Portland Harbor Program Internship opportunity with Bureau of Environmental Services

The Portland Harbor Program works with government, Tribal, community, and private partners to bring about a healthier lower Willamette River.  Meaningful involvement of historically marginalized voices, particularly those of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community members with current, historical, and traditional connections to the Portland Harbor area is an essential part of our work. This position will support the Portland Harbor community involvement program dedicated to elevating community voices in the cleanup design and implementation, particularly those of Native community members.

Learn more and apply.

Student Intern can expect to learn: 

  • How community members’ knowledge, values, and priorities can inform complex environmental cleanups of contaminated lands and waterways 
  • Ways government-community collaborations can advance environmental justice
  • How to develop, implement, and evaluate an equitable grantmaking process that supports community organizations from application to award to project implementation
  • Participatory grantmaking principles and practices, equitable community engagement practices
  • About trauma-informed practices and how to apply them to community involvement 
  • Roles and responsibilities of government entities, Tribes, community members, and private parties in the implementation of the Portland Harbor cleanup

Desired Qualifications:

  • Eagerness to learn how government can involve and elevate community voices in complex processes
  • Willingness to share insights, expertise, and ideas that advance grant program goals to: 

o   Support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color leadership in cleanup-related public participation processes

o   Build community capacity to engage in scientific, technical, policy, and process topics related to the cleanup of the Portland Harbor Superfund

o   Foster collaboration between Portland communities and the City’s Portland Harbor Program on Superfund related topics

  • Passionate about working to achieve racial equity and environmental justice

Tasks include:

  • Work with community involvement program manager to develop and implement a focused outreach plan to increase:
    • Portland Native community members’ participation in the Portland Harbor cleanup process
    • Interest among and grant applications from Native-led community groups
  • Coordinate and co-facilitate grant information sessions for prospective applicants with an emphasis on Native-led community groups
  • Build relationships with community members and government partners through meetings, events, workshops, and other activities.
  • Accompany Environmental Remediation team members to meetings with community members, various City partners, and external local, state, and federal government partners
  • Work with the grants program manager to assess grantee experiences and outcomes throughout project year, including project progress, successes, and challenges to shape grant program and process improvements
  • Actively contribute knowledge, ideas, insights, and questions to support mutual learning
  • Update grant program communications materials, including but not limited to web content and promotional materials
  • Support grants review committee and process by reviewing proposals, preparing proposal summaries, organizing documents, scheduling meetings, and tracking meeting outcomes and next steps
  • Collaborate with technical program intern(s) to support development of community-focused updates related to remedial design at the Willamette Cove in-water project area

The following minimum qualifications will be required for this position:  

  1. Abilityto engage and collaborate with Native communities in culturally relevant and sustaining ways.
  2. Abilityto understand and honor Native communities’ knowledge, culture, practices, histories, customs, traditions, diversity, and values.
  3. Abilityand desire to build relationships and work with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color leadership and varied perspectives.
  4. Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  5. Knowledge of effective verbal and written communication skills.

Additional Qualifications:

  • Must be a student enrolled in a trade school, training program, college or university undergraduate or graduate program.
  • Must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 per City/State mandate or have an approved exception by date of hire.  

Compensation: $15.50 – $18.50 per hour based on year in school
Work Schedule: Flexible hours between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM; part-time and full-time internship opportunities available
Note: This is a temporary Community Service Aide (CSA) II position with a maximum of 1,400 hours in a calendar year. This position is not eligible for Benefits.

The Bureau of Environmental Services manages Portland’s wastewater and stormwater infrastructure to protect public health and the environment. BES is a mission-driven, high-performance organization, leading the City in preserving and restoring the health of Portland’s watersheds. More information about the Bureau: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/ 

Learn more and apply.

City of Portland Core Values:
Anti-racism | Communication | Collaboration | Equity | Transparency | Fiscal Responsibility
These values guide our actions as we serve the community and engage our workforce. To learn more about the City’s core values, please click here.

Why work at the City of Portland?
The City of Portland serves a population of over 650,000. Culture and solutions are our focus. We view every challenge as an opportunity to learn, improve, and share our experience. We are committed to removing barriers to resources, access, and opportunity.  The City is a believer in all people and continues to actively recruit and retain diverse top talent every day. If you are open-minded, interested, community-focused, and self-aware, please apply yourself at the City of Portland today. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement
As of October 18, 2021, all City employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This is required for all positions at the City of Portland. Proof of being fully vaccinated is required by date of hire. You may request an exception, for health or religious reasons, from getting the COVID-19 vaccine at the time a position is offered.


Work Location

At the moment, many positions with the City of Portland are being done remotely due to COVID-19. Some employees are working from home full-time.  In the future, current positions could: 1) remain full-time remote, 2) become a remote/onsite mix, or 3) revert to full-time at a city work location.

Jessica Terlikowski
Portland Harbor Program

City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services 

888 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 400, Portland, Oregon 97204
Phone: 503-865-6704