Healthy Communities Intern Description

Healthy Communities Program Intern

Position Description:
The Healthy Communities intern will work with Chris Joyell, Healthy Communities Director, to research issues involving housing, transportation, land use controls and health, and assist in engaging communities in designing their future. Our work is rooted in the principles of Smart Growth, and we encourage prospective interns to familiarize themselves with these principles prior to engaging with us. A background in design and/or planning is preferred, but students studying health, environmental management, geography/GIS, and economics have also found their niche in our program.

Start date:  Flexible
End date:  Flexible

Work schedule: Flexible

Compensation: Mileage reimbursed at approximately $0.45 per mile

Location: This position will work with staff in either our Asheville or Hendersonville offices and much of the work can frequently be done remotely.

Please answer the following questions in your cover letter and attach that document when submitting your application form:

  • What skills and experience can you bring to this internship? 
  • What skills and experience are you hoping to gain from the internship?
  • Is this internship for school credit or for personal experience?
  • What connection do you see between the built environment and the natural areas MountainTrue is working to protect?
  • How do you hope to leverage your internship experience in furthering your career?

Including a resume is optional. Apply through this form.

Our 2022 BioBlitz Tri-County Smackdown: Powered by iNaturalist

Our 2022 BioBlitz Tri-County Smackdown: Powered by iNaturalist

Our 2022 Bioblitz WNC-wide Smackdown: Powered by iNaturalist

Every year, MountainTrue hosts a Bioblitz event where we gather experts, enthusiasts, and lifelong learners together to document every living organism we can find in a given area. This year, we are conducting our Bioblitz once again on iNaturalist, which makes it easier to document observations and tally up our results. In 2021, participants made 2.890 observations of 1,643 unique species. 

To add to the fun, this year we are hosting a four-county smackdown-style competition between Clay, Henderson, Madison, and Watauga counties! We think these are some of the most biodiverse counties in our region. Help us crown the champion!

What: MountainTrue 2022 Bioblitz
Where: Clay, Henderson, Madison and Watauga counties, NC — through the iNaturalist App.
When: June 4-19

Scores will be tallied by county and by individual, with prizes and bragging rights in store for winners (note: you must sign up using the form below to be eligible to win). Scoring categories for counties will include numbers of observations, species, and participants, while scoring categories for individuals will include overall best observation as well as numbers of observations, species, birds, arthropods (including insects!), and fungi. Submit the form below to register to participate and be eligible to win!

If you’re already familiar with iNaturalist, scroll down for specific instructions on how to join our Bioblitz Project. You will also receive the project info when you sign up to participate using the form below.

In-Person BioBlitz Events

iNaturalist is a public-science tool used to collect and verify data on biodiversity. Individual users upload observations, which are checked by other users and experts, and then added to a massive database of information. This data becomes publicly available, making it useful for scientists, researchers, students, and enthusiasts to use for various purposes and projects. It is one of the most popular tools out there, with over a million users, and has useful functions for any level of learner, from novice to expert.

Anyone with a smartphone or computer can use this app by downloading it on the app store or visiting They have great video tutorials for both first-time and experienced users on their Getting Started page. The basics are simple: take a photo of a living thing, upload it, and iNaturalist can help you identify what it might be. The more pictures you add, the better it works. For the best identification, try to take up-close shots of different parts of the plant or animal. Once your files are uploaded, other people from around the world can confirm your identification or take a guess if you have no clue. And if you’re a botanical enthusiast, you can help others learn by identifying their uploads!

If you’re looking for an even simpler version of this interface, there are multiple spin-off apps that are generally designed to help kids and students engage with the natural world. Seek is an app that gives more guided (and simplified) instructions. EcoExplore helps kids make their own observations and offers iPad rentals through local libraries to make citizen science more accessible. Both of these programs upload their data to the iNaturalist platform, and all can be used for our Bioblitz!

Whether you’ve used iNaturalist hundreds of times or have never heard of it, we’re hoping you’ll join us in this year’s Bioblitz. We are thrilled to host this regional competition to determine the 2022 champion of biodiversity, bringing forth county pride and natural curiosity for a BioBlitz like none before. Sign up below to participate. Happy hunting!

With just a single picture, iNaturalist can help you narrow down what you’re seeing. Each suggested species comes with identification information that can help you confirm your find and know what to look for next time!

