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Outreach and Education Intern

Job Announcement: Outreach and Education Intern, Columbia Riverkeeper

Organizational Overview: Columbia Riverkeeper (Riverkeeper) is a successful nonprofit organization that unites communities to fight for clean water and our climate. Riverkeeper advances high-profile campaigns to protect the Columbia River from fossil fuels, toxic pollution, the Hanford Nuclear Site, and other threats facing Columbia communities and salmon habitat. Across our campaigns, we promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in environmental decisions and our own actions. This includes working in solidarity with Tribal Nations to achieve common goals. Our work is featured in national media, including CNN, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. Our team includes community organizers, scientists, communications specialists, and attorneys. To learn more about our commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, click here

Location: Hood River, OR

Status: Paid Internship (part-time, temporary, non-exempt)

Hours & Duration: 30 hours/week for 16 weeks from May through September 2023. 

Position Description: 
The Outreach and Education Intern will help to implement environmental education and pollution prevention programs in the Columbia River Gorge. This may include coordinating events and leading activities or programs with students and community groups at the Nichols Natural Area in Hood River, OR. The Nichols Natural Area is a three-acre, former industrial site at the Hood River waterfront. Columbia Riverkeeper uses the site as an outdoor classroom and living laboratory for local students and is working with the community to restore healthy riparian habitat. 

The Intern will also help promote healthy river contact and inform the public on safe places to swim. With thorough training, the intern sample and process water quality samples and will become an expert in E.coli and harmful algal bloom monitoring techniques and sampling methods. Prior experience with E.coli or algal bloom monitoring is not required, but attention to detail and the ability to work independently are required. 

This position is ideal for someone who enjoys working with youth and diverse community members; is looking to gain experience to pursue a career in water resources, conservation or environmental education; and can effectively represent Columbia Riverkeeper in meetings, presentations, events, and activities.

  • Education: The Outreach and Education Intern will work with the Water Quality Director to implement bilingual (Spanish and English) youth and community environmental education programs at the Nichols Natural Area. This may include leading activities and educational experiences, coordinating student and community groups, assisting with instruction, and developing new curricula to foster learning and help build connection to the natural environment.
  • Community Outreach: The Intern will help to coordinate community events and educational opportunities and help cultivate strong community relationships and partnerships. These events may include community river clean ups and volunteer work parties to help maintain the Nichols Natural Area, as well as representing Riverkeeper at community events.
  • Water Quality Monitoring The intern will monitor Columbia River sites for harmful algal blooms and E.coli bacteria on a weekly basis. This includes following a strict protocol to collect and process water samples, maintaining lab equipment at Riverkeeper’s Hood River office, entering data, and managing Riverkeeper’s E.coli database. They will post up-to-date results on Riverkeeper’s Swim Guide app.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Spanish fluency
  • Experience working with and educating children in grades K-8
  • Demonstrated ability to lead activities and programs, clearly communicate scientific concepts in a public speaking setting, and engage students and diverse community groups
  • Ability to swim and awareness of safety precautions when wading in the river
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Detail-oriented regarding equipment, field protocols, and data entry
  • Passion for rivers and clean water
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, particularly Microsoft Excel

*A note to potential candidates: Studies have shown that women, trans, non-binary, BIPOC, and other candidates from most-impacted communities are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization. We would strongly encourage you to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of the qualifications described.

Reports to: Water Quality Director

Compensation & Benefits: $20/hour, 30 hours per week for 16 weeks. Benefits include generous vacation and sick leave, paid federal holidays, and an encouraging and flexible work environment.
To Apply: Email a cover letter, resume, and at least three references, to with the subject line “Outreach and Education Internship.” If possible, please combine the cover letter, resume, and list of three references (include email addresses and phone numbers) into a single PDF attachment titled “Last Name.First Name, Education Intern.”

Application deadline: April 14, 2023

Columbia Riverkeeper is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.