HomeAct LocallyInternships with the AllianceSummer Internships

Summer Internships

Each summer, we offer several internships, usually focusing on a specific issue or project with a team of students from different colleges.  (Some of our regular internships, such as Communication or Act for Change, may also be possible in the summer ).

The focus for 2019 includes two projects for small teams:

  • Climate Action Planning – developing specific proposals for a climate action plan for a city or county in the Lehigh Valley, possibly one of the efforts already under way.
  • Sustainability for independent cafés & brewpubs – explore ways for independent cafés, restaurants, and/or brewpubs to operate more sustainably — not general guidelines, but ‘auditing’ their practices, evaluating options, & making specific recommendations for that business.

In addition, we invite an interested student to explore Removing Barriers to Sustainability – Can we achieve sustainability simply by addressing global warming or through better regulations? Or do we need to deal with embedded racism, patriarchy, & colonialism? Capitalism, at least as it is currently practiced, is intertwined with them all. All of these issues are closely connected to the ‘evil triplets’ spelled out by MLK: racism, militarism, & materialism.

It’s hard to argue that anything could be more urgent than climate action planning, but this option may prove the most important in the long run.

Team members meet with selected community members to explore aspects of the projects and their research, and will meet as a group to review progress, plan next steps, work together on complex tasks, and coordinate independent work and team projects. In addition, each intern is expected to do reading and research independently, with the internship coordinator or other staff available to answer questions or provide assistance.

Summer internships are unpaid, but most students choose to work 25–30 hr/wk.   (At some colleges, that makes students eligible for stipends and/or other benefits.)(Internships can be structured to require as little as 15 hr/wk.) Are you interested in and able to do an unpaid internship?

(Recent summer projects included a Sustainability Impact Assessment [2018], climate & sustainability for schools [2014 & 2016], and Sustainable Campus Dining Resources [2013].)

General Information for Summer Internships

Deliverables generally will include some or all of the following

  • a report presenting information from research and/or literature reviews, discussion of implications, and recommendations for action
  • presentations to community groups and other groups
  • one or more posters that clarify recommendations

Skills and Abilities Interns Are Expected to Have / Develop / Improve

  • Understanding of project subject matter, including strengths & weaknesses of current systems, and how the subject relates to and contributes to sustainability
  • Effective oral communication in professional & community settings
  • Effective written communication (reports, website pages, and perhaps some blog posts)
  • Ability to identify key points for effective action
  • Project planning & management skills
  • Use of Excel (or a similar program) to develop complex spreadsheets designed to analyze findings

Qualifications: Strong desire to improve policy & education with regard to climate, public health, social justice, and other facets of sustainability; strong written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; ability to work well independently & as part of a team.


Alliance Goals

[updated 30 December 2017]