Specific Instructions for Joining our 2022 Bioblitz Project:

The first step is to install iNaturalist on their smartphones with the location services for their photos turned on and permission given to iNaturalist to use photo locations. iNaturalist can also be used on a laptop or desktop via the internet. Then, create an account with iNaturalist. This is easily accessible on the app or web browser, and your account will be viewable under the “Me” tab on the app, or the upper right corner on the website. 

Once you have an account and are logged in, you can start joining projects. Please sign up for all four counties to track the competition. Search for MountainTrue 2022 Bioblitz in the main search bar at the top of the website.  Once you’ve found our project, hit “Join” in the About section on the website view. On the app, you can either search for this project through the search bar in the “Explore” tab, or on the “More” tab, under “Projects.” It may be necessary to scroll down to make the search bar visible on the “Projects” page. Once you’ve joined, you should be able to follow along and see what observations others are making!


Our iNaturalist Project is designed to capture all observations uploaded in all four counties between June 4 and June 19 — even if you haven’t joined our specific project. This allows us to capture uploads from the EcoExplore and Seek apps as well.

If you are having difficulty accessing our Project or have other questions, please contact We’re here to help. Thanks for learning with us!


French Broad Water Quality Intern – summer

French Broad Water Quality Intern

Position Description:
The French Broad Riverkeeper team is currently seeking an intern to help with monitoring for E.coli and microplastics in our local waterways. Bacteria is one of the biggest pollutants within the French Broad River basin. We have two monitoring programs aimed at tracking its sources.  Our intent with these programs is twofold— 1). to alert the public of high E. coli levels to ensure safe water for safe recreation, and 2) pinpointing sewer/septic leaks and agricultural runoff problems in order to get them fixed.

Microplastics are an emerging issue we are tackling. Not many studies have been done on microplastics on freshwater systems, especially on headwater watersheds. It is our goal to begin quantifying this pollution. 

Ideally, this intern would help facilitate both programs, 2-3 days per week.  The experience is a particularly excellent opportunity for a public health, chemistry, biology, geography, or environmental science student who wants to demonstrate skills in leadership and project management with measurable outcomes. The ratio of inside to outside time is about 50:50.

The position involves coordinating sampling volunteers, performing lab and field work, managing data, conducting research, and distributing results to the public. The ideal candidate will possess charisma and leadership skills, and an above-average attention to detail. No prior knowledge or experience in water quality monitoring is necessary; training will be provided.  Special attention will be given to individuals who historically have been underrepresented in the environmental field. 


  • Strong attention to detail and organization 
  • Ability to adhere to strict, but simple, Quality Control measures 
  • Ability to lift and carry cooler full of ice, bend over to collect sample up to 30 times per day, and maintain a steady hand in the lab 
  • Familiarity with Excel and ability to keep accurate records 
  • Ability to teach others 
  • Willingness to drive your own car up to collect samples  
  • Commitment to the goal of improving water quality through citizen science
  • Experience with communication around environmental issues preferred

Start date:  Flexible between late May and June
End date:  Flexible, but ideally through late September

Work schedule: Approximately 2-3 days per week

Compensation: Flat daily rate (amount to be determined contingent upon grant funding) plus mileage reimbursed at approximately $0.47 per mile

Location: This position will work with staff in our Asheville office. The samples will be collected throughout the French Broad Watershed

There are no required documents with the application form, but please tell us about your skill set, personality and passions. Including a resume or cover letter is optional. Apply through this form.

Western Region Water Quality Intern

Western Region Water Quality Intern

Internship Overview:
MountainTrue’s Western Regional Office is located in Murphy, NC and covers seven counties in southwestern North Carolina and two counties in north Georgia. This paid internship is within the Clean Water program and is part-time for a total of 150 hours. The intern must live within 50 miles of Murphy, NC, as the majority of the work will be within that radius. However, the work schedule within the week is somewhat flexible.

Position Description:
The intern will help organize a new volunteer microplastics sampling program in the Western Region. This will involve recruiting, training, and coordinating volunteers for the program; establishing locations for samples to be dropped off; picking up samples from each location on a regular schedule; and communicating with volunteers. The intern will also analyze the microplastics samples and assist with publicizing the results to the community(ies).

A second major focus of the internship is to assist with distribution of supplies and recertification workshops for the long-established volunteer water quality monitoring program in the Hiwassee River watershed (Cherokee & Clay counties in NC and Towns & Union counties in GA). And assist with planning a summertime social event for all water program volunteers.

Other responsibilities may include helping with the Swim Guide E.coli monitoring program, the Forest Roads Sedimentation Survey, and/or educational events related to water quality in rivers, lakes and streams.


