Environmental Studies understands that our students don’t only want to learn about environmental issues in class. They also want to apply their knowledge & skills on the ground, and make a positive impact in our community. Our Impact Internships embed students within St. Louis organizations, engaging with the environmental issues that impact people’s lives every day. To become an Impact Intern, students may apply to available internships with Environmental Studies’ existing partner organizations (listed below), or seek environmental internships in the St. Louis region of their own choosing.

We still have a few spots for PAID Summer 2022 applications available. Applications are rolling and will be reviewed as soon as they are submitted. Deadline for all remaining summer applications has been extended to April 30th, 11:59pm. Please read each description carefully for information on time commitment and application instructions. Contact Carolyn at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu and Lauren at l.m.sugay@wustl.edu with any questions.

Renewable Energy and Affordable Housing Intern ( Idleburg Consultants) – Closed

IDLEBURG CONSULTANTS produces and provides resources, trainings, webinars, and research to build the capacity of leaders and organizations, and advance the impact of the field. Expertise includes law and policy frameworks necessary to create change, racial equity problem-solving, goal-setting, strategic planning and organizational development. Justin Idleburg (principal) strives to be a catalyst to bring together individuals, organizations, and communities to build strength and cohesion around racial equity, and sustainable and innovative infrastructure for affordable energy efficiency.

Idleburg Consultants has partnered with the Missouri Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) coalition to conduct racial equity training and consulting. EEFA is a national coalition of energy and housing advocates working across 12 states to advance energy efficiency solutions for affordable multifamily housing. As part of its focus on energy justice in low-income housing, EEFA has made racial equity a top concern. Idleburg Consultants is seeking a Renewable Energy for Affordable Housing Intern to focus in on this work in St. Louis.

The Renewable Energy for Affordable Housing Intern will report directly to Justin Idleburg, and will work with other members of the MO EEFA coalition on reducing energy burdens for families using a combination of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and smart technology. This work will include:

  • Creating architectural renderings of historic affordable housing structures (like Preservation Square or Alpha Gardens) retrofitted with renewable and smart technology and appliances, as well as more modern multi-family units that are historic, modern sustainable, smart, and bankable.
  • Obtaining cost estimates for renewable energy retrofits and supporting brainstorming for strategies on fundraising for these projects.
  • Research and preparation of presentation materials.
  • Meeting logistics & thorough note taking during meetings.
  • Engagement of advocacy groups and coalitions to foster initiatives around racial equity commitments, forging organizational alignment and cohesion.

Basic Qualifications

Applicants should have experience creating architectural renderings (coursework counts as experience). Additionally, applicants should have fluency in racial equity issues, dialogues around race and public policy, green energy, sustainable design, architecture and the concept of ‘energy burdens’ and consequences for health equity. They should be self-directed, have organizational skills, attention to detail, oral and written communication skills, and proficiency with computers (fluency with Microsoft Word and Excel, Google Docs and spreadsheets, and proficiency with video chat software). 

Applicants should familiarize themselves with the “Environmental Racism in St. Louis” report prepared by the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University’s School of Law, and should strive to incorporate or leverage some of the report’s conclusions as part of the internship.

Applicants can also review the report “Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide,” produced by Health Equity Works in the Brown School at Washington University.

Compensation: This position may involve a payment of $1,000 upon completion of the term, in addition to the compensation provided by Washington University described further down on this page.

Hours: 10 hours/week (negotiable), between May/June – August, 2022.

To Apply:  Please apply by sending a cover letter, resume, and example of a past architectural rendering you have created with a short description included, and your Spring 2022 class schedule to Carolyn at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu and Lauren at l.m.sugay@wustl.edu in pdf format, and include “Renewable Energy for Affordable Housing” in the subject line. In the cover letter, please highlight your interests and most relevant experience. 

