2017 internships

Opportunities for internships:

Interested students should contact Nicky Phear at nicky.phear@umontana.edu by December 5, 2016, to indicate which internship(s) interest you, why, and how you meet the qualifications noted below. If you are well-suited, and depending on how many students are interested, Nicky will set up a meeting between you and the supervisor, who will make the final placement decision before the end of the semester.


Climate.Place, a Montana-based company, advises homebuyers and real estate professionals about climate change risk and readiness in the housing market. Our mission is to empower Americans to make wise decisions for the future of their families and the planet. Climate Smart Places Intern: Interns will work with our interdisciplinary team to identify the top 30 climate smart places to purchase a home in the United States. We will evaluate large, medium-sized and small communities using our 10-point Risk and Readiness Framework. Interns will conduct original research, collate existing data, and weigh the multiple dimensions of climate preparedness through 2050. Interns eager to participate in an entrepreneurial venture with interest in the physical or social sciences, community planning, public policy, economic analysis, and/or principles of sustainable home and community design. Opportunities may exist for continued engagement in our start-up business beyond this project.
Climate Smart Places Intern: As part of a pilot project with Zillow, the Northwest Regional Climate Modeling Consortium, and MyHEAT, interns will conduct an inventory of community-level preparedness, including both mitigation actions and adaptation planning across the Northwest.

Climate Smart Missoula

Climate Smart Missoula is a local non-profit and a hub that fosters partnership and action to address climate change in the Missoula community. Communications Intern: This internship involves storytelling and public engagement for Climate Smart Missoula. They are looking for a creative individual to help highlight the many interconnected projects and stories that make up their initiative through interviews with participants, photographs, and video. The Intern will use these mediums to develop ESRI Story Maps and outreach materials for the Climate Smart website. Highlighted programs will include Summer Smart, Solarize, Energize, well as the connection between art and climate change. Interest in storytelling, climate change communication, and the capacity to learn how to work with Story Maps.

Home ReSource

Home ReSource is a local non-profit business with a mission to reduce waste and build a vibrant and sustainable local economy. Home ReSource reduces greenhouse gas emissions by keeping more than 2 tons of reusable materials out of the landfill every day. Carbon Offset Intern: This internship involves initiating a process to see if Home ReSource may become a carbon offset generator. The student would look into the carbon offset market to determine how building reuse activities could be included, and prepare a report of finding and recommendations. An intern who is excited about understanding the murky, often confusing world of carbon offsets. The ideal candidate would have a curious mind, a penchant for asking questions, and a passion for research.

Communications Intern: This internship involves creating messaging and signage that is strategically placed around the store to convey the benefits of reusing particular materials or items: in effect, to use the retails story as an interpretive center. The intern would take the lead on researching the climate-related impacts of reusing or, conversely, wasting specific materials, and then translate that information into a concise, meaningful message. The challenge in this project is primarily two-fold: First determine the most meaningful data to convey and second to translate the data into terms easily understood. The intern will require critical thinking skills, a passion for research, proficiency on the computer and knowledge of using the internet as a research tool, excellent communication and writing skills, and a curious mind.

Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation (MIST)

The Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation (MIST) works to create sustainable transportation with Missoula as an example, focused on safety, equity and a healthy environment.
Sustainable Transportation Intern: This intern will help with outreach, research and promotion of local transportation solutions, such as human scale roads and roundabouts; restoring train service thru Missoula; connecting bike lanes, trails and walkways; creating pedestrian plazas, and any other pertinent topic. This position is organic in that week to week duties somewhat depend on local opportunities and upcoming decision making. Talking to the public and local businesses about ideas is part of the position, as is developing flyers, designs, displays and possibly a newsletter. A desire for meaningful dialogue is essential. Good organizing skills are helpful.

Economic Analysis of Pavement Techniques Intern: This intern will explore in detail the economic benefits surrounding replacing asphalt and concrete with brick, psyllium, and other sustainable paving techniques. This internship will conduct research, analyze data, and explore benefits of different paving techniques used around the globe. Other topics of interest or relevance to transportation systems may be incorporated into this internship as well. Must have a passion for problem solving.

Free Cycles

Free Cycles is a program of the Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation that provides bicycle services to the community, including a community shop, bike well classes, and help for a healthy community.
Bike-A-Thon Intern: This intern will coordinate and lead a community wide organized group bike ride to take place in the Spring. The intern will plan designated bike routes for various distances, take on a leadership role in event marketing, recruit riders and sponsors, engage with the local media, and more. Must be creative, have good people skills, and the desire to spread the joy of cycling to all!

Community Bike Shop Intern: This intern will help run the core Free Cycles programs: Open Shop, Build-A-Bike, Bike Well Class, and Youth Cycles. The intern would have set shifts at Free Cycles, mainly helping with shop flow, helping people feel comfortable, organizing parts and bikes, and taking care of the facilities. As you gain experience, you would teach people to fix bikes. Early on, there would be more organizing; as the weather turns towards more ideal cycling conditions, the focus would shift to getting people on bikes--both at the shop and on campus. Must carry compassion and have a desire to work with diverse groups of people.

