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The environmental sciences are growing in importance today, as is their popularity with students. But this boom brings with it problems as well as possibilities. Last year 10 of us, all students in the final semester of our studies at the Remote Sensing Department of the University of Trier, Germany, realised just how complex the internship and job market was for graduates of our fields--applied physical geography and applied environmental sciences. As a result, in May 2001 we founded Cubicworld, an Internet project through which we hope to help those following on behind us negotiate the tricky transition into the world of work.

Cubicworld specialises in the fields of environmental information processing and modelling, with an emphasis on geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, these being core fields in the environmental sciences. Our intention is to create a forum that links mature or postgraduate students of remote sensing and GIS with companies or institutions in the same field in order to enhance communications among members of this growing community. Students need information about the kind of internship opportunities open to them at important institutions and companies, and we offer a free service to help graduate and postgraduate students find those internships and jobs.

Students are represented in a database that shows their qualifications, interests, and contact addresses. Meanwhile companies and institutions can present themselves, their work, and current internships, studentships, or job vacancies on the Internet pages. Moreover Cubicworld offers a monthly e-mail newsletter that gives registered students up-to-date information on the job and internship market and about current Cubicworld efforts or special topics.

Currently, Cubicworld lists six jobs and three internships, represents almost 40 students in its database, and provides over 200 links to the major companies and institutions world wide. These links are regularly maintained, and our contacts with institutions and companies are cultivated to ensure up-to-date information. We also make and maintain contacts with scientists and universities in the field of environmental sciences in order to highlight scientific career opportunities.

We have established four cooperation agreements with other remote sensing and GIS-related platforms for setting up a network on the remote sensing and GIS job and internship market whose goals align with our own: GISjobs International (information and recruitment services totally dedicated to the GIS industry), ZGIS (Zentrum für geographische Informationsverarbeitung Salzburg), Science-Jobs-De (Stellenausschreibungen von Wissenschaftlern für die Wissenschaft, a service of the University of Heidelberg), and Groupement pour la Recherche, l'Enseignement et les Applications de la Télédétection.

In the future we want to focus on enhancing our contacts and cooperations, and on building up information on scientific career possibilities in order to become a major job resource in the field of environmental sciences. We plan to provide more information about research positions and major research institutions. And we would also like to highlight funding opportunities for further study in these fields, together with the eligibility and application requirements for such national and international scholarships.

We believe that Cubicworld has made good progress in establishing an informative and up-to-date information forum. It is open to everybody who intends to work or offer work in the field of remote sensing and GIS at no cost to either side. The site is free of commercial advertising, but due to its nonprofit basis the initiative depends entirely on the help and commitment of people working in these fields. Please join us in helping Cubicworld grow!