Careers

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council is an organization that puts people first. From our beneficiaries to our employees, WMEAC wants to ensure a high quality of life for everyone we impact. We offer competitive compensation, as well as a flexible schedule and a relaxed work environment where you can mix your passion for environmental protection together with your skills.

There are currently no open positions, please check back again later.

Apply for a Career at WMEAC!

Please see below to apply for current openings at WMEAC. This page was last updated August 2023.

There are currently no open positions, please check back again later.

Grand Rapids Urban Agriculture Outreach – Request for Proposal

How to apply

Please see submission requirements below. All proposals must be submitted via email to Carlos Calderon: ccalderon@wmeac.org

Applications due October 15th

Company Background:

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) has served the community for over 50 years as advocates, educators and collaborators addressing environmental concerns throughout West Michigan. WMEAC is part of a local group of food system advocates, Grow Collective, that are cooperating to promote equity and sustainability in the local food system.

Project Overview:

WMEAC and our partners, New City Neighbors, Fresh Beets Urban Farm, Blandford Nature Center Farm, the West Michigan Growers Group, West Michigan Farmers of Color Land Fund, National Young Farmers Coalition and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s FSA Office of Urban Agriculture, have begun the process of supporting urban growers in Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Muskegon, Holland and East Grand Rapids through outreach, technical assistance and financial support. Our project includes working with socially disadvantaged groups to increase participation in USDA programs, learn about climate-smart agriculture practices that will help expand urban growing operations, and build a network of local urban farmers in West Michigan.

Project Goals

I. Strategic Planning & Coalition Building amongst a group of urban food producers, food justice and environmental advocates

ii. Devising an outreach and recruitment strategy
iii. Direction for developing a multi-year, annual program plan geared toward educating and supporting urban growers

To reach these goals, WMEAC is now accepting bids in response to this Request for Proposal.

Scope of Work

To fulfill the proposed objectives of the FSA Office of Urban Agriculture’s Community- Based Organization program seeking to provide outreach, education and technical assistance to urban producers, we are looking for guidance in a Strategic Planning effort to administer the following primary objectives:

  • Identify and coordinate existing urban agriculture operations and identify needs of producers
  • Increase knowledge, awareness, and participation in FSA and USDA programs and services associated with growing food in an urban area
  • Assist farmers with expanding their farming operations, accessing land, and implementing climate-friendly practices that can mitigate their susceptibility to natural disasters in urban areas
  • Guide underserved farmers to land access funding opportunities
  • Grow the number of urban producers by developing a system of education and training programs for aspiring urban farmers that can go on to more viable/large-scale production (in rural areas)
  • Recruit individuals from underserved communities to candidate pool for the Urban County Committee

Deliverables from this strategic planning process should include the following:

  • Clearer project plan for the project life cycle, detailed with roles and
    responsibilities for each project partner
  • Facilitating conversations amongst project partners and subcontractors with the aim of coalition building and group accountability
  • Clarity on roles of partners within the partnership and strategies for creating a culture of collaboration
  • Establishing a decision-making framework that can be referenced anytime
    controversial decisions need to be made by the group
  • Help project partners identify project constraints and how to plan accordingly
  • Assist project partners in creating work plans and prioritizing tasks for optimal cross team collaboration
  • Consult on project management tools and organization strategies for optimal cross team collaboration and group accountability to key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Ideation & workshopping
  • Identify appropriate strategies for outreach, recruitment & marketing aimed at the target audience (existing and prospective urban food producers), a minimum of 5 specific strategies

Target Deliverable Schedule

Expected Start Date: November 1, 2023
Final Project Due: March 31, 2024

Existing Roadblocks Or Technical Issues

We are working on a limited timeframe, with our Strategic Planning process scheduled to be completed no later than March 31, 2024. There is also a constraint of availability of project partners (mainly urban farmers) who have variable seasonal schedules. It is preferred that we engage in this process between November 1 and January 31 to accommodate any follow up discussions that may be necessary.

