Published: April 7, 2020


EPA Region 8 2020 Student Volunteer Job Announcement

Job Title: Cross Program Opportunity with the Chemical Safety and Environmental Stewardship Branch


Background: EPA Region 8’s Chemical Safety and Environmental Stewardship Branch houses multiple regulatory and nonregulatory environmental programs. The Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) program promotes a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles. SMM represents a change in how our society thinks about the use of natural resources and environmental protection. The Pollution Prevention Program is any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source. Reducing the amount of pollution produced means less waste to control, treat, or dispose of. Less pollution means less hazards posed to public health and the environment. The (P2) Program works through grantees, who provide technical assistance and outreach to business, on implementing P2 best practices.


Job Description: The intern will help the regional SMM team to achieve program goals, including conducting a materials audit for the EPA Region 8 office space. As part of the Denver Office of Sustainability Commit to Action 2020 Sustainability Goals, and under the direction of EPA staff, the summer intern will coordinate measurement of trash, recyclables, and compostables from multiple break rooms, estimate diversion rate and make recommendations for behavioral interventions to improve diversion of materials from landfill. This materials characterization (waste audit) will supplement a previous audit completed in 2010.

The intern will assist the regional P2 team with researching and identifying environmental financing mechanisms for high capital P2 opportunities. Environmental finance is an emerging field where opportunities are arising for financing environmental improvements (such as stormwater “green” infrastructure to deep energy retrofits) requiring significant capital expenditures at reduced rates (compared to currently available commercial debt for these kinds of investments).  EPA is interested in identifying and sharing information about environmental financing solutions for P2 because the program has observed that small- and medium-size manufacturing/processing businesses typically don’t have the capital needed to make innovative changes in their operations. The intern will also assist the P2 Program with launching the R8 P2 Award Program and planning for the 30-year anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) for P2 Week.

Specific duties may include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Assist in planning and implementing the waste audit;
  • Participate in national and regional workgroup calls to develop expertise in SMM and P2 issues;
  • Use EPA materials measurement tools to generate greenhouse gas equivalency reports to communicate benefits of materials diversion from landfills;
  • Learn and apply basic community-based social marketing concepts (messaging for behavior change) to recommend a communication and outreach plan for increasing materials diversion in the EPA Region 8 office space;
  • Research and identify environmental financing mechanisms
  • Research companies that have used innovative financing mechanisms and identify some successes or lessons learned
  • Identify a venue and/or conference where we can hold the R8 P2 Award Recognition
  • Propose innovative ideas on ways the region can celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the PPA. Both internally to R8 employees and externally to the public.
  • Other as needed.

Desired Skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Basic Excel, Word, and Publisher
  • Social Media development
  • Ability to work independently
  • Works well on a team

Knowledge/Experience (optional, but a bonus):

  • Policy research experience
  • Knowledge of environmental policies, laws, and issues
  • Knowledge of sustainable practices for businesses and/or buildings
  • Knowledge of behavioral science, communication, and/or behavioral intervention strategies
  • Waste audit planning and implementation
  • Communication and outreach


Timeline: Intern will be on board for a minimum of 2 months, with the goal being 3 months. The maximum is 4 months but this is not assured.


Desired hours per week: 10 – 40 hours (in-office only) (preference will be given to qualified candidates available to work more hours per week).


Desired start date: May 25th (this may be negotiated) (Note: From the time of acceptance, there will be a 2-4-week period prior to the first day of work while paperwork is completed.)


How to Apply: Email your transcripts, resume, cover sheet to Kimberly Pardue Welch, Applications are appreciated by Friday, April 3, 2020, but the position will be open until filled.


For More Information: contact Kimberly Pardue Welch, in the Chemical Safety and Environmental Stewardship Branch, U.S. EPA Region 8;


Contact: Elaine Robles, Human Resources, 303.312.6194 or