OAEC is a non-profit education center in Sonoma County that works to promote ecologically and culturally sustainable communities. Learn more.
About OAEC Residential Internships
THE 2008 INTERN CREW
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OAEC’s Educational Internship Program combines hands-on learning in a specific area with diverse teachings intended to provide a comprehensive overview of sustainability. Collectively, the program addresses the integration of environmental, community and personal health.
The educational goal of fostering ecoliteracy and a deeper relationship to place is furthered by the unique experience of living in a vibrant land-based community.
Program Specifics & Terms of Internship
OAEC offers 7 residential internships within 4 different departments. Specifically, there are 2 positions available in the garden, 2 in the administrative office, 2 in facilities, and 1 in OAEC’s kitchen.
The internships vary in length from 6 to 12 months and start at different times of the year.
The total time commitment of the internship is an average of 30 hours per week. Each intern is responsible for 25 hours of work per week within their area of focus. This serves as a hands-on learning experience, with guidance and instruction provided by the intern’s supervisor. Additionally, interns work an average of 3 hours per week outside their selected departments in order to serve the operational needs of OAEC. While this could include a variety of tasks, all interns will be expected to assist with the beautification and cleaning of our facilities.
In addition to deepening the OAEC Experience, we will also explore the greater sustainability movement. This element of the internship program also provides the opportunity for personal development, relationship building and teaching experience through the practice of Council, peer-to-peer learning and skill sharing. The sessions will occur weekly for the 6 months in which all interns are present and monthly during the remainder of the program.
The final component of the internship is a prescribed educational program, with 2-hour sessions provided exclusively for the intern cohort. The intention is to provide a canopy view of sustainability by covering various topics that are timely to our social and environmental challenges. This is a valuable opportunity to learn directly from the dynamic OAEC staff and acquire a better understanding of the organization and community.
Interns are eligible for vacation time, prorated based on the full-time equivalent of 4 weeks per year.
Interns participate as members of our community while at OAEC. We share meals and facilities. All community members also have collective responsibilities, with all residents participating in scheduled cooking, cleaning and refuse chore rotations (these are in addition to Intern work hours). We celebrate non-sectarian diversity and are fully committed to maintaining a pluralistic, supportive, and honest working and living environment. The community is comprised of approximately 24 people, including 6 children.
OAEC is located in western Sonoma County on 80 acres of organic gardens, meadows and forest of oak, fir and redwood. During free time, interns are encouraged to take advantage of the facilities, which include backcountry trails, a large swimming pond, a library/meeting room, a hot tub and a cedar sauna.
Intern housing is provided, with all structures being completely private and free-standing. Each of the 7 units vary in regards to size and amenities, but all are rustic and conducive to a simple lifestyle. Interns share access to the community bathhouse and hot showers.
An abundance of nutritious food is also provided during the internship program. Dinner is shared daily by the entire community, with lunch and breakfast also being prepared during OAEC courses and special events. Otherwise, produce from the Center’s renowned gardens and other high quality, locally sourced ingredients are available personal meals. While OAEC maintains a vegetarian kitchen, it should be noted that not all residents are vegetarians.
In addition to the education embedded within the program itself, interns have the opportunity to participate in OAEC’s course offerings. While this option is dependent on the available space in each course, interns often take advantage of this additional learning experience.
Program Fee: $400 per month
The program fee includes the program’s diverse educational components, full room and board, and the various amenities associated with the property and shared by the community.
Onsite paid work opportunities through OAEC and the community are sometimes available for interns to help offset the cost of the program.
OAEC seeks individuals who embrace living simply in a semi-rural community while working in a thriving non-profit organization. Applicants should be flexible, energetic, comfortable in groups, and able to manage a diversity of challenges. A good sense of humor, communication skills, a positive attitude, and a willingness to learn are essential attributes of prospective interns. Each internship is intended for one person, as we cannot accommodate spouses, children or families. Due to the sensitivity of our natural environment, pets are not allowed on the premises.
Click here for the application.Send application materials to Intern Coordinator Michelle Vesser: email@example.com
- Complete the OAEC Intern Program Questionnaire.
- Select the department you are interested in. Include a cover letter to the Department Supervisor and complete specific questions.
- Include resume and work/personal references with day and evening phone numbers if possible.