Every summer, The Bill Lane Center for the American West offers many opportunities for Stanford undergraduates (including graduating seniors and co-terms) to work with organizations throughout the West. Through these internships, students can explore careers in natural history, conservation, land use, museum curation, resource management, energy and more.
All internships are full-time and last ten weeks during the summer. They are fully funded by the Lane Center.
The Lane Center has placed over 200 interns in positions across the West since 2005. As such, we have developed strong relationships with host organizations and work hard to ensure interns have successful and enriching experiences.
The Bill Lane Center will provide a base stipend of $7,500 with additional funding for student financial aid and cost of living adjustments for the internship location, if applicable.
Description of the Organization:
Blue Forest Conservation is a mission-driven, non-profit organization, leveraging financial innovation to create sustainable investment solutions to environmental challenges.
Its mission is to leverage innovative finance to support sustainable environmental solutions. Through its financial mechanism, the Forest Resilience Bond (FRB), it brings together multiple stakeholders that benefit from forest restoration projects to address the catastrophic wildfire situation. Through FRB public-private partnerships, those stakeholders (gov't agencies, utilities, private companies) share in the cost of reimbursing investors as the environmental, economic, and social benefits of project activities are realized.
Project Analyst/Research Analyst Internship Overview: There are two focus options for this internship, both options will include opportunities for in-person and field site visits with the Blue Forest team:
The first option is the opportunity to work with the science team focused on developing low-cost environmental monitoring tools and platforms for evaluating restoration project outcomes such as wildfire risk, water, and carbon. Three efforts are ongoing that the intern could contribute to:
- Supporting development of a “big tree” dataset for the Sierra Nevada with Salo Sciences and USFS PSW Research Station;
- Supporting integration of a wall-to-wall remote sensing monitoring platform for conservation finance projects with the California Ecosystem Climate Solutions (CECS) group; and/or
- Supporting a collaboration with the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative to better understand the environmental economics and return on investment of forest restoration in the South Fork American River watershed.
Day-to- day work would involve attending and coordinating meetings, desktop research, scientific literature review, and assisting in developing report materials and communications materials about the project.
The second focus option is to work with the project development team who engage communities, utilities, land managers, and government agencies to build conservation finance projects across California and the western U.S.
Current projects under development include:
- Forest Resilience Bond projects in the Klamath, Tahoe, Eldorado, Stanislaus, and Sierra National Forests;
- A roadside ignition reduction project across southern CA for replacing highly flammable grasses with less flammable native plants;
- Watershed Resilience Bond projects in southern Oregon and northern Utah; and
- Coastal Resilience Bond projects in Oregon.
We also have developing projects in Washington, Arizona, and Honduras if a specific geography would be of interest.
Day-to-day work would involve attending and coordinating meetings, learning about conservation finance, engaging stakeholders that could help pay for ecosystem restoration projects, coordinating the internal project development/science/finance teams, and assisting in developing external-facing communications materials about the project.
Internship Work Environment:
The supervisor/mentor works across both project development & science/research teams. There are opportunities to work with either/both depending on the intern's background & interest.
This is a partially remote internship: the organization is fully remote but often participates in in-person workshops and field visits. The internship is approximately 20% in-person and 80% virtual. 10% is outdoor/90% is indoor per month (field visits are all/part of a week).
Blue Forest Conservation's location is Sacramento, California.
- Develop communications materials (reports & 2-pagers)
- Desktop research on a project geography, ecosystem restoration activity, or stakeholder
- Scientific review of literature about ecosystem service(s)
- Prepare slide decks and presentation materials
- Coordinate and participate in field site visits
Bill Lane Center internships are part of Cardinal Quarter opportunities and students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The opportunities are full-time (35-40 hours a week) for 10 consecutive weeks during the summer. Specific start and end dates can be coordinated directly with the supervisor.
- Students are not permitted to engage in another full-time internship, job, or volunteer opportunity (whether funded by Stanford or otherwise) during this full-time, summer internship.
- Student athletes should confirm the impact of any awarded stipend on their athletic eligibility by contacting the Compliance Services Office prior to committing to a research project or internship.
All undergraduates, including graduating seniors, are eligible. Coterms are eligible only if they hold undergraduate status.
For more helpful application advice, please visit the BLC’s FAQs page.
Application Guidelines for this Internship:
Blue Forest Conservation has an interdisciplinary team and welcomes students with broad backgrounds. Potential majors of interest may include economics, earth systems, environmental systems engineering, science technology and society, communications, political science and public policy.
Sophomores and juniors are preferable.
Familiarity with office software; Demonstrated PowerPoint/Google Slides/deck development experience
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Ability to interface remotely with Zoom, Slack, Google Docs, etc.
Highly organized with exceptional attention to detail
- GIS mapping skills
- Remote Sensing
- Environmental/Ecosystem Management
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 the position are forwarded to the organization for direct interviews with their potential supervisors and other staff.
Host organizations will then notify the Lane Center of their preferred candidate and that applicant will receive an internship offer from the Bill Lane Center 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, they should promptly notify all other Stanford and non-Stanford programs to which they have applied that they have accepted another offer and withdraw their candidacy from those other opportunities.