2021 Internships — Description

Summer Water Policy Internships at Freshwater

Freshwater seeks two students of color currently enrolled in high school (preferably rising juniors or seniors) for a fun and creative virtual summer internship. Interns will work on one or more policy projects relating to groundwater. Students will also be offered a variety of mentoring opportunities with local groundwater professionals. Students will be supervised by Research and Policy Director Carrie Jennings. Check-ins will be done on Zoom, on an online platform of the student’s choice, or if possible, in person with masks and outdoors. All check-in options will be consistent with applicable Minnesota Department of Health and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Possible activities include:

  • becoming familiar with current or historic issues of shallow groundwater pollution in a neighborhood chosen by the student;
  • reviewing the existing permits and rules governing the use and disposal of chemicals;
  • understanding best practices to protect groundwater;
  • exploring how groundwater clean-up work is done; and
  • examining potential ongoing impacts of shallow groundwater pollution.

Freshwater will help students place this information in the context of broader environmental justice issues in the community.

Students will then determine how to proceed with the newly acquired knowledge. This could include: 1) assessing community awareness through short interviews or online surveys; 2) summarizing understanding in a community outreach project, or 3) educating legislators to help shape a policy initiative. The final month of the summer internship will be devoted to taking action on the chosen outreach plan.

Interns will be paid $12.50/hour for 20 hours/week, over a 10-week internship (June–August). Interns will also be supported to attend a locally convened professional groundwater conference in the fall to report on their experience.

Interns will need to supply their own computer with internet access or use publicly available computers, for example at libraries.

Funding is provided by the Minnesota Ground Water Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee with the aim providing high school students who have an interest in STEM or environmental policy with a mentored professional experience in the groundwater field.

For more information or to apply, send a letter of interest and contact information for two references (teachers, employers, adult mentors) to Carrie at cjennings@freshwater.org.