Internship and Volunteer Opportunities

At the Climate + Energy Project, interns and volunteers get a unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and passion areas of legislature, journalism, renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate change and public healthCEP interns connect theoretical knowledge to real life applications through meaningful assignments. 

All internships are unpaid but come with a priceless experience. Applications for volunteers and interns are accepted throughout the semester. Visit our intern page to learn about opportunities and how to apply.

Current Interns

Claire Byers is a junior at the University of Kansas pursuing a 
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a minor in Geography. She is from Wichita, Kansas, and has lived in Lawrence since 2015. Although Claire planned to major in biology, she quickly discovered her passion for the environment and environmental issues in her community. She started out in an ecology research lab on campus focusing on how rising CO 2 levels affect plant growth. Through this opportunity, she realized her true interest was learning how to effectively communicate science to communities. As an intern for the Climate and Energy Project, Claire is able to develop skills involving civic engagement and identify how climate change will affect us all over time, as her biggest concern is environmental justice. Claire has worked on the CEP LIVE Facebook videos, and enjoyed the use of technology to reach a wider audience. She participated in WEALTH Day at the Capitol and learned a lot about how the community can come together to change policy. Claire is also a Student Outreach and Events Assistant at the KU Natural History Museum and after graduation plans to get her Masters in Urban Planning with an environmental focus. Interning at CEP is the perfect fit and she is excited to work on more projects to come, helping shape her interests and plans for the future.
Mackenzie Knox is a junior at the University of Kansas, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a minor in Public Policy. Additionally, she is working toward earning certification in Permaculture Design, and a certificate through KU’s Global Awareness Program. She was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, and moved to Lawrence in 2015 to attend KU. Mackenzie’s concerns about climate change and natural resource depletion started at a young age, so she knew she wanted to enter an environmental field upon arrival at college. Through her studies at KU, she has discovered her passion for issues in environmental justice and policy, and wishes to attend law school upon completion of her undergraduate studies. In the future, she plans to seek a career with a nonprofit organization where she can practice environmental law and justice, and work to build a sustainable future for all.
Allison Rozell is a junior at the University of Kansas pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a minor in Public Policy. In addition, she is working toward a certificate in Sustainability. She is from Arkansas City, Kansas, and moved to Lawrence this year to finish her studies. Previously, Allison completed an AmeriCorps internship partnered with the United States Forest Service in Washington state. During her time there, her already strong passion for the environment grew immensely. That passion and aspiration to protect the environment and its resources, along with the recognition of the extensive impact that policy has on environmental issues, sparked Allison's desire to focus on environmental policy and justice. Back in Kansas, she hopes to contribute to changes in the state by applying knowledge and ideas gained through her studies and experiences toward more sustainable practices and resource use. During her internship at CEP, Allison hopes to explore and contribute further to her interests in clean and renewable energy, environmental policy and justice, and sustainable practices to apply to her future career.

Past Interns

Tony Wagler is a senior at the University of Kansas pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business (Marketing) and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science. Tony was born in Cairo, Egypt, and spent the majority of his childhood in Damascus, Syria. In 2008, his family moved to Hutchinson, KS. Tony began his studies at Bethel College in Newton, KS, where he studied business, but after realizing the ever-growing need for renewable resources, he transferred to the University of Kansas to add an Environmental Studies major. He hopes to gain a well-rounded understanding of the renewable energy field, and ultimately devote his career to the development of solar energy. Since arriving at KU, Tony has become a student ambassador, international student relations program director, environmental chair of Krehbiel scholarship hall, marketing club treasurer, and is conducting undergraduate research centered around environmental economics.  

Vanessa Alcocer is a senior at The University of Kansas pursuing a Bachelor of 
Science in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She also is working toward an Arts Engagement Certification. She was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas and moved to Lawrence 2 and a half years ago, to attend KU. At KU, she originally started as a Biology major but found true passion when she began to take environmental studies courses on policy and environmental justice. She enjoys participating in her community service based sorority as well as volunteering at the local animal shelter. Over the summer, she worked for The University of Kansas’ TRIO Program. She has interests in environmental policy and public health. After graduation, she has plans to pursue law school with a focus on environmental and energy law. Interning at CEP falls right into her interests of sustainable energy, public health, and environmental justice. 

