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 are now accepting applications for PAID Spring 2023 applications. Please read each description carefully for information on time commitment and application instructions. Contact Griffin Knipp at knipp@wustl.edu with any questions.

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

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.

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.

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).

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

Ecology and Information Management 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 also have a community garden to host educational events and help provide fresh produce in a food desert.

The intern will be responsible for information management and data entry for the center. As the RJMC starts new grant applications, the intern will help track the center’s impact on the community (for example, how many people receive fresh produce from the community garden etc) using various frameworks outlined by grant requirements. In addition to data entry for outreach programs, the intern may be asked to contribute to restorative justice research and grant research, depending on the center’s needs. If interested, the intern will also have the opportunity to work in the community garden or learn about non-for-profit organization management.

Required Qualifications:

  • Commitment to environmental justice and anti-racism work
  • Strong verbal and written communication
  • Strong sense of initiative and independent problem-solving
  • Patience and a go-with-the-flow attitude
  • Highly organized and detail oriented

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proficiency in Excel, Microsoft Office Suite, and Google Applications
  • Experience working with people who are unhoused, recovering from addiction, formerly incarcerated, or otherwise marginalized.

Hours: Interns work about 10 hours/week during the semester. 

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 Griffin Knipp at knipp@wustl.edu with “Restorative Justice Movement Center Intern” in the heading.

Program Coordinator Internship (Ujima) – Opening Soon

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.
Grassroots Organizing Intern (Sierra Club- MO Chapter) – Closed

The Sierra Club is the oldest & largest grassroots organization in the United States. In Missouri, we mobilize our 13,000 members to advance just climate solutions, get outdoors, act for justice, and protect land, air, water, & wildlife at the state and local level.

The Grassroots Organizing intern will work closely with their supervisor to engage Missouri residents to enjoy, explore, and protect the planet. Learn building blocks of Midwest Academy Grassroots Organizing and strategic community advocacy. Learn to organize people to take action and make a difference in your community. Lobby elected officials, work with community partners, engage the media, plan events, and speak to Missourians about the importance of protecting the planet.

The Grassroots Organizing Intern will:

1. Performs readings and assignments to learn about Midwest Academy for Grassroots Organizing, environmental justice, and environmental issues.

2. Participates (as part of a team) in planning and carrying out plans, strategies, projects, or campaigns to further Chapter strategic goals.

3. Assists in development of educational materials such as blog posts, fact sheets, newsletters, etc.

4. Assists in representing Sierra Club’s views to legislators, government agencies, administrative officials, news media, and the general public by giving testimony, participating in meetings, public speaking events, and by establishing and maintaining personal contacts.

5. Assists in contacting Sierra Club members, supporters, and community partners via phonebanking, email, canvassing, and tabling.

6. Performs some general office duties and other duties as assigned.

7. Learn and execute the tenants of the Midwest Academy of Grassroots Organizing model

● Organize, plan, lead, and participate in events to highlight pro-environmental messages

● Educate and inform audiences on Sierra Club priorities

● Help coordinate events and activities

● Produce written material, track data effectively, communicate with volunteers and support volunteer recruitment efforts

Required Qualifications: Interpersonal communication skills, a commitment to racial equity and social justice, ability to prioritize and meet deadlines to effectively reach goals, Self-motivated, flexible, and independent worker. 

Preferred Qualifications: Experience in community organizing and environmental issues in St. Louis & Missouri, means of personal transportation preferred, and personal phone and laptop preferred.

Application Instructions: To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Ashton Kuehnel, Grassroots Organizer, at ashton.kuehnel@sierraclub.org and to Griffin at knipp@wustl.edu in pdf format, and include “Grassroots Organizing Internship” in the subject line. In the cover letter, please highlight your interests and most relevant experience.

Program Intern (River City Outdoors) – Closed

As a River City Outdoors Intern you will work closely with the Program Manager to help achieve the desired outcomes which is to change the way outdoor recreation is accessed in the region by removing barriers and educating our community using our equity lens.

We will engage through our already and continuing to grow partner network, providing youth opportunities to learn about, play and enjoy different recreational activities that can include river trips, fishing, rock climbing, camping, and paddling to name a few. We will also educate and advocate what it means to be a good steward to our environment. The intern will play a key role as we seek to expand our network of community partners and strengthen the bonds with existing ones. Through meetings with key stakeholders from the education, political, business and non-profit sectors throughout the region so that we can best leverage our network to best serve our communities.

The Intern will:

1.     Assist in day-to day operation in all aspects of programming, teaching and scheduling events in the community.

2.     Develop written documents such as activity guides to be used by educators and a RCO program calendar.

3.     Assists in representing RCO views to community members and the general public by giving testimony, participating in meetings, public speaking events, and by establishing and maintaining professional contacts.

