Diversity for Sustainability 2014 Summer Internship Now Accepting Applications

2014 Application Deadline is March 14

The Pacific Institute in Oakland, California has established the Diversity for Sustainability Internship Program. This exciting internship program is part of the Institute’s commitment to furthering diverse perspectives both in our own work and in the critical fields of environmental sustainability and social justice. The program will bring emerging environmental leaders from a variety of backgrounds to contribute to our work under the mentorship of knowledgeable research staff. Interns will develop a deeper understanding of and hands-on experience with fundamental skills for environmental research and outreach and have the opportunity to make connections for their future success.

Who We Are: The Pacific Institute is one of the world’s leading independent nonprofits conducting research to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. Based in Oakland, California, we conduct interdisciplinary research and partner with stakeholders to produce evidence-based solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity—in California, nationally, and internationally. We work to change policy and find real-world solutions to problems like water shortages, habitat destruction, global warming, and environmental injustice. Since our founding in 1987, the Pacific Institute has become a locus for independent, innovative thinking that cuts across traditional areas of study, helping us make connections between divergent perspectives and bring diverse stakeholders together. The result is effective, actionable solutions addressing issues in the fields of freshwater resources, climate change, environmental justice, and globalization.

Diversity for Sustainability Internship Program Goals: The goal of the Pacific Institute Diversity for Sustainability Internship Program is to train the next generation of sustainability and environmental and economic justice leaders. The complex environmental challenges facing our society call for innovative and forward-thinking solutions from leaders who bring knowledge and expertise that traverse a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. The Internship Program seeks to provide each intern with significant and varied experiences to build skills in research, outreach, and leadership; to benefit from a committed mentor; to have the opportunity to network with other professionals in the sustainability field; and to accomplish a specific project(s) that also contributes to his/her resume. Interns will gain experience working in a nonprofit organization, including such tasks as reading and analyzing academic reports and other literature, analyzing data, writing reports and related materials, conducting internet research and field research, assisting in outreach, giving presentations, and connecting with others in the field.


  • The Diversity for Sustainability Intern will work 20 hours per week for 10 weeks beginning in June 2014.
  • Compensation is a stipend of $2500, valuable nonprofit work experience, professional development and mentorship from skilled researchers, and opportunity for references from a reputable organization.

Types of Project Work:

Varying from year to year, interns may be involved in activities such as:

  • conducting primary and secondary research on health and resilience factors in local communities;
  • developing and presenting summaries for policymakers and the public from the Institute’s research work;
  • researching and writing case studies or success stories on a water-use-related or other environmental topic;
  • evaluating existing technologies and web pages for development of online tools and mobile applications to improve social and environmental services;
  • creating digital maps, analyzing data from public agencies, meeting with community groups for participatory research projects.


The successful Pacific Institute Diversity for Sustainability Intern Program candidates will:

  • Come from groups that are under-represented in the professional environmental field and research sector (for example, but not limited to, people of color; educationally, physically, or economically disadvantaged; women; etc.), and/or with life circumstances, experiences, skills, or talents that will enrich the perspective of the Pacific Institute and in the environmental sustainability and justice fields.
  • Demonstrate through coursework or activities their interest and experience in environmental sustainability and/or social and economic justice.
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate program (especially at a community college or state university); or be in your first year of a relevant Master’s program (note: this is a new criterion); or be a non-student with relevant life experience.
  • Have strong writing and computer skills.
  • Have a demonstrated ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds.

Application Procedure – DUE BY MARCH 14, 2014:

1.  Please prepare a letter of interest of no more than two pages detailing:

  • your experience and/or interest in environmental sustainability and justice work;
  • your interest in the work of the Pacific Institute (www.pacinst.org);
  • how you meet the specific qualifications listed in the section above. (If applicable, you may also describe any disadvantages or challenges that you have successfully overcome, including linguistic barriers or a personal or family history of educational or socioeconomic disadvantage.)

2. Resume

3. Name and phone number of two references (non-family members, such as a work supervisor, teacher, or counselor)

4. Email to diversityintern@pacinst.org by March 14, 2014. (If you prefer to send a hard copy, mail to: Pacific Institute, attn.: Diversity Internship, 654 13th St., Oakland, CA 94612.)

NO phone calls please.

If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted by April 4, 2014.

The Pacific Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

People from diverse backgrounds of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, income, age, disability, or sexual orientation are strongly encouraged to apply.