Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Sierra Club

Summer 2019

Position: Environmental Communications Intern
Student: Government Junior

This summer I served as the environmental communications intern for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. The chapter serves the entire state of Texas and in addition to running political and organizing campaigns the chapter helps to manage the several volunteer groups throughout the state. My main responsibilities were to assist with our online presence, write and promote original content for the chapter’s blog, and assist other chapter and national Sierra Club staff with campaigns.

In any advocacy work being up to date and knowledgeable on the current politics and policies of local issues is vitally important. It ensures that the work we do is not only well informed, but also authentic and trustworthy. Because of this, when I would arrive to the office my primary responsibility for at least the first 30 to 45 minutes was to read local news sources from around Texas. This not only got me caught up on current events, but it also helped me to learn which environmental issues had more traction in which parts of the state, and learn about the organizing of different areas around different subjects and issues. For example, the effects of fracking will be felt all around the state, however the issue only ever appears in news sources in Northern Texas, just as issues centered on plastic or oil and gas tend to be highlighted by newspapers in the Houston and coastal region.

Following this, I would track the spokespeople for the Sierra Club and help tabulate how many times and in what context they were mentioned by media outlets. The rest of my day was dedicated to either researching and writing pieces related to our active campaigns, drafting and planning social media posts, or working with the Chapter director on the legislative scorecard where I researched the votes we supported and documented how each Texas legislator voted.

While there was some routine to my days I enjoyed being able to work with many different people across many different areas of expertise and role. This allowed me to gain insight into the organization as a whole but also how collaborative advocacy work requires you to be.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508