calendar icon-check icon-close icon-compass icon-email icon-facebook icon-instagram icon-linkedin icon-map icon-play icon-plus icon-search icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube

Graduates of the International Environmental Policy (IEP) program are sustainability leaders throughout the world, pushing the boundaries of environmental progress.

Why the Institute: Professional experience before you graduate

My name is Melis Okter, I was an International Environmental Policy student at the Middlebury Institute. I am currently an environmental scientist and coastal planner at Dudek, in their Oakland office, and what I mainly focus on is sea level rise policy. I was studying science-based stuff in my undergrad and I had this moment when I felt like there was a lot of science going on but there was so much of the implementation.

So I took a shift from looking at science-based PhD programs to more practical masters or PhD programs and I came across the Middlebury Institute and the IEP program had a really good intersect of science and policy. That was the best part of it because if you don't have a lot of job experience, you can focus on what you did in your class; not what you learned, but how you implemented what you were learning.

Several of our classes, we had to write vulnerability assessment, or go out and do some sort of fieldwork that we translate into a policy. And those were directly applicable tools that I was able to show people while I was applying to jobs: "Hey look, I'm on the younger end of the spectrum. I don't have a whole lot of job experience, but this is how I know how to do a lot of this stuff."

I don't think there's any contaminated sites, but I just wanted to make sure there's someone confirming that.

The Middlebury Institute offers you a lot of flexibility to form what you're most interested in and we have access to some great positions around Monterey. We have NOAA right by us, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Big Sur Land Trust and they all know our professors really well. So our professors are always looking to get their students these great positions and they get to know what you're interested in to give you job opportunities while you're there.

I think I valued most just how much the faculty cares about their students and really wants to see them succeed. Jason Scorse, the director of the IEP program actually sent me this job position. So I think a lot of them are really invested in their students post-graduation. In my undergrad, I went to UC San Diego, so it's huge, and I don't think I had a single professor that I interfaced with very often. So coming from a big school, I think the small campus in a small town with a really small program was really beneficial.


This information is compiled from surveys of the Classes of 2011–2016 and refers to the first job after graduation (unless otherwise stated).


Created with Sketch.

Bangladesh; Chile; China; Colombia; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Haiti; Indonesia; Italy; Malawi; Mozambique; Peru; Samoa; South Sudan; Taiwan; Tanzania; United Kingdom; United States

Employment Status (One Year After Graduation, %)






  • Big Sur Land Trust
  • California Coastal Commission
  • California Department of Natural Resources
  • Conservation International
  • Driscoll's
  • EDF Climate Corps Fellowship
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO)
  • Fulbright
  • The Natural Conservancy  
  • Oceana
  • Trees for the Future
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • Veritable Vegetable
  • World Resources Institute


Employer Testimonial

[The student] ... worked steadily and reliably and helped supply all requested tools and analyses in time ... We will miss her a lot ... Any institution would be lucky to have her on board.

International Professional Service Semester Supervisor, Conservation International

Summer 2017

Secured Opportunity: 94%
LocationsFiji, Honduras, Italy, Palau, Vietnam, United States 

Select Internship Employers

  • California State Coastal Conservancy
  • California Farmlink
  • California Natural Resources Agency
  • Environmental Defense Fund 
  • Fish 2.0 
  • Fresno Food Commons
  • San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative
  • San Francisco Estuary Partnership
  • UN FAO
  • Wait Institute
  • International Arctic Research Center
  • IUCN Oceania
  • Measure to Improve
  • NOAA
  • NOAA Marine Debris Program
  • One Earth Future
  • OneReef
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Think Beyond Plastic
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Select Internship Position Titles

  • Graduate Assistant 
  • Center for the Blue Economy Fellow 
  • Marine Debris Program Intern 
  • Mesoamerican Reef Project Program Coordinator
  • Natural Resource Management Advisor 
  • Sustainable Fisheries Analyst 
  • Sustainable Urban Development Intern
  • Philippines Fisheries Management Analyst
  • Policy Intern
  • Program Assistant
  • Project Scientist 
  • Research Fellow
  • Researcher 
  • Student Assistant