Wanted: Climate Change Research and Design Intern



WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Climate Change Research and Design Intern

 WE ACT for Environmental Justice is seeking a Research and Design Intern with a background in urban planning and/or design, architecture, or related field, to provide support for climate change resiliency planning efforts in the Northern Manhattan, including communities of West, Central, and East Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood.

Main tasks:

  • Providing support for the outreach and implementation of a series of workshops throughout NM, including researching environmental data that will be used for scenario planning exercises, and the production of design materials that will be used during and after planning workshops
  • Conduct research and develop materials, including writings, presentations, diagrams, maps, etc., that do the following:
  • Deepen community stakeholder understanding of the impacts of climate change on low- income people in urban communities, in NM and citywide
  • Support advocacy for environmental justice (EJ) principles to be included in NYC public policies
  • Influence community understanding and access to climate resiliency strategies, including energy efficiency programs and policies, community-based planning models, and green- industry opportunities, to name a few

 Preferred qualifications:

  • Undergraduate degree in urban planning, architecture, geography, real estate, public policy, or a related field. some graduate level academic work preferred.
  • Knowledge of public policy and urban planning/design issues relating to climate change in NYC
  • Interest in community-based planning, including community organizing, methods for public participation, and education, to name a few
  • Interest in learning about environmental justice, and working towards social equity in Northern Manhattan neighborhoods
  • Interest with public outreach processes with community stakeholders, including facilitating public meetings, and developing content for websites, reports, and other media
  • Ability to work independently and within a defined schedule
  • Strong interpersonal, written, verbal and analytical skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Suite, and design abilities that include cartography, report layout, data visualizations, presentations, among others

 Time commitments:

  • Duration of internship: January - July 2015
  • Position requires 20 hours per week, with work being completed at WE ACT (1854 Amsterdam Ave) or on-site around Manhattan


  • A monthly stipend of $500 will be provided
  • A monthly 30-day MTA transit pass will also be provided

 To Apply:

  • Send a cover letter, resume, and work sample to Aurash Khawarzad, Policy Coordinator at WE ACT (aurash@weact.org)
  • Application deadline: January 20, 2015
  • For more information contact Aurash Khawarzad at aurash@weact.org, or call at (212) 961-1000 ext 311 

What you will learn

Interns will learn about and contribute to a planning approach that engages community residents, stakeholders, climate experts, and government/elected officials, in creating a solution-based framework for environmental justice in NYC. During this process interns will learn about emerging data on the neighborhood impacts of climate change, and will learn how to apply that information in working with community members in identifying climate resilience priorities/needs. Finally, interns will learn how to produce a climate change resiliency plan that includes strategies for adaptation, mitigation, and for building social cohesion, among other things.

 About WE ACT for Environmental Justice

West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT for Environmental Justice) was established in 1988 as a Northern Manhattan community-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by assuring that people of color and/or low-income participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. As a result of our ongoing work to educate and mobilize the more than 630,000 residents of Northern Manhattan on environmental issues affecting their quality of life, WE ACT has become a leader in the nationwide movement for environmental justice, influencing the creation of federal, state and local policies affecting the environment. For more information visit www.weact.org.