Budget Constraints

We have budgeted $7,000 for this short-term project, this is inflexible due to the requirements of the federal funding we have received.

Evaluation Metrics

WMEAC and our project partners will evaluate bidders and proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Previous experience/past performance history.
  • Samples and/or case studies from previous projects.
  • Projected costs within the predetermined budget.
  • Experience and technical expertise. Familiarity with the agricultural industry and urban production, bonus points for technical knowledge or experience in sustainable agriculture.
  • Responsiveness and answers to questions in the next section.

Submission Requirements

All proposals must be submitted via email to Carlos Calderon: ccalderon@wmeac.org

Bidders must adhere to the following guidelines to be considered:

  1. Only bidders who meet all 5 metrics in the evaluation section should submit a proposal.
  2. Proposals must be sent in by October 15, 2023. Bidders who are interested in submitting a proposal should inform Carlos Calderon, ccalderon@wmeac.org no later than October 10, 2023.
  3. Include writing samples of previous plans, resumes and references with your proposal.
  4. Proposals should not be more than 5 pages. Failure to comply with this guideline will result in an automatic rejection.
  5. A proposed schedule must also be included and clearly expressed.

What We’re Looking For in Potential Vendors

We are searching for an experienced strategic planning consultant that is familiar with the communities we are working with and in. Preferred candidates will have previous experience facilitating focus groups, mediation, collaborative work sessions, program planning and community outreach.

Contact Information

For questions or concerns connected to this RFP, we can be reached at:

Carlos Calderon
ccalderon@wmeac.org
(616) 451-3051

Teach for the Watershed (T4W) Seasonal Educator

Closed for Spring 2023; open for Fall 2023

Position Timeframe

Seasonal Educator Staff Members are expected to work between 10 to 15 hours per week for the Spring and/or Fall T4W Seasons as listed below: 

Spring Season Prep.

Spring T4W Programming

Fall Season Prep.

Fall T4W Programming

March

March  – June

August

Sept. – Oct

Compensation

This position will be paid biweekly at an hourly rate of $17/hour. Mileage costs to and from events will be reimbursed biweekly at the 2023 federal rate of $0.655 per mile. The payment of this contract rate is not meant to constitute the payment of employee wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The term of this contract is limited to the period of time outlined in this agreement, and there is no expectation or insinuation of employment upon completion of this contract. The parties acknowledge that this contract may be extended or terminated upon agreement of both parties.

Position Summary

Below are the key, overarching responsibilities of the Seasonal Educator Staff members:

  • Provide support to the classroom and field portions of the Teach for the Watershed (T4W) program. More information can be found at wmeac.org/education/teachforthewatershed
  • Provide support for equipment inventory and management between field work
  • Other tasks as requested by the Education Programs Manager

Required Availability

  • Available for 15 to 20 hours a week during the school day from 8am to 3pm
  • Reliable personal transportation (mileage for programs will be reimbursed)
  • Located primarily within the Grand Rapids metro area
  • Clear a background and felony records check

Preferred Skills and Experiences

  • General knowledge OR willingness to learn about: 
    • Our local watersheds, effects of stormwater runoff and common water pollutants, freshwater macroinvertebrates, and invasive species
  • Enthusiasm for working with K-8 students
  • Classroom management skills or experience with teaching outdoors
  • Ability to work outside for extended periods of time
  • Capacity to lift at least 20 lbs

Organization Background

West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization working to protect and enhance West Michigan’s environment by translating the concerns of people into positive action. WMEAC has been delivering environmental education and advocacy to the West Michigan community for over 50 years.

Work Location

Seasonal Educator Staff Members will attend T4W programs as coordinated by the Education Programs Manager. These programs include classroom visits to Grand Rapids Public Schools as well as field trips to local Grand Rapids Parks. Occasional visits to the WMEAC office will be expected for planning meetings, equipment management and inventory, and other tasks as requested by the Education Programs Manager.

