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Bakers Lake Public Lands Project Internship

TITLE: Charles Jordan Memorial Spring 2023 Internship
REPORTS TO: North Carolina State Director, Conservation Acquisitions
LOCATION: Chapel Hill, NC, or remote in central or eastern North Carolina
The Conservation Fund (“TCF” or the “Fund”) is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to the dual mission of protecting America’s most important land, water, and natural resources while also supporting economic growth in communities. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, in its 33-year history The Conservation Fund has protected more than eight million acres of critical conservation property worth $4.7 billion across all 50 States.
The Charles Jordan Memorial Internship was established by The Conservation Fund to keep alive the passion, commitment, and wisdom that Charles Jordan brought to his 20 years of leadership on the Fund’s national Board of Directors. This paid internship is available for up to 375 hours during the spring of 2023; the specific dates for the position are flexible.
Charles was the first African American to chair a national environmental organization, serving as chairman of The Conservation Fund’s Board of Directors from 2003 to 2008. He believed passionately in diversifying the conservation movement. The principles of equity, diversity and inclusion were central to who he was and all he did. In keeping with Charles Jordan’s vision, the goals of this internship are to:

●      Honor and implement Charles Jordan’s leadership and vision for an equitable, diverse, and inclusive national conservation movement;
●      Provide a career-oriented learning experience for a student who has the passion, creativity and skills to implement Charles’ vision; and
●      Grow the next generation of conservation leaders through the internship experience and test and communicate new approaches that advance Charles’ legacy.
This Spring 2023 Charles Jordan Memorial Internship project is “Bakers Lake Public Lands Project.”
The Bakers Lake Public Lands project internship is designed to help further The Conservation Fund’s knowledge of and outreach to Indian Tribes as it relates to land activities, from cultural heritage interpretation to land exchanges and usage agreements, to direct sales. The Bakers Lake project has provided significant opportunity to engage with the Waccamaw Siouan and the Coharie, two state-recognized tribes in North Carolina. The Conservation Fund now owns what was once the largest privately-owned Carolina Bay (Bakers Lake) and will ultimately convey the property to the state to make public lands. While it is too late in this process to engage with the tribes on acquisition, opportunities still exist for collaboration on the project. This collaboration, as well as research of best practices and experiences of TCF staff on previous projects, will inform the development of a framework for engaging state and federally recognized American Indian tribes in future acquisitions projects and build upon prior work of TCF in offices throughout the country.
Through a mix of qualitative research and field work, the intern will compile, develop, and help implement best practices for engaging tribes in conservation projects, with particular emphasis on state-recognized tribes. Research will include ways to engage tribes as staff identify potential conservation projects and acquire properties, as well as opportunities for tribes to interpret their history on conservation lands, to advise the Fund on its temporary management of conservation lands, and to participate in and influence management of conservation land by agency partners as they develop their master and capital improvement plans. This research will be grounded by development of the Bakers Lake project. The intern will work closely with Fund staff as they collaborate with the Waccamaw Siouan and the Coharie and gain a better understanding of the traditional uses of the land and opportunities for integrating traditional use into modern-day access.
●      Currently enrolled in or graduating from an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university with a minimum of one year of completed course work.
●      Experience with and strong understanding of qualitative research methods.
●      Coursework in American Indian studies and/or anthropology.
●      Familiarity or association with NC Tribe.
●      Demonstrated interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
●      Knowledge of and experience working with rural, low-resource/excluded communities around community-based environmental management.
●      Great interpersonal skills. 
●      Experience/comfort working sensitively with diverse groups is essential.
●      Outstanding oral and written communication skills.

***To apply, please submit cover letter and resume with application***
To learn more about The Conservation Fund, visit
The Conservation Fund, a Non-Profit Corporation, is an Equal Opportunity Employer who fully and actively supports equal access for all people regardless of Race, Color, Religion, Gender, Age, National Origin, Veteran Status, Disability, Genetic Information or Testing, Family and Medical Leave status, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression. The Fund prohibits retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or practice in the investigation of any complaint, or otherwise oppose discrimination.