  • Must have completed your junior year of high school (at minimum).
  • Must have independent, reliable transportation, valid driver’s license and be willing/able to travel alone within a 50-mile radius of Murphy
  • Must be committed to completing the whole internship (150 hours)
  • Should be considering a career in one of the fields listed on our scholarship webpage

Desired skills:

  • Organized, with a high level of attention to detail
  • Experience working with volunteers, or as a volunteer
  • Ideally some background in water quality monitoring, but not required

Start date: 
Late May
End date: Dependent on the start date and number of hours worked per week.

Work schedule: Intern can either work 15 hours/week for 10 weeks or ~19 hours/week for 8 weeks. Tuesday-Thursday are the preferred days of the work week, but the intern will often be working independently and some (microplastics sample analysis) could be done on weekends or at night.

Location: The intern must live within a 50-mile radius of Murphy, NC. Although we hope to establish the microplastics program over a broader area, much of the work will be in Cherokee & Clay counties, NC and Towns & Union counties in north Georgia.

Compensation: The WRO intern will receive a taxable stipend of $1,500 and mileage will be reimbursed at $0.47 per mile.

Including a resume is optional. Apply through this form.

Community Outreach and Water Quality Intern

Community Outreach and Water Quality Intern

Internship Overview:
The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) runs the Non-Profit Internship Program (NPIP) for a cohort of eligible college students placed with host organizations across North Carolina each summer. This internship is a paid position in the NPIP program hosted by MountainTrue. NPIP is an eight-week long paid summer internship (beginning around May 31st for most) where students are matched with and work with nonprofit organizations from across North Carolina. Internships offer a range of exposure and skill-building opportunities in areas such as research, community outreach, public policy, communications, fundraising and social media. In addition to the internship, students will have the opportunity to connect with other interns in the program and participate in ongoing professional development throughout the summer.

Eligible students must be:

  • A rising sophomore, junior, or senior enrolled full-time in a four-year North Carolina college or university; OR
  • A rising sophomore, junior or senior North Carolina resident enrolled full-time in a four-year accredited college outside the state; AND
  • Pell grant-eligible in the academic year in which they apply for NPIP. As a part of the application process, students will be asked to upload their Student Aid Report verifying their Pell grant eligibility. Students can access this document through their FAFSA login. Click here for further directions. Students ineligible for a Pell grant due to documentation issues or criminal conviction may be eligible and should contact Clare Bradshaw. For more information, check the Non-Profit Internship Program FAQs.

Position Description: 
For the water quality portion of the position, this intern will help facilitate our summer water quality programs, both aimed at tracking sources of bacteria pollution in the river. Our intent with these programs is twofold— 1). to alert the public of high E. coli levels to ensure safe water for safe recreation, and 2) pinpointing sewer/septic leaks and agricultural runoff problems in order to get them fixed. This position will be coordinating water sampling volunteers, taking water samples, performing lab and field work, managing data, conducting research, and distributing and disseminating results to the public. 

When not working with our water quality team, this position will support our Communications Team and Community Engagement Director with press releases, media advisories, outreach events, educational programs and/or advocacy campaigns. This work could include promoting events on social media, helping coordinate volunteer work days, preparing materials for educational displays, managing information in our advocacy database, and other tasks that help us communicate with the public about the environmental threats our region faces and our plans to respond to those threats.

Skills of Intern:

  • Positive attitude, comfortable with a changing schedule as needed per weather and other factors, attention to detail, eager to learn, skilled in communications, ideally with experience writing press releases or other written pieces for the public to read, ideally some background in water quality monitoring, but not required

Suggested Major or Degree:

  • For the water quality work majors in the sciences such as chemistry or biology would be helpful or environmental science broadly. Though majors in policy, marketing, or communications would be helpful for the community outreach work, so we are flexible.

Start date:  Within the last week of May or the first week of June
End date:  Dependent on the start date. This position lasts for 8 full weeks.

Work schedule: Generally Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm 

Location: This position will work with staff in our Asheville office. The samples will be collected throughout the French Broad Watershed.

Compensation: Interns receive a taxable stipend of $3,200 and mileage will be reimbursed at approximately $0.47 per mile

To apply for this position, complete the ZSR NPIP Application Form and select MountainTrue as your preferred Non-Profit Organization on the first question of the form. Applications are due by Monday, February 21, 2022. 