Program Coordinator Internship (Ujima) – Closed

This position will provide the opportunity to work with Ujima, learn more about philanthropy, and become more involved in the St. Louis community. Food justice, environmental stewardship and youth empowerment are Ujima’s foundations. As a non-profit, pay-what-you-can service provider, they provide equitable access to food, education, and employment to marginalized communities. Ujima cultivates community through food justice, environmental stewardship, and youth empowerment.

The intern will provide support to George Washington Carver Farms (Ujima’s urban farm), produce donations, Apprenticeship Program, Be Well Cafe’s Farmer’s Market, Fairground neighborhood clean up efforts and additional programming support. An ideal candidate has some level of experience in grassroots and community philanthropy, urban agriculture, community engagement, social media management, fundraising, and/or data entry. Reliable access to transportation is essential because we will meet at multiple sites throughout the summer.


  • Helping Founder with planning and executing special events 
  • Support staff to plan and manage social media content for Ujima’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. 
  • Support staff with farm and garden maintenance 
  • Support staff with neighborhood clean up efforts and other special events
  • Lead or co-lead tours and volunteer groups as needed
  • Coordinate produce and meal donations as needed
  • Developing an evaluation for participants in Ujima’s Apprenticeship Program.
  • Learn about Ujima, and issues in the St. Louis community by attending meetings with staff, board members, and other volunteers as needed
  • Support planning and coordination of Apprenticeship Program workshops, field trips, and camping trips
  • Ensure implementation of policies and practices during Apprenticeship Program
  • Monitor project budgets and track expenditures/transactions
  • Keep all members of the team up-to-date with relevant project information
  • Bi-Weekly check-ins will Founder to discuss Apprenticeship Program progress
  • Keep updated records of attendance and create reports as needed
  • Create presentations, summaries and helping materials to ensure better communication for information sessions and board meetings


  • Efficient – able to complete tasks in a timely and effective manner
  • Flexible – able to respond to a variety of tasks and needs; able to work some evenings and to attend community events on occasional weekends (work schedule adjusted to provide equal time off during the work day)
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong computer skills
  • Desire to learn more about philanthropy
  • Desire to learn about community development, food justice, cooperative ownership, social enterprise, community wealth-building, and local economic development
  • Desire to learn more about effective nonprofit practices, and what makes strong nonprofit and community groups
  • Experience working or volunteering with diverse groups.
  • For more information about Ujima, visit www.ujimastl.org.
Outreach and Garden Intern – (Restorative Justice Movement Center) – Closed

The Restorative Justice Movement Center is a community resource in The Ville neighborhood for formerly incarcerated individuals or those facing drug addiction to re-integrate into the community. The RJM Center hosts support group meetings, sober events, and community outreach events to reach this goal. They are currently in the process of installing their first community garden space for community healing and therapeutic horticulture, and seek an intern to help move the project forward.

The Outreach & Garden Intern will help get the RJM Center’s community garden up and running again, and ensure it is a healthy, safe, and productive garden. In addition to community garden work, there is ample opportunity for interns to gain experience related to nonprofit administration, events coordination, and to get to know community members. If interested, interns may provide the RJM Center support with writing grants, drafting promotional materials, updating website and social media, and helping with RJM Center programs. Past interns have assisted the RJM Center with initiatives like hosting health clinics, hosting Narcan trainings, and becoming a food pantry outreach site with the St. Louis Food Bank.


Commitment to environmental justice, anti-racism work, and to supporting communities of color

Experience with vegetable gardening (basic skills like identifying vegetable plants, understanding when to plant, weed, water, and harvest, and troubleshooting problems in the garden), OR willingness to learn

Experience working with people who are unhoused, recovering from addiction, formerly incarcerated, or otherwise marginalized

Strong verbal and written communication, and confidence in making initial contacts with new people

Experience coordinating and running events

Strong sense of initiative and independent problem-solving

Patience and a go-with-the-flow attitude

Hours: Interns work about 10 hours/week during the semester and about 35 hours/week during the summer. Specific schedule to be

Location: This internship will take place at the Restorative Justice Movement Center, located at 2707 N Taylor Ave in The Ville neighborhood of St. Louis.

Please send a resume and cover letter to Amber Harris at amberisouth@yahoo.com and Carolyn Cosgrove Payne at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu with “Restorative Justice Movement Center Intern” in the heading by 12:59pm on April 30th.

Food and Justice Fellowship Peer Mentor – (A Red Circle) – Closed

Internship Details: 2 part-time (at least 130 hours over the summer) positions available, each with a $2,000 stipend.

Site Supervisors:  Erica Williams, MBA, erica.williams@aredcircle.org and Deborah Rice-Carter, deborah@aredcircle.org

Site location:  A Red Circle’s office, 6439 Plymouth Ave, and North County Agricultural Education Center

Internship Duration: Summer semester, possibility to continue for multiple semesters for a successful intern.

Organization Description: North St. Louis County’s economy can be traced to racist laws and public policies. A Red Circle’s vision is to restore North County to a safe, vibrant, sustainable, and economically viable community that remains diverse, and in doing so, help heal racial strife. Located in The Promise Zone, A Red Circle’s programming is designed to address five focus areas: employment, education, holistic living, policy, and the arts.

Scope: A Red Circle launched its Food & Justice Fellowship in 2021 with young adults from St. Louis County and City.  The Fellows will work from A Red Circle’s urban farm, community garden, and online.  The Fellowship will cover three topics: Equity & Justice, Growing Food & STEM, and Business & Entrepreneurship.  The Fellows will also read and discuss three books, related to the current topic.  We are seeking peer mentors to work and learn alongside the Fellows.

This position will be performed in person – with some time spent at A Red Circle’s office in Wellston, Missouri, near the Wellston Metrolink Station, and some time spent in the garden or at the urban farm.  “Transportation can be arranged from A Red Circle.”

Internship Activities

  • Perform supervisory tasks such as prepare curriculum, create documents, monitor attendance, administer an evaluation survey, and more
  • Work on A Red Circle’s urban farm and community garden
  • Share their insights into the topics from their educational experience
  • Help coordinate other A Red Circle events and activities

Experience and requirements

  • Passion for social and environmental justice
  • Experience in peer mentorship
  • Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines to effectively reach goals
  • Self-motivated, flexible, and independent worker
  • Experience living, working, or volunteering in North St Louis County preferred (not required)
  • Means of personal transportation preferred (not required), personal phone and laptop preferred (not required).

Foodways Outreach Intern (Bulrush STL) – Closed

Bulrush STL is a contemporary dining and craft bar experience in the Grand Center Arts District. James Beard semi-finalist chef, Rob Connoley features contemporary foods rooted in Ozark cuisine. Our goal is to define Ozark cuisine by looking into the past – the origin story, so to speak, when the indigenous Osage people first encountered the immigrants and settlers, who also brought the enslaved into the region known as the Ozarks. This is a messy story. A story often filled with troubling histories – histories that aren’t ignored. Our focus is on the food and using our platform to give voice to the story tellers of the past. We look at how each of these cultures offered ingredients, techniques and traditions to what melted together to become what we now know of as Ozark Cuisine.

Internship Deliverable: One component of our work is conducting foodways outreach. In partnership with local organization Elevating Voices of Leaders Vying for Equity (EVOLVE), Bulrush is working to reach out to living descendants of enslaved people in Southeast Missouri.

The intern will support this project to locate living descendants of known freed slaves from the Coffman, Missouri area. Already-completed family trees will be distributed to all living descendants, and follow-up interviews will be conducted. This internship will be hybrid, with most activities taking place remotely with periodic in-person meetings. No travel is required of the intern.

Start & End Date: February 2022 -May 2022 with possibility of extension ​into Summer 2022.

Compensation: Washington University offers interns a stipend of $500/mo for up to 4 months during the semester, and $2000/mo for up to 2 months during the summer.

Hours: A minimum of 130 total hours during the semester are required by Washington University. Specific hourly schedules are determined by the intern and their supervisor. Summer internships require 260 total hours during the summer.

Required Qualifications:
Must be a WashU undergraduate or graduate student. Strong interpersonal skills, interest or experience in food, foodways, anthropology, history, and storytelling. Experience conducting interviews preferred.

Application Instructions: To apply, please send a resume, your current class schedule and a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications to Carolyn Cosgrove Payne at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu and Lauren Mae Sugay at l.m.sugay@wustl.edu

Deadline: The priority deadline for this internship has passed. We are now accepting rolling applications.

Grassroots Organizer Intern (Sierra Club) – Closed

Do you want to protect the planet? Are you looking to make a difference? Do you want to help move Missouri towards clean energy and protect our wild places? The Sierra Club is the place for you!

The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the country with 3.5 million dues paying members nationwide and more than 10,000 members in Missouri.

Scope: This internship will offer you a chance to learn about communications strategy, organizing, engaging community members, and winning environmental advocacy campaigns. 

***The priority deadline for this internship is 11:59pm Friday, January 21, 2022 at 11:59pm. ***

Internship Activities

  • Effectively communicating crucial environmental and public health issues & policy impacting the local community to students, professors, and campus organizations 
  • Coordinating public announcements to communicate campaign & legislative progress to be shared online through email, blog/website, and social media 
  • Enlisting and engaging students, professors, and groups to take action to move the campaign objectives forward 
  • As needed: Recruit volunteers, attendees, and speakers for events through interpersonal communications, e-mails, calls 
  • As needed: train volunteers and interested activists in the basics of grassroots organizing (we provide training and guidance for you) 
  • Other grassroots outreach responsibilities to be arranged with supervisor based on campaign needs and intern interest area 

Experience and requirements:

  • Strong written and verbal skills, experience in public speaking
  • Passion for social and environmental justice
  • Experience in community organizing and community outreach preferred
  • Knowledge of environmental advocacy and/or St. Louis/ Missouri politics preferred
  • Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines to effectively reach goals
  • Self-motivated, flexible, and independent worker
  • Means of personal transportation preferred (not required), personal phone and laptop preferred (not required)

Internship Details:

Site Supervisor:  Gretchen Waddell Barwick, MSW, gretchen.waddellbarwick@sierraclub.org

Site location:  TBD

MCU Environmental Justice Intern for EJ Organizing Campaign- Closed

Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) is a grassroots organization composed of St. Louis area congregations of all faiths. They put faith into action by developing leaders who move their congregations, organizations, and communities to change public policy for the common good. Since our organization’s founding in 1991, MCU’s efforts have utilized relational organizing tools to build grassroots community power by developing strong relationships grounded in trust and leadership building to fight for collective social justice. A recent issue focus of MCU is the Environmental Justice campaign. This campaign aims to support clergy leaders, community groups, and impacted residents to build the power necessary to fuel a local environmental justice movement and fight for policy change that addresses the disproportional impacts of environmental racism on low-income communities of color.

MCU is partnering with New Northside Missionary Baptist Church to begin an air quality monitoring project in 2021. The 2019 Environmental Racism in St. Louis report detailed the lack of available outdoor air quality data in St. Louis City. High rates of asthma and many point sources of air pollution in North St. Louis City, where New Northside is located, make the collection of data to understand the depth of the problem imperative for public health and environmental justice.

