Agency Mission and Project Overview:
American Rivers’ mission is to protect wild rivers, restore degraded rivers, and conserve clean water for people and nature. Our California Program works collaboratively on our state’s rivers as they flow from the mountains to the sea through meadow and watershed management in the Sierra Nevada, to floodplain restoration and reconnection in the Central Valley and Delta. Our Central Valley Program works with conservation and community-based colleagues to reconnect rivers to their floodplains, producing a whole host of benefits – such as giving rivers room to spread out away from communities during flooding events, restoring habitat for native fish, wildlife and vegetation, ensuring that surface waters from restored areas percolate into key groundwater aquifers, and increasing public access to rivers for disadvantaged communities. We also engage with local, state and federal agencies to advocate for effective implementation of existing regulations and policies that can help us meet the urgent need to rebalance our relationship with rivers and water in California.
The intern will work out of our Berkeley office to research and summarize federal and state policy priorities to meet our organizational mission and goals for the California Central Valley Program. With guidance and input from AR staff in California, national policy staff in Washington DC, and through conversations with fellow NGO policy staff, the intern will research existing laws, agency practices, and policies that affect how we manage our rivers and water from state and federal perspectives, including how public funds are directed. A second aspect of the work will include researching state assembly members, state senators, and federal senators and representatives whose work does – or could – importantly affect river and water management in California. The intern will have opportunities to engage with existing working groups on water and river policy issues in California, attend AR state and national policy team meetings, and co-write comment letters and/or American Rivers blog posts on state and federal policies and programs as they arise during the internship period. Our office is near 4th Street in east Berkeley.
- Develop a guidebook on California River Policy that the Central Valley program, and possibly conservation and advocacy partners, will use as a basis for policy/advocacy work
- Research and compile information on improved management of California rivers, state/federal legislation to distribute funds supporting healthy rivers, and priority programs related to river and water management
- Engage with federal policy staff to learn about and obtain guidance on federal river policy matters
- Attend staff meetings with American Rivers Conservation staff, the Policy Team, various programs, and Communicate with conservation partners through calls and group meetings on water management issues
- Assist with on-the-river restoration projects during 3 to 5 field days over the course of the internship
Bill Lane Center internships are part of Cardinal Quarter opportunities and we encourage students from all disciplines to apply to our opportunities. The opportunities are full-time (35-40 hours a week) for 10-weeks during the summer. Specific start and end dates can be coordinated directly with the supervisor.
We expect that upperclassmen would likely be better able to manage the breadth of this work.
Student majoring in Earth Systems, Sustainability, Political Science, and Public Policy seem most appropriate, but others with clear interest in water policy in California and majoring in American Studies, Democracy and Rule of Law, Environmental Systems Engineering, or Ethics in Society might also be excited about and able to tackle this work successfully.
Note: Students are only eligible for one Stanford-funded full-time experiential learning opportunity during the 2021-22 academic year (inclusive of summer).
For more helpful application advice, please visit the BLC’s FAQs page.
Excellent writing and communications skills
Well-organized and resourceful
Ability to process and summarize complex information to relevant points
Ability to meet deadlines
Deep commitment to living the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Strong contributor in team environments and able to work independently
Experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Love of policy and politics
Sense of humor
Love of rivers and the outdoors
Selection of applicants:
Complete applications are screened and finalists are contacted for an interview with staff from the Bill Lane Center for the American West. The top candidates for each position are forwarded to the agency for direct interviews with their potential supervisors and other agency staff. Host agencies will then notify the Lane Center of their preferred candidate and that applicant will receive an internship offer by email. The applicant is expected to respond promptly (within 48 hours) via email to the offer, or the offer will be rescinded. Once an applicant accepts an offer, the student should promptly notify all other Stanford and non-Stanford programs to which they have applied that they have accepted another offer and to withdraw their candidacy.