WildEarth Guardians

A Force for Nature

Select Page

Photo Credit: Sam Parks

WildEarth Guardians jobs – come work for us!

Current Job Openings

2020 Spring/Summer Legal Intern Opportunities

WildEarth Guardians is a regional environmental advocacy organization with over 275,000 members and online supporters dedicated to protecting and restoring the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West. WildEarth Guardians is now recruiting law students for spring and summer 2020 to assist with program work, case development and litigation to protect endangered species, restore riparian landscapes, and reform western water policy. Internship or externship opportunities available in our Denver office (or may consider a remote location for right candidate).

Why spend a semester or summer with WildEarth Guardians? Guardians develops and executes cutting edge litigation that serves as a lever for securing stronger protections for wildlife, wild places, waterways, and the health of the American West. Our recent wins include:

  • Guardians successfully secured 815 million gallons of water (2,500 acre-feet) per year to support Rio Grande peak and perennial flows through central New Mexico in 2019. This win was born of conflict when Guardians challenged a half-dozen attempts by the City of Rio Rancho to transfer water from farms to meet municipal uses without considering impacts to the river and its imperiled fish, wildlife and plants. The legal settlement also resulted in Guardians joining forces with pueblos, the local irrigation district, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to work on river restoration projects and to collectively help reform state water policy in New Mexico.
  • Guardians successfully halted logging on 12 million acres of threatened Mexican spotted owl habitat after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service failed to ensure Mexican spotted owl recovery for more than 20 years. This win includes land across six national forests in New Mexico and Arizona.
  • In response to Guardians’ lawsuit, a federal judge ruled that the Bureau of Land Management did not adequately quantify the climate change impacts of oil and gas leasing and rejected the sale of 300,000 acres of public lands in Wyoming for fracking. The ruling is a major blow to the Trump administration’s anti-environment, anti-climate agenda, and has implications for public lands across the American West.

Under the supervision of one of the eleven attorneys on WildEarth Guardians’ program and legal staff, legal interns will assist with various aspects of advocacy, case development, and litigation. Primary responsibilities include conducting legal and factual research, crafting key messaging, and developing case strategy and legal theories.

WildEarth Guardians is looking for self-motivated applicants with excellent legal research and writing skills and a demonstrated commitment to, or interest in, public interest environmental advocacy. Students who have completed their second year of law school are strongly preferred, but truly exceptional students who have completed only one year of law school may be considered. Foundational coursework or applied experience in environmental, federal public lands, and administrative law is a plus. We prefer interns commit to a minimum of 30 hours per week during the summer months.

Internships are unpaid. For-credit externship opportunities may be available in coordination with the applicant’s law school. We are willing to work with interns to secure outside funding.

The following offices are currently accepting intern applications for the spring/summer of 2020:

  • Denver, Colorado (1 position) – The Denver position will have the opportunity to work in the Wild Rivers program under its director and attorney Jen Pelz. The rivers program work will focus on protecting and restoring flows in western rivers (focusing on the Colorado River, Rio Grande and Willamette River) and reforming western water policy through strategic litigation. Substantive work may include case development, legal research, and strategic legal advocacy under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and other relevant state water and land use laws and regulations.

To apply, please submit the following in a single PDF file to apply@wildearthguardians.org: cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, one recent writing sample (preferably a legal brief or memorandum of no more than ten pages that primarily reflects your work), and three references. The subject line of the email and your cover letter should indicate your preferred office location(s) and interest area. Interested students may apply to multiple offices with one application.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Grant County Wildlife Campaign Organizer

Work Level: Contract

Location: Flexible within Grant County

Position Summary:

The Grant County Wildlife Campaign Organizer is a 10-15 hour/month contract position with WildEarth Guardians. The position will work to support our two priority wildlife campaigns in New Mexico: 1) banning cruel and dangerous traps from public lands, and 2) reforming the rogue federal USDA Wildlife Services program’s indiscriminate poisoning, trapping, and aerial gunning of our native wildlife. The Organizer will coordinate and implement grassroots tactics in Grant County as part of a well-refined strategic framework for reforming how county, state, and federal governments treat native wildlife.