Internship Activities

  • Assist MCU’s environmental justice team with outreach to develop strong relationships with local congregations, clergy leaders, and residents of color throughout North County and North City utilizing basic relational organizing tools. Training for organizing leadership development will be provided.
  • Assist MCU’s environmental justice team with developing and implementing a pilot air quality monitoring program at New Northside that meets the goals of community stakeholders, in partnership with researchers & staff from Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering and the Environmental Studies program at WashU
  • Depending on duration of internship and the timing of the start of air quality monitoring, intern will assist with data collection, interpretation, and sharing results with community stakeholders and MCU EJ staff to plan next steps.
  • Assist with providing presentations and education workshops on air quality and other EJ topics for the Interfaith Environmental Justice Task Force, youth groups, and community leaders
  • Coordination with other Environmental Studies Dept. Interns placed at local environmental community organizations
  • Maintain communication with MCU Environmental Justice Campaign Staff and the Interfaith Environmental Justice Task Force about activities
  • Regularly attend MCU EJ & Task Force meetings.

Applicants should familiarize themselves with the “Environmental Racism in St. Louis” report prepared by the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University’s School of Law.

Applicants can also review the report “Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide,” produced by Health Equity Works in the Brown School at Washington University.


  • Experience navigating conversations about race and racism, the environment, science, and public policy
  • Working toward a major or minor in, or have taken significant coursework in, a combination of public health, engineering, data analysis, and/or environmental studies
  • Excellent relationship building skills
  • Demonstrated love of the St. Louis community
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and organization/attention to detail
  • Tech proficiency (Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and video chat software)
  • Experience with data analysis using Excel or other software. Include information on any relevant courses you’ve taken in which you have analyzed data.

Compensation: This is a summer internship for Summer 2022 and has an option to start during Spring semester if availability allows. Washington University offers interns a stipend of $500/mo for Spring 2022 and a Full-Time stipend of $2,000/mo for Summer 2022.

Hours: A minimum of 260 total hours between June & July for the summer internship are required by Washington University. An additional minimum of 130 total hours between January and May are required by Washington University for the spring starting option. Specific hourly schedules are determined by the intern and their supervisor.

To apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, and a copy of your Spring 2022 class schedule (and Summer 2022 if known) to Carolyn at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu and Lauren at l.m.sugay@wustl.edu by January 21st 11:59PM for priority consideration.

Sustainability Research Intern (United Soybean Board ) – Closed

The United Soybean Board (USB) is the governing body that directs the U.S. commodity checkoff program for soybeans. Our mission at USB is to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel through administering soybean checkoff activities that focus on research and market development and expansion. One of the greatest strengths of the soy checkoff is our network of farmer leaders. Efforts of the checkoff are directed by 78 volunteer farmer-leaders nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs). The nominees are appointed to the board by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Each year, these leaders meet to approve new projects that increase innovation, resilience, and profitability for U.S. soybean farmers, all the while driving a coordinated message of sustainability across the entire value chain.

Start & End Date: August/September 2021-November/December 2021 with possibility of extension

Compensation: Washington University offers interns a stipend of $500/mo for up to 4 months during the semester, and $2000/mo for up to 2 months during the summer.

Hours: A minimum of 130 total hours during the semester are required by Washington University. Specific hourly schedules are determined by the intern and their supervisor. Summer internships require 260 total hours during the summer.

Internship Deliverable: Soybean farmers can play a critical role in addressing climate change, and their understanding of new systems and adoption of sustainable practices is key. In addition, soybean products create sustainable opportunities in the marketplace that serve consumer and customer demand (e.g., for sustainable alternative to petroleum). The USB intern will explore our diverse research portfolio and create tangibles looking at past, present, and newly proposed research spanning a range of topics from regenerative agriculture and cover cropping to biotechnology and use of new technologies on-farm. Outcomes could include a review of literature as well as materials that enhance global understanding of soybean’s sustainable footprint.

Internship Duties that Will Result in Deliverable:

  • Explore our diverse research portfolio and participate in numerous organizational meetings and events related to the selected topic or topics.
  • Perform research on sustainable topics in agriculture, identifying enablers and barriers associated with the transformation required in order to meet the growing demands of our population while using natural resources responsibly.
  • Review topical publications and literary works to inform the art (the people-related aspects) + science (techniques, methodologies, processes, and tools) involved in that transformation.
  • Conceptualize solutions and improved understanding through an interdisciplinary approach and develop science communication and educational materials for outreach purposes.