Clean Energy Business Council Intern
Lamisa Chowdhury is a first generation, Bangladeshi-American. She is senior at the University of Kansas pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Business. She has obtained a certification of Sustainability from the University of Kansas, which allowed her to research sustainability best practice frameworks for the City of Lawrence’s STAR Communities initiative. She is currently working towards a Service Learning certification. Lamisa serves as a board member for the environmental club, Environs, at KU and has been trained as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Associate. She is extremely interested in the implementation of renewable energies within our communities, and her position as the Clean Energy Business Council intern will allow her to explore innovative techniques in energy solutions for businesses. Her passion for the environment has been exemplified through her past internship with Diesel Health Project, where she assisted with coordinating clean air solutions for the Kansas City area. Furthermore, Lamisa enjoys spending her free time defending social and environmental justice within the Lawrence community via grassroots activism.

Legislative Intern
Mallory Copeland is currently a junior at the University of Kansas pursuing a Bachelor of the Arts in 
Chinese and Environmental Studies. Mallory became interested in government work after debating in high school, and realizing the impact of formulating policies to fight environmental issues. She believes that using policies to create a better environment for citizens is a top priority for the government. While at the University of Kansas Mallory has worked with student groups to encourage academic focus on environmental science, as an Environmental Studies Student Ambassador, she f
inds outreach to students to be essential in bringing environmental issues to light. She has also spent the last two years coaching debate at a local Topeka high school and encouraging students to think critically about how to use policies to address inequality and international issues. Mallory has also done fieldwork in Utah focused on riparian reconstruction, and lab work in Lawrence where she helped raise butterflies.

Clean Energy = Clean Air Intern
Natalie Shaw is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Kansas, focusing on air and water quality as well as sustainability. After she graduates with a Bachelor’s of Science in Spring 2018, she plans to pursue a Master’s at KU in the environmental field. Currently, she is the Co-President for the environmental organization on campus, Environs, and is working towards receiving her Certificate in Sustainability at KU. Her interests in terms of the environment have no limit, but especially has a passion for earth sciences (i.e. air/water, climate change, pollution, ecology, marine biology, aquatic ecology, ecosystems). Interning with the Climate + Energy Project as a Clean Energy = Clean Air intern falls right under her interests of air quality, health, sustainability, and environmental justice and strives to make an individual difference for this planet!

State Legislative Intern
Anita Austin is currently senior at Washburn University pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. Anita became dedicated to effective government work after learning what a huge impact it has on our lives and futures. She believes that responsible energy policies are incredibly important and are the key to the long term sustainability of our planet.

During her time at Washburn University, Anita has completed internships at the local and state level. She was a legislative intern during the 2013 session. While working for the House Minority Leader, she developed a passion for the well-being of our state. Having lived her whole life in Kansas, Anita wants to see this state continue to be a place that her children can be proud to call home. In the summer of 2014, Anita went to work for the City of Topeka as an assistant to the City Manager. This experience taught her that there is often a divide between public perception and the realities of a given policy, and bridging this gap is very important to her.

Climate + Energy Project Intern
Gina Beebe is earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Kansas. Raised in Manhattan, KS, Gina moved to Lawrence about four years ago to attend KU. She has always been very interested in agriculture and the ways that we use the Earth in order to develop our inner selves as well as our larger societies.
Throughout her time at KU, she has been continually gaining understanding in the realms of sustainable agriculture and ecology. Her role as an officer at the KU Student Farm taught her a great deal about growing food and the importance of connecting community to their food systems. Additionally, she worked to evaluate biodiversity in a historic, forty-year study at the successional fragmentation plots at the KU Field Station in which she learned about patterns in plant development – she was able to observe and imagine how ecology and agriculture can integrate in order to make a healthier, more productive space. Inspired by this work with ecology and agriculture, she has been conducting an undergraduate honors research project centered on ecological agriculture.
Gina begins an internship at Yosemite National Park in August 2015. 
State Legislative Intern
Caleb Hall is a third year law student at the University of Kansas from Shawnee, KS. Before going to law school he completed a B.S. in environmental studies, also at the University of Kansas, while working at the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation in Os
ceola, MO each summer. Caleb served as both an ecology and rope course director at the camp, and he believes that it was his experiences in the Boy Scouts of America that fostered his fascination with nature and rural landscapes.

