Summer internship with Environment Maine-Portland, ME
Organization: Environment America
Location: Portland, ME
Hours and Compensation: Unpaid
Application Deadline: March 15, 2014
Environment Maine is now accepting applications for our summer internship program. If you want to spend the summer learning how to make a real impact on the decisions that affect the energy we use, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places we love, apply for an internship with Environment Maine. We’re accepting applications now for summer internships in Portland and in the offices of our 29 state sister organizations around the country and in Washington, D.C.
Environment Maine works on behalf of its 18,000 citizen members and supporters to protect Maine’s treasured places, expand the local foods movement, fight the climate crisis, and transition Maine to 100% clean, renewable energy. We are strategists and organizers. We’re good at figuring out the best policy to make progress toward solving a particular problem given the political lay of the land and our long-term vision, and we have the experience and know-how to bring people together to make it a reality. Our top-priority campaign this past year has been keeping tar sands oil out of Maine, and we recently secured a six-month moratorium on tar sands in South Portland – a temporary victory that we’re now working to turn into permanent protections. Environment Maine is part of the Environment America federation, with sister organizations across the country and staff in Washington, D.C.
About our internships:
Environment Maine accepts 5-6 interns for our summer internship program each year who work to advance our campaigns. You’ll learn how to analyze environmental problems, advocate for smart solutions, and build public support. And you’ll work one-on-one with one of our advocates and organizers, providing a unique, mentored experience. Internships are unpaid. Students are encouraged to seek funding from their institution or external sources, and we’ll work with you to secure academic credit from your college or university if that is an option.
This summer, we are offering four different internships:
- 2014 Elections (1 full-time position available): Maine’s gubernatorial election is an extremely close, three-way race with high stakes for Maine’s environmental and progressive movement. It is a top-watched race nationally. Environment Maine will be endorsing and participating in the governor’s race, as well as a handful of state legislative races, where we can elect an environmental champion. Our Elections Intern will help lay the groundwork for the election this fall, which will include compiling voting scorecards, preparing and collecting candidate questionnaires, tracking relevant news, and recruiting and training Environment Maine members to participate in volunteer canvasses. Schedule will include two Saturdays in the second half of the summer for Days of Action, some nighttime events leading up to our Days of Action, and otherwise will be Mon-Fri 9-5.
- Sustainable Agriculture(1 position available): Despite our rich agricultural heritage, Maine imports more of our food than any other state in the continental U.S. We are working with partners in the food movement to build greater access to Maine-grown, sustainable food across the state, including through farm-to-school programs and food hubs. Our Sustainable Agriculture Interns will organize people at farmers’ markets in southern and mid-coast Maine to build support for expanding access by schools and other Maine institutions to fresh, sustainable food grown here in Maine. Last summer, our farmer’s market tour was a big success (and a lot of fun), and we are looking forward to building on that foundation with interns who love to talk with people and are eager to engage the public on this critical issue. Schedule is centered on farmers markets, which includes weekend days, with two days free in the middle of the week (likely Tues + Wed, depending on this summer’s farmers market schedules).
- Protecting Maine’s Lakes (2 positions available): From Moosehead and Sebago Lake to thousands of beloved small lakes, our nearly 6,000 lakes are a state treasure. They are the source of clean drinking water to nearly two-thirds of Mainers; provide endless opportunities to boat, fish and swim; and are the economic lifeblood of many communities, generating at least $3.5 billion annually and sustaining 52,000 jobs. But development, pollution, and invasive species threaten our lakes, and new research from the University of Maine shows that the water quality of our lakes is declining. While the Maine DEP once ran a world-class lakes protection program, it’s now under-staffed and under-resourced, most education and technical assistance has been terminated, and the law is not being enforced. Environment Maine is working with our allies at the Maine Lakes Society to restore critical protections to Maine’s lakes. Our Maine’s Lakes Interns will build support for our campaign through grassroots organizing, traditional and social media, and by going right to the source to talk with people at Maine’s lakes. Schedule will include one trip per week (alternating weekday and weekend) to a Maine lake. Part-time and full-time internships available.
- Toxic-Free Future (1 position available): Almost every day we read about a new, toxic threat in our environment, homes, or personal care products—threats associated with serious health problems ranging from birth defects to heart disease. Yet, the chemicals are everywhere—in our blood, breast milk, indoor air, drinking water and wildlife. Environment Maine is working to ban the most dangerous chemicals in everyday products. As our Toxics Intern, you’ll conduct research and organize activists to make progress on the issue at the state and federal levels. Responsibilities will include attending statewide coalition meetings with The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, building support for our campaigns by implementing media and grassroots tactics, and engaging Environment Maine members in activities and events. Hours are mostly Mon-Fri 9-5, with a few nighttime events/month. Part-time internship is an option.
Our ideal candidates:
We are seeking current college students who care deeply about our environment and are driven to preserve it for the future. We look for strong leadership skills, academic excellence, problem-solving ability, top-notch written and verbal skills, and eagerness to learn. Sense of humor is a plus.
What you’ll gain:
We provide interns trainings, issue and strategy briefings, the opportunity to take on increasing amounts of responsibility, and one-on-one mentoring. Interns will gain experience in many areas of organizing and advocacy work, including:
- Mobilizing citizens and coalition partners;
- Attending meetings with local, state, and federal decision-makers;
- Conducting research and drafting materials for our campaigns;
- Highlighting issues in the traditional media;
- Online organizing and social media
- Organizing grassroots events, such as moving showings, community forums, and activist meetings;
Here’s what Rivvy Eisenberg, Bennington 2016, has to say: “Interning for Environment Maine really was a multi-faceted learning experience. One of my core responsibilities as an intern was reaching out to government officials, farmers, and school food service directors about a local foods bill. It gave me the chance to enhance my relationship-building skills, look first-hand at the legislative process, and testify at a public hearing. I’m grateful for the opportunity to take what I’ve learned in class and apply it to making change in the real world for our environment.”
Here’s what Sarah Curran, Cornell 2016, has to say: “Interning at Environment Maine gave me a significant amount of hands-on experience in the environmental field. Environment Maine interns get real responsibility. From writing op-eds to working with local activist groups, I was empowered to make a tangible impact on the community. It was an incredible way to spend the summer!”
After your internship:
Through an internship with Environment Maine, you’ll get the training and the experience you need to be better prepared for a career in the environmental movement. And each year, Environment America hires passionate, talented and committed college graduates to join our two-year Fellowship Program. Some of our former interns have gone on to become some of our most successful Fellows.
How to apply: