Freshwater Intern

The Nature Conservancy

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive.

We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.

Working in 79 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.orq or follow @nature_press on Twitter.


The Freshwater Intern will participate in an internship experience that provides meaningful and relevant experience in the field of conservation and water resources management. The program will encourage the Freshwater intern to infuse energy and fresh insight to our teams. This position will add capacity to the Freshwater Team of the Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and help to accomplish our freshwater conservation goals. They will receive exposure to conservation strategy at higher levels and direct experience in a variety of activities. 

This is a 14-week position that will start around May 17, 2021 and require 35 hours per week. The main office location is in the downtown East neighborhood of Minneapolis at 1101 West River Parkway, Suite 200. However, due to COVID-19 most work may need to be conducted remotely aside from field work where safety protocols will be followed. For this position, near Minneapolis or the St. Cloud area is preferred, with flexibility within 1-2 hours of the Twin Cities metro area. Some work will be done at a variety of locations around the region, therefore the willingness and ability to travel is required. A valid driver’s license is required. This position may include work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult terrain and under somewhat physically demanding circumstances. Work schedule will typically be Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm with very occasional weekend and evening events. This position will be paid $15/hr.


The Freshwater Intern will gain real-life work experience with watershed management, restoration and conservation practices, outreach and the planning and analysis of these activities. They will add capacity to the Conservancy’s Freshwater Team and contribute their abilities and insight to watershed assessment, planning and analysis activities. This position will work under the direction of multiple Freshwater Team staff with a focus on the Upper Mississippi River basin.


GIS and desktop studies / analysis

  • Map and assess natural resources and conservation information to support TNC decision making in conservation and restoration projects related to water quality and quantity
  • Carry out pre-defined analysis for prioritization of restoration and conservation activities

Field-based data collection and analysis  

  • Carry out data collection to support TNC restoration and management projects in the Upper Mississippi River basin, in the Driftless Area of Southeast Minnesota, and/or other projects within the Chapter’s 3-state territory
  • Assist with data entry from scientific data collected during the field season
  • Assess and synthesize data into graphs, tables and/or schematics for use in chapter reports, programs, and/or meetings

Education and outreach

  • Develop handouts, fact sheets and other outreach materials focused on freshwater for a variety of audiences
  • Attend occasional outreach events to promote the importance of clean water and talk about the work being done by TNC’s Freshwater Team
  • Collect photos to support Chapter newsletters, presentations, and reports
  • Participate in donor or volunteer events and activities such as canoe trips or tree plantings


We are seeking an upper level undergraduate students, recent graduates or graduate student who is looking to gain hands-on experience in freshwater conservation and restoration work. Individuals who are highly organized and proactive with a passion for conservation and restoration work in aquatic ecosystems are encouraged to apply. All people applying for this position must have the following minimum qualifications.

  • Have or be pursuing a degree in natural resources management, environmental science, environmental engineering, conservation biology, hydrology, botany, soil science or related field
  • Experience in natural resources or conservation science via volunteer and/or work experience
  • Strong oral and written communication skills in English
  • Experience working with scientific data with strong accountability and commitment to accuracy


  • Proficiency in ArcGIS software
  • Experience managing and prioritizing tasks from multiple sources
  • Experience in field data collection of hydrologic or water quality data
  • Experience working with hydrologic data sets and/or doing basic statistics
  • Experience working independently and with little supervision
  • Experience creating outreach and/or education materials
  • Ability to identify common plants of the upper Midwest
  • Experience in or evidence of promoting and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated


This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record.


This position will be paid $15/hr.


To apply to position number 49403, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. Applications will be reviewed in the order they’re received. Submit by 10:59 PM Central Standard Time on Monday, March 15, 2021 to be considered.

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration. If you experience technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.