Community Program Internship

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

Bellingham, Washington

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $16.28/hour
Deadline Aug 29, 2024

Community Program Internship
The Community Program Internship is designed to support NSEA’s Program Team by facilitating environmental stewardship opportunities throughout Whatcom County for students and the larger community. Programming occurs on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

About NSEA
The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) educates, inspires, and engages the community to take action to keep wild salmon here for future generations. Achieving our mission requires the collective work, involvement, and commitment of our community. At NSEA we work every day to expand the consciousness of our local community to include our streams and the salmon that can and do inhabit them. We provide Whatcom County residents with direct experience in restoration and the tools to steward salmon habitat. We believe when we begin to understand ourselves as citizens of our watersheds, the vision of sustainable wild salmon runs can become a reality. Our growing community of volunteers, students, and donors provides momentum as we work together to ensure that Whatcom County will be home to wild salmon for generations to come.

At NSEA, we strongly encourage candidates of all racial and gender identities, cultural and economic backgrounds, and of any sexual orientation to apply for employment and service opportunities. NSEA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or marital status in employment or the provision of services.

About the FLOW Program

As part of the Future Leaders of Whatcom Waters (FLOW) Program the Community Program Internship provides real-world experiences and professional development opportunities for future leaders of environmental and educational fields.

This experience is predominantly provided through opportunities to independently and collaboratively lead weekly community events, namely Students for Salmon (SFS) Field Trips, Community Restoration Work Parties, and Salmon Sightings. These programs rely on Community Program Interns to function. On Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, the SFS program requires 3-6 interns to fully lead field trips. The internship team will travel throughout Whatcom County to public and private properties to help 4th grade students discover if their local stream is a healthy habitat for salmon.

Saturdays can require up to 10 interns to accommodate multiple programs. Interns will rotate between practicing different roles at Work Parties and Salmon Sighting events and work collaboratively with everyone on the team. Work Parties are held throughout Whatcom County, where community volunteers join NSEA to plant native species or remove invasive species. Salmon Sighting events are open events where community members can learn more about salmon and possibly see them in local creeks.


Facilitate Students for Salmon Programming

Estimated 50-75% of time, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays

  • Educate fourth grade students in salmon ecology topics during four-hour, fully outdoor field trips in all kinds of weather
  • Independently lead engaging educational stations emphasizing macroinvertebrates, native plants, and water quality
  • Practice group management techniques and youth engagement while leading a group of up to 12 fourth grade students
  • Maintain a safe, friendly, and inclusive learning environment for all students, adjusting to different abilities and learning styles
  • Work closely as a group of three interns and Education Coordinator to create a dynamic and team-based learning environment
  • Prep, set up, and clean up before and after field trips, including entering program metrics on the computer

Facilitate Stream Stewards Programming

Estimated 25-50% of time, Saturdays

  • Lead and educate groups of 5-30 volunteers in outdoor salmon ecology and habitat restoration activities at weekly volunteer “Work Parties”
  • Connect with community members and provide insight on salmon ecology as salmon return to freshwater streams to spawn during outdoor “Salmon Sighting” events
  • Lift, load, and set up heavy equipment such as tents and tools, sometimes across vast outdoor restoration sites, in all weather conditions
  • Lead stewardship activities, including invasive plant removal and native tree and shrub planting, across a variety of stream-side restoration sites throughout Whatcom County
  • Prep, set up, and clean up before and after work parties

Organization and Program Support

  • Work collaboratively with fellow interns to plan and organize for upcoming needs
  • Assist in all aspects of programming, including set-up, clean-up, and supply/tool maintenance
  • Assist with facility needs, if applicable
  • Other duties assigned, as needed

Individual intern schedules and responsibilities will depend on availability. Priority will be given to applicants with full availability (Wed-Sat) to meet program needs.

Minimum Qualifications

  • 18 years or older
  • Able to get to NSEA’s campus, located at 3057 E. Bakerview Rd. in Bellingham
  • Full day (6am-4pm) availability on Saturdays and at least one of the following days: (7am-4:30pm) Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays throughout the internship term
  • Ability to walk on uneven terrain while lifting, carrying, or pulling program gear up to 40 lbs (buckets of tools, canopy tents, wheeled carts with 20+ lbs of gear)
  • Some days will require more than 8 hours of standing, bending, and walking

The most successful applicants will have:

  • A strong passion for NSEA’s mission, environmental education, stewardship, and outreach
  • Passion and/or experience working with youth and community members
  • Willingness to work in 90% outdoor and 10% office settings throughout the term
  • Lived or professional experience working with people of all ethnicities, gender identities, incomes, abilities, and ages, especially youth
  • Ability to read, write, and speak Spanish, Punjabi, or Ukrainian fluently


  • $16.28 per hour, up to 30 hours per week depending on availability and program schedule
  • On-the-job training and professional development in environmental education, community outreach, salmon ecology, and habitat restoration
  • Opportunities to network with other professionals in the fields of education, outreach, and restoration

Application deadline:
Positions are open until filled; first review deadline is August 29, 2024

Internship duration:

September 11-December 14, 2024

To Apply: 
Please complete the application here: https://forms.office.com/r/bcEsECsKif

For questions, or to request reasonable accommodation in the application process, please email Nathan Zabel at nzabel@n-sea.org or call 360-715-0283 ext 120.

Position is contingent on funding and public health related regulations. Final offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a background check that may include employment history, national criminal background check, national sex offender registry search and a driving check.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Fisheries, Hydrology