Sustainability Internship Connections

Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center

Location: Lanesboro, Minnesota

The summer of 2016 Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center will be offering a summer job and internship program to college students who have completed their sophomore year. Outdoor Program Interns will get experience in outdoor, natural science, and adventure education, as well as in summer camp programming. They will be assisting the staff in planning, preparing, and implementing aspects of Eagle Bluff’s classes and programs. Possible arrangements can be made for students to receive internship credit.

Kim Corson
Professional Naturalist Fellow
[email protected]

Fair Share Coalition

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

FairShare CSA Coalition summer internship opportunities are available to support our Grower Programs, Special Events, and more. FairShare Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Coalition connects and supports CSA farmers and eaters across Southern Wisconsin. Through grower & consumer education, outreach, community building and resource sharing, FairShare is committed to raising the bar on the quality and accessibility of CSA shares in our region. All FairShare-endorsed farms are certified organic or in transition. Our coalition of farmers and eaters works together to make CSA affordable, and
educate consumers about the social, economic and environmental benefits
of CSA.

FairShare is excited to partner with Luther students who have a passion for local food, sustainable agriculture, health and the environment.  Specific internship projects will be developed based on the intern's interest and organizational needs.  Responsibilities may include assisting with the annual Bike the Barns event, CSA outreach and education, organizing field days with farmers, or developing other special events and outreach activities.

Fair Share Coalition Luther Alumni Connection:
Erika Jones

[email protected]

Greenability Magazine

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City’s only green online magazine covers sustainability issues ranging from renewable energy to local and organic food. This internship will cover sustainability-related stories in the Kansas City area. Writing and photography internships (5-10 hours a week) are available. Interns learn about many aspects of digital publishing in the process of research, interviews, writing and photography for news/feature stories. Interns will help coordinate Greenability participation in events, plus work on circulation and website projects. Preference is given to journalism students with an interest and knowledge of environmental issues. College credit can be arranged, but internships are unpaid. To apply, send resume, cover letter and 3-5 writing or photography samples to [email protected].

Greenability Luther Alumni Connection:
Tina Yates
Operations Manager

[email protected]

Iowa Department of Agriculture

Locations: Marion, Mahaska, Monroe and Wapello Counties in Iowa

Every summer the Iowa Department of Agriculture hosts interns to assist with work in abandoned coal mines. Over the last seven years the organization has updated and identified coal mining features and hazards for all abandoned coal mines in the state of Iowa. While this work is nearly complete, the work will now shift to testing water quality in reclaimed mine sites in partnership with the Office of Surface mining. Samples will be taken as a means to compare water quality before mine remediation and after. This is a 10 week program, 40 hours/week at $10/hour.

Field Services Bureau

Location: NRCS offices across the state of Iowa

The Field Services Bureau of the Iowa Department of Agriculture also hosts interns to assist with a variety of conservation projects. Interns work in the district NRCS offices along with technicians and district conservationists to lay out terraces, grass waterways, CRP, ponds, detention basins, etc. This program runs for 10 weeks and interns are expected to work 40 hours/week. The pay rate is $10/hour.

Iowa Department of Agriculture Luther Alumni Contact:
Bobby Kuennen
Mines and Minerals Bureau

[email protected]

Iowa Energy Center

Location: Nevada, Ankeny, and Ames, Iowa

The Iowa Energy Center supports economic development, environmental sustainability, and social well-being in Iowa through energy innovation, education, and entrepreneurship. We provide Iowans with reliable, objective information on energy and efficiency options. The Energy Center is based in Ames but has research facilities in Nevada and Ankeny where students with technical backgrounds have the opportunity to work as interns. At the headquarters in Ames interns are hired for communications including writing, graphics, press, photography/video, events, social media, layout, etc. — and for clerical support (filing, scanning, etc.). Typically Energy Center Interns are Iowa State University students, but the organization is open to hosting Luther students.

Mark Petri
Executive Director, Energy Center

[email protected]

Iowa Interfaith Power and Light

Location: Intern will work remotely but ideal if based in Iowa

Iowa Interfaith Power and Light is seeking an intern for the summer to assist with a wide range of programs and projects. This internship site will work with the intern to develop a scope of work that blends the interests and skill set of the intern with the needs of the organization. Possible projects include working on solar projects with congregations, assisting with Food, Faith and Climate programs and initiatives and working on outreach and advocacy to people of faith for candidate education with presidential candidates. This is an unpaid internship.