COVID Vaccination and Mask Requirements

All WMEAC staff are required to be current on their COVID vaccinations, including any boosters as they become available and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Seasonal Educator Staff Members will be required to sign an acknowledgement of this policy. Any staff member or intern that fails to comply with this policy may seek employment at another agency.

To Apply

WMEAC is an equal opportunity employer. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until all available positions have been filled.

West Michigan Environmental Action Council is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Our Board of Directors, staff, and interns are committed to enhancing and celebrating diversity in all its forms. All employment decisions at West Michigan Environmental Action Council are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate.

There are currently no open positions, please check back again later.

Apply to be a wmeac intern!

WMEAC welcomes interns from a variety of backgrounds – both students and community members. All WMEAC internships include a one-time stipend, with all the benefits of hands-on experience in an environmental nonprofit. We have opportunities for those interested in journalism, social media & communications, business & marketing, biology and resource management, environmental education, fund development, event planning, sustainability, policy and more. WMEAC interns leave with new skills, a portfolio of work, professional connections and WMEAC’s appreciation.

Internship Semesters:

  • Winter/Spring Semester: January – April
  • Summer Semester: May – August
  • Fall Semester: September – December

PLEASE NOTE: The Crane Family Water Fellowship & Lakeshore Fellowship require a 32-week commitment or two semesters (typically during the academic year). These positions are posted when available and you must be available for both semesters to be eligible.

Available positions are updated throughout the year. Please continue to check this page! Page last updated June 2023

WMEAC Community Outreach & Inclusion

Community Outreach & Inclusion Internship

Internship Timeframe

Intern is expected to work for a period of 15 weeks.

Winter/Spring

Summer

Fall

April – July*

July – October*

N/A

*Time frame is approximate.

Compensation

Internships will not be paid on an hourly basis. Intern will receive a $500 stipend at the conclusion of the internship. We will work with your academic institution if you will be taking this internship for credit.

Position Summary

Intern will work closely with staff and the WMEAC Inclusion committee (IDEAL committee). Intern will expand their skills in community engagement, volunteer management, and communications and deepen their understanding of inclusion and equity in a nonprofit environmental organization. This position is open to both students and non-students interested in engaging a diverse group of community members and organizations in environmental issues and action.

Although specific tasks will depend on the community events, committee projects and opportunities that arise during the course of the internship, intern is expected to:

Volunteer Programs & Community Events

  • Respond to volunteer inquiries, plan and coordinate volunteer work days and other opportunities and promote the volunteer program through the volunteer e-newsletter, social media and email.
  • Coordinate event tabling requests received from community and partner organizations, plan logistics and activities for events, and represent WMEAC and engage community members at events.

Inclusion

  • Attend WMEAC’s IDEAL committee meetings and provide support as needed for committee projects.

**Attendance of WMEAC events is also expected, when the intern’s schedule permits.

Qualifications

Required: 

  • Experience or strong interest in volunteer management, community outreach and inclusive practices
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work with database management tools
  • Ability to speak to a group of community members, partners, and volunteers
  • Knowledge of social media writing and content development
  • Strong organization skills
  • Detail oriented and able to plan and execute logistics for multiple, concurrent events
  • Ability to conduct accurate research to support grant initiatives
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel and Google Docs
  • Basic knowledge of environmental and/or social justice issues is helpful

Preferred: 

  • Interest and/or experience in environmental justice, equity, inclusion, and collaboration
  • Community activism and organizing experience

Organization Background

West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization working to protect and enhance West Michigan’s environment by translating the concerns of people into positive action. WMEAC has been delivering environmental education and advocacy to the West Michigan community for over 50 years.

Work Location

Intern will work out of the WMEAC office to the extent possible. However, our staff is currently working a hybrid schedule where staff members work 2-3 days per week in the office and 2-3 days per week at home. WMEAC staff will work with Intern to determine a flexible schedule to accomplish the internship goals and tasks.

