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Internship, Work, & Scholarship Opportunities

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Interested in learning more about sustainability?

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has a resource hub on a wide range of sustainability topics.

AASHE empowers higher education faculty, administrators, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders.

Internship and Work Opportunities


Science Alliance Internship - Apply Soon: Spring internship deadline is December 15, 2021

Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA) is seeking first and second year students for paid Science Alliance Internships! Science Alliance supports underrepresented populations in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences. First and second year students that qualify (marginalized, first-generation students, and students from disadvantaged backgrounds) are encouraged to apply! 

Benefits of the Science Alliance Internship:

  • Assistance in finding a lab and research mentor
  • Lab wages of $12/hour
  • Access to career counseling
  • Opportunity to participate in peer mentoring program
  • Sense of belonging in community of like-minded students

Communications Specialist - Apply soon

We are looking for a self-motivated, creative, and adventurous Communications Specialist to join our growing marketing team & river cleanup crew! Your main duties will include anything & everything media-related that will showcase our organization’s mission and operation. The other half of your job role is Living Lands & Waters Crew Member! Every day looks different for an LL&W crew member. Still, top job roles include: driving a boat full of either garbage or volunteers (we’ll teach you if you don’t possess this skill already), going on river cleanups, driving trucks and pulling trailers both short and long distances, living and traveling on the barge (or the occasional hotel) for up to 9 months per year, rigging and decking, helping with daily tasks, errands, and maintenance (sometimes extremely random in nature).

Sustainability Coordinator of the Office of Sustainability - Apply soon

Washington University Danforth Campus is hiring a Sustainability Coordinator for their Office of Sustainability. This position coordinates implementation of components of the University’s Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations with focuses in alternative transportation, dining, outreach, and communications. As one of the public faces and often the “voice” of the Office of Sustainability, the Sustainability Coordinator plays an active role in the development of WashU’s culture and community, prioritizing collaboration and inclusion, through programming, relationship development, and communications. This position also supervises student interns. This is a full-time job for 37.5 hours a week. 

FoodCorps service member - Apply soon

As a FoodCorps service member, you can help kids learn what healthy food is, care where it comes from, and eat it every day. FoodCorps recruits talented leaders for a year of full time paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities.

The EREF Internship in Excellence Program - Apply soon

The EREF Internship in Excellence Program offers full-time students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree a unique, hands-on opportunity to experience the world of solid waste management. Interns will work full-time at companies focused on solid waste management, where they will learn to talk trash, understand day-to-day business operations and contribute to the industry. Companies are looking for talented candidates representing a wide range of majors. Upon successful completion of the program and other requirements, interns will be eligible to receive a cash scholarship.

Green Iowa AmeriCorps Full-Time Service - Apply soon

Green Iowa AmeriCorps operates through the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education (UNI CEEE) in Cedar Falls.  Green Iowa is looking to recruit passionate and motivated individuals for an 11-month service experience beginning September 2019 in one of our service locations throughout Iowa!

Food and Farm Coordinator - Deadline closed

SILT is seeking a Fairfield, IA-based Food and Farm Coordinator who is self-motivated, organized and focused. This person will work remotely and report directly to the Executive Director. SILT Food and Farm Coordinators are SILT’s ambassadors and networkers. They inspire confidence in SILT by being highly competent, respectful of others, aspirational and inspirational about the future of SILT farms in Iowa. They grow SILT by connecting the dots among community leaders and between those communities and the food farms SILT will protect around them. This is a 1-year flexible full-time proof of concept position with potential for long-term employment. Part-time employment will be considered upon request, based on the candidate.

Trail Builder - Deadline closed

The trail builder works to restore Indian Creek Nature Center’s trail system from derecho storm damage. This includes building new trails and rerouting existing trails. The position
also works cooperatively with other members of the team to assist with all aspects of ICNC’s outdoor land operations.