Climate Change Studies Program

The Climate Change Studies Program provides students opportunity to become informed and engaged on the issue of climate change — from multi-disciplinary coursework, to field studies, to study abroad and service learning opportunities.
Communications Assistant. This intern will gather stories about climate change student accomplishments, from project work (internships, practicum projects, action projects) to study abroad, and other creative works. The intern will also create platforms for sharing stories through a blog site, webpage, and newsletter, and link these to Facebook posts. Interest in fostering the climate change student community; strong written communication and social media skills.

Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife has again partnered with the Bitterroot National Forest to conduct a citizen-science monitoring effort targeting gathering data on climate-sensitive species, including wolverines, fishers, and lynx on the Bitterroot. Citizen Science Intern: Last year the Defenders of Wildlife had over 140 volunteers who documented wolverines at six stations using motion-sensitive wildlife cameras. This internship involves sorting and organizing the photographs as they come in from study sites. There is also potential to go into the field to check stations. This is a great opportunity to be involved with wildlife work and work with data management. Someone highly adept on the computer, particularly working in Excel and using Picasa, plus an ability to distinguish Montana wildlife, and skill in communication and work with volunteers.

Watershed Education Network

The Watershed Education Network (WEN) is a Missoula-based organization that fosters knowledge, awareness and appreciation of watershed health concepts through science and outreach. Climate Change Education Intern: This internship will involve collaborating with key WEN staff, Deb Fassnacht and Becca Paquette to build on draft climate change curriculum and activities, improve and expand existing lessons. If feasible, create a field-based study of climate change topics. If schedules align, present a sequence of lessons to Missoula –area high school students. Qualifications include knowledge of climate change science, interest in education and teaching, and motivation to create engaging and experiential educational activities.

National Park Service

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The NPS Climate Change Response Strategy (2010) provides specific guidance on climate change response in NPS. Climate Change Intern will work in one National Park unit, such as Grant Kohrs Ranch or Big Hole Battlefield, to draft a Climate Change Checklist and engage park staff in discussions regarding climate change. The intern will compile information about projected changes in climate, impacts to cultural and natural resources, and how to frame climate change in discussions with visitors. A person with enthusiasm and willingness to learn, ability to read/synthesize information and write clearly, and able to produce a valuable reference document for the Park.

UM Office of Sustainability

The University of Montana Office of Sustainability strives to coordinate, lead, and connect efforts across campus to make UM a more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable community. Campus Thrift Intern: The intern will coordinate a move-out waste reduction event. Each spring semester, as students vacate their residence halls and off-campus homes, furniture, clothes, and appliances are thrown away or left on the street for neighbors to claim. Campus Thrift involves the collection of donated items and their re-sale after graduation. The intern would work through the logistics of the event, coordinate the event, media, and outreach efforts, and provide leadership the day-of event. The intern must be good at setting goals, meeting deadlines, and conducting independent research. While event planning and project management experience are not necessary, the student must be interested in developing these skills. In addition, the bulk of work for this internship will take place in April and through mid-May.

Energy Project Coordinator: This intern will contribute to UM’s Climate Action Plan by continuing the ultra-low freezer inventory that was started by an AmeriCorps service member in spring 2016. On college campuses, two types of spaces are responsible for the greatest energy use: cafeterias/kitchens and research labs. One of the most energy intensive pieces of lab equipment is the ultra-low freezer. This intern will conduct an inventory of these freezers, identify research lab efficiency opportunities, and communicate the “green lab” efforts to the broader campus community in the context of UM’s Climate Action Plan. The intern must be self-motivated and good at conducting independent research, proactive in familiarizing him/herself with lab operations, and able to politely and respectfully communicate with busy professionals.

Environment Montana

Environment Montana is the state branch of Environment America, a citizen-funded nonprofit dedicated to social change and environmental protection. Climate Policy Intern. Environment Montana works on a variety of projects, such as protecting Montana's watersheds, advocating for solar power implementation statewide, to pushing for legislative change regarding Montana's carbon emissions. The spring 2017 project is yet to be determined, but will likely involve work on the Clean Power Plan and Montana's Clean Energy Blueprint, and advocating the use of renewable energy in Montana. An intern for Environment Montana will participate in event planning, generating opinion media, building relationships with coalition partners, lobbying and grassroots organizing. Passionate about environmental activism.

Greenhouse Gas Management Institute

Greenhouse Gas Management Institute is a non-profit organization that trains professionals across the globe on the principles, concepts, and techniques used to manage and credibly account for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Carbon Education Intern: Skills in GHG accounting, auditing, and management is a growing need world-wide and essential for the implementation of climate change policies. The intern will support the efforts of the GHG Management Institute by working with Molly White (Senior Educations Program Manager) to: 1) take two Greenhouse Gas (GHG) management courses in order to develop carbon management skills and expertise; 2) assist with course development; and 3) contribute to writing one well-researched blog post and one "brown bag" presentation on a topic pertinent to a post-Paris carbon accounting issue. Interest in GHG accounting, creative problem-solving ability, and strong communications skills.
16. United States Forest Service The US Forest Service has an overall mission “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.” Soil Science Intern: The student intern will help support the USFS goal of mapping soil properties. The USFS needs a student to work with the National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) to build this soil pedon database. The student would work independently to enter soil pedon data in PC pedon. The intern would also be involved in summarizing the attribute data to demonstrate application for available soil water supply, volcanic ash amount and soil depth. Knowledge of access database. PC pedon does not require advanced skills in data management. However, at least an introductory knowledge of MS Access would help since all databases tend to have issues.