COVID Vaccination and Mask Requirements

Due to the increases in infection rates as a result of the Delta Variant, masks will be required while in the office and at indoor meetings and events. All staff and interns are required to be current on their COVID vaccinations, including any boosters as they become available and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Interns will be required to sign an acknowledgement of this policy. Any staff member or intern that fails to comply with this policy can choose to work remotely, or may seek employment at another agency.

To Apply

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and application to wmeac.org/internships. WMEAC is an equal opportunity employer. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Eco-Journalism and Blogging Internship

 

Internship Timeframes

Intern is expected to work for a period of 15 weeks.

Winter/Spring

Summer

Fall

January – May*

May – August*

September – December*

*Timeframes are approximate.

Compensation

Internships will not be paid on an hourly basis. Intern will receive a $500 stipend at the conclusion of the internship. We will work with your academic institution if you will be taking this internship for credit.

Position Summary

Intern will research, write, and/or produce content on identified West Michigan environmental issues for print and online publication, as well as for radio and cable TV broadcasts. Intern will support WMEAC’s various water quality, climate change, policy, environmental education and administrative programs and projects. Regular attendance at Communiciations Team meetings is required. Attendance of WMEAC events is also expected, when the intern’s schedule permits.

Qualifications

Required:  

  • Documented journalism experience including published writing samples
  • Training or professional experience with social media
  • Experience doing interviews
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Familiarity with or ability to quickly learn digital content management systems
  • Familiarity with or ability to quickly learn basic photography and video skills
  • Basic knowledge of common environmental issues

Preferred: The best candidate will be an upper-level university student, graduate, or emerging professional with education, experience, or training in the field of journalism or professional writing.  

Organization Background

West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization working to protect and enhance West Michigan’s enviornment by translating the concerns of people into positive action. WMEAC has been delivering environmental education and advocacy to the West Michigan community for over 50 years.

Work Location

Intern will work out of the WMEAC office to the extent possible. However, our staff is currently working a hybrid schedule where staff members work 2-3 days per week in the office and 2-3 days per week at home. WMEAC staff will work with Intern to determine a flexible schedule to accomplish the internship goals and tasks.

COVID Vaccination and Mask Requirements

Due to the increases in infection rates as a result of the Delta Variant, masks will be required while in the office and at indoor meetings and events. All staff and interns are required to be current on their COVID vaccinations, including any boosters as they become available and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Interns will be required to sign an acknowledgement of this policy. Any staff member or intern that fails to comply with this policy can choose to work remotely, or may seek employment at another agency.

To Apply

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and application to wmeac.org/internships. WMEAC is an equal opportunity employer. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Hope College Environmental Advocacy Fellowship

Internship Timeframes

Intern is expected to work for a period of 14 weeks.

Position Summary:

The Hope College Environmental Advocacy fellowship opportunity was established in partnership between Hope College and West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) to develop advocacy, education, and sustainability leadership skills related to water protection, climate change, and other environmental issues in West Michigan. The Environmental Advocacy Fellow will report primarily to WMEAC’s Deputy Director, but will also provide support as needed to other staff members.

Fellow will work closely with staff and WMEAC’s IDEAL (Inclusion and Development of Environmental Allies and Leaders) and ACT (Action, Coordination & Transformation) committees. Although specific tasks will depend on environmental policy issues that arise during the course of the internship, fellow is expected to:

  • Research and summarize policy issues and environmental questions
  • Program development and administrative activities to support WMEAC’s programs team
  • Track media coverage, public and private remediation and testing, ongoing research and assist with planning and implementation efforts for the Wolverine Community Advisory Group (CAG) regarding PFAS contamination in Northern Kent County
  • Identify, track, and analyze important environmental legislation
  • Additional duties include serving the community by delivering presentations and interactive activities to interested student, faith based, and/or civic groups about environmental issues
  • Attendance of WMEAC events is also expected when the fellow’s schedule permits.

