Summer Internships

The AISES Internship Program provides students with applied work experience and an opportunity to explore career options. Placing students in 10-week summer positions with partner agencies, the program also promotes advanced study to the graduate level and assists students in developing professional networks. AISES typically has internship positions available with our partners at the US Bureau of Land Management (Arizona), the Bonneville Power Administration (Pacific Northwest), Veterans Administration, and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services.  Additionally, AISES is working to secure additional internships for the summer and we will update this page as they are confirmed.

Current Internships Available (more to come):

Two to three positions will be available in BPA’s Transmission Services in the electrical design group and the planning group -- depending on the students’ expertise and interest. The internship will be located in Vancouver, WA (just outside of Portland, OR). Interns will assist senior engineers working on drawings, performing planning functions, design, testing equipment, participating in field visits and other activities related to project development. The ideal student will have a background in electrical, civil or mechanical engineering. 

Another position will be open in BPA’s Fish & Wildlife Program. For this internship, the first and last week are spent at the BPA Headquarters in Portland, OR where the intern is exposed to work completed by the BPA Fish and Wildlife Program – a nearly $300 million annual program that implements fish and wildlife related projects in the region. The majority of the internship is spent at the Cle Elum Supplementation and Research Facility (fish hatchery) located in Cle Elum, WA managed by the Yakama Nation. The intern performs a suite of fish culturist and technician tasks with the Yakama Nation hatchery team as well as partnering state agencies. The intern will learn the importance of supplementation and management actions within the Yakima Basin. Work performed at Cle Elum is integral to the return of salmon to Columbia River tributaries. This internship provides many opportunities to gain hands-on experience with projects, field work, professional development and networking.

About Our Partners

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is a federal nonprofit agency based in the Pacific Northwest. BPA is part of the U.S. Department of Energy and is self-funded covering its costs by selling its products and services. BPA markets wholesale electrical power from 31 federal hydro projects in the Columbia River Basin, one nonfederal nuclear plant and several other small nonfederal power plants. About one-third of the electric power used in the Northwest comes from BPA. BPA also operates and maintains about three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission in its service territory. BPA’s service territory includes Idaho, Oregon, Washington, western Montana and small parts of eastern Montana, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

As part of its responsibilities, BPA promotes energy efficiency, renewable resources and new technologies. The agency also funds regional efforts to protect and rebuild fish and wildlife populations affected by hydroelectric power development in the Columbia River Basin. The Bonneville Power Administration offers unique opportunities for students to begin exploring careers in energy. An AISES internship enables you to put your education and knowledge to the test on live BPA projects. To find out more about the Bonneville Power Administration, please visit:

Internship Terms & Conditions

  • Complete the entire 10 weeks of full-time work in the assigned office. Interns should not undertake this commitment if it creates undue hardship or if their personal or financial obligations prevent them from participating for the full 10 consecutive weeks.
  • Work exclusively for the agency assigned
  • Provide a comprehensive assessment of the program upon its completion
  • Agree to and abide by the AISES Code of Conduct

Provisions - Interns are provided with the following:

  • Round-trip airfare or mileage to internship site
  • Weekly stipend - $550
  • Dormitory lodging
  • Weekly Local transportation allowance - $70
  • Please note that lodging is for the intern only. Family and friends cannot be accommodated, as each intern will be assigned another intern as a roommate whenever feasible.  These provisions are non-negotiable.

The Online Application System:

If a student has not used the scholarship/internship online platform before, s/he will create an account in the system. They will create their own user name and password, which they may use any time to re-access the system. This access is important as students are responsible for ensuring that their documents and other requirements are in the system and that the information is up-to-date, especially contact information. AISES Programs staff communicates primarily via email, thus email addresses should be current and email checked regularly, If an email address changes, it is the student’s responsibility to inform AISES Programs staff and to change it within the platform’s system.

Similarly, AISES does not inform students if their application is incomplete, letters of recommendation have not been received by the system, etc.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that requested and appropriate documentation has been uploaded into the system or received by it.  Likewise, the student applicant must follow-up with references, registrar’s offices, etc., to ensure they are aware of deadlines and to allow sufficient time to get required documents in time.  In order to keep the process fair and equitable, no exceptions are made for missed deadlines, as other applicants have worked hard to get their info in on time.

Once an account is created, a general application form is completed by the student online.  No paper applications are accepted. This general application requires the student to complete questions, write a personal statement, request letters of recommendation and submit documents that are relevant to all AISES scholarship and internship programs.  Once all required steps are completed, the system determines if the applicant is qualified for any of the three internships.  If initially qualified, the system then prompts the student to respond to supplemental questions and submit some additional documents for the internships and also any scholarships s/he also qualifies for. 

Please note, your application will go to all interested agencies whose hiring standards you meet.  They will ultimately decide which students to hire.

Who May Apply:

Each agency has its own eligibility requirements.  However, AISES requires that all applicants be current AISES memberships at the time of application.  To join AISES or check on your membership (you need an AISES member number to apply), please go to:

Students must also be an American Indian, Alaskan Native, or native Hawaiian to apply.  AISES requires proof of ancestry/membership, which includes verification by the official tribal/village/community governing body (either a signed letter from the governing entity or a tribally-issued ID card) indicating enrollment status of the applying student.   If you are not enrolled or able to secure verification from the governing body/enrollment department of the Native community to which you belong, then you must provide a federally issued Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood or Certificate of Degree of Alaska Native Blood (both abbreviated CDIB) that certifies the student has at least 25% degree of Native American/American Indian blood of a federally recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community.  If your CDIB indicates less than 25% blood quantum, you must be able to provide proof of membership.

And, lastly, the student must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at either an accredited four-year college/university, or a full-time student at a two-year college enrolled in a program leading to an academic degree.

Application Requirements:

All AISES scholarship programs require that students submit current transcripts from their college/university, as well as past transcripts from all colleges attended (if currently a college student.  All transcripts must be official transcripts issued by the school’s registrar’s office.  AISES will NOT accept unofficial transcripts or grade reports.  The transcript must come directly from the school, college, or university registrar’s office and/or bear an official seal/signature. You may scan these official documents and upload them into the system or have your school email it or mail it to us directly.

Students are usually required to submit an essay (or two) as part of the application process.  All applicants will be expected to provide a personal statement limited to no more than 1000 words and a brief essay regarding their career goals. 

Lastly, all AISES applicants are required to upload a copy of their resume into the AISES scholarship online platform

Start and End Dates:

The actual start/end dates will vary depending upon the “background/security” processes of each hiring agency.  AISES hopes to have student start working (arriving on-site a day or two sooner) by June 6, 2016, which would have them ending their work detail on Friday, August 12, 2016 (returning home on August 13).  Students should keep these dates and their fall semester start dates in mind when applying, as this is a 10-week internship.  

Application Dates:
The application deadline for BPA has been extended to March 28 at 11:59 p.m. MDT.

Application Platform:
AISES only accepts Internship applications submitted online via our online scholarship/internship platform, found at :