Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself. We are the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.
Virginia Sierra Club fall interns will work directly with experienced advocates and organizers to develop and implement campaigns to protect the environment during the fall semester (September—December). Interns will assist staff in coordinating workshops and presentations, building for rallies, recruiting, training, and managing volunteers, and generating public support for key issues. Interns should be prepared to work in a fast-paced and community-oriented professional environment.
Internships are available on the following campaigns:
Climate Action Campaign: Engage Virginians in the national movement to address climate change and increase our use of renewable energy. Key issues include: reducing carbon pollution from power plants, defending the Clean Air Act, encouraging key decision-makers to support the President’s Climate Action Plan, and moving our communities and utilities away from reliance on fossil fuels.
Virginia General Assembly In-District Legislative Power Building: Work with Sierra Club volunteers and others in key legislative districts to build power and advance legislation to fight climate change, advance solar and wind energy and protect our air and water.
Interns must be willing to commit a minimum of 15 hours per week at either our Richmond or Norfolk offices. Schedules are flexible and some weekend opportunities are available. The internship is unpaid, however class credit may be negotiated with your educational institution. Sierra Club will work with students to build your resume and network with professionals.
Internship positions are limited and spots fill up quickly. Internships are available in Richmond and Norfolk only.
Meet Some of Our Past Interns
Sunhwa Yoon is an undergraduate student studying Political Science and Elementary Education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. She interned at the Sierra Club’s Richmond office during the 2014 Legislative Session. Sunhwa, or “Sun”, helped compile and maintain the legislative Scorecard, where legislators will be held accountable for their votes on environmental policy. Also during her 5-month internship, Sun assisted in the Fourth Annual Clean Energy Lobby Day, an event where clean energy businesses, including wind developers and solar installers, advocate for building out Virginia’s clean, renewable energy resources. Sunhwa also coordinated packing up Earth Day kits for Virginia’s Groups, and helped to maintain maintained the Chapter webpage.
Rose Olsovsky, Virginia Commonwealth University, Class of 2014, English
Rose worked closely for the Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter on the Political Action Campaign for the 2013 Gubernatorial Race for Governor of Virginia. Through the use of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, Rose helped promote our TooExtremKen campaign. Rose also helped compile and organize information for a feature in the VA Chapter’s Old Dominion Sierran quarterly newsletter on endorsed candidates running for seats in the House of Delegates. On several occasions, Rose made phone calls to Sierra Club members in the Richmond area, providing information on volunteer opportunities coinciding with the election as well as other ways for folks to reach out in the effort to act on climate change.
Graham Givens, University of Mary Washington, Class of 2013, Environmental Science
Working with the Rappahannock group of the Sierra Club, Graham built a community group in Fredericksburg to support the current ban on uranium mining in Virginia. Uranium deposits have been identified along the Rappahannock River, a public drinking water source for the city of Fredericksburg, which includes UMW. To protect his university’s access to clean, safe drinking water, Graham collected petition signatures, held community meetings, and met with community leaders to keep the ban on uranium mining in Virginia.
Chelsea worked with the NOVA hub of the Sierra Club to stop Old Dominion Electric Cooperative from carrying out the construction of a new coal plant, which if built would be the largest in Virginia. Coal plants are responsible for a number of health and environmental ailments including asthma, strokes and even death, as well as being a major contributor of carbon dioxide emissions. To prevent the construction of the Surry coal plant Chelsea helped build local opposition in the Northern Neck by attending farmers markets and building community alliances.
Despite a nearly 50-year track record protecting our air from big polluters and keeping American’s healthy, some in Congress have decided to attack the Clean Air Act’s authority to regulate pollution. This summer Ross worked to expose those in Congress that stand up for big polluters and thank those that support public health. In this photo, Ross (center) is joined by volunteers before a phonebank to Sierra Club members asking them to call and thank Senator Warner themselves for his continued support of the EPA and the Clean Air Act.