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2024 Environmental Policy Internships in CA (EPIC): California Governor's Office of Planning and Research, Strategic Growth Council

Environmental Sustainability

About EPIC:

The State of California is a leader in developing cutting-edge policies in response to climate change and other environmental and natural resource challenges.  Other states, the federal government and nations follow and seek to imitate California's forward-thinking public policy efforts. The Stanford Woods Institute identifies key state agencies and decision-makers who are addressing these pressing environmental issues to create exciting summer internship placement opportunities for Stanford undergraduates.

Woods, in collaboration with the Haas Center for Public Service and Stanford in Government, offers undergraduates paid summer internships that provide a hands-on introduction to environmental policy work. The fellowships are full-time (35-40 hours/week) for 10 or 12 consecutive weeks. Students who are selected will receive mentoring from environmental professionals and directly contribute to solving important sustainability challenges that are facing the public. EPIC fellows receive a $7,500 - $9,000 stipend (for 10 weeks) or $9,000 - $10,500 (for 12 weeks of work), depending on financial need.

About the Office of Planning and Research & the Strategic Growth Council:

State law establishes the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) as the comprehensive state-planning agency. OPR is responsible for formulating long-range goals and policies spanning numerous issues, including land use, state and local planning, climate change, environmental justice, renewable energy, transportation, health, and military affairs. It also serves several important functions in the administration of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is housed within OPR and is responsible for the implementation of policies through grant programs related to affordable housing, sustainable communities, transit-oriented development, infrastructure, conservation, health, and social equity. 

Position Description:

Interns at OPR and SGC will work on a variety of projects that further the Governor’s policy and planning priorities. Interns will have a hands-on opportunity to learn about state government and policy implementation. The interns will gain skills in policy research and writing, land use planning, local government outreach, interagency coordination, legislative analysis, and more. 

Potential Projects

  • Wildfire: Intern may work to support the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery, housed at OPR. An intern may participate in research on wildfires in California.
  • Regions Rise Together: This initiative focuses on inclusive economic development and sustainable approaches to land use and transportation planning. Intern may engage with state policy makers with ideas about how to align funding and policy to support economic development in inland areas.
  • Health and Equity: Intern may work on various projects to advance health and racial equity in California, including through the Health in All Policies Task Force. 
  • Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities: Intern may research how to advance State policy objectives through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant program.
  • Climate Adaptation and Resilience: Intern may support State policy work to support local, regional, and statewide climate adaptation and resilience planning and policy initiatives through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP). Potential placements include ICARP’s Adaptation Planning Grant Program, Regional Resilience Grant Program, and the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program and SGC’s Community Resilience Centers and Transformative Climate Collaboratives programs. 
  • Electric Vehicles: Intern may research and draft memo on the funding of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and setting up car share programming. Intern may also organize working groups, and catalog relevant studies, and models. Past interns have also worked on the Coast-to-Coast Smart e-Mobility program, which focuses on smart and clean transportation solutions, and had the opportunity to travel to Europe. 
  • Bill Analysis: Intern may work with the Legislative Director to write bill analyses. 
  • Intern projects, to an extent, can be tailored to the intern’s specific areas of interest.

Desired Qualities, Skills and Abilities:

Ideal candidates are self-driven and independently motivated, can balance multiple projects at once and meet deadlines, are highly professional and responsible, have strong verbal and written communication as well as analytical and organizational skills, and demonstrate a strong interest in one or more of the subject matters that OPR and SGC cover. Please see the OPR and SGC websites for more information on the areas of work.

Bonus skills: Experience with GIS/modeling/mapping tools, graphic design/web design/multimedia skills, communications/outreach skills, legal or legislative analysis.


  • Internship Location: Interns must be based in California for the duration of the internship, with the possibility of hybrid and remote work available. 
  • EPIC fellows have the option to work full-time (35+ hours per week) for 10 weeks (stipend: $7,500-$9,000, depending on financial need) or 12 weeks (stipend: $9,000-$10,500, depending on financial need) over the summer.


Undergraduates from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply, and applicants may vary in academic interests, public service involvement, and experience. Applications will only be accepted from students who will be enrolled as undergraduates for the following academic year, so graduating seniors cannot apply. Students must be enrolled for winter and spring quarters of this year and be in good academic standing to be eligible for a fellowship. The one exception to this rule is that seniors who will be working toward a co-term degree during the following academic year are allowed to apply.

Note: Students are only eligible for one Stanford-funded full-time experiential learning opportunity during the summer.

Fellows are required to work at least 35 hours/week for nine consecutive weeks at their placements. Fellows are expected to have a designated full-time professional staff member as their supervisor/mentor. Please review the entire FAQs section for program policies. Other commitments include the following:

Spring Quarter:

  • Complete an online orientation.
  • Attend the Engaging in Ethical and Effective Service workshop and/or worksheet.
  • Meet with academic mentor at least once. 
  • Design a personal learning plan and share the plan with site supervisor and academic mentor.
  • Students participating in an international service project must complete the Haas Center's international preparation requirements.


  • Submit a brief preliminary report.
  • Submit a final report, complete a program evaluation, and correspond with fellowship donor(s) as requested by fellowships program staff.


  • Meet with academic mentor at least once. 
  • Attend a de-briefing meeting for the purpose of reflecting upon and evaluating summer experiences.
  • Participate in outreach activities to share your experiences and help publicize the program.




United States


February 13, 2024 | 11:59 PM
* This Application Deadline has passed

Open To


Offered By

Stanford in Government
Woods Institute for the Environment
Haas Center for Public Service
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