4.     Performs some general office duties and other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications: 

·      Interpersonal communication skills

·      a commitment to racial equity and social justice

Preferred Qualifications: 

·      Outgoing, excited to engage in St. Louis community

·      Love of outdoors

·      Experience in working with educators and/or youth.

Additional notes:

Opportunities to spend a great deal of time exploring nature in a variety of settings, rivers, lakes and many more of Missouri’s outdoor amenities weather permitting. Preference is for this person to be in the office or a hybrid position. Fully Remote is also considered.

Application Instructions: To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Chris Geden a thriveoutside@rivercityoutdoors.org and to Griffin at knipp@wustl.edu in pdf format. In the cover letter, please highlight your interests and most relevant experience.

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. 

      Achievement of lessening energy burdened, environmental, and climate justice objectives of the Climate Act will require all communities to be actively engaged in the clean energy transition, including residents and communities that have traditionally faced barriers to participating in or otherwise benefitting selected organizations in our economic development region in the state to assist communities and residents with accessing equitable energy programs and solutions and participate in the energy economy. 

      Idleburg Consultants has partnered with the Missouri Energy Efficiency for All (MO 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: 

  • Work as part of a team on projects related to net zero, renewable energy, and resiliency projects. Tasks may include carrying out stakeholder outreach, organizing events, analysis of best practices, research, data visualization, creating targeted reports, drafting memos and letters as well as working with others to create graphics and maps. 
  • Participate (with supervisor), as needed, at meetings, roundtables, and conferences related to team initiatives. 
  • Organize and update project timelines and databases related to various Equitable Energy Efficiency programs. 
  • Manage and respond to inbound program related email inquiries. 
  • Create and maintain websites for each of the summit, and program related blog posts. 
  • Organize internal brown bag events, coordinating with other MOEEFA as necessary. 
  • Assist Program Administrator with project management and administration. 
  • Attend MOEEFA meetings, take notes, and complete follow up tasks as necessary.
  • Gain experience and familiarity with energy efficiency, affordable housing, clean energy sector growth and related challenges. 

Minimum Qualifications 

  • Excellent skills with the Microsoft Office suite of programs, specifically Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 
  • Demonstrated ability to research primary and secondary sources. 
  • Skill in managing multiple activities, delivering on commitments, and operating with speed, accuracy, and strong judgment. 
  • Strong professional work ethic. 
  • Ability to think critically and problem solve. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team and be a self-starter. 

 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.  

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. 

To Apply:  Please apply by sending a cover letter, resume, and your Spring 2023class schedule to Griffin at knipp@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.

Environmental Justice Intern for EJ Organizing Campaign (Metropolitan Congregations United) – 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. MCU is the Environmental Justice campaign started in 2020. 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 19 organizations to hold air quality monitors and do community meetings, working as a coalition to implement recently passed legislation in Missouri on Get Out the Lead, and continuing to push for illegal dumping reform. 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. In response, we have created and found funding for the Community Based Air Quality Monitoring Program to launch the campaign in a larger way in 2021.

      The Air Quality Monitoring Intern will report directly to Beth Gutzler, Lead Environmental Justice Organizer for MCU, and will work with other members of MCU as needed. This internship is expected to be mainly remote, with periodic socially-distanced, masked, in-person activities. Regular communications with your supervisor will occur by phone and video. 

Internship Activities 

  • Assist MCU’s environmental justice team with outreach to develop strong relationships with local congregations, clergy leaders, and residents of color throughout St. Louis, MO utilizing basic relational organizing tools. Training for organizing leadership development will be provided. 
  • Assist MCU’s environmental justice team with implementing a pilot air quality monitoring program, in partnership with researchers & staff from Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering and the Environmental Studies program at WashU. 
  • 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. 
  • Work on environmental justice focused policy change 
  • Maintain communication with MCU Environmental Justice Campaign Staff and attend MCU 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 preferred 
  • 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)
  • Ability to work professionally in virtual setting using zoom technology as primary communication tool 
  • Experience with data analysis using Excel or other software. Include information on any relevant courses you’ve taken in which you have analyzed data.  

To Apply:  Please apply by sending a cover letter, resume, and your Spring 2023 class schedule to Griffin at knipp@wustl.edu in pdf format, and include “Environmental Justice Internship” in the subject line. In the cover letter, please highlight your interests and most relevant experience.


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.

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 Griffin Knipp, community engagement manager for Environmental Studies, at knipp@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. 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 knipp@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 Griffin Knipp at knipp@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.