Qualifications

Required:

  • Rising senior pursuing a degree in environmental studies and/or environmental science.
  • Knowledge of and a strong interest in federal, state, and local political systems; environmental issues, especially water, energy, and climate resilience
  • Successful academic coursework in government and political science or environmental policy
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, including public speaking, with a mastery of environmental science vocabulary
  • Strong research skills, experience in collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data
  • Willingness to represent WMEAC and its committees and programs and to intelligently discuss environmental issues with a variety of community and professional audiences
  • Good organizational skills, self-starter; leadership experience a plus
  • Demonstrated dedication to protecting the environment and a willingness to try new tasks and outreach opportunities
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher)
  • Reliable personal transportation, and flexible availability
  • Successfully clear a background and felony records check

 Organization Background

West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization working to protect and enhance West Michigan’s environment by translating the concerns of people into positive action. WMEAC has been delivering environmental education and advocacy to the West Michigan community for over 50 years.

Work Location

Fellow will work out of the WMEAC office to the extent possible. However, our staff is currently working a hybrid schedule where staff members work 2-3 days per week in the office and 2-3 days per week at home. WMEAC staff will work with Fellow to determine a flexible schedule to accomplish the fellowship goals and tasks.

COVID Vaccination and Mask Requirements

Masks are currently optional at the WMEAC office. All staff, fellows, and interns are required to be current on their COVID vaccinations, including any boosters as they become available and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Fellow will be required to sign an acknowledgement of this policy. Any staff member, fellow, or intern that fails to comply with this policy can choose to work remotely, or may seek employment at another agency.

To Apply

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and application to wmeac.org/internships by January 23, 2023. WMEAC is an equal opportunity employer. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Lakeshore Fellowship

 

Fellowship Timeframe

The Lakeshore Fellow is expected to work for a period of 32 weeks and is hired on a rolling deadline throughout the year.

Compensation

Fellowships are not paid on an hourly basis. Fellow will receive a $4,000 stipend, payable in two installments, in May and at the conclusion of the fellowship. We will work with your academic institution if you will be taking this internship for credit.

Position Summary

The Lakeshore fellowship opportunity was established to ensure WMEAC develops leadership to engage with community members in climate and other environmental issues in our lakeshore communities in Muskegon, Ottawa, Oceana, and Allegan counties, providing the opportunity to work alongside a 30-year veteran environmental advocate. This fellowship is intended to help develop a relationship between WMEAC and the fellow; commitment to the full nine months is key to the success of the fellowship. The Lakeshore Fellow will be a member of WMEAC’s lakeshore team, reporting primarily to the Lakeshore Outreach Organizer and providing support as needed to other staff members.

The Lakeshore Fellow will serve as program support for WMEAC’s lakeshore programming, including the Muskegon County recycling project, the White Lake septics and water quality project, and the lakeshore climate action education and advocacy initiatives. Fellow will work with elected and community leaders to strategize and support ways to improve coordination, information and educational messaging, and availability and access to environmental services. Work will be accomplished via policy and field research, writing and analysis, public engagement, and administrative coordination tasks. Attendance at WMEAC events is also expected when the intern’s schedule permits.

Qualifications

Required:

  • Current graduate or upper-level undergraduate student pursuing a degree in environmental science or comparable field
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, including public speaking, with a familiarity of environmental science vocabulary
  • Strong research skills, experience in collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data
  • Willingness to represent WMEAC and it Lakeshore programming, and to intelligently discuss environmental issues with a variety of community and professional audiences
  • Good organizational skills, self-starter
  • Demonstrated dedication to protecting the environment and a willingness to try new tasks and outreach opportunities
  • Ability and willingness to commit to this position for nine months
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google Docs
  • Successfully clear a background and felony records check
  • Reliable personal transportation, and flexible availability

Preferred:

  • Knowledge of basic climate science and climate change solutions and recycling, composting, waste reduction, and upcycling issues
  • Leadership experience a plus

Organization Background

West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization working to protect and enhance West Michigan’s environment by translating the concerns of people into positive action. WMEAC has been delivering environmental education and advocacy to the West Michigan community for over 50 years.

