2022 Spring & Summer Volunteer Internship
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air and Radiation
Students should consult with academic faculty to determine if this unpaid experience will earn credit.
This is an unpaid volunteer internship at the U.S. EPA Headquarters in the Office of Air and Radiation’s (OAR) Immediate Office: Office of Air Policy and Program Support (OAPPS) and Office of Communications).
Volunteer interns will gain valuable experience in efforts to protect public health and the environment with an emphasis on the Clean Air Act. Depending on the needs of the office at the time the internship begins, the position may require a person to support analyses or coordination of international, economic, or science issues related to air pollutants; engage stakeholders with effective communication and outreach; support cross-OAR policies and processes and cross-EPA research priorities; and work independently and/or with small teams.
Volunteer interns may be assigned to work on a specific project or multiple project areas, in addition to contributing to and obtaining insights and exposure to a host of Air Policy and Programmatic issues. Expertise or interest in various disciplines that are anticipated to be relevant to this position, include: physical, health and environmental sciences; engineering; business management and organizational design; government, political science, public policy and administration; project management; information technology and computer science; English (writing) and communications; economics; and law.
Some of our previous interns have worked on projects related to one or more of the following areas:
· Communications – tracked events and announcements and assist in the development of communications materials, such as press releases and social media;
· Congressional relations – performed legislative analysis, assisted with hearing preparation, and tracked correspondence;
· Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests – tracked FOIAs and developed best practices;
· Process Improvement – helped make aspects of our programs more effective and efficient through the use of innovation;
· Research – coordinated research efforts across programs, monitored progress on products, and contributed to outreach efforts;
· Rulemaking – assisted rule team with tracking and facilitating rulemaking process;
· Environmental Justice – collected best practices in states and internationally; and
· Website Improvements – reviewed existing Clean Air Act webpages, conducted research on CAA topics to help improve content, assisted with updating content.
Based on office needs, the specific project(s) will be negotiated with the selected volunteer intern and will be contingent on their knowledge, skills, and interests.
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT IS OUR MISSION
The Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) develops national programs, policies, and regulations for controlling air pollution and radiation exposure. OAR is concerned with pollution prevention and energy efficiency, indoor and outdoor air quality, industrial air pollution, pollution from vehicles and engines, radon, acid rain, stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change, and radiation protection. OAR is responsible for administering the Clean Air Act, the Atomic Energy Act, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act, and other applicable environmental laws.
The Office of Air Policy and Program Support (OAPPS) and the Office of Communications are both staff offices in the Immediate Office of the Assistant Administrator for OAR.
OAPPS provides cross-program policy and programmatic support to OAR senior leadership and to OAR’s stationary source, mobile source, atmospheric program, and radiation/indoor air program offices. Specific responsibilities and activities of the office are organized through six main practice areas including: economics, science policy and research coordination, international activities, program tracking and management, Congressional and stakeholder engagement, and priority projects of senior OAR leadership.
The Communications Office supports EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation by developing and reviewing communications materials including, press releases, fact sheets, social media, speeches, talking points, press interviews and responses, and stakeholder engagement. It is the primary liaison between EPA’s clean air, climate and radiation programs and the EPA Administrator’s Office of Public Affairs.
To learn more about OAR, visit https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-air-and-radiation-oar.
You must be a U.S. citizen and a full-time undergraduate or graduate student. A diversity of candidates and fields of study are of interest, including degree candidates in the following disciplines: sciences, economics, public policy, public health, engineering, political science, information technology, organizational management, and international policy.
We anticipate hosting 1-2 interns over the spring and summer of 2022. Volunteers may work full-time (maximum of up to 40 hours per week) or part-time (minimum of 20 hours per week). Students may elect to volunteer in the spring or summer:
· Spring internships start in late January/early February 2022 and end in April/May
· Summer internships start in May/early June and end in August.
We recognize, however, that this timeframe may vary due to class schedules, e.g., semester vs. quarters, and will work with individual candidates to refine the timing and duration of an internship as needed. There may be opportunities for tenures to be extended for those local to U.S. EPA Headquarters in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area or interns participating in local area semester study programs.
Our offices are not able to provide financial compensation to its volunteers; however, some students are able to find stipends or grants from outside sources or obtain course credit from their school. Students can apply for transit subsidy benefits, which are used only for commuting to and from work.
Please note that this volunteer internship may be all virtual, partially virtual or in person. This decision will be determined at a later date. If this internship is fully virtual, the EPA will provide the volunteer intern with a laptop and assigned EPA credentials.
HOW TO APPLY
1) To be considered, you must submit the following information by email as a single Word or PDF file to: OAPPS_Volunteer_Intern_Program@epa.gov. Applications for a spring internship are due by October 22, 2021 and applications for a summer internship are due by January 7, 2022. Application Form – the form asks a few general questions that will aid in the review process.
2) Cover Letter – that briefly summarizes:
a. your interest/qualifications for the position,
b. potential project areas of greatest interest and/or relevance based upon prior projects, your experience or interest and fit with OAPPS’ role described above, and
c. desired timing of internship (spring or summer).
Please do not send references or transcripts at this time. If these materials are deemed necessary once applications are received, they will be specifically requested. We will contact you if you are selected for an interview. Interviews will be held via teleconference or Microsoft Teams in November/December (for spring internship) and February/March (for summer internship).
Upon acceptance of an internship offer, volunteers will 1) sign a volunteer agreement that includes proof of enrollment or admittance to a qualifying educational institution; 2) demonstrate that the volunteer experience relates to the student’s educational goals; and
have the opportunity to apply for transit subsidy (cost of local public transportation during the internship).
Questions may be directed to: OAPPS Volunteer Intern Program.
Thank you for your interest in joining our work to improve the environment and protect public health.