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2018 Spring & Summer Volunteer Positions at U.S. EPA

Posted: October 19, 2017

Deadline to apply is November 17, 2017.

Who is eligible?
You must be a U.S. citizen and a full-time undergraduate, graduate or Ph.D. candidate student.  A diversity of candidates and fields of study are of interest including degree candidates in the following disciplines: sciences, economics, public policy, public health, engineering, political science, law, information technology and computer science, business and organizational management, English, communications, and international affairs.

What do volunteers under this program do?
Volunteers gain valuable experience in efforts to protect public health and the environment with an emphasis on the Clean Air Act in concert with educational and research interests.  Current needs and illustrative intern tasks include assisting with:   

  • Lean projects – to help streamline aspects of our programs while making them more effective
  • Congressional relations – legislative analysis, hearing preparation, correspondence
  • Developing and updating SharePoint Sites and Websites – includes design and maintenance of existing and new Internet and Share Point Sites
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests – tracking, upkeep and best practices

On top of contributing to one or multiple project areas, interns may also contribute to and obtain insights and exposure to a host of Air Policy and Programmatic issues, depending on their strengths and interests, including:

  • analyses and coordination of international, economics, research, and science issues
  • stakeholder engagement, communications and outreach
  • program management, among other activities, as needed.

What is the typical length of the volunteer opportunity?

  • Spring volunteers are expected to start in January and work through May or June.
  • Summer volunteers are expected to begin in late May/early June and work until approximately mid-August.  

We recognize, however, that this timeframe may vary due to class schedules, e.g., semester vs. quarters, and will work with individual candidates to refine the timing and duration of an internship as needed.  
Volunteers may work full-time or part-time, but are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week.
There may be opportunities for tenures to be extended for those local to U.S. EPA Headquarters, the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, or interns participating in local area semester study programs.

Are the positions paid?  Where are the positions held?  What are the benefits?
Our offices are not able to provide financial compensation to its volunteers; however, some students are able to find stipends or grants from outside sources or obtain course credit from their school.  All positions will be held in the Office of Air Policy and Program Support (OAPPS) and/or the Office of Program Management (OPMO) at U.S. EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Volunteers may apply for a transit subsidy for the cost of local public transportation during the internship.

What does the Office of Air Policy and Program Support (OAPPS) do?

OAPPS is a staff office in the Immediate Office of the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR).  OAPPS provides cross-program policy and programmatic support to OAR senior leadership and to OAR’s stationary source, mobile source, atmospheric program, and radiation/indoor air program offices.  Specific responsibilities and activities of the office are organized through six main practice areas including: economics, science policy and research coordination, international activities, program tracking and management, Congressional and stakeholder engagement, and priority projects of senior OAR leadership.    

What does the Office of Program Management Operations (OPMO) do?
The Office of Program Management Operations (OPMO) serves as a point of liaison and coordination with the Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Office of Environmental Information and the Office of Administration and Resources Management in the areas of priority setting, program planning, information technology, accountability, budget, financial management, and program tracking and evaluation. It makes recommendations to the Assistant Administrator with respect to budget formulation, program planning, resource analysis and control, program evaluation and tracking. The Office of Program Management Operations is also responsible for Federal Managers Financial Integrity Act compliance, accountability system tracking, including negotiation of OAR commitments and audit resolution. The Office is responsible for project control on behalf of the Assistant Administrator, with emphasis on the procedural compliance and timeliness of environmental standards and supporting regulations. It conducts national and regional evaluations for the Assistant Administrator to assure that OAR and regional offices are meeting agency priorities in a timely and efficient manner and pursues non-regulatory initiatives in support of OAR goals. OPMO coordinates a program of regular regional offices reviews and evaluations, administers and monitors demonstration grants and management, security and inspections, data systems and general contracts, related to its functional responsibilities and serves as point of liaison and coordination with the Office of Administration and Resources Management in areas of contracts services. It also works with OAR's offices to which it supplies management information, evaluation results, and reports, to assure the resource allocation process reflects Agency policy and priorities of the Assistant Administrator, and performance of recipients.
How and when do I apply?
The deadline for applying is November 17, 2017.  
To be considered, an applicant must submit a

  • cover letter briefly summarizing

a. your interest in the position

b. qualifications

c. desired timing of internship (spring or summer)

  • resume

Please send by email as a single Word or PDF file if possible, to:  Joseph Morris () and Mary Resendez () by no later than November 17.  
Please do not send writing samples, references or transcripts at this time.  If these materials are deemed necessary once applications are received, they will be specifically requested.  
Interviews of select candidates are expected to be held in person, via teleconference or Skype in early-mid December.
We anticipate hosting 2-4 interns this coming spring and summer.
Upon acceptance of an internship offer, volunteers will need to sign a volunteer agreement that includes proof of enrollment or admittance to a qualifying educational institution and that the volunteer experience relates to the student’s educational goals.  
Questions may be directed to:  Catrice Jefferson ( or 202-564-1668) or John Shoaff ( or 202-564-0531).
Thank you for your interest in joining our work to improve the environment and protect public health.