Required Qualifications: Must be a WashU undergraduate or graduate student. Strong interpersonal skills, interest or experience in sustainability, agriculture, and science communications.
Preferred Qualifications: Knowledge of and enthusiasm for sustainable initiatives in the agriculture sector; a strong desire to make steps towards transformational progress.
Application Instructions: To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Emily Dustman at edustman@unitedsoybean.org and Carolyn Cosgrove Payne at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu.
Deadline: The priority deadline for Fall internships is Sunday, September 5th 2021 at 11:59pm.


Impact Interns receive a $4000 stipend for full-time summer internships. This stipend is disbursed monthly over a period of two months. Interns receive a $2000 stipend for part-time school year internships. This stipend is disbursed monthly over a period of four months.

Time Commitment
To ensure Impact Interns can engage meaningfully with their organizations, we require a minimum commitment of 260 hours for summer interns, and 130 hours per semester for academic year interns. This equates to roughly 33 hrs/week during the summer, and roughly 10 hrs/week during the academic year (excluding weeks in which the University has breaks). Your schedule can vary from week to week, but it is critically important to ensure you have adequate time to commit to this internship before applying. If you are taking extra courses, or already have a job or internship, this opportunity may not be right for you at this time. If interns do not complete the hours requirement, they may not be eligible to continue their internship, the duration of their stipend may be reduced, or both.

Student Requirements
Any currently enrolled student at Washington University, undergraduate or graduate, may apply for this program. By applying, students commit to attending several events & professional development sessions with their intern cohort throughout the semester. Students who can commit to at least 2 consecutive semesters of an internship will be prioritized. Students may not intern after they graduate- all summer interns must be enrolled at WashU for fall semester. Internships will all be remote until COVID conditions change, but please note that if/when restrictions are lifted, these internships will resume taking place OFF CAMPUS and require students to travel to an off-campus organization around St. Louis. 

How to Apply – Students

Prospective interns must send their resume, cover letter describing their interest and qualifications​, and a copy of their class schedule for the position via email to Carolyn Cosgrove Payne, community engagement coordinator for Environmental Studies, at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu ​and Lauren Mae Sugay, community engagement liaison for Environmental Studies, at l.m.sugay@wustl.edu. If you are applying to an internship listed above, please copy/paste the title of the internship you’re applying for into the subject line of your email. We may ask for additional application materials from you after you apply, such as references, or a writing sample.

Students are not limited to the internship positions posted below. You may also submit a general interest application to the Impact Internship program by sending an email with “Impact Interns- General Interest’ in the subject line to ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu ​and l.m.sugay@wustl.edu​. This email should include your resume, a cover letter describing an environmental internship in the St. Louis region you’d like to pursue, and your class schedule. Please include information on the internship site, who the supervisor would be, and a link to the description if available. The deadlines for this option are the same as above.

How to Host an Intern – Community Organizations

If your organization is interested in hosting a WashU intern for an environmental project, please reach out to Carolyn Cosgrove Payne at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu ​and Lauren Mae Sugay at l.m.sugay@wustl.edu with your proposed internship description and desired timeline. Nonprofit and governmental organizations addressing environmental issues are permissible host sites for interns.

Your organization does not need to have an environmental focus, so long as the intern is working on an environmental issue. We define environment broadly to include many themes around housing quality, public health, food apartheid, policy, and more- reach out and ask us even if you aren’t sure your task is environmental!

Additionally, we recognize many for-profit organizations also engage with pressing environmental issues. We will consider student internships at for-profit organizations on a case-by-case basis, though for-profit entities may need to cover all or part of the cost of their interns.