Environmental Services Internship (College, University, Trade School Students)

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Gain valuable work experience and on-the-job training as an intern with Environmental Services. View job descriptions for paid student internships in engineering, maintenance, stormwater management, business administration, and more.
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Qualifications and Pay

To be eligible for an Environmental Services student internship, you must be:

  • Enrolled in a trade school training program, college, or university; and
  • Located in the Portland metropolitan area during the term of the internship.

Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. We give preference to students studying in a field related to the mission and scope of the Bureau's work.  

Environmental Services pays student interns an hourly rate according to your upcoming year in school:

  • First Year - $15.50
  • Sophomore - $16.50
  • Junior - $17.50
  • Senior and up - $18.50

Both full-time and part-time internships are available.

How to Apply

Find opportunities and apply for positions starting May 2nd on the City's hiring portal. You may apply to more than one internship; however, you may only accept one position.

Available Internships


Delivery Programs

Industrial Stormwater & Maintenance Inspection

Position available: 1 full-year, part-time Internship

The Industrial Stormwater Program works to protect the City storm sewer system and surface water quality by reducing pollutants in stormwater runoff from industrial and commercial facilities. The Maintenance Inspection Program (MIP) maps, tracks, and inspects stormwater management facilities installed on private property as part of new development requirements in accordance with the City’s Stormwater Management Manual.

What are the main duties/roles of this internship?

  • Perform data entry of analytical monitoring results from lab reports for permitted facilities.
  • Prepare and organize records for archiving.
  • Assist with paper and electronic file management.
  • Convert data storage from existing Excel spreadsheets to applicable software.
  • Conduct basic facility research and assemble documentation regarding property contamination, development permits, and other site-specific environmental information.

What can you expect to learn during this internship?

  • Basic understanding of stormwater management facility types and associated operations and maintenance requirements.
  • Basic understanding of industrial stormwater discharge permit requirements.
  • Ability to read and understand analytical monitoring reports for conventional stormwater pollutants.
  • Compliance inspection processes for associated programs (ISW & MIP)

Environmental Compliance

Position available: 1 full-year, part-time internship

The Toxics Reduction Program is a newer program at Environmental Services focused on reducing contaminants reaching stormwater and wastewater streams to protect Environmental Services assets, human health, and the environment.

What are the main duties/roles of this internship?

  • Research involving field reconnaissance and data collection to inventory stormwater source control best management practices implemented on commercial and industrial properties under the City’s Source Control Manual.
  • Outreach and communications with commercial and industrial property owners/operators to set up and conduct field visits.
  • Data management and distillation of field data.
  • Research on federal, state, and city initiatives around toxics and equity.
  • Research on federal, state, and city initiatives, policies, and processes around toxics reduction to support the program.

What can you expect to learn during this internship?

  • Structural, operational, and treatment best management practices for stormwater source control.
  • Professional interactions with businesses and commercial and industrial property owners.
  • Distillation of field-collected data to inform program development.
  • Regional and national programs related to toxics reduction and emerging contaminants.

Integrated Planning

Risk Assessment

Positions available: 2 full-year, part-time or full-time internships

This section performs engineering/modeling analysis to identify system deficiencies and provide optimal solutions to improve city’s combined, sanitary sewer, and stormwater systems.

What are the main duties/roles of this internship?

  • Technical support for modeling analysis.
  • Assist modelers in developing and refining data for various numerical models, including data collection and modification, field investigation, and research.
  • Construct data/modeling result tables and develop GIS maps for modeling projects.
  • Query data from existing bureau and group-wide databases, such as the Hansen System, to support modeling needs. 
  • Manipulate data in various forms for consolidation into the asset systems management data management system.

What can you expect to learn during this internship?

  • Hydrology and hydraulics principles and applications.
  • Data collection and manipulation.
  • Data quality control and analysis.
  • Using Excel for data management.
  • GIS Application.

Priority Area Planning

Position available: 1 full-year, full-time internship

The Resilience Team works with staff throughout Environmental Services to advance seismic and climate resilience in our work and for the communities we serve.

What are the main duties/roles of this internship?

This position will provide technical support to the Resiliency Team in project planning, research, geospatial analysis, data analysis, ecosystem services research, business process documentation and development, report writing, and office support. Duties of the position will include but are not limited to:

  • Researching seismic resiliency and climate change adaptation processes at other similar utilities and making recommendations for Environmental Services.
  • Supporting Environmental Services first greenhouse gas analysis and carbon mitigation planning initiatives.
  • Supporting City administration of the FEMA Community Rating System program.
  • Performing GIS analysis and mapping projects.
  • Developing internal and external communication materials to convey technical challenges and approaches to various audiences.
  • Engaging with Environmental Services staff to understand concerns related to climate change and the staff member’s work duties.
  • Additional duties may include data entry, filing organization, and program administration support.

What can you expect to learn during this internship?

  • Learn about the climate change and seismic risks to the Portland area and our services, along with best practices for adaptation and resilience.
  • Learn about Environmental Services stormwater and sewer services and how our City government works, how it partners with communities, and how we plan for the future given multiple challenges.
  • Learn how to use GIS analysis, data sets, and best practices to make recommendations for projects and processes.
  • Learn how to work with diverse staff who have wide-ranging technical expertise and varying work environments.

