Columbia Springs

Youth Environmental Leadership Program

A paid internship program focused on science education and communication. 

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Hands On Learning

Paid Science Education Internship

Each year thousands of elementary aged students come to our 100 acre natural to learn about science and nature. Our Youth Environmental Leadership Program (YELP) interns support their learning, while contributing to our programs and building leadership skills in science education and communication. 

Questions?  Email or call 360-882-0936 x 226.

Apply today!

Interested in being a YELP intern? We are looking for local youth between the ages of 18-24 who are interested in science and can commit to completing 165 hours over 15 weeks with the program (11 hours/week). The fall program will be from September 12th-December 21st. Interns must be available 1-2days a week between 8:30am-2:30pm, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Interns will receive a $2,475 stipend. To apply, complete our Program Application Form by August 23rd, 2022. We will notify you if you have been selected for an interview. 

I learned that environmental work takes many forms. It can be education, coordination, communication, and so much more. Even in a relatively small organization, I saw so many different kinds of jobs that staff members (and volunteers) did. This encouraged me that there are environmental jobs out there that will suit me well.


Intern, 2019

Emerging Leaders and Community builders

What do interns do?


Columbia Springs Family Nature Fun

Guided Observations

Interns have the opportunity to observe and work with multiple staff Environmental Educators to see first hand different approaches to instruction and classroom management.


Engaging Students 

Beginning as a small group leader and building up to teaching entire lessons, YELP interns engage directly with students. Feedback and reflection on best practices allow interns to build confidence in science communication and effective instruction.

Build Community

Cohort Learning 

YELP interns are recruited as part of a cohort. This provides important opportunities to share, process and learn in a community oriented and collaborative environment. 


Willie releasing a male chum salmon

Career Exploration

Interns have the opportunity to explore different career options in the natural sciences and as part of the program will complete informational interviews or job shadowing.


Independent Projects

Each intern will identify and complete an independent project that contributes to Columbia Springs programming in a meaningful way and aligns with interns individual goals, interests and skills. 


Schedule a Fish Release

Making it Happen

Interns will support programs in a variety of ways big and small and see what it’s like to work at small non-profit with an all-hands-on-deck attitude. 

Our Sponsors

The Youth Environmental Leadership Program is funded through support from the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation and private donations from people like you