OFFICE of SURFACE MINING
RECLAMATION and ENFORCEMENT

U.S. Department of the Interior

Graphic of trees and lake scenery.

For More Information:

Sathiyan Sivakumaran
Youth Program Analyst
ssivakumaran@osmre.gov
(202) 208-2770


Contact OSMRE

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Get Involved - Youth and Volunteers

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) offers various service and learning opportunities for students, recent graduates, and the public at large to get involved and make a difference.

Semester Internship Program

Contact: Sathiyan Sivakumaran, 202-208-2770

Summer 2015 interns participate in a coal mine tour

Interns participate in a coal mine tour in Maryland.
Photo credit: OSMRE

The Semester Internship Program provides a career exploration opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent graduates who have received their degree in the past 2 years. Interns work in OSMRE Headquarters, regional offices, and field offices, gaining professional experience with a federal regulatory agency.

Interns conduct research assignments and participate in projects with OSMRE staff and other interns to build their resumes in their fields of interest. Assignments can involve subjects you expect from OSMRE, like GIS and mine mapping, but can also focus on areas like budget analysis and communications outreach development. Internships conclude with a final presentation to OSMRE staff on their work, allowing the interns a great opportunity to showcase their efforts and develop their projects over time. Key information about the program includes:

  • Interns must be enrolled in an accredited educational institution, vocational school, or be a recent graduate (anyone who has graduated in the past 2 years)
  • Internship pay and benefits can vary dependent on the designation of the position
  • OSMRE encourages applicants from all majors and interests
  • Terms of service can occur in the Summer (10 weeks), Spring (15 weeks), and Fall (15 weeks)

Check out the Stewards Individual Placement Program or reach out to Sathiyan Sivakumaran for more information!

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) Program

Contact: Sathiyan Sivakumaran, 202-208-2770

Students participated in a service project planting native trees in a riparian buffer zone

Students participated in a service project planting native trees in a riparian buffer zone
Photo Credit: Stewards Individual Placement Program

OSMRE’s award-winning VISTA program was established in 2002 through a partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA and the Stewards Individual Placement Program. It has since supported over 1,000 VISTAs, helping them make a difference across the country. The OSMRE/VISTA program places individuals who have recently graduated from qualified institutions (e.g. community colleges, universities, vocational training centers) in communities impacted by legacy mining practices and the decline in coal mining employment.

OSMRE/VISTAs commit to a year-long term of service, accomplishing 5 core goals:

  • Building the capacity of their organization and community
  • Creating economic opportunity
  • Promoting environmental stewardship and healthy futures
  • Enhancing outreach and education
  • Acquiring professional development
An OSMRE/VISTA explains how to take pH samples from streams impacted by mining in Pennsylvania.

An OSMRE/VISTA explains how to take pH samples from streams impacted by mining in Pennsylvania.
Photo credit: Stewards Individual Placement Program

Over the years, OSMRE/VISTAs have served in Appalachian states like West Virginia and Kentucky, Western states like Colorado and Oregon, and plenty of states in between. Whether it’s driving volunteer engagement efforts to restore a watershed or helping improve access to healthy food, OSMRE/VISTAs are committed to reinvigorating communities in America. Some important information for potential OSMRE/VISTAs:

  • Biweekly living stipend and benefits are provided
  • Each term of service lasts one year
  • VISTAs successfully completing service receive an education award or cash stipend
  • Completion of service also results in a year of non-competitive eligibility for federal government jobs
  • Interested persons of all majors and backgrounds are encouraged to look into and apply for OSMRE/VISTA opportunities

Please check out the Stewards Individual Placement Program or contact Sathiyan Sivakumaran to learn more!

AmeriCorps Program

Contact: Sathiyan Sivakumaran, 202-208-2770

An OSMRE/AmeriCorps Member records data related to acid mine drainage

An OSMRE/AmeriCorps Member records data related to acid mine drainage in Tennessee
Photo Credit: Stewards Individual Placement Program

The OSMRE/AmeriCorps program has connected participants to direct-service projects in support of OSMRE’s mission since 2012. OSMRE/AmeriCorps Members work directly with OSMRE staff and gain professional experience in a federal agency, while developing skills and abilities in fields of their interest. Projects can be geared towards water monitoring, invasive species removal, mine mapping, or a number of other areas that OSMRE is involved.

The OSMRE/AmeriCorps Program has helped OSMRE develop talent that has contributed greatly to the agency. Since the program’s beginning in 2012, many OSMRE/AmeriCorps Members have served in the agency’s headquarters, regional offices, and field offices performing a number of roles. They’ve contributed to projects that have made a lasting impact on the agency, and some have found full-time employment with OSMRE.

Key information about the OSMRE/AmeriCorps Program includes:

  • AmeriCorps Members generally serve a one-year term of service
  • Members receive a biweekly stipend and benefits, including an educational award upon completion of service
  • Program participants gain valuable experience working for a federal government agency
  • OSMRE encourages applicants from all interests and backgrounds
  • Upon completion of the term, there is potential for full-time employment with OSMRE!

Check out the Stewards Individual Placement Program or reach out to Sathiyan Sivakumaran to learn more!

Pathways Programs

Contact: Brenda Garrett-Freeman, 202-208-2771

The Pathways Programs promote Federal workforce employment opportunities to students and recent graduates. Opportunities through Pathways Programs are available for students from high school through postgraduate school, and recent graduates. The Pathways Program collectively includes the following 3 programs:

Internship Program - Offers paid opportunities for students currently enrolled in a variety of educational institutions to work with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and explore careers while completing their education. It replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

Recent Graduates Program - Provides developmental experiences for individuals who have graduated from qualifying educational institutions within the previous two years (includes associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degrees or certificates).

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program - The PMF program has been the Federal Government's premier leadership development program for advanced degree candidates for more than three decades. Executive Order 13562 expands the eligibility window for applicants, making it more "student friendly" by aligning it with academic calendars and allowing those who have received a qualifying advanced degree within the preceding two years to participate.

Visit https://www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads/ for current opportunities.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers planting tree seedlings in Kentucky.

Volunteers planting tree seedlings in Kentucky.
Photo credit: Green Forests Work

The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) - Encourages the reforestation of coal-mined lands in the Eastern United States. ARRI uses a technique known as the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) to plant trees. OSMRE and Green Forests Work partner to recruit volunteers throughout Appalachia to help reforest lands affected by surface mining. Thousands of volunteers from over 300 partner organizations enjoy planting native tree seedlings, connecting with nature, and learning about Appalachian culture annually.

Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 11/20/20

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240
(202) 208-2565 | TTY: (202) 208-2694 | Email: getinfo@osmre.gov


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