Susan Guy
Director, Iowa Interfaith Power and Light

[email protected]

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation - Blufflands Land Stewardship Crew

Location: Northeast Iowa

Blufflands Land Stewardship interns work hard to maintain and restore native landscapes in extreme northeast Iowa. Interns will conduct needed land management and restoration on remnant and reconstructed prairies, woodlands, oak savannas and other natural areas owned or protected by INHF. Interns will use a variety of hand tools and chainsaws to help accomplish restoration goals.            

Students selected for INHF’s Blufflands internship will learn from and work closely with landowners and working professionals in the field. Educational opportunities beyond the daily work experiences will be provided, including participation in the Iowa Prairie Conference, which will expose interns to several conservationists and organizations in a concentrated setting. First aid, CPR and harassment training will be provided at the beginning of the internship.           

The internship will give interns vital skills and experience for a career in conservation or land management, as well as a greater appreciation for the importance of our natural areas.  This is a physically demanding, yet very rewarding internship! Pay is $.9.75/hour and interns are expected to work 10 hour days for an 11 week period.

Brian Fankhauser
Blufflands Program Manager

[email protected]

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation - Statewide Land Stewardship Internships

Location: State of Iowa

Land Stewardship interns work very hard to maintain and restore native landscapes. Last year, interns helped INHF to manage more than 20 sites throughout the state. These interns conduct needed land management and restoration on prairies, wetlands, savannas and other natural areas owned or protected by INHF. Interns will also assist with equipment maintenance when necessary (training provided as needed). Students selected for INHF's land stewardship program will work closely with landowners, other Iowa conservation organizations (both government and independent) and working professionals in the field. Participation in the annual Loess Hills Prairie Seminar will expose interns to conservationists and organizations in a concentrated setting. The program will give interns vital skills and experience for a career in conservation or land management. Pay is $9.75/hour.

Tylar Samuels
Land Stewardship Specialist
[email protected]

Lutherans Restoring Creation

Location: Remote

Lutherans Restoring Creation is seeking an intern for work on LRC projects and preparation for the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Year 2017. The work may include: developing an ELCA-wide program to plant trees, developing creation-care stories and people-profiles from across the ELCA, developing links to eco-justice organizations, networking on social media sites, work on the website, among other things, all to be worked out in light of the intern’s gifts and interests. This intern has the ability to work remotely as many tasks are web-based. This position will be supervised by a David Rhoads (Director of LRC) and Phoebe Morad (LRC Synod Trainer). Guidance and supervision will come in the form of phone and email check-ins. LRC is open to this position being full or part-time. This is an unpaid internship.

David Rhoads
Director, Lutherans Restoring Creation

[email protected]

Mississippi Market Natural Foods Coop

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op offers local, organic food for everyone at a fair price. Unlike regular grocery stores, we’re consumer owned and controlled and have been since we opened in 1979. We offer high-quality, fair-priced goods and services, while working toward a sustainable local economy & global environment and promoting the cooperative principles. 

Mississippi Market does not offer regular internship opportunities but would be willing to discuss opportunities with any interested Luther students. If you are interested in an internship with Mississippi Market Natural Foods Coop, please use the contact information below to reach out and see what the possibilities might be.

Mississippi Market Luther Alumni Connection:
Katie Campbell
Education and Events Specialist
[email protected]

NSF EPSCoR - University of Iowa Renewable Energy Research

Location: University of Iowa

Iowa NSF EPSCoR is a 5-year, 20 million dollar grant that involves a partnership between Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Iowa in research about renewable energy (wind and biofuels), energy efficiency and energy policy. In addition to the research goals, the EPSCoR grant seeks to increase the number and diversity of students who choose careers in STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math). To that end, EPSCoR is supporting paid summer research internships for qualified students.

Internships are 8-10 weeks in length, starting in late May or early June and ending in August. The specific dates are generally flexible and can be worked out after students are accepted. Interns will receive a stipend of $400/week. Room and board will be provided if the student elects to live on campus. Full board will be provided to students living off campus. The intern will be part of a research group and will be mentored by the faculty leader and graduate students in that group.

Students will have opportunities to interact with other student interns while participating in seminars, research lab tours, field trips and social events. Student interns will be expected to do research, participate in weekly lab meetings and all other scheduled events. At the end of the program they will have the opportunity to present their research findings in a culminating poster session.

