David Robertson Pathfinder Indigenous Energy Infrastructure Intern


Internship Summary

Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks an inquisitive and self-reliant individual with an interest in exploring energy infrastructure within Indigenous communities to join our team in the of Summer 2023. The Intern project will focus on the development of an inventory of Indigenous energy infrastructure and priorities for federally recognized Indigenous Nations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. This will include extensive online research of Indigenous energy information, outreach to Indigenous communities, utilities, energy experts and WRA partners. The final product of the internship will be a memo and presentation on the findings of the research. The Intern will report to the WRA Indigenous Peoples Engagement Manager and the Energy Markets Policy Analyst and will work closely with our Deputy Director of Regional Energy Markets and Clean Energy and Healthy Rivers teams.

The Interior West is rich with people from diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Yet, despite this, “minorities comprise just 12% of staff of both U.S. government environmental agencies and nongovernmental environmental organizations.” Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian, multi-racial and bi-racial individuals express concern for the environment at a higher rate than White people, but ultimately don’t see themselves or the issues that impact their lives reflected. In addition to the environmental movement historically having a lack of racial diversity, the LGBTQIA+ community, low income communities, and people with disabilities have historically experienced disproportionate barriers to equal access to outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities.

The Pathfinder Internship Program is a step in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive conservation workforce that represents all people. WRA is especially excited about these opportunities, as it will support individuals who have historically not been included in conservation work. WRA is partnering with the Robertson family to offer the David Robertson Pathfinder Internship Program to share the wonders of the unparalleled landscapes, captivating wildlife, and diverse communities in the West with professionals gaining experience in the conservation field.

About David Robertson

David Robertson fell in love with Colorado in the 1950s. He met his wife, Janet, as her rock-climbing instructor, and they married in 1956. Together, they climbed all 54 of Colorado’s 14ers and backpacked extensively in the West and Alaska. In 1969, David and three others were the first to ski the 110-mile journey across glaciers from Skagway to Juneau. David dedicated himself to protecting the West and was one of WRA’s first board members; he served on WRA’s Board of Directors on two separate occasions and was selected as the organization’s first “Volunteer of the Year.” David loved the mountains. He especially loved how they bonded people together and provided sanctuary for him and others. David was also aware that not everyone had the opportunity to explore the outdoors as he had. David passed away in 2019, but his legacy lives on. The David Robertson Pathfinder Internship honors David’s passion for Colorado and his dedication to conservation.

About Western Resource Advocates

WRA fights climate change and its impacts to sustain the environment, economy, and people of the West. We respect the different needs of diverse people and partner with them to develop a shared vision for progress—one that advances communities while protecting biodiversity.

Our team of policy experts, scientists, economists, and attorneys has a 30-year history of working where decisions are made, sweating the details, creating evidence-based solutions, and holding decisionmakers accountable. This on the ground work with policymakers and other advocates advances clean energy, protects air, land, water, and wildlife—and sustains the lives and livelihoods of the West.


This position can work remotely within our seven state region, from one of offices, or a hybrid of the two. WRA has offices in Boulder, CO; Carson City, NV; Denver, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; and Santa Fe, NM. The mentors for this internship are based in Boulder, CO. WRA’s region includes Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming.

Responsibilities and Activities

  • Conduct research on Indigenous energy infrastructure publicly available online including utilities and energy markets serving reservations; land area; present/future generation project, transmission information; and energy priorities.
  • Interact with Indigenous partners and experts to expand knowledge on key topics.
  • Write a final memo summarizing key research findings and recommendations as a final deliverable for the internship.
  • Present findings to WRA CEP team and Indigenous communities interviewed and external partners as appropriate.


  • Excellent communicator, written and verbal.
  • Strong research and analytic skills.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with Indigenous sovereignty and governance.
  • Experience working with Indigenous populations.
  • Motivated to take ownership of projects and demonstrate follow-through to complete tasks.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.

Physical Requirements

Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Some small amount of travel may be required within WRA seven-state region to attend retreats and other events.


Interns are paid at $17.29 per hour. This is a full-time internship with an expectation to work up to 40 hours a week. WRA regularly works with students to help them obtain school credit for their internships. Since this is a temporary internship position, interns are not eligible for any benefits, including, but not limited to: vacation and sick leave; health, vision, and dental insurance; life, short-, and long-term disability insurance; and the 401(k) retirement plan. WRA is happy to loan interns a laptop for the duration of their internship.


The internship will take place during the summer of 2023. While the specific dates of this internship are flexible, the start date will be around late May or mid June, and run for approximately 10 weeks.

Deadline To Apply: Sunday, May 22, 2023

Diversity and inclusion are a critical component of our business strategy, mission and vision. We welcome candidates from an array of backgrounds and experiences to join our team. Learn more about our commitment here.

Western Resource Advocates is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status.

Apply To Be WRA’s David Robertson Pathfinder Indigenous Energy Infrastructure Intern!

Thank you for your interest in the Indigenous Energy Infrastructure Internship with Western Resource Advocates. Complete the two forms below to apply for the position. You will need to upload the following in PDF format:

Cover letter describing your relevant qualifications and the reason for your interest in WRA and this position; and Resume.

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