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Interning in a Pandemic: How Our Cohort of Summer Interns Will Serve the American West from Home

A collage of headshots of the 2020 summer interns.

Top row, from left: Cameron Tenner, Claudia Kania, David Ludeke, Greyson Assa; Second row: Jess Dominick, Max Klotz, Nina Wagner, Zack Boyd; Third row: Zora Ilunga-Reed, Alex Evers, Liqian Zhang, Mondee Lu; Bottom row: Nathaniel Ramos, Sindhu Nathan, Wenxi Zhao

The Bill Lane Center sponsors a cohort of interns to serve organizations across the West each year. This year, all students will be working from home, as both host organizations and the Center adapt to these unprecedented times with remote programming. Across the United States from California to New York, and as part of Stanford’s Cardinal Quarter initiative for public service, our current interns will telecommute during the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the American Western region in a virtual capacity. 

In 2020, the Bill Lane Center is proud to support 15 outstanding undergraduates, coterms, and graduate students, including the 175th intern placed through our programs. They'll be working with organizations that do pivotal work to help ensure a thriving American West - national parks, regulatory agencies, nonprofits, and film studios. Our philosophy at the Center has always been to select and support internship placements that might not otherwise be able to fund a Stanford University intern. In this sense, we are proud to shore up and add capacity to important Western organizations. We couldn't be more grateful to our incredible internship hosts, who have been generous in quickly adapting their positions to virtual ones. We usually emphasize that the West, for us, is fundamentally about a sense of place. For the first time, our interns will be embedded in a place, serving a community, without physically working there, and we can't wait to see how students and their supervisors rise to meet this new challenge.

Follow their experiences and perspectives on our Out West student blog. You can also read more about our interns and their interests on this page. For now, we hope you will join us in wishing them all the best for an adventurous and productive summer.

2020 Interns in the West

Intern Topic Organization
Greyson Assa Water Innovation Intern Washington Water Trust
Zack Boyd Communication and Conservation Intern Henry's Fork Foundation
Jess Dominick Parks for People Intern Trust for Public Land
Zora Ilunga-Reed Intern Natural History Institute
Claudia Kania Elections Policy Intern National Conference of State Legislatures
Max Klotz Research Intern Galatée Films
David Ludeke Resilent Landscapes Program Intern San Francisco Estuary Institute
Cameron Tenner Planning and Policy Intern US Army Corps of Engineers
Nina Wagner Museum Intern Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center

In addition to our nine interns in the American West, the Center is pleased to sponsor six Stanford Energy Interns in California and the West (SEICW), as part of a program we cosponsor with the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy and Stanford in Government. Now in its fifth year, SEICW 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 and Western state government organizations.
  • 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 and Western state agencies.

2020 Energy Interns in California and the West

Intern Topic Organization
Alex Evers Undergraduate Intern Western Interstate Energy Board
Mondee Lu Graduate Intern California Public Utilities Commission, Office of Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma
Sindhu Nathan Graduate Intern California Energy Commission, Office of Commissioner Patty Monahan
Nathaniel Ramos Undergraduate Intern Department of Water Resources
Liqian Zhang Graduate Intern Western Electricity Coordinating Council
Wenxi Zhao Graduate Intern Department of Water Resources


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

Learn more about our summer internships



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