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Our Interns, Our Future Leaders – By Liz Woodruff


The summer before my last year of college I had the opportunity to intern with Amnesty International in its Urgent Action office in Colorado.  I learned about human rights and I learned that advocacy work is hard – and rewarding.  As director of the Snake River Alliance, one of my priorities is to cultivate the next generation of environmental advocates through a meaningful internship program.  Over the last several years our interns have gone on to local nonprofits, public service in major cities, and excellent graduate school programs.  

For more than a year, Robin Leonard, a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, has been our clean energy intern.  Robin helped update our Idaho’s Clean Energy Future Guide and researched the economic impact of renewable energy in Idaho for our forthcoming Renewable Energy Guide. She organized the collaborative work we did this spring on the Energy and Water Nexus and our meetings with local Congressional staffers. Robin attended DC Days and was exposed to our broad colleague network through the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability and the fast-paced policy setting on Capitol Hill. 

This year we added an internship focused on Environmental Management at the Idaho National Laboratory. Brian Parker, a double major in Economics and Civil Engineering at BSU, worked closely with Beatrice Brailsford to learn about nuclear contamination above the Snake River Aquifer and to think about the impacts of potential contamination for agriculture in Idaho. Brian attended a Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) meeting on cleanup in Idaho Falls and produced a short video highlighting the importance of protecting the aquifer for agriculture in Idaho, that you can find on our YouTube Channel ( For an organization that helps protect the land, water and people of Idaho from materials that last millions of years, investing in young people is essential.  In this newsletter, you can read two short articles written by these excellent interns.  They have made our work better and they have learned essential skills for effective advocacy for the environment now and in the future.  Please check out our internship opportunities at our website under Get Involved.

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