Work Location

Most work will be done virtually or potentially at in person locations in the Muskegon area (a physical office in Muskegon is anticipated in 2022), per COVID safety guidelines. Fellow may chose to work from WMEAC’s Grand Rapids office for interaction with other staff members. WMEAC staff will work with Intern to determine a flexible schedule to accomplish the internship goals and tasks.

COVID Vaccination and Mask Requirements

All staff and interns are required to be current on their COVID vaccinations, including any boosters as they become available and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Interns will be required to sign an acknowledgement of this policy. Any staff member or intern that fails to comply with this policy can choose to work remotely or may seek employment at another agency.

To Apply

WMEAC is an equal opportunity employer. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

WMEAC Policy Internship

Internship Timeframes

Intern is expected to work for a period of 15 weeks.

Winter/Spring

Summer

Fall

January – May*

May – August*

September – December*

*Timeframe is approximate.

Compensation

Internships will not be paid on an hourly basis. Intern will receive a $500 stipend at the conclusion of the internship. We will work with your academic institution if you will be taking this internship for credit.

Position Summary

Intern will work closely with staff and the WMEAC policy committee. Although specific tasks will depend on environmental policy issues that arise during the course of the internship, intern is expected to:

  • Research and summarize policy issues and environmental questions
  • Track media coverage, public and private remediation and testing, ongoing research and assist with planning and implementation efforts for the Wolverine Community Advisory Group (CAG) regarding PFAS contamination in Northern Kent County
  • Identify, track, and analyze important environmental legislation

Attendance of WMEAC events is also expected, when the intern’s schedule permits.

Qualifications

Required:

  • Knowledge of and a strong interest in federal, state, and local political systems; environmental issues, especially water, energy, and climate resilience
  • Successful academic coursework in government and political science or environmental policy
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, including public speaking, with a mastery of environmental science vocabulary
  • Strong research skills, experience in collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data
  • Willingness to represent WMEAC and its policy committee and to intelligently discuss environmental issues with a variety of community and professional audiences
  • Good organizational skills, self-starter; leadership experience a plus
  • Commitment to protecting the environment
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher)

Organization Background

West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization working to protect and enhance West Michigan’s enviornment by translating the concerns of people into positive action. WMEAC has been delivering environmental education and advocacy to the West Michigan community for over 50 years.

Work Location

Intern will work out of the WMEAC office to the extent possible. However, our staff is currently working a hybrid schedule where staff members work 2-3 days per week in the office and 2-3 days per week at home. WMEAC staff will work with Intern to determine a flexible schedule to accomplish the internship goals and tasks.

COVID Vaccination and Mask Requirements

Due to the increases in infection rates as a result of the Delta Variant, masks will be required while in the office and at indoor meetings and events. All staff and interns are required to be current on their COVID vaccinations, including any boosters as they become available and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Interns will be required to sign an acknowledgement of this policy. Any staff member or intern that fails to comply with this policy can choose to work remotely, or may seek employment at another agency.

To Apply

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and application to wmeac.org/internships. WMEAC is an equal opportunity employer. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

WMEAC Recycling and Zero Waste Internship with KCDPW

 

Internship Timeframes

Intern is expected to work for a period of ~16 weeks.

Winter/Spring

Summer

Fall

January – April*

May – August*

September – December*

*These timeframes can be adjusted as appropriate for your internship and availability.

Position Breakdown by Season:

Winter/Spring

  • Emphasis on attending community events and outreach opportunities.
    • These include Imagine Craft Mondays at the KCREC from 1pm to 5pm.
  • Executing WMEAC/KCDPW events such as workshops, recycle drives, and facility tours.
  • Assisting with K-12 education opportunities about recycling, composting, and living sustainably.

