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Renewable Energy Internship

The centerpiece of this class is an internship program that draws on liberal arts coursework to address real world issues in the renewable energy field. This course has a strong academic and experiential component and is entrepreneurial, skill-based, leadership-oriented, and designed to be a positive experience for the student and the organization in which the student interns.

Course Description
The internship will begin with a week long course that introduces students to several key areas of the renewable energy field as well as professional skills required for the workplace. Students will engage with questions of economics, ethics, ecology, and communications relevant to their organizations. The course will be taught by faculty at the Law School, College of Arts and Sciences, as well as professionals representing various facets of the regional renewable energy field.


Information for Students
Renewable energy is at the forefront of efforts to address climate change and provides a forward-looking approach to many issues relevant to a liberal arts education. In the internship placement, students will add value to their organizations and enhance their education through exposure to various challenges and opportunities in a professional environment.
To participate, students must apply to register for the course as well as interview with their selected placement. Once accepted, students will participate in a week long training followed by 8-10 weeks of up to 40 hours per week of work at their internship placement. During this time, students reconvene once a week for 1.5 hours to workshop experiences and questions and to reflect on how their liberal arts education dovetails with practical applications in the renewable energy field.
This course is open to CAS students who have reached junior standing by the time the class commences. Seniors are welcome if they are not graduating in spring of 2019. Enrollment is limited to 10 students. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.


Learning Objectives

In this course students will:

  • Gain knowledge of key concepts and questions related to the production and use of renewable energy as examined through the lens of: technology, law, policy, economics, ethics, ecology, global perspectives, regional concerns, communication, and personal experience.
  • Enhance their classroom learning through place-based and engaged experiences in companies and non-profits. 
  • Gain work experience in the renewable energy field.
  • Make valuable connections and develop mentoring relationships in a professional setting. 
  • Feel connected to Portland and the region.
  • Add value to organizations and collaborative teams. 
  • Use qualitative and quantitative evidence to define problems and plans for strategic solutions.
  • Apply evidence-based research using creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork to support their peers in their internship experience.
  • Devise a plan to learn and demonstrate a technical skill that complements their liberal arts degree.
  • Use feedback and failure as sources of learning.
  • Develop and practice the skills and characteristics of an entrepreneurial mindset, including initiative and self-reliance, flexibility and adaptability, communication and collaboration, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, future orientation, opportunity recognition, and comfort with risk. 
  • Develop and practice soft-skills essential for the future workplace, including communication skills, creative problem solving, teamwork, emotional intelligence, analysis and professionalism.


Information for Employers
Lewis and Clark promises exceptional candidates who will receive 40 hours of instruction accompanying their internship placement, including expert training in the field of renewable energy, strategies for workplace communication and success, goal setting and performance evaluation using the OKR method, project management techniques, and in-depth research into their internship host sites.
  • Lewis and Clark faculty and staff handle student recruitment, preparation, and support during the internship.
  • Employers will be able to interview and directly hire an intern they consider the best fit for their organization.
  • Preparation for the internship will include one week (25 hours) of classroom instruction prior to the start and weekly 1.5 hour workshop meetings during the internship
  • Students and employers have a support network assuring that internships run smoothly and are beneficial to employers and students. This network is comprised of representatives from LC’s Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership and the LC Sustainability Council.
  • This internship will be offered annually.

We hope to build productive relationships with companies. Over time, companies interested in continuing the relationship with LC will be able to draw on a select pool of interns and potential future employees.


Contact Us

  • 134

    Sustainability Office is located in Templeton on the Undergraduate Campus.


    voice 503-768-7794

    Sustainability Director Amy Dvorak

    Sustainability Office

    • Sustainability Office Lewis & Clark 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road MSC 134 Portland OR 97219

    Office Hours: Thursdays 1 - 3:00 p.m.