Job Title: Teen Hydrology Team Intern (part-time)
Department: Grassroots Network Toxics Team: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Subteam
Location: Ingleside, IL
Reports to: Subteam Chair
Supervises: n/a
Duration: 10 hours per week for 8 weeks


Context: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of togetherness. Together, we remain committed to the fight for a healthy climate built on a foundation of environmental, racial, economic, and gender justice – a future where all people benefit from a healthy, thriving planet and a direct connection to nature. As the climate crisis and deeply entrenched systemic racism all fuel inequity, we will continue to fight for a bold, transformational agenda that recognizes the interconnectedness between our planet, our humanity, and our democracy. By recognizing that our destinies are tied, we continue to name that all things are fundamentally connected, and the overlap between ecology, race, gender, and representative government will move to either advance our collective humanity or to oppress it.

Sierra Club is comprised of staff across the country and a network of local chapters that support our grassroots engagement. We are also proud to be a unionized employer, with two labor unions representing more than half of our employees.


Scope: The HABs Subteam of the Grassroots Network Toxics Team is part of the Sierra Club’s efforts to fight nutrient pollution in our waterways and the resulting harmful algal blooms. The team received a grant this year to fund an education project to send 7-8 persons to the North American Lakes Management National Monitoring Conference April 24-28 in Virginia Beach, VA, create 5 educational fact sheets, and organize one Teen Hydrology Team to reach out to underserved youth and inspire careers in water quality fields. The Intern will learn extensively about water quality, harmful algal blooms, water collection and testing methods. They will also gain teaching experience and curriculum-writing experience.


Job activities include but are not limited to:

  1. The Teen Hydrology Team (THT) Intern will attend the NALMS Conference either in-person or by watching selected recorded sessions after at their own pace. They will informally share key ideas from the conference sessions at monthly virtual HABs Team meetings on the 3rd Monday of each month June – August. Team members who have also attended the sessions will contribute to the conversation.
  2. The THT intern will attend and help teach the Teen Hydrology Team in Ingleside, IL on Long Lake which will meet for 8 weeks in the summer, one day per week, for 5 hours including set up and clean up. Teens will be learning about watersheds, harmful algal blooms and their causes, water sampling techniques, cyanobacteria identification under a microscope, toxin testing of cyanobacteria, and record-keeping of all parameters as well as exploring and enjoying the planet by kayaking, hiking, and fishing, etc.
  3. The THT intern will create a written curriculum that can be shared with other groups and organizations in the future. Help will be provided by an AP Environmental Science teacher from the HABs team and the chair of the HABs team.


The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience:

  • Equity Analysis and Practice. Demonstrated commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, justice and anti-oppression values. You are aware of your group identities and how they have shaped your life and experiences at work. You have an analysis of how racism and other forms of oppression in society impact relationships, systems and culture. You bring experience and skills for working effectively with colleagues across group identities and position/role.
  • Interpersonal Skills. Exhibits emotional intelligence, ability to engage in courageous conversations, especially around equity and inclusion, ability to build and maintain transformational relationships.
  • Communication Skills. Excellent written and oral communications skills. Comfort with (or ability to quickly learn) using software and online tools, such as the Google Suite, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Work Ethics and Dependability. Ability to set and honor deadlines, follow through on commitments, and be responsive to a variety of communications styles. Flexibility to meet the needs of an ever-changing landscape.

The strongest candidates will also demonstrate the following experience, skills and competencies:

  • Classwork in biology, especially microbiology, and environmental sciences
  • The ability to work cooperatively with people of different backgrounds
  • Ability to troubleshoot and manage group activities



The hourly rate for this position is $18/hour.

This is a category 99, non-exempt, non-represented, temporary position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the Department Head and Sierra Club Human Resources in consultation with the employee’s manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition. Sierra Club does not sponsor H1B visas. The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.

To Apply

This position does not have an undergraduate education requirement. If you choose to include your education history, please remove your schools from your resume. You may leave your degree (e.g., “B.A. Philosophy”), but please remove any undergraduate and graduate school names.

This anonymous process is aimed at opening this opportunity to more candidates, reviewing applicants on performance assessments and mitigating bias in the decision-making process.

Lastly, we are intentionally not asking for a cover letter, so please do not send one in with your application.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.