Summer Naturalist - Deadline closed

Summer Naturalists work alongside our full-time, year-round Naturalists to plan and lead programs and activities for Indian Creek Nature Center Creek Camps and other summer educational programming. Summer Naturalists will gain valuable, practical experience in environmental education, program development and leadership. 

Environmental Specialist - Deadline closed

Works on grant and contract projects dealing with waste reduction, environmental compliance and recycling; creates and directs specific demonstration projects that address high priority solid and hazardous waste materials, air emissions, storm water or wastewater; organizes and conducts waste reduction programs and projects throughout the state; works with targeted industry to focus on specific waste reduction techniques and opportunities; prepares written waste reduction reports and manuals addressing business and industry projects; conducts on-site reviews of waste management and environmental compliance at the request of business and industry; prepares and conducts individual/group training and presentations for a vriety of industries; develops curriculum based on the needs of industries served; and researches and develops new and innovative technologies and incorporates them into education and training.

Marketing Intern - Deadline closed

Foth is proud to be a 100% member-owned, science and engineering consulting firm with approximately 600 members. This position would be expected to advance the marketing and business development database; implement content (written and graphic) into client proposals; create written and graphic material (brochures, ads, public engagement pieces, etc.); and expand social media engagement and digital strategy implementation.

Sustainable Brands Remote Internship - Deadline closed

The Brands for Good Intern helps ensure that our partners consistently receive an outstanding experience through a number of writing, outreach, and organizational projects. There’s opportunity in this role to work on several different types of projects depending on the department’s needs and your skill sets.

One day you may be helping organize an upcoming event, and the next you’ll be knee-deep in Salesforce creating an internal communications hub for partners. To that end, the most important skills we’re looking for are 1) the ability to quickly and independently learn / adapt to new projects, 2) an absolutely hawk-like attention to detail, and 3) Marie Kondo-esqe organization skills.

The vast majority of the work is done online and digitally; therefore, you must be very comfortable working with new platforms and integration programs. You will excel in this role if you pride yourself on your analytical skills, curiosity, and moxie! This department serves a growing community of corporate, multinational stakeholders, and it is an outstanding opportunity to learn about the latest innovations sitting at the nexus of marketing and sustainability.

AmeriCorps Conservation Stewardship Technician - Deadline closed

AmeriCorps Stewardship Technicians are an integral part of the Bur Oak Land Trust’s mission of restoring habitat for Iowa’s native plant and wildlife species. Stewardship Technicians receive training to conduct prescribed fires, use land management equipment such as ATVs, UTVs, chainsaws and brush saws, and apply pesticides as part of invasive species control. Pesticide applicator and wildland fire (S-130/190) certifications will be available. Tasks associated with these positions may be physically taxing and are inherently risky.

The majority of service will be performed outside, with technicians serving 30-40 hours per week primarily at the Trust’s properties in Johnson County. Technicians will report daily to the office located in Iowa City, Iowa. This position begins in September and lasts for 11 months. Technicians must complete a minimum of 1,730 hours of service, and will receive a living stipend that totals $17,000 and is distributed monthly. Other benefits are available.

As AmeriCorps members, Technicians are also responsible for participating in National Service opportunities. These opportunities are typically within Johnson County but may take place in surrounding counties. To serve with AmeriCorps, members must: be at least 17 years old, be able to pass criminal history and sex offender registry background checks, and be a U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien.

IGWA Student Research Opportunity Proposal  - Deadline closed

The goal of the IGWA Student Research Opportunity
is to increase our understanding of groundwater issues in Iowa and to facilitate interaction between
students and IGWA members. To this end, projects that can be accomplished in within approximately
one year are appropriate. Students must be enrolled in high-school or college in Iowa at the time of application. Students will only
be allowed one IGWA Research grant, and should not apply if they have received one in the past.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources Permanent & Seasonal Positions  - Deadline closed

Do you care about the environment and want to make a difference in the world? Do you like to work in an action-oriented, exciting, diverse, high-energy and challenging workplace?

If you are a team player, highly productive, accountable with an eye for customer service, then the DNR is the right place for you.

The DNR's State Parks Bureau is hiring seasonal aides in many state parks for the 2020 summer season. Duties will include general park and trail maintenance include facilities, park rule enforcement, public programming, and invasive species control. These positions offer experience with lake, prairie, woodland, trail, and/or campground management. Applicants must be available for various shifts including weekends, evenings and holidays. This position is restricted to 40 hours a week with no overtime or compensatory time available. Starting wage is $11.30 per hour.

Preference will be given to individuals in a natural resource-related field of study. Applicants must be 18 years of age, able to communicate well with the public; work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions; be willing to operate equipment such as mowers, tractors, and chainsaws; and must possess a valid driver’s license.

Trees Forever Crew Leader - Deadline closed

 Trees Forever has a program called Growing Futures, which employs high schoolers in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids to plant and take care of trees each season. Each crew of teammates has two crew leaders - usually college students majoring or interested in the environment. We're currently hiring for 2020 crew leaders for the spring, summer and fall.
Crew leaders manage a group of 8-10 teammates as they plant, water, mulch, stake, etc. trees across both metros. Last year in Des Moines, we were able to plant over 700 trees. Cedar Rapids will be close to 400 by the end of the spring. This is a great opportunity for students looking to gain professional experience working with youth and in an environmental setting. Both the teammates and crew leaders get professional development experiences throughout the season too - financial literacy courses, resume workshops and green job shadowing. 2019 was our first year and it went really well - we're looking for committed and excited crew leaders to join the team this year.
Crew leaders are paid $15/hr with lunch provided each day. Crews work 8 hours on Saturdays in the spring and fall, and 20 hours either in the morning or afternoon in the summer, Mon-Thurs. We'll be hiring as follows:
Spring: 2 crew leaders in Des Moines
Summer: 4 crew leaders in Des Moines, 2 crew leaders in Cedar Rapids
Fall: 2 crew leaders in Des Moines, 2 crew leaders in Cedar Rapids

Career Services Coordinator - Dealine closed

The Program in the Environment (PitE) and School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) overarching mission is to contribute to the protection of the Earth's resources and the achievement of a sustainable society. Through research, education, and outreach, the faculty, staff, and students are devoted to generating knowledge and developing policies, techniques, and skills to help practitioners manage and conserve natural resources to meet the full range of human needs on a sustainable basis.

SEAS and PitE are seeking an experienced professional to work as part of a high-functioning team in the school's Office of Academic Programs (OAP), focusing on graduate and undergraduate student professional services. Specifically, we seek a driven individual that will exceed in preparing the students and graduates for employment opportunities, and overall professional services.  The person in this position represents the school and its mission to many audiences and must perform responsibly and professionally and exercise excellent judgment in dealing with the many internal and external constituencies.  This position reports to the Associate Director, Career Services and the Managing Director, Program in the Environment.

Council for International Visitors Iowa Cities (CIVIC) Internship - Deadline closed

Interns play a critical role in the success of CIVIC’s mission.  Internships are volunteer, but offer significant professional development opportunities. Internships permit students to work in a professional setting, contribute in significant ways to the operations of a non-profit organization, enhance their global cultural competency, and to develop and implement projects that may be used to demonstrate work experience to potential employers.

More Internship and Job Websites:

Careers Page from UIowa Geographical & Sustainability Sciences

Careers Page from UIowa International Studies

Careers Page from UIowa Global Health Studies

Environment & Sustainability Careers from the Pomerantz Career Center 

The Green Job Board

Green Biz


Scholarship Opportunities

AFE Scholarships in Floriculture and Horticulture - Apply soon

For floriculture and horticulture students.

