Every summer, the Bill Lane Center for the American West offers many opportunities for Stanford undergraduates (including graduating seniors and co-terminal students) to work with organizations throughout the West. Through these internships, students can explore careers in natural history, conservation, land use, museum curation, resource management, energy, and more.
Bill Lane Center internships are part of Cardinal Quarter opportunities and students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The opportunities are full-time (40 hours a week) for 9-10 consecutive weeks during the summer. Specific start and end dates can be coordinated directly with the internship organization's supervisor. All internships are fully funded by the Bill Lane Center.
The Bill Lane Center has placed over 250 interns in positions across the West since 2005. It has developed strong relationships with host organizations and works hard to ensure interns have successful and enriching experiences.
Students interested in applying for internships should join the email list to be the first to know when applications are available.
Interested students can apply via the SOLO portal.
The selection process and timeline:
- Host organizations are confirmed during by early December and student applications are available on the SOLO portal by mid-December.
- The student application deadline will be Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 11:59pm for the summer 2024 program.
- First-round interviews of selected students occur in February with Bill Lane Center staff.
- Finalists will have their applications forwarded to the host organizations that make the final selection decision.
- Students should know the selection decisions and internship placements prior to the start of spring break.
Required Application Materials:
The Bill Lane Center application includes specific questions and will also prompt students to submit:
- A cover letter describing their interest and experience
- A resume
- Two references
- An unofficial transcript
Students should address their cover letters to both the Bill Lane Center, that is funding and administering the internship, and to the organization to which they are applying.
The following three questions must be addressed in the cover letter:
- What are your motivations behind applying for this position?
- How will participating in this program further your academic and professional pursuits?
- Do you have any prior internship or relevant experience?
For more helpful application advice and tips on writing a cover letter, please visit the Bill Lane Center's FAQs page.
- Students may apply to *no more* than three internships.
- Students' applications may be forwarded to additional host organizations at the discretion of the Bill Lane Center staff.
The summer 2023 internship application deadline is now over.
The summer 2024 internship application deadline will be Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 11:59pm.
For Prospective Host Organizations
The Bill Lane Center welcomes new additions to its internship host organizations and reviews its partnerships regularly.
Visit this page for more information on how to get involved with the Bill Lane Center's internship program.
Summer interns get ready to get to work!
Summer 2023 Internships
|HISTORY & ARCHIVES||Role||Mentor Name||Internship Location||Link To application|
|Yosemite National Park Museum||Museum Database Management Intern||Laura Bender||El Portal, CA (remote with site visits)||Apply here|
|Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center||Museum Intern||Miriam Watson||Gardiner, MT (in person only)|
|Yellowstone National Park Archaeology Program||Archaeology Program Intern||Beth Horton||Gardiner, MT (in person only)|
|Politics & Policy||Role||Mentor Name||Internship Location||Link to application|
|National Conference of State Legislatures||Elections Intern||Amanda (Mandy) Zoch||Denver, CO (hybrid)||Apply here|
|U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||Analyst Intern||Juliette Hayes||San Francisco, CA (in person or hybrid)||Apply here|
|American Rivers||Communications and Land Use Planning Intern||Sarah Puckett||Sacramento, CA (remote with in-person meetings and field visits)||Apply here|
|Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources||Social Media Intern||Madison Rice||Honolulu, HI (in person only)||Apply here|
|Ecology & Conservation||RoLe||Mentor Name||Internship Location||Link to Application|
|San Francisco Estuary Institute||Resilient Landscapes Program Intern||Sean Baumgarten||Richmond, CA (hybrid)||Apply here|
|Santa Lucia Conservancy||Conservation Outreach Intern||Alix Soliman||
Carmel, CA (in person only)
|Blue Forest Conservation||Project Analyst/Research Analyst Intern||Phil Saksa||Sacramento, CA (remote but 20% in-person workshops and field visits||Apply here|
|Henry's Fork Foundation||Hydrology Internship or Communications and Outreach Internship or South Fork Initiative Internship||Sara Newcomb, Rob Van Kirk; Jasper Davis; or Dave Weskamp||Ashton, ID (in person only)||Apply here|
|Washington Water Trust||Sustainable Waters Intern||Jason Hatch||Seattle, WA (hybrid)||Apply here|
|Deschutes Land Trust||Skyline Forest Conservation Intern||Natasha Bellis||Bend, OR (hybrid)||Apply here|
|California Trout||Source Water Initiative Intern||Damon Goodman||Mt. Shasta, CA (in person only)||Apply here|
|OUTREACH, Community Engagement & education||Role||Mentor Name||Internship Location||Link To Application|
|Heyday||Editorial Intern||Emmerich Anklam||Berkeley, CA (hybrid)||Apply here|
|Natural History Institute||Media Arts Intern||Bob Ellis||Prescott, AZ (in person only)||Apply here|
|Glacier National Park Conservancy||Hispanic Community Outreach Intern||Doug Mitchell||Columbia Falls, MT (in person only)||Apply here|
Kittitas Environmental Education Network (KEEN)
|Culturally Responsive Curriculum Intern||Carlyn Saunders||Ellensburg, WA (in person preferred)||Apply here|
The Bill Lane Center's internships offer Stanford undergraduates hands-on professional development experiences across the region. From policy analysis to archival research, to land conservation and outreach, and beyond, its internships cover a comprehensive range of disciplines and organizations. Internship locations fluctuate by year but below is a list of most of its past and current internship agencies and organizations.
"West" Internship Organizations: Current and Past
The Deschutes Land Trust
The DLT works cooperatively with central Oregon landowners to conserve land for wildlife, scenic views and local communities.
Galatée Films is a French film production company heavily focused on nature and the environment. BLC interns often work on research projects related to upcoming film projects.
Glacier National Park Conservancy
GNPC works to protect and preserve Glacier National Park for future generations. Interns support the organization by working on one or more of the Conservancy's projects. We hope to send an intern to Glacier in coming years.
Henry's Fork Foundation
Located in Ashton, ID, the Henry's Fork Foundation works to conserve, protect, and restore the unique qualities of the Henry's Fork river and its watershed.
Heyday is a non-profit publishing house located in Berkeley, CA.
National Conference of State Legislatures
The NCSL advances the effectiveness, independence and integrity of state legislatures and fosters interstate cooperation and facilitates the exchange of information among legislatures.
Natural History Institute
Located in Prescott, AZ, NHI provides leadership and resources for a revitalized practice of natural history that integrates art, science, and humanities to promote the health and well-being of humans and the rest of the natural world.
San Francisco Estuary Institute
SFEI gives scientific support and tools for decision-making and communication through collaborative efforts. We provide independent science to assess and improve the health of the waters, wetlands, wildlife and landscapes of San Francisco Bay and beyond.
Santa Lucia Conservancy
Located in Carmel, CA, the Santa Lucia Conservancy is a steward to the unique natural resources of the Santa Lucia Preserve. Interns are deeply involved in a field work project along with a personal, independent project.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Situated in the beautiful Sawtooth mountains, the SNRA offers interns an opportunity to work with mapping and geospatial tools.
Trust for Public Land
TPL creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Interns often support the "Parks for People" initiative, interfacing with communities to get parks built.
US Army Corps of Engineers
USACE delivers vital public and military engagement engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen national security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.
Washington Water Trust
Washington Water Trust is a neutral, non regulatory nonprofit, dedicated to improving and protecting stream flows and water quality throughout Washington state.
Yellowstone National Park
We offer two opportunities at Yellowstone. The Heritage and Research Center houses the National Park's cultural and natural artifacts. The Archeology Program manages the park’s archaeological heritage where students work with the Park's archeologist.
Yosemite National Park
We offer two opprortunities, the archives and the museum. Interns dive into work at the archives where they help categorize and preserve many of the Park's unique treasures. The museum preserves the Park's cultural artifacts and natural specimens.
Cardinal Quarter Certification
In partnership with the Haas Center for Public Service, students who complete any Bill Lane Center internship are eligible for a Cardinal Quarter certification.
Cardinal Quarter offerings are intensive, immersive, local, national and global public service experiences. The experiences provide students the opportunities to contribute to society, develop citizenship and professional skills, and realize Jane Stanford’s vision that with a Stanford education students “will become thereby of greater service to the public.”
Students receive a notation on their transcript after completing all Cardinal Quarter requirements.
Shultz Energy Fellowships and Pfund Fellowships
In a partnership with the Precourt Institute for Energy, the Haas Center for Public Service and Stanford in Government, the Lane Center sponsors full-time paid internships for students to explore energy issues in the American West.
The Shultz Energy Fellowships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Host organizations have included the California Air Resources Board, California Department of Water Resources, City of Palo Alto Utilities, Western Energy Interstate Board, California Energy Commission, and more. Read more about the Shultz internship program here.
The Pfund Fellowship is generously supported by Bill Lane Center Advisory Council member Nancy Pfund. Ms. Pfund sponsors two energy internship opportunities every year. There is no separate application for the fellowship. Check here for a list of our Pfund fellows.
For more information about the internship proposals from host agencies and application details, please visit the Precourt Institute for Energy's program page.
California Department of Water Resources
Nathaniel Ramos spent the summer of 2020 working on a project related to the State Water Project.
California Public Utilities Commission
During the summer of 2020, Mondee Lu worked for the office of Commissioner Shiroma.
California Energy Commission
Working in the office of commissioner Monahan, Sindhu Nathan dove deep into work at the California Energy Commission.
California Department of Water Resources
Wenxi Zhao stepped into an important role at DWR and studied hydroelectric power generation.
City of Palo Alto Utility
Liqian helps the City of Palo Alto understand their electricity usage.
Western Interstate Energy Board
Alex Evers gets immersed in the world of wildfires and energy at WIEB.