Students walk across Cal State Long Beach.
Student workers across the 23-campus California State University system have submitted an official petition to form a union.

File photo. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it will extend $2 million in funding for hands-on water management internships to 200 low-income students at California State University (CSU) schools serving large Hispanic populations, including campuses in Northridge, Long Beach, Fullerton, San Diego and elsewhere.

The $2 million grant renews the USDA’s support of the Watershed Management Internship Program ran by the CSU’s Water Resources Policy Initiatives (WRPI) consortium, which first received a four-year USDA grant in 2012.

“The USDA grant funding will provide students with an opportunity to learn water management techniques essential to sustain California’s water supply during our current drought and well into the future,”’ said WRPI Director Boykin Witherspoon III in a statement. “It will also provide underserved students with paid internships, which are invaluable to student success and employment opportunities.”

The grant aims to also improve graduation and school retention rates for hispanic students, Witherspoon said.

California State University, Long Beach’s (CSULB) spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said it is unknown to what extent CSULB will be involved in the grant process.

“CSULB has a number of initiatives to improve and expand the educational opportunities for Latino students and the USDA-CSU internship program looks to achieve similar results,” Uhlenkamp told the Post. “This is a very timely topic and hopefully there will be CSULB students among the group of interns who will be working to address the state’s water-related issues.”

Possible internships include helping CSU professors with watershed research to working with the USDA or another community water supply manager.

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