Summer

  • Emphasis on attending community events and outreach opportunities.
    • These include Imagine Craft Mondays at the KCREC from 1pm to 5pm.
  • Executing WMEAC/KCDPW events such as workshops, recycle drives, and facility tours.

Fall

  • Emphasis on updating and maintaining KCDPW’s Recycling and Waste Directory which assists Kent County residents in finding the proper method of disposal for their municipal waste.
  • Planning WMEAC/KCDPW events such as workshops, recycle drives, and facility tours.
  • Assisting with K-12 education opportunities about recycling, composting, and living sustainably.

Compensation

Internships will not be paid on an hourly basis. Intern will receive a $500 stipend at the conclusion of the internship. We will work with your academic institution if you will be taking this internship for credit.

Position Summary

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and the Kent County Department of Public Works (KCDPW) are offering a joint internship opportunity for an individual to support the Zero Waste in Landfill (ZWIL) and recycling education programs. We are seeking an intern to support strategies to improve participation and product quality for recycling in Grand Rapids and Kent County. The intern will assist in providing education about recycling and waste management to our community. The intern may be assisting with community outreach, volunteer coordination, public speaking, research, data management and analysis. Intern is expected to complete 15-25 hours per week, at times to be arranged by intern and staff at WMEAC and Kent County. Intern will receive a $500 stipend at the conclusion of the internship.

Kent County’s Recycling & Education Center (KCREC) serves as the primary materials recovery facility for residential recyclables generated in homes throughout West Michigan. Nearly 58 million pounds of recyclables were delivered to the facility in 2017. Our ZWIL programs promote recycling and activities that minimize waste. KCDPW Resource Recovery Specialists also educate residents about recycling and waste and offer resources that will assist residents in safe disposal options for discards that are mindful of environmental impacts. This intern will support staff members and also provide tours at the Recycling & Education Center and other solid waste facilities.

Intern will have the opportunity to work out of the KCREC and/or the WMEAC office to the extent possible. WMEAC staff will work with Intern to determine a flexible schedule to accomplish the internship goals and tasks. Occasional evenings and weekends should be expected for community outreach events. A resident of Kent County preferred, but not required if applicant has access to reliable transportation. The attendance of WMEAC events is also expected, when the intern’s schedule permits.

Qualifications

Required:

  • Intern MUST be available Mondays from 1 – 5pm for the KCREC’s Imagine Craft workshops.
  • Reliable personal transportation, and flexible availability. A mileage reimbursement will be provided at the federal rate of $0.560 per mile for events attended outside of the expected workplace commute.
  • Strong communication and writing skills to knowledgeably and professionally represent WMEAC and KCDPW and their programs in a variety of audiences and ages.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft (and/or Google Suite) applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Basic knowledge of common recycling and materials management issues.
  • Successfully clear a background and felony records check.

Preferred:

  • Familiarity with the concepts of a circular economy, municipal solid waste, composting, and waste-to-energy.
  • Familiarity with West Michigan’s current state of recycling/composting infrastructure and future plans for the Kent County Sustainable Business Park and waste reduction goals by 2030.
  • Demonstrated dedication to protecting the environment and a willingness to try new tasks and outreach opportunities.
  • Experience in planning and promoting community events such as workshops, recycle drives, facility tours, etc.
  • Experience working with K-12 students and/or developing lesson plans and activities. 

Organization(s) Background

WMEAC is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization working to protect and enhance West Michigan’s environment by translating the concerns of people into positive action. WMEAC has been delivering environmental education and advocacy to the West Michigan community for over 50 years. We seek to engage with our community members, schools, and businesses to increase awareness about what exactly happens when you throw something “away.”