Operations & Maintenance

Operations

Positions available: 3 full-year, part-time or full-time internships
The positions will support process control and operations. Interns will report to the Process Control Supervisor and will routinely work with operators, operation specialists, and coordinators. Considerable time will be spent getting familiarized with facilities and processes prior to completing specific projects.

What are the main duties/roles of this internship?

  • Gather operational data and trend results to support process control targets for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Follow engineering work plans to perform sampling for special projects and compile data.
  • Create a process control communication tool and track changes.
  • Inventory, label, and document valves to be included in a valve exercise program.
  • File and organize material related to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant operator training program.
  • Provide cost analysis to support budget forecasting.

Collection System

Positions available:  1-2 full-year, part-time internships

Maintenance Engineering is responsible for overseeing the operation and maintenance of the wastewater and stormwater collection systems to achieve three major goals: prevent and/or reduce the number and impact of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), minimize asset life-cycle costs while providing an acceptable level of service, and sustain the public’s investment in the sewer infrastructure by ensuring that service lives are extended as long as economically feasible.

What are the main duties/roles of this internship?

  • Reviewing Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) inspections for accuracy of data entry and assembling documentation for engineering asset evaluations of structurally and/or operationally deficient assets.
  • Assisting with field work performed by engineering staff by taking and recording measurements and performing rudimentary surveys and condition assessments from visual observation.
  • Evaluating condition of stormwater facilities to determine level of maintenance needed by working with stormwater operations and maintenance staff.
  • Updating the database of CCTV tapes of sewers needing repairs and denoting this in the bureau’s Hansen database.
  • Converting VHS tapes and CDs to digital formats.

What can you expect to learn during this internship?

  • Activities of an engineering section in Environmental Services including condition assessment of assets, evaluating maintenance options for assets, and evaluating rehabilitation options for assets.
  • Principles of asset management touching on asset failure modes, likelihood of failure, consequence of failure, and risk assessments of assets.
  • Working in a team environment and having the opportunity to collaborate with and assist engineers and technicians in the work group.

Technical Services

Environmental Information

Position available:  1 full-year, part-time internship

The Monitoring Coordination & Analysis (MCA) section provides oversight of Environmental Services monitoring projects, data management, and analysis support.  The Stream Restoration Monitoring Program within MCA collects, manages, and delivers the information needed throughout the life cycle of a restoration project.

What are the main duties/roles of this internship?

  • Macroinvertebrate sampling.
  • Stream habitat measurements.
  • Land elevation surveys.
  • Water quality data logging instrumentation management.
  • Data management.

What can you expect to learn during this internship?

  • Focus on stream restoration monitoring.
  • Ecological effects of urbanization on streams.
  • Strategies to restore stream health.
  • Variety of field data collection techniques.

Strategy

Environmental Remediation: Portland Harbor Program

Position available: 1 full-year, part-time internship

The City’s Portland Harbor program works with government, Tribal, community, and private partners to bring about a healthier lower Willamette River.  Meaningful involvement of historically marginalized voices, particularly those of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community members with current, historical, and traditional connections to the Portland Harbor area is an essential part of our work. This position will support the Portland Harbor community involvement program dedicated to elevating community voices in the cleanup design and implementation, particularly those of Native community members.

What are the main duties/roles of this internship?

Work with community involvement program manager to develop and implement a focused outreach plan to increase:

  • Portland Native community members’ participation in the Portland Harbor cleanup process.
  • Interest among and applications from Native-led community groups.
  • Coordinate and co-facilitate grant information sessions for prospective applicants with an emphasis on Native-led community groups.
  • Build relationships with community members and government partners through meetings, events, workshops, and other activities.
  • Accompany Environmental Remediation team members to meetings with community members, various City partners, and external local, state, and federal government partners.
  • Work with the grants program manager to assess grantee experiences and outcomes throughout project year, including project progress, successes, and challenges to shape grant program and process improvements.
  • Actively contribute knowledge, ideas, insights, and questions to support mutual learning.
  • Update grant program communications materials, including but not limited to web content and promotional materials.
  • Support grants review committee and process by reviewing proposals, preparing proposal summaries, organizing documents, scheduling meetings, and tracking meeting outcomes and next steps.
  • Collaborate with technical program intern(s) to support development of community-focused updates related to remedial design at the Willamette Cove in-water project area.

What can you expect to learn during this internship?

  • How community members’ knowledge, values, and priorities can inform complex environmental cleanups of contaminated lands and waterways.
  • How government-community collaborations can advance environmental justice.
  • How to develop, implement, and evaluate an equitable grantmaking process that supports community organizations from application to award to project implementation.
  • Participatory grantmaking principles and practices.
  • Equitable community engagement practices.
  • Familiarity with trauma-informed practices and how to apply them to community involvement.
  • Roles and responsibilities of government entities, tribes, community members, and private parties in the implementation of the Portland Harbor cleanup.