Student's tasks and projects have varied from back country ranger duties to wetlands restoration, to interpreting prairie ecology, facilitating dam removals, monitoring brown bear behavior, creating sustainability plans, working on salmon research, studying highway impacts upon park wildlife, planning wilderness trail systems, working on Native Allotment issues in parks, and interpreting and protecting archeological sites.

The National Park Service is short staffed for managing the parks, and as a consequence, they characteristically invest Northwestern interns with quite major responsibilities. Because of the relatively small numbers of students involved in the environmental field school, each placement is individualized to serve the students' needs and interests, while also providing valuable assistance to the agency.