The online application, full descriptions of research projects visit our website

The Iowa Regents Universities are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employers that have received NSF funding to broaden the participation of women, minorities, first-generation and low-income students in STEM fields. Internships are open to all qualified students, but students in these groups are particularly encouraged to apply.  Students are encouraged to apply early since applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all openings are filled.

For full consideration, complete applications should be received by March 18, 2016.  Final admission decisions will be made by April 01, 2016.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old
  • Must be enrolled as a full time undergraduate in an accredited institution of higher education in the spring of 2016 and registered for classes for the fall of 2016
  • Preference will be given to students enrolled in an Iowa college/university, but open to all students.

A complete application should consist of the following items:

  1. Completed application form
  2. A ‘statement of Interest’ (1 page maximum) that addresses the questions below:
    1. Why are you interested in this internship?
    2. What are your future educational and career plans?
    3. What personal qualities, skills or abilities will you bring to this internship?
  3. Resume
  4. Transcripts (Official preferred, unofficial accepted)

Tracy R. Peterson
Director, Diversity Programs and K-12 Outreach
[email protected]

Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative

Location: La Farge, Wisconsin

Most Organic Valley internships are offered during the summer but there are some year-round positions available to provide interns with the opportunity to expand their educational experiences in a professional environment. Internship opportunities are always changing so be sure to check the website frequently. Perks of being an intern with Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative include competitive pay, work experience in your area of study, flexible scheduling, casual dress, training and development opportunities, wellness program opportunities and discounted Organic Valley and Organic Prairie products.

Organic Valley Luther Alumni Connection:
Phil Marty
GIS Specialist

[email protected]


Patchwork Green Farm / River Root Farm (Sustainable Ag Internship)

Location: Decorah, Iowa

We are seeking an enthusiastic Luther student with a strong interest in farming and food systems to serve as an intern with Patchwork Green Farm and River Root Farm this summer. The intern will have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from farmers on two active commercial farms in Northeast Iowa to experience the full transformation that food takes as it moves from seed to market. This internship is designed for a student craving more knowledge and experience with food production and the local food system. Applicants should not be afraid to roll up their sleeves, throw on some boots and get their hands dirty.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Serving as the intern on two different farms (Patchwork Green Farm and River Root Farm)
    • Schedule will alternate between farms, with the intern on each farm for one week at a time.
  • Helping farmers set-up the stand at the Farmer’s Market
  • Preparing product for market
  • Assisting with communications and marketing for the Winneshiek County Farmer's Market
  • Ongoing farm responsibilities will involve:
    • Greenhouse work
    • Fieldwork
    • Weeding
    • Mulching
    • Pruning
    • Irrigation
    • Direct-seeding
    • Harvesting
    • Planting transplants

    If interested, please email [email protected] and you will be put in touch with the farmers at Patchwork Green and River Root Farms.


Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Southface interns come from diverse backgrounds to make vital contributions to the organization's mission. Our program provides a substantive learning experience that allows interns to explore career options and to develop professional skills in the fields of sustainability, building sciences and nonprofit management. Southface interns contribute to many program areas, including:

  • Commercial Green Building Services
  • Residential Green Building Services
  • Applied Building Sciences
  • Education & Training
  • Development & Fundraising
  • Communications
  • Operations & Events

Southface Luther Alumni Connection:
David Pederick
Residential Sustainability Services Associate

[email protected]

West Liberty Foods

Location: West Liberty, Iowa

The mission of West Liberty Foods is to be a leading food manufacturer by converting needs, ideas, and expertise into value for our members, business partners, and consumers. Every summer West Liberty Foods offers an environmental internship. The deadline for environmental internship applications is always in late November. The internship can be found by going to the careers page on the website and choosing to “see all jobs” near the bottom of the screen.

Chelsea Harms

[email protected]


West Liberty Foods Luther Alumni Connection:
Evan Neubauer
Environmental Specialist

[email protected]


Winneshiek County, Iowa

Location: Winneshiek County, Iowa (Decorah)

Winneshiek County has hosted many Luther interns over the years and is interested in continuing to do so. The scope of work varies each year, depending on student interest and county needs. Interns have the opportunity to work closely with the Winneshiek County Recycling Center and on IT and GIS projects throughout the summer. Interns have the opportunity to gain valuable skills that will benefit them in future jobs, while also engaging in meaningful work that will help make Winneshiek County a better and more sustainable place for residents.

Terry Buenzow
Winneshiek County Recycling Manager
[email protected]


The Career Center

Learn how to fund your internship through Luther's Career Center.