After his undergraduate degree, Caleb has focused his legal training on environmental law and litigation. He has been involved with confined animal feeding operations cases and atmospheric trust litigation, both in Kansas. During his first law school summer he volunteered with the Missouri State Public Defender in Kansas City, MO, and this last summer he was working for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Santa Monica, CA. There, he co-wrote a community guide to California oil and gas law, soon to be published by Heal the Bay, and contributed to a community guide to the California Environmental Quality Act, soon to be published by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Water + Energy Progress Intern
Brock Ternes received his bachelor's degree in 2008 from Emporia State University, where he majored in sociology and minored in writing. His Masters research on development and migration in the United States was defended in the Spring of 2010 and is a forthcoming publication. He is now a PhD candidate whose areas of interest are environmental sociology, globalization, migration, demography, quantitative methods, structural equation modelling, social theory, and comparative-historical research. Currently, he has one revised-and-resubmitted manuscript under review, five articles in progress, and many book reviews. Brock completed his first area exam on globalization in the Fall of 2011 and his second area exam on migration in the Fall of 2012. His Oral Comprehensive Exam was completed in the Spring of 2013.

More recently, he has given several professional presentations at sociology and water-related conferences. Brock has received KU's Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award (2013), KU’s Summer Research Fellowship (2014), and other awards. He is currently an IPSR Doctoral Research Fellow and a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Brock’s dissertation employs Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling and missing-by-design data collection to analyze water conservation and well ownership among Kansans. He enjoys running, playing the guitar, and live music.

Take Charge Challenge Intern
Currently, Nichole is a student at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania pursuing a Master of Business Administration along with a Master of Sustainability. Nichole spent her childhood in South Central Kansas running around outdoors, swimming, growing to love everything about the state of Kansas, and building an appreciation for nature.
After graduating from Pittsburg State University with a degree in psychology, she decided she wanted to see a little more of this big world and was fortunate enough to receive a Fulbright Scholarship to Indonesia. During her time in Indonesia, she taught English at an Islamic high school and through this incredible experience she learned how connected we all are and how her decisions in the Western hemisphere impact others in the Eastern hemisphere.

During her time at Chatham University, she has had the pleasure of assisting the university's Office of Sustainability. Her main responsibility at Chatham is the Green Workplace Challenge Coordinator. The Green Workplace Challenge is a citywide, yearlong competition for Pittsburgh organizations to save money and gain recognition for implementing sustainable business practices. The Green Workplace Challenge is not unlike the Take Charge Challenge offered by CEP and is a great way to increase energy education and efficiency. Nichole assisted Cassi Reimer with the Take Charge Challenge during her time with CEP.

Nichole said "I enjoyed this experience more than words can say. I have never been surrounded by so many fellow Kansans that share my passion for efficient and renewable energy."
Water + Energy Progress Intern
Chavis Armstrong is currently working at the University of Kansas. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and received a a post baccalaureate Biology (BS) degree at Washburn University. She has a love for science, specifically environmental and biological sciences, and a realization that the world is a complicated place. 
After earning her BA in Environmental Studies, Chavis worked with children planning science and social studies based after-school activities and spent summers as a camp counselor. She became a volunteer at Operation Wildlife and her love for animals led her to work as a veterinary assistant. It was the encouragement of her employer that brought her back to school in pursuit of a science degree in 2012.

Chavis lived in the Netherlands from ages 9 to 13, and she returned to Europe to study abroad in Germany during her studies at KU. She credits these experiences, along with her work and internship opportunities for giving her an understanding that what is best for one is not always the most desirable for another, and that simple truth can be seen from a biological perspective as well as a social and cultural perspective.

By working with Rachel Myslivy on the Water + Energy Progress project, Chavis used her time at CEP to learn more about agricultural production in Kansas and apply that to her biological studies.