August 24, 2022

Summer Interns ‘Go Green’ and ‘Earn Green’

This summer, L&C students gained hands-on work experience through paid internships in the green sector, thanks to L&C’s Career Center and the Bates Center Sustainability Internship course. Check out the experiences of some of those students.

Students walking on undergraduate campus near the Career Center. Students walking on undergraduate campus near the Career Center. Credit: Steve Hambuchen


Elijah Black (he/him)

Class Year: 2023
Major: Economics
Minor: Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation
Hometown: San Francisco and Pacifica, California

Elijah Black BA ?23 What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Close-knit, Active, Calm

Where did you intern this summer?

Lewis & Clark’s Sustainability Office, thanks to the Bates Center Sustainability Internship course.

What did you do at your internship?

I worked with Sustainability Director Amy Dvorak to set up Lewis & Clark’s energy management program. My duties included tracking energy usage, meeting with people all over campus to talk about our program, learning about mechanical heating and cooling systems, and a lot of meetings.

How do you see this internship fitting with your career plans?

This internship gave me a ton of experience on what it actually means to work with energy in a sustainability context. I gained a ton of technical and soft skills that will help me be more competitive and successful at any future jobs. Most of all, it helped me see if this would be something that I actually enjoy, which it is!

Read more about Elijah’s internship experience.


Lee Hinkle (he/they)

Class Year: 2024
Major: Sociology and Anthropology
Minor: Gender Studies
Hometown: Newberg, Oregon

Lee Hinkle BA ?24 What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Lively, Beautiful, Home

Where did you intern this summer?

SCRAP Creative Reuse in downtown Portland, thanks to the Bates Center Sustainability Internship course.

What did you do at your internship?

SCRAP is a nonprofit that makes art affordable and accessible. They accept people’s donated “waste” and organize it into usable, cheap art supplies. I worked with the education coordinator to help facilitate and plan community events. The events were based around creating art out of upcycled materials (think bottle caps, yogurt lids, yarn scraps, and anything else that can be used for craftin’). My day-to-day included preparing for events and hanging out making crafts with campers.

How do you see this internship fitting with your career plans?

I don’t have a clear goal for my future yet, but I love working with kids and nonprofits. I got to do both of those things with SCRAP, which was fantastic! SCRAP has helped me build connections within the Portland community, an important step in finding a fulfilling career. The leadership and event planning skills I’ve learned will also translate to my future career, whatever it may be.

Read more about Lee’s internship experience.


Oskar Kohlbrenner (he/him)

Class Year: 2023
Major: Environmental Studies
Hometown: Kraków, Poland

Oskar Kohlbrenner BA ?23 What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Insightful, Inclusive, Peculiar

Where did you intern this summer?

Environmental nonprofit Green Empowerment in Portland, Oregon, thanks to the Bates Center Sustainability Internship course.

What did you do at your internship?

I assisted Innovation Director Joaquin Viguez. My tasks and duties ranged from scholarly, third-party, and commercial research to assessment, ideation, and design on knowledge-management systems and frameworks. I used a design-thinking approach to prepare a comprehensive plan for Green Empowerment, optimizing its operations through an enhanced knowledge cycle.

How do you see this internship fitting with your career plans?

Every professional experience enriches one’s career development on multiple facets. This particular internship was not only closely related to my field of study, but also intertwined additional elements of design and computing, which broadened my horizons.

Read more about Oskar’s internship experience.


Ellie Mitchell (she/her)

Class Year: 2023
Majors: International Affairs and Environmental Studies (double)
Hometown: Bedford, New Hampshire

Ellie Mitchell BA ?23 What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Scenic, Engaging, Unique

Where did you intern this summer?

New Seasons Market in Portland, Oregon, thanks to the Bates Center Sustainability Internship course.

What did you do at your internship?

I conducted research about regenerative agriculture and aquaculture. I began my internship by developing a definition of regenerative agriculture to be used on New Season Market’s website and in stores. I created toolkits for vendors and buyers to understand why regenerative agriculture is important and what certifications are currently available. Additionally, I wrote a final report for the company about different certifications available for regenerative products, market trends, and more. I also created presentations for store staff to understand regenerative agriculture and how to communicate to customers about it. Lastly, I presented to the New Seasons leadership team about my recommendations for how they can best support regenerative agriculture and an overview of the final report.

How do you see this internship fitting with your career plans?

This internship helped me establish what I am looking for in an employer and what industry I may want to work in in the future. From this internship, I have learned that I may seek out a career in working for companies like New Seasons, which has a sustainability department, or in the regenerative agriculture industry.

Read more about Ellie’s internship experience.


Francisco Perozo (he/him)

Class Year: 2024
Major: Environmental Studies
Minor: Art and Art History
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

Francisco Perozo BA ?24 What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Empathy, Nature, Community

Where did you intern this summer?

Comunifilm Producciones in Caracas, Miranda, Venezuela, thanks to the Career Center’s Hu/Hsieh Internship Grant.

What did you do at your internship?

I coproduced the fourth edition of the company’s main social impact project “¿Qué Significa Ser Caraqueño?” (“What Does It Mean to Be From Caracas?”). I designed and published gifs, stickers, and an Instagram and Facebook interactive filter on Spark AR as part of the project’s strategic media campaign. I optimized data collection, transfer, and analysis using WordPress, Microsoft Office, and Google Suites. I also coordinated over 20 radio interviews with public and private channels to promote the event in traditional means of communication. I arranged meals, supplies, and equipment for the project inauguration and closure ceremonies, as well as informative panels hosted in the venue between June and July.

How do you see this internship fitting with your career plans?

As an environmental studies major, I am fascinated by the interactions of living beings with their surroundings—particularly, the interaction between humans and their habitats. I want to pursue a career in urban planning to prioritize the mitigation and adaptation of cities to climate change. I want to focus on cities of the Global South that carry the burdens of economic development standards. Working with the project “¿Que Significa Ser Caraqueño?” helped me understand how the city is interpreted by its citizens.

Read more about Francisco’s internship experience.


Shira Stahl (she/her)

Class Year: 2024
Major: Environmental Studies
Hometown: Vashon Island, Washington

Shira Stahl BA ?24 What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Creative, Dedicated, Support

Where did you intern this summer?

Salmon Valley Stewardship in Salmon, Idaho, thanks to the Career Center’s Economics Internship Fund.

What did you do at your internship?

For a portion of the time, I worked on Swift River Farm, learning the ins and outs of organic farming and local food production. I helped with planting, harvesting, weeding, building fences, etc. What a joy it was to work with plants and learn each of their personalities and habits! I also learned a lot about pollinators and native plants. I took an invasive weeds identification class; monitored milkweed and monarch populations; worked in the field monitoring riparian areas and identifying plants; held a booth at the farmers market teaching passersby about pollinators; led pollinator trivia; worked on a project creating QR codes for a pollinator garden explaining qualities of plants in the garden and how to grow them. A large part of my time was also spent on my personal research project. I researched the feasibility of building structures to house future Salmon Valley Stewardship seasonal workers. Salmon has a pretty devastating housing shortage, and every year it is difficult for my supervisor to find housing for seasonals. I researched different potential cost-effective structures; interviewed landowners who may be interested in hosting a “village” of employees; met with the Planning and Building department to research legalities; devised “tentative plans” for each landowner; and created an estimated maximum and minimum cost for each plan.

How do you see this internship fitting with your career plans?

I have always generally been interested in food systems, but the farming portion of the internship really solidified my passion. In the future, I hope to continue learning about the relationship between humans and food, agriculture and climate change, waste, food security, and justice.

Read more about Shira’s internship experience.