Apprentice Ecologist Scholarship - Apply soon

For students who embody the spirit of the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative by demonstrating personal leadership and environmental stewardship in their project. Winning essays have been 750 to 1,500 words long. Middle school, high school, or undergraduate college/university students (ages 13-21) are eligible to apply.

ABPA Harrington-Arthur Memorial Scholarship - Apply soon

For students that seek to increase their knowledge and understanding of how Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention help ensure safe drinking water. Backflow Prevention is designed to prevent dangerous - and sometimes fatal - bacteria, chemicals, and other harmful agents from entering the local water supply systems.

The Joe Halbur Scholarship - Apply soon

For students who plan to further their education in programs of environmental education, cultural interpretation, historical interpretation or outdoor recreation.

Iowa Assocation for Energy Efficiency Scholarship - Apply soon

For students pursuing a degree with supports the mission of the IAEE and are committed to a career in the energy efficiency industry.

The Diane Albertson Memorial Scholarship - Deadline closed

For students with a demonstrated interest in environmental action, especially as related to recycling and waste reduction. Applicants must be a senior or graduate of an Iowa high school and accepted for enrollment as a full-time undergraduate for the 2019-20 school year.

4-H Youth in Action - Deadline closed

For students who are 4-H members or alumni between the ages of 16-19 in our core pillar areas of Agriculture, Civic Engagement, Healthy Living & STEM.

CCREF College Scholarship - Deadline closed

The Composting Council Research & Education Foundation offers an annual scholarship to college students to assist with their compost research projects. The scholarship is available for undergraduate through PhD students studying at a college or university in the United States. The scholarship is for $4,000, and also includes an invitation to present research findings at a US Composting Council Annual Conference.

The goal of this scholarship is to bring assistance to students interested, compost research and to spark interest in future careers in the composting industry.

The research project for this scholarship must be ongoing during the term of the grant and be research in the fields of composting and compost use. More specifically, the ideal candidate will have interest in improving the compost process and the application and the utilization of finished compost to increase drought tolerance, soil nutrient content, reducing erosion and water pollution, and increasing carbon storage in soils to combat climate change.

Leopold Center Sustainability Scholarship - Deadline closed

Junior and senior undergraduates at Iowa four-year colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals to a new sustainability scholarship program sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.  Awards of up to $1,000 will be provided to selected proposals to support planned learning and participation experiences for students interested in the broad area of sustainability. The awards are designed to support students seeking to gain experience that nurtures their knowledge of the big-picture aspects of sustainability. 

John R. Porter Scholarship in Water Sustainability - Deadline closed

This fund is used to support one or more annual scholarships to deserving students in the College of Engineering. Preference is given to an undergraduate research assistant(s) interested in water sustainability who will work with faculty associated with the University of Iowa’s Water Sustainability Initiative. The scholarship will provide support for the undergraduate assistant’s research expenses which may include, but not limited to, salary, travel, books and ability to attend conferences beneficial to his or her research. The award is renewable as long as the recipient continues to qualify under the specified criteria. For a student to be eligible for this scholarship, the student must submit a statement of interest. Selection shall be in accord with standard requirements set forth by the appropriate College of Engineering Scholarship Selection Committee and will include the Chair of the Water Sustainability Committee with the counsel for the Water Sustainability Committee.

Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations Scholarship - Deadline closed

For currently enrolled full-time college or university students who are entering their junior or senior undergraduate year and pursuing a degree in environmental science, engineering, or other suitable major related to the field of solid waste management. To be eligible, candidates must be SWANA Student Members in good standing.

Smith-Babcock-Williams Writing Competition - Deadline closed

For law students and planning students writing on a question of significance in planning, planning law, land use law, local government law or environmental law.

A Little Hope Foundation Global Scholarship - Deadline closed

For young adults to tackle the most intense issues affecting their communities. To be eligible, you must have a desire for higher education with an emphasis on (1) science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, (2) educating our children, and (3) the creative arts. Consideration also will be given to areas of emphasis that focus on sustainability.