Water Resources Policy Intern, Upper Mississippi River Basin Association


Position Title: Water Resources Policy Intern

Organization: Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

Organization Overview: The UMRBA is a non-profit organization formed in 1981 by the Governors of the five Upper Mississippi River states (IL, IA, MN, MO, and WI) to provide a forum for discussion and collective action on regional water resource issues.  Each state is represented on UMRBA by a gubernatorial designee, typically from the state agency with primary responsibility for water management.  Federal advisory members include the USACE, USDA, USCG, USEPA, USFWS, USGS, MARAD, and FEMA.  UMRBA’s activities span a broad range of issues, including commercial navigation, ecosystem health, water quality, flood risk management, hydropower, spill response, and aquatic invasive species.  A staff of five permanent full-time and one to three project-term employees is based in Bloomington, MN.  

Position Overview: The Water Resources Policy Intern for the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA), a regional interstate organization, assists in researching policy and management issues, communicating the five states’ policy positions, and developing opportunities and means for interagency collaboration and coordination.  In addition, the Intern would assist in developing the Association’s external communications – e.g., new website development.

The Intern assists UMRBA staff in advancing the Association’s work related to the integrated, balanced management of the Upper Mississippi River System.  These strategies are currently provided in UMRBA’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan linked here.

Activities include, but are not limited to, working with the two Policy and Programs Directors on researching issues to support advocacy on the basin states’ collective interests, tracking and analyzing river-related policy, supporting communications and social media efforts that promote the Association’s work, and providing staff support to federal and state interagency forums and partner meetings.  While the Intern reports to one of the Policy and Programs Directors, the Intern will have the opportunity to work with all staff on several issues that are important to state and federal partners. This is a part time, three days a week opportunity.


  • Staff support — provide staff support to the UMRBA Board and its standing coordinating forums. This includes supporting the Executive Director and Policy and Programs Directors at forums and meetings, preparing necessary background information, documenting meetings and group decisions, etc.
  • Advocacy — work with Policy and Programs Directors to research and prepare UMRBA position statements, study reports, testimony and letters of comment, and other UMRBA publications and official correspondence.
  • Issue Tracking — track and analyze water resource issues of potential interest to the UMRBA.
  • Communications — work with UMRBA staff to communicate, promote, and implement UMRBA’s priorities and positions on river issues, including suggesting website and social media content.
  • Other duties — assist in other UMRBA issue areas as directed, and support Executive Director, Policy and Programs Directors, and Administrative Assistant in administrative matters as requested.


  • Pursuit of a university degree in biology, ecology, public affairs, transportation planning, natural resources, environmental science/management, or related field.
  • An interest in river-related issues, water resources, public policy, and federal legislative and budgetary processeswould be helpful.
  • Excellent analytical, research, and communication skills.
  • Excellent judgment and ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong interpersonal and team-building skills.
  • Willingness and ability to travel on occasion.

Start and end dates: June 7 to August 30

Salary/pay: $15/hour

Application Deadline: May 5

How to apply:

Applicants are asked to submit:

  • A cover letter describing relevant experience, interests, and suitability for the position
  • A resume
  • Contact information for two professional references

Application materials and questions should be directed to Andrew Stephenson at astephenson@umrba.org