Creation Care Intern

Internship for Creation Care

Position Description:
The Creation Care Alliance of WNC (CCAWNC) is the faith-based program of MountainTrue. CCAWNC is a network of people of faith and congregations who have united around a moral and spiritual call to preserve the integrity, beauty, and health of God’s creation. The intern for creation care will assist the CCAWNC director and other CCAWNC leaders in planning, promoting, and facilitating various programmatic offerings (such as in-person and Zoom workshops/presentations, book studies for community/congregational leaders, online Eco-Grief groups, worship services, outdoor excursions such as hikes, etc). 

The intern will also aid the director in overseeing organizational social media pages, completing administrative tasks such as basic email correspondence and returning phone calls, and helping with community outreach. Though certain aspects of the internship will be mandatory, there is flexibility in terms of programmatic focus. Focus will be determined according to the gifts and vocational discernment of the successful applicant.


  • Experience: A background in faith-based work/congregational life, love and appreciation for the natural world, and basic understanding of the environmental issues facing our communities (such as climate change, species loss, and environmental injustice) is necessary. Teaching and community organizing experience, whether formal or informal, would be preferred in addition to knowledge of ecological theology and religious environmental movements. 
  • Education: Undergraduate and graduate students in programs such as religious studies, environmental studies, sustainable development, social work, or environmental ethics could be well-suited for this position. In the past, selected interns have been current divinity school students in the process of receiving their Master of Divinity (MDiv). Though students have served in this role in the past, we are open to those in other seasons of life. 
  • Required Skills/Framework: Strong written and verbal communication skills; strong critical thinking skills; strong organization skills; social media ability; honesty; empathy; creativity; the ability to work independently; the ability to work well in a team; the desire to learn and grow alongside colleagues with the same intention.

Additional requirements: Access to a personal computer and reliable (enough) internet service.

Start date: Flexible, typically following the school year (over the course of a semester or summer break)
End date: Flexible, typically following the school year (at the end of the semester or summer break)

Work schedule: Flexible in terms of workdays and hours (with some weekends included given the nature of the position and congregational schedules). Past interns in the CCAWNC program have worked anywhere from 10 – 40 hrs per week. Internships during the summer often have higher weekly hours than internships during the school year due to class scheduling and requirements. 

Location: This position will focus on communities throughout western North Carolina, though the majority of this work can be completed online. It is preferred that interns reside in western North Carolina during the time of their internship though this can be discussed and is not necessary.

Compensation: $15 per hour unless compensated by other sources (such as through one’s university). Mileage reimbursed at approximately $0.47 per mile

To learn more about the position and current openings/discuss this opportunity: Contact CCAWNC Director Sarah Ogletree at or by phone at 828-506-9467.

Application deadlines:
March 15, 2022 by 5pm for a summer 2022 position
June 15, 2022 by 5pm for a fall 2022 position
October 15, 2022 by 5pm for a spring 2023 position

To Apply: Please submit a resume along with your choice of either a cover letter or a video responding to the questions below to CCAWNC Director Sarah Ogletree at with “Creation Care Internship” in the subject line. In your cover letter or video, please answer the following questions: 

1) How do you understand “creation care” and what interests you about ecological ministry? 

2)  Environmental issues disproportionately impact communities of color and those living in poverty. How would you bring a lens of justice into our work together? 

3) What would you hope to gain from this experience? 

Non-Native Invasive Plant Intern

Non-Native Invasive Plant Intern

Position Description:
MountainTrue has an in-depth Non-Native Invasive Plant (NNIP) program that involves inventorying and control treatments in targeted areas on public lands and conservation easements. These include Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest, among other areas. A number of NNIP species occur in these areas, which threaten to displace native species and harm western North Carolina ecosystems. MountainTrue works annually with interns who help restore these ecosystems under the direction and training of the MountainTrue Ecologist & Public Lands Director and our AmeriCorps Forest Keeper Coordinator.

The Non-Native Invasive Plant work involves working alone, and periodically coordinating/supervising volunteers to perform various control treatments on populations of non-native invasive plants in forested areas where MountainTrue works. The Intern will train volunteers on invasive exotic plant identification, control methods, and safety. They will work with tools and equipment supplied by MountainTrue. The Intern will communicate with the MountainTrue Ecologist as needed, regarding areas treated per week, and observations on any need for retreatment. The Intern may also assist the MountainTrue Forest Keeper Coordinator in performing non-native invasive plant inventories along trails or on other projects in public land areas of work. 

