Out West student blog

From Carmel to Colorado Springs, Western Summer Interns Get to Work

Top row, from left: Carlos Ciudad-Real, Zach Clayton, Carly Eckstrom, Whitney Francis, TJ Francisco, Sheila Gao; Middle row: Kerstin Heinrich, Nick Mascarello, Victoria Mendez, Nineveh O'Connell, Callan Showers, Michelle Solomon; Bottom row: Eliza Steffen, Barrett Travis, Emily Wilson, Maggie Wood, Hannah Zimmerman

Summer is here again, which brings us a new crop of interns working across the West as part of Stanford’s Cardinal Quarter initiative for public service.


In 2018, the Bill Lane Center is proud to support 17 outstanding undergraduates, co-terms, and graduate students – a record high for our programs – who will be spending the summer at national parks, nature conservancies, nongovernmental organizations, state regulatory agencies, and research institutes. 2018’s class of interns also includes the 100th intern placed through the Center’s summer internship program, which is now in its 14th year.

Follow their experiences and perspectives on our Out West student blog, which will also feature dispatches from the Stanford Energy Internships in California and Colorado, a program we cosponsor with the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy and Stanford in Government. You can also read more our interns and their interests by clicking the links below. For now, we hope you will join us in wishing them all the best for an adventurous and productive summer.

2018 Interns in the West

Intern Topic Organization
Zach Clayton Software and Web Development Intern Henry's Fork Foundation
Whitney Francis Public Grants and Policy Intern Trust for Public Land
TJ Francisco Conservation Ecology Field Assistant Santa Lucia Conservancy
Kerstin Heinrich Curatorial Intern Yellowstone National Park
Nick Mascarello Resilient Landscapes Program Intern San Francisco Estuary Institute
Victoria Mendez Parks for People Program Internship Trust for Public Land
Nineveh O'Connell GIS-geographer Intern Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Callan Showers Research Intern Galatée Films
Eliza Steffen Elections Policy Intern National Conference of State Legislatures
Emily Wilson Archives Intern Yosemite National Park
Maggie Wood Planning and Policy Intern US Army Corps of Engineers
Hannah Zimmerman Legislative Strengthening Center Intern National Conference of State Legislatures


2018 Energy Interns in California and Colorado

In addition to our 12 interns in the American West, the Center is pleased to sponsor five Stanford Energy Interns in California and Colorado (SEIC). Now in its third year, SEIC places Stanford undergraduate and graduate students in energy-related public service internships in the West. The program seeks to:

  • Provide Stanford students interested in energy an avenue to participate in a substantive and paid internship with energy-related California government organizations.
  • Provide California’s agencies with Stanford’s top students and resources.
  • Promote the spirit of public service to Stanford students and encourage them to consider public policy positions after graduation.
  • Educate students about the wide range of career opportunities available in state government for energy-related jobs.
  • Increase connections between Stanford faculty and researchers and California agencies.

This year, the Center is sponsoring two Stanford undergraduates and three graduate students to spend the summer exploring the intersection of energy and policy in the West. Learn more about our fellows:

Intern Topic Organization
Carlos Ciudad-Real Undergraduate Intern California Independent System Operator
Carly Eckstrom Undergraduate Intern Western Interstate Energy Board
Sheila Gao Graduate Intern California Public Utilties Commission, Office of Commissioner Cliff Rechtstaffen
Michelle Solomon Graduate Intern California Energy Commission, Office of Commissioner Janea Scott
Barrett Travis Graduate Intern Department of Water Resources


This summer, follow our interns’ activities on the Out West student blog. During the summer quarter, Center's interns and Research Assistants will be sending in virtual postcards, snapshots and reports on their work at organizations thoughout the West.

Learn more about our summer internships

Recent Center News

In many drought-stricken regions, water security is threatened by shifting climate and demographic conditions. In research funded by the Woods Institute for the Environment, Center Director Bruce Cain and colleagues will develop a new approach to drought management that accounts for long-term socio-environmental change.
Stanford research reveals the rapidly growing influence of wildfire smoke on air quality trends across most of the United States. Wildfire smoke in recent years has slowed or reversed progress toward cleaner air in 35 states, erasing a quarter of gains made since 2000.
Journalists covering the American West can apply for a fellowship that offers a $5,000 stipend. The Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University will be accepting applications for its Western Media Fellowship through October 9, 2023.