Intern with SAMS

The Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS) is currently accepting applications for short- and long-term internship positions to join the fight against mountain top removal mining in our area.

Interested in volunteering or interning with SAMS? Fill out our interest form!

What do interns with SAMS do?
What do you look for in potential interns?
What is the compensation for interning with SAMS?
I can’t intern with SAMS, but is there another way I can help?
Internship Descriptions

How do I apply?
What if I have a question that is not answered here?

What do interns with SAMS do?

Interns spend their time working on various projects, from talking with neighbors about how we can keep coal dust from blanketing the community, to attending community meetings on building a sustainable and just economy, to fighting surface mining permits that currently threatens Appalachia, Andover, Arno, Derby, and Inman. Interns also find ways to bring their unique skills into local projects like web design, grant writing, knowledge of labor history, geography, biology, and others.

To see some of the campaigns SAMS Interns have participated in, check out our Campaigns and Projects page. Some SAMS interns also work on RReNEW Programs and Projects, which can be found here.

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What do you look for in potential interns?

First and foremost, we look for people with a passion for this region and the work that we are doing here. We also look for people with skillsets that will compliment those of our other interns.

In looking for interns, we want to prioritize people from coal counties, Appalachia, and Appalachian states. People who grew up in the region have a more intimate understanding of the culture and history, which is important when participating in community organizing.

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What is the compensation for interning with SAMS?

Intern positions are, for now, unpaid. We can provide free housing for interns who are not already living in the area, which we do through the RReNEW Collective. We can also reimburse interns for many expenses such as travel and supplies. We are always in the process of finding intern stipends, because we know most interns will still have to pay bills and debts while they spend their time in the movement.

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I can’t intern with SAMS, but is there another way I can help?

We, like so many other small groups, are funded almost entirely through grassroots fundraising so if you can’t intern you should consider throwing us a fundraiser in your community so that we can better support our interns. For more information on this, please contact either samsva@gmail.com or Rrenew.Collective@gmail.com.

Also, please consider donating to our organization, so other interns may have the opportunity for more well-funded work. To do so, please follow the instructions on our Donate page.

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Internship Descriptions

Here are the basic descriptions of four internships we have available. For a more detailed list of responsibilities, skills, and qualifications, click the links below each description.

Sustainable Communities Intern
The Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS) is looking for a part-time Sustainable Communities Intern. Interested applicants with backgrounds in sustainable development, event planning, renewable energy, organic agriculture, herbalism or other related fields should apply. Primary tasks of this internship will include coordinating the planning committee for the Appalachian Community Economics Series, contacting presenters and trainers, advertising, procuring supplies, and supporting efforts to advocate for sustainable economic development in Southwest Virginia.

Sustainable Communities Intern Description

Media and Social Media Intern
SAMS is looking for a part-time Media and Social Media Intern with skills for navigating the traditional and digital media landscapes. The intern selected for this position will need strong communication skills, and some experience working with rural communities in order to integrate with our vibrant group of residents, members and activists. We are excited share this project with an enthusiastic intern hoping to gain experience, build relationships with hard working activists from Southwest Virginia, put an end to Mountaintop Removal and help build sustainable communities.

Media Intern Description

Health Intern
The SAMS Health Intern oversees our health campaign. Interested applicants with a background in sociology, anthropology, canvassing, and/or a health-related field should apply. This internship requires a time commitment of 4 months or longer. The primary tasks of this internship position will be organizing weekly health surveys in the coal camps with other SAMS members, entering the collected data from each week of health surveys, and analyzing/presenting the health data in an easy-to-understand, visually-interesting format.

Health Intern Description

Water Intern
The SAMS Water Intern helps with our water campaign. Interested applicants with backgrounds in Chemistry, Hydrology, Geology, Geography, Environmental Science, Environmental Law, Environmental policy and Planning, or other equivalent natural sciences should apply. The primary tasks of this internship position will be data collection of Conductivity, Total Dissolved Solids, pH, and Temperature, as well as the grab sampling for heavy metals in streams believed to be polluted by coal mining. Other Tasks may include, pulling of information from the Department of Mines Minerals and Energy and other light GIS tasks.

Water Intern Description

Grant Writing Intern
The SAMS Grant Writing Intern will apply, manage, and organize grants, and assist SAMS members and committees who work with grants. The intern will also research and apply for grant funding/stipends specifically for the intern program along with SAMS programming. Interested applicants with backgrounds or experience in grant writing, non-profit work, grant research and other applicable fields should apply. As well, please be open and willing to learn new skills related to grant writing. Applicants are not required to have written and/or received a grant, but it is useful.

Grant Writing Intern Description

SAMS Internal Development Intern
The SAMS Internal Development intern will assist in capacity building, expanding membership, developing community relations, and fundraising (not grant writing). The intern will in addition work with various SAMS committees including but not limited to: Fundraising, ACES (Appalachian Community Economic Series), and Membership. The intern will also keep records of work processes to pass on to other members for future reference. Outreach is a critical part for this position in that the intern will need to use various outreach techniques to accomplish tasks, especially with membership and fundraising. Interested applicants with backgrounds or experience in non-profits, community service, outreach, fundraising, volunteer/member recruitment, organizing, AmeriCorps VISTA, and other applicable fields should apply.

Internal Development Intern Description

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How do I apply?

To apply, send the following documents to samsva@gmail.com:

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What if I have a question that is not answered here?

Be sure to send any questions about our internships to samsva@gmail.com. Feel free to call us as well, using the phone number on our Contact Page. Also, be sure to check out the RRENEWCollective, as it is our partnership with them that provides room and board for our interns.

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