Additional Information:
The Intern position will gain the following skills and have the following potential opportunities: 

  • Expertise in identifying, inventorying, and controlling various species of non-native invasive plants that threaten western North Carolina; first-hand expertise and solid field experience in controlling most of these species.
  • Participation in MountainTrue hikes, river paddling trips, and other events geared toward involving citizens in the natural and recreational amenities of the western North Carolina mountain region.
  • Will be certified for 3 years by the N.C. Department of Agriculture in the use of herbicide application and hold a NC state applicator’s  license (which can be renewed annually).
  • The Intern may accompany the MountainTrue Ecologist in any presentations or workshops given during the internship.
  • Opportunities to attend meetings involving local, state, federal agencies, and NGO’s regarding environmental policies such as land management, protection, and restoration. 

Start date:  Flexible: Fall/Spring: Beginning of semesters; Summer: Late May to first week in June
End date:  Flexible: Fall/Spring: when required hours are met; Summer: End of July to Early August

Work schedule: Flexible: 2-3 days per week. All work will be outdoors, weather permitting. Hours per Week: Fall and spring: 10-20; Summer: 30 – 40 

Location: This position will work with staff out of our Asheville office, however treatment areas could be at various sites across WNC.

Compensation: Mileage will be reimbursed at approximately $0.47 per mile

Please submit a resume and cover letter through this application form to apply for this position.

French Broad Water Quality Intern – anytime

French Broad Water Quality Intern

Position Description:
A water quality intern with the French Broad Riverkeeper would help our team with a variety of tasks needed to help improve the health of the ecosystem within the French Broad River Basin. We’ll teach all these skills, so prior experience isn’t necessary, but is helpful. Examples of tasks include, but are not limited to the following:

  • collecting water samples from streams
  • processing water samples in our lab
  • analyzing water sample results
  • data organization/analyzation
  • preparing organizational resources
  • research projects based on current needs of program

Start date:  Flexible: January for Spring and August or September for the Fall
End date:  Flexible: May for Spring and November or December for the Fall

Work schedule: Approximately 1 – 4 hours per week

Compensation: Mileage reimbursed at approximately $0.45 per mile

Location: This position will work with staff in our Asheville office. The samples will be collected throughout the French Broad Watershed

There are no required documents with the application form, but please tell us about your skill set, personality and passions. Including a resume or cover letter is optional. Apply through this form.

Broad River Keeper Swim Guide Intern

Broad River Keeper Swim Guide Intern

Position Description:
Wednesdays:  Driving to each sample site (approx. 120 miles), collecting samples, processing samples in the lab. Also, working with volunteers who collect samples. Photography for social.
Thursdays:   Analyze the samples in the lab, clean the lab and remove trash, enter results in the Swim Guide App, enter the data into a spreadsheet. Help with social media posts.

Start date:  5/25/22 (the Wednesday before Memorial Day)
End date:  9/1/22 (the Thursday before Labor Day)

Work schedule: Approximately 10 hours per week. Typically: 7 hours on Wednesday (9am-4pm), work must be complete by 5pm and then 3 hours on Thursday (between 9 and 1:30) depending on when samples go into the oven.

Compensation: Hourly rate: $17.50 with mileage reimbursed at: $0.56 per mile.

Location: This position will work with our Broad Riverkeeper who has a lab in downtown Shelby. The samples will be collected in Cleveland and Rutherford counties

A cover letter is required with your application form. Please answer the following questions in your letter:

  • Where are you residing?
  • Do you have reliable transportation?
  • How are your computer skills?
  • Do you have a trailer hitch on your car or truck? (brainstorming for other possibilities!)

Including a resume is optional. Apply through this form.

Call for Solar for Buncombe County

Call for Solar for Buncombe County

Tell the Buncombe County Commissioners: We need continued investments in solar energy!

Last year, you supported the Buncombe County Commissioners in funding 40 solar projects on county and city buildings, making it the largest local government investment in solar in the state. Now, we need your help again in asking them to support a second round of solar investments, this time all dedicated to schools. Will you take action here to email the Commissioners to urge their support for this new investment?

The County’s Energy and Environment subcommittee has recommended a feasibility analysis for solar on 100% of the facilities operated by the city schools, county schools and AB Tech and to implement on-site solar projects on every school where the analysis indicates a system would be viable. This work would be accomplished by the end of 2025 and could drive another $20+ million in local solar investment on an estimated 40 more public facilities. This will take the City and County a long way toward meeting their goals of 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Our community is already in front of most North Carolina cities in tackling climate change, and this second round of solar investments will set an example for others to follow. Please act today and ask for the Commissioners’ support and thank you!