Internships at Gathering Waters
Gathering Waters Conservancy's Internship Program provides rich exposure to the unqiue world of the land trust movement and internships at Gathering Waters often open doors to conservation career opportunities.
Many of our Interns have project-specific goals and work closely with one of our Program Directors. Many of our interns also see some of the essential, if unglamorous, tasks of sound non-profit operations, including stuffing envelopes and fixing jammed printers. We hire interns on a rolling basis as we have projects and programs that will benefit from and intern's time and skill set.
All our interns, regardless of their tasks, work with Gathering Waters' staff, who are among the most fun, energized, and dedicated conservationists in Wisconsin.
Example Internship Projects:
- In 2010, an intern crafted, marketed and ran our 1st ever Photo Contest (see the winning photos here).
- In 2007 we hired a photography intern to travel the state collecting images used in our successful campaign to see the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund reauthorized.
- Interns researched, edited and produced both In Their Own Words and Stories of Stewardship, published collections of first person accounts about permanent, voluntary land conservation in Wisconsin.
- A communications intern in 2010 created the audio slide shows for the Land Trust Stories section of our website.
- Public Policy interns have included law students writing white papers, drafting communications to legislators and researching special topics for our Government Relations program.
- We almost always have a paid, partime membership assistant intern who helps us stay on top of our database, send thank you letters to donors, proofread the newsletter, prepare for events and otherwise keep our office running smoothly.
Participants must be enrolled as a student at an accredited college or university (preferably, but not necessarily in Wisconsin) and be a citizen of the U.S. or have met legal requirements to work in the U.S.. We give preference to but don't require work study-eligible candidates.
How to Apply:
Interns are always welcome at Gathering Waters Conservancy. If you are a student looking for an internship opportunity, send us a cover letter and your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we don't have a current opening, we'll keep your information on file for when we do.
If you're not a student but are interested in helping people protect Wisconsin's special places, we frequently have volunteer opportunties. We'd love your help, and promise good company and abundant coffee. Please contact the office - 608-251-9131 or email email@example.com.
Where are they now?
We occasionally are asked "whatever happened to...?" so here are some brief stories about what a some of our former interns have gone on to do.
Ezra Meyer began volunteering for Gathering Waters Conservancy in 1996 and interned while pursuing a degree in Urban Planning. Ezra undertook a major research project on conservation easements and property taxes. This research formed the basis for our efforts to ensure that landowners who donate easements receive a fair reduction in their property taxes. A natural leader and activist, Ezra founded Friends of the Mukwonago River to help preserve the river that runs through his home town. Ezra moved from GWC to the Wisconsin Association of Lakes, and is now Water Resource Specialist at Clean Wisconsin.
Jocelyn Gretz took on Gathering Waters' In Their Own Words project with enthusiasm - interviewing landowners and documenting their stories with personal accounts, photos, and poems. The final publication, released in 2003, is beautiful and inspiring. With support from the Bolz family, we were able to offer Jocelyn a modest stipend for her outstanding work. Jocelyn left for points west in 2004, working for Yosemite National Park and the Forest Service in Alaska, as an educator for Save the Bay in San Francisco, and is now pursuing a Masters of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Sara DeKok is the intern we never let go! She started with Gathering Waters Conservancy as an intern in 2003. She seemed able to do just about anything, and we soon hired her as a staff assistant. In 2004, Sara was promoted to the full-time position of Membership Coordinator. While working full-time, Sara completed a graduate degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development at UW-Madison. Today, Sara is our Member Relations Director.
While a graduate student in Land Resources at the UW, Julia Solomon contacted Gathering Waters Conservancy about volunteering in 2003; we gratefully put her writing talent to work on grant proposals. In 2004, Julia was awarded the highly competitive Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship, which provided funding for her to work with us full-time. After serving as a Program Coordinator for more than a year, Julia took a position with UW Extension as an Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist. She is now a Communications Officer for McGill University in Quebec.
Conor Moran started working at Gathering Waters in September 2004, while attending the UW Madison Law School. During his three years with us, he helped build our membership program and took on database management ranging from donation processing to updating each donor file. Following his graduation from law school in May 2007, Conor moved to Washington, DC, to is put his education in public interest law to good use. However, he couldn’t stay away; Conor’s back and currently serving as Program Assistant.
Andrea Ward arrived in 2005 as a Communications intern primarily responsible for editing Stories of Stewardship: Tales from Wisconsin’s Big Backyard. She quickly became indispensible and took over outreach functions to cover a maternity leave. When we finally had to let her go, Andrea went to a editorial position at the Journal of Green Building, then on to working on an organic CSA and, always, preparing her skis for each next American Birkebeiner.
Theresa Morgan, was our membership and administrative intern in 2008. She kept the website packed with land trust events, maintained our database, planned events and otherwise kept us on track before returning to California to complete her Masters in Environmental Science & Management at UCSB. Theresa finished her degree in 2010 and took a job, we’re so pleased to report, as the Conservation Specialist for the River Revitalization Foundation, Wisconsin’s urban rivers land trust.
Becky Thompson, was the communications intern from 2008-2010. She helped coordinate membership prospecting, assemble mailings, and tracked conservation stories from across Wisconsin while finishing up her Masters degree in Latin American Studies at UW-Madison. She stayed with us until the winter after graduation in 2010 when she moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina where she now works helping out with tutoring students at MasterMind Prep.
Daniel Hodge, was the membership and administrative intern in 2010. He assisted with event planning, worked on member mailings and acknowledgments, and kept the database organized and up-to-date. After graduating in the spring of 2011 from UW-Madison with a B.A in Political Science and Environmental Studies, he will be spending the summer managing the counselor staff at Camp Olson in Minnesota, then plans on heading back to Wisconsin to get a couple more years of work under his belt before heading off to graduate school.