Agricultural Sustainability Intern

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading international non-profit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships.

Are you interested in exploring a career at an internationally recognized environmental organization? By joining EDF as an intern, you too can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life. EDF’s Internship Program welcomes intellectually hungry leaders to join us, advance our work, and cultivate the skills and relationships needed for a successful career working for the environment. Alumni of our Internship Program have gone on to important leadership positions, most notably our own President, Fred Krupp. Could you be the next Fred Krupp?

EDF offers internships and fellowships for students and recent graduates in a variety of programs and departments throughout the organization. The ultimate goal of our internship and fellowship program is to provide high-quality experiences (including relevant projects and opportunities for networking) that form the foundation for any individual who is serious about pursuing an environmental career.

Ecosystems Overview

When it comes to natural resources in this country, we don’t have a scarcity problem. We have an inefficiency problem. Current policies and market failures encourage waste and fail to reward environmental innovation. EDF is uniquely equipped to help fix this problem by accelerating the development of systems that make conservation and efficient land and water management profitable. We believe that such will be critical to helping the nation meet one of its greatest challenges: how to support a growing population without continuing to overspend our precious natural capital.

Our agriculture sustainability team collaborates with farmers, agricultural organizations, universities, and corporations to advance science-based solutions to reduce fertilizer loss from commodity grain production. We work to build the tools, support, and advice that farmers need to apply fertilizer efficiently and adopt farm management practices that protect their soil. These solutions protect crop yields and farmer livelihoods while generating benefits to our water quality and climate. 

The intern will be engaged in EDF’s sustainable agriculture work in North Carolina, which is focused on reducing nutrient losses from grain agriculture and improving the resilience of farms to weather variability. EDF collaborates with agriculture organizations, other environmental and conservation organizations, major corporations, and farm advisers in North Carolina to develop programs and policies that support these objectives

Overall Function

The intern will work with his or her manager to choose a central project that will be completed in the course of the internship. This may include research support, potentially including 1-2 literature reviews. Topics may include agricultural resilience and sustainability, conservation practice adoption, agriculture policy, or other topics of interest that align with program goals. The intern will also support the design and implementation of meetings, workshops, and other opportunities to share information with state partners. The intern will join staff on field visits and external meetings related to the projects. Near the end of the term, the intern will be expected to make a presentation on their work to the EDF staff. The manager will provide guidance and feedback in advance of the final presentation.

Key Responsibilities

Tasks will include but are not limited to:

  • Research and synthesis of information on topics related to ongoing projects, including agricultural resilience and sustainability, conservation practice adoption, agriculture policy, or other topics of interest that align with program goals. This may take the form of literature reviews, short memos, or data collection.
  • Work with manager to identify knowledge gaps on selected topics.
  • Assist the manager in developing outreach and education activities to support the projects.
  • Participate in field visits and external meetings related to projects.
  • Prepare presentation that synthesizes work completed during summer term. This will be presented to EDF staff.


  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work in a team setting and also work independently as the situation requires.
  • Demonstrate initiative and problem solving skills.
  • Relevant undergraduate or graduate coursework in agriculture & environmental sciences, biology, soil science or other related fields. 


Raleigh, N.C.


Full-time, 35 hours per week or part-time.


This internship would involve either compensation for hourly work paid at a rate competitive with leading non-profits or academic credit. Students are encouraged to seek academic credit or funding through their college/university and EDF will ensure that any and all paperwork needed to secure academic credit is completed.


Interested applicants should apply by submitting your résumé, references, and a cover letter.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.