Kent County’s Recycling & Education Center serves as the primary materials recovery facility for residential recyclables generated in homes throughout West Michigan. A materials recovery facility, or MRF (murf), is a processing facility where recycling from curbside bins and recycling drop-off stations is sorted and prepared to be sold to processors and end-users. Nearly 58 million pounds of recyclables were delivered to the facility in 2017. These materials were put back into our economy as feedstock for new products like cereal boxes, glass bottles, toys, packaging, clothing, park benches and more.

Kent County DPW has education staff that promote recycling and activities that minimize waste. Resource Recovery Specialists educate residents about recycling and waste and offer resources that will assist residents in safe disposal options for discards that are mindful of environmental impacts. These staff members also provide tours at the Recycling & Education Center and other solid waste facilities operated by the Kent County Department of Public Works.

Work Location

Intern will have the opportunity to work out of the KCREC and/or the WMEAC office to the extent possible. WMEAC staff will work with Intern to determine a flexible schedule to accomplish the internship goals and tasks.

COVID Vaccination and Mask Requirements

Due to the increases in infection rates as a result of the Delta Variant, masks will be required while in the office and at indoor meetings and events. All staff and interns are required to be current on their COVID vaccinations, including any boosters as they become available and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Interns will be required to sign an acknowledgement of this policy. Any staff member or intern that fails to comply with this policy can choose to work remotely, or may seek employment at another agency.

To Apply

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and application to wmeac.org/internships. WMEAC is an equal opportunity employer. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Crane Foundation Endowed Water Fellow Opportunity

Fall 2022 – Spring 2023

Internship Timeframe

The Water Fellow is expected to work for 32 weeks (typically the academic year), beginning in September and ending in May.

Compensation

Internships will not be paid on an hourly basis. Intern will receive a $4,000 stipend at the conclusion of each semester. We will work with your academic institution if you will be taking this internship for credit.

Position Summary

Intern will serve as program support for WMEAC’s water research, education, behavior change, and action programs and initiatives. The primary role of the Water Fellow will be to participate in research and program development, and administrative activities to support WMEAC’s water programs, with the intended goal of providing learning and leadership opportunities that contribute to the professional development of the Water Fellow. Additional duties include serving the community by delivering presentations and interactive activities to interested student, faith based, and/or civic groups about water quality issues, with the goal of funneling new volunteers into opportunities for action for WMEAC’s water protection programs. Attendance of WMEAC events is also expected when the intern’s schedule permits.

Qualifications

  • Current graduate or upper-level undergraduate student pursuing a degree in environmental science with a focus on aquatic sciences or water resources policy
  • Knowledge and passion for regional watershed, water quality, and/or stormwater policy issues
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, including public speaking, with a mastery of environmental science vocabulary
  • Strong research skills, experience in collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data
  • Willingness to represent WMEAC and its Water Programs and to intelligently discuss environmental issues with a variety of community and professional audiences
  • Good organizational skills, self-starter; leadership experience a plus
  • Commitment to protecting the environment
  • Ability and willingness to commit to this position for the full academic year
  • Knowledge and experiences with geographic information systems (GIS) software
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher)

Organization Background

West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization working to protect and enhance West Michigan’s environment by translating the concerns of people into positive action. WMEAC has been delivering environmental education and advocacy to the West Michigan community for over 50 years.

Work Location

Intern will work out of the WMEAC office to the extent possible. However, our staff is currently working a hybrid schedule where staff members work 2-3 days per week in the office and 2-3 days per week at home. WMEAC staff will work with Intern to determine a flexible schedule to accomplish the internship goals and tasks.

COVID Vaccination and Mask Requirements

All staff and interns are required to be current on their COVID vaccinations, including any boosters as they become available and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Interns will be required to sign an acknowledgement of this policy. Any staff member or intern that fails to comply with this policy can choose to work remotely, or may seek employment at another agency.

To Apply

WMEAC is an equal opportunity employer. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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* West Michigan Environmental Action Council is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Our Board of Directors, staff, and interns are committed to enhancing and celebrating diversity in all its forms. All employment decisions at West Michigan Environmental Action Council are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate.