Climate Change Internships 2018

Interested students should contact Nicky Phear at by December 1, 2017, to indicate which internship(s) interest you, why, and how you meet the qualifications noted. If you are well-suited, and depending on how many students are interested, Nicky Phear will set up a meeting between you and the supervisor, who will make the final placement decision before the end of the semester.

For more information, there will an open house on Tuesday, November 28, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in the Davidson Honors College Lounge, to meet representatives from these organizations, hear about their work, and learn about internship opportunities.

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. Qualifications include interest in storytelling, climate change communication, and the capacity to learn how to work with Story Maps. Knowledge of GIS is preferred, but not required.

Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation (MIST)

Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation (MIST) works to create sustainable transportation within Missoula. The main goals of MIST are focused on safety, equity and creating a healthy environment for all. Sustainable Transportation Intern: The 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. Qualifications include a desire for meaningful dialogue is essential. Good organizing skills are helpful.

Free Cycles

Free Cycles is a program within the Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation that provides bicycle services to the community, including a community shop, bike well classes, and advocacy for a healthy community. 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. Qualifications: Must be compassionate and have a desire to work with diverse groups of people.

Defenders of Wildlife and MPG Ranch

Defenders of Wildlife and MPG Ranch have 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 data management. Qualifications: Intern must be highly adept working in Excel and using Picasa. An ability to distinguish Montana wildlife is also important, as well as the ability to communicate well with staff and 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 to build on climate change curriculum and activities. If feasible, interns can create a field-based study of climate change topics. If schedules align, interns will present a sequence of lessons to Missoula –area high school students. WEN is seeking innovation in their Climate Change curriculum, lessons, and activities that engage students in grades 5-8, 9-12, college, community members, and the Confederated Salish, Kootenai Tribal Natural Resource Department. 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 works to preserve 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 within the National Park Service. The Climate Change Intern will work in one National Park unit, such as Grant Kohrs Ranch or Little Bighorn Battlefield to build on 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. Qualifications include enthusiasm and willingness to learn, ability to read/synthesize information and write clearly, and the ability to produce a valuable reference document for the Park.

UM Office of Sustainability

University of Montana Office of Sustainability seeks to enhance students' understanding of the ties between ecological, social, and economic issues. The Office of Sustainability supports the University of Montana's ongoing efforts to become socially and environmentally sustainable in our operations, classrooms, and facilities. Climate and Sustainability Intern: This internship will focus on two projects throughout the semester. One focus will be to assist the UM Sustainability Coordinator and the ASUM Renter Center Director with coordinating the “Campus Thrift” move-out waste reduction event. 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 other portion of the internship will be supporting the coordination of a Campus Conversation that focuses on examining and adjusting our institutional climate action goals. Qualifications: 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. The student should have a basic understanding of sustainability concepts. There will also be plenty of opportunity to work on outreach and media surrounding the events.

Environment Montana

Environment Montana is the state branch of Environment America, a citizen-funded nonprofit dedicated to social change and environmental protection. Missoula-based staff focuses on targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives. Climate Policy Intern: Spring interns will hit the trail – and the slopes – to fight for climate action. Specific duties include recruiting outdoor adventurers to pose with the climate change banner, recruiting outfitters to sign a letter to senators Tester and Daines, researching climate change impacts to Montana outdoor recreation and public lands, writing blog posts and letters to the editor, and working with the director to create a presentation and attend a lobby meeting with both senators. Qualifications: Environment MT is looking for student interns who care deeply about the environment and are ready to make a difference now. No experience is necessary, although a love of winter weather and outdoor adventure is a must! Ability to research, write concisely, and utilize social media is desired.

Climate Ride

Climate Ride is a non-profit organization based in Missoula, MT. They organized multi-day charitable hikes and bike rides to raise funds for organizations working in fields of climate change, sustainability, and active transportation. Through adventure, they create advocates for their cause, connect like-minded concerned citizens, and turn bikers and hikers into philanthropists for the environment. Digital Content and Marketing Intern: Climate Ride is seeking a creative and passionate student to identify new avenues for marketing to connect more people to our events and our cause. Projects may include creating short videos to inspire new audiences to join our events, creating informative blog content for our website, distributing print and digital content, and designing marketing materials. Qualifications: Ideal candidates will have the ability to create digital marketing and blog content. We’re looking for someone who can create and edit short videos, research and write cycling and hiking related blog content, and use Photoshop and Illustrator for graphic design purposes. We're looking for someone who is creative, has strong writing skills and attention to detail. 

UM Dining

UM Dining - Sustainability is committed to reducing the impact our operations have on the environment. Adjusting the types of foods we purchase and how we design our menus holds enormous potential to mitigate the overall environmental impact. Furthermore, if we can successfully educate our guests about the link between diet and climate change, we can create a lasting impact. Sustainable Food Analysis: Part one of this project would be to complete the input and categorization within the purchase data set. UM Dining is currently in the process of categorizing a year’s worth of purchase data. Attributes include everything from food type to third party certifications and vendor’s business structure. The second part of the project is creating a robust report that analyzes the data and applies research-based metrics to determine the impact our purchases have. The goals are to determine how UMD’s purchasing decisions impact GHG emissions. Qualifications include skills in data entry and quantitative analytics. Familiarity with Excel and Google Sheets is also critical. An interest in research and reporting is also desired. Note: The KRELF committee secured $1000 to help support student work on this project.

UM Dining Gardens

UM Dining – Gardens operates two produce gardens on campus. The gardens provide thousands of pounds of fresh organic produce to our dining operations and function as learning laboratories for students and visitors. UM Dining Gardens Intern: This internship will be for 2-3 credits. Interns will learn about growing their own food, agricultural ecosystems, composting, and soil structure in a small group hands-on environment. Qualifications: Interest in sustainable food production systems and growing practices.

Montana Conservation Voters

Montana Conservation Voters (MCV) fights to protect clean water, air, and our outdoor heritage by involving people in government. Through our affiliated political arm, MCV works to elect legislators and local and statewide officials who stand up for Montana’s conservation values. We use letters, phone calls, petitions, events, and direct action to impact Montana's politicians to preserve and improve our states environmental wellbeing. Climate Policy Intern. The intern will work with volunteers and other interns on issues that are politically relevant. Interns are expected to take on the role of a community organizer. Each intern is encouraged to work on issues that they feel passionate about as long as they relate to MCV’s broader conservation goals. The organizing efforts will entail building political support, through petitions, hosting events, and working to connect constituents to their representatives. This internship will be 6 hours a week between the hours of 11am -7pm Tuesday through Saturday.  Qualifications: MCV is looking for students interested in furthering conservation objectives through political participation and lobbying. An ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal skills, ability to work on projects independently, and the complete objectives on time. There are no major requirements, and MCV encourages any student passionate about environmental issues to inquire about our internship offerings.

Montana Renewable Energy Association

The Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is one of the leading voices for renewable energy advocacy in Montana. MREA is a non-profit organization based in Missoula dedicated to expanding Montana’s use of renewable energy in order to conserve natural resources, create jobs, and increase the independence and resilience our communities. Communications and Public Engagement Intern –The intern will support MREA’s education and outreach efforts by developing content for their monthly e-Newsletter, blog, website pages, and social media. Content will discuss MREA's current focus areas, including general education on renewable energy technologies; policy and advocacy on net metering and other key issues; and updates from the renewable energy industry. Intern may also have opportunities to support outreach and planning efforts for MREA's annual Montana Clean Energy Fair. Qualifications include interest in renewable energy technology, policy, and advocacy; openness to learn; and ability to synthesize information and write in a clear and compelling manner. 

Faith and Climate Action Montana

Faith and Climate Action Montana is an interfaith coalition based in Missoula, Montana. We seek to educate individuals and faith communities about climate science and impacts; create space for thoughtful and critical reflection on climate-related social, environmental, and spiritual issues; and facilitate meaningful action to address the climate crisis via advocacy and local organizing. Faith and Climate Intern: The intern will help put together a conference focused on climate change advocacy for people of faith at the end of April - the weekend of the 27th. They are looking for an intern who could help plan and execute this conference. Qualifications include organizational skills, interest in climate change advocacy, and strong communications skills.

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. Climate Research Assistant: Molly White, Education director, is leading some research on monitoring and evaluation of international climate change capacity building projects. She is available to facilitate a minimally supervised research assistance project. This work would entail conducting a literature review. It would be a good fit for a self-motivated social science major. Qualifications include interest in GHG accounting, creative problem-solving ability, and strong communications skills.

Montana Climate Office

The Montana Climate Office is an independent state-designated body that provides Montanans with high quality, relevant, and scientifically based climate information and services. Climate Research Assistant: This intern would continue work on a climate and agriculture newsletter, interpreting current conditions and seasonal forecasts in the context of agricultural decisions and future predicted changes. Qualifications: The intern must be passionate about climate change, skilled in writing, and must have a basic understanding of climate science.

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.

  • Life Cycle Storyteller Intern: Ever wonder about the climate impacts the stuff we use every day? How much energy goes into making a toilet, for example? Or a roll of carpet? Or a ceiling fan? And what are the impacts of their landfill disposal at the perceived end of their useful life? Help us explain the climate benefits of reuse by telling the untold stories of the life cycles of everyday materials. Where do they come from and where do they go and what are the climate implications throughout their journey. Qualifications: This intern will like stories and understand their transformative power, have a passion for research, proficiency on the computer and knowledge of using the internet as a research tool, communication and writing skills, and a curious mind.
  • Zero Waste Intern: This internship is for a student interested in waste reduction as it relates to climate change. There are several project options. Possibilities include updating the Moving Missoula Toward Zero Waste Guide, a comprehensive community waste reduction, recycling, and reuse guide developed in 2015 by the now-defunct Sustainable Business Council, writing "Zero Waste Profiles" of Missoula businesses and individuals for the Home ReSource blog, assisting with the development of a waste reduction unit for 6th graders, doing a study of Missoula restaurants to determine usage of styrofoam take-out container, and possibly others! Qualifications: We are looking for an intern who is excited about research as well as education and outreach.
  • 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. Qualifications: We are seeking 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.