The Organizer will leverage public support for wildlife and wild places to grow grassroots and political power supporting an ethic of coexistence with the wildlife of southern New Mexico. The Organizer will use communications, relationship-building, critical thinking, and organizing skills to implement a successful campaign by meeting key metrics around list-building and volunteer engagement/empowerment. Creativity, a rock-solid work ethic, resilience, desire to learn, commitment to advocating for the natural world, a healthy sense of outrage, and the will to win are essential.

The Organizer will engage, educate, and empower the public, community leaders, and elected officials as means to reforming wildlife governance and protecting native wildlife and ecosystems from the threat of traps, poisons, and other unethical, unscientific methods of “wildlife control.”

The position reports directly to Guardians’ Southern Rockies Wildlife Advocate. The Organizer will work with the Advocate to implement county- and regional-level strategies to build and mobilize grassroots support for native wildlife. The Organizer will engage with volunteers and e-activists.

By working for this campaign, you will have an unprecedented opportunity to be bold, dedicated, and supported as you put in motion strategies to combat unjust, unethical, and outdated practices that kill our native wildlife and endanger the public and companion animals. You will play a key role in fighting for government accountability and transparency while defending the vulnerable and giving a voice to the voiceless. We hope you will join us.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work with the Southern Rockies Wildlife Advocate and Wildlife Program Director to refine and implement Guardians’ TrapFree New Mexico and End the War on Wildlife campaigns;

  • Build and leverage alliances with local activists and allied organizations working to confront native wildlife killing in communities throughout New Mexico;

  • Build and maintain relationships with city, county, and state elected officials, their staff, volunteers, citizen activists, partner organizations, and the media to protect native wildlife;

  • Refine a variety of written materials, including social media content, related to native wildlife protection;

  • Identify, recruit, and manage volunteers;

  • Help identify and implement the best ways to engage, empower, and mobilize people to reform wildlife governance in select communities across New Mexico;

  • Track and measure the effectiveness of tactics with bi-monthly reporting to the Advocate;

  • Measure success based on key metrics to ensure progress toward achieving Guardians’ vision for coexistence with native wildlife.

Essential Qualifications Include:

  • Excellent communication, time-management and organizational skills;

  • Enjoys working with people and thrives on engaging with the public;

  • Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills;

  • Experience in running successful grassroots campaigns online and offline;

  • Proven ability to work both independently and in close coordination with a team;

  • Ease in working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and composure when interacting with diverse stakeholders;

  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion;

  • Passion for wildlife conservation and animal welfare;

  • A healthy sense of outrage and a sense of humor.

Additional Desirable Qualifications Include:

  • Spanish language skills (highly desired);

  • Experience managing volunteers, with preference given to those with organizing management experience;

  • Experience with event and activity logistics and planning;

  • Comfort with and enthusiasm for working in a fast-paced, contentious campaigning environment;

  • Knowledge of New Mexico state politics;

  • Formal organizing training and a minimum of one year of organizing experience;

  • Campaign planning and execution experience;

  • Strong connections within the Dona Ana County communities, particularly within local government

  • Intermediate or advanced social media skills: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Special Job Requirements

As a contractor, you will largely make your own hours, but expect to be flexible and work some weekend and evening hours. You must supply your own necessary equipment (e.g. work space, laptop with applicable software, vehicle, insurance) to perform the work as defined by the contract agreement. Travel costs will be covered when pre-approved. Some travel around southern New Mexico will be required.

Compensation and Benefits:

Compensation is based on qualifications and experience. Pay range is $20-25/hour. Initial contract will be for four months with renewal likely, based on performance and campaign needs. No additional benefits are offered for this contract position.

To Apply:

Send applications addressed to Chris Smith to apply@wildearthguardians.org with subject line “Grant Contract Organizer.” Applications will be considered on rolling basis starting on August 16, 2018 and should include in one document (PDF preferred):

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Two references

No phone calls please. Due to the volume of applicants and other workload, only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. WildEarth Guardians is an equal opportunity employer.

Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity As an advocate for the natural world, WildEarth Guardians affirms biodiversity, ecological unity, and the interdependence of all life. We highly value diverse perspectives and experiences. We are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both within our organization and externally. We acknowledge the intersections between social, racial, and economic injustice and the inequities that are driving the climate crisis and harming wild nature. Applicants with experience in these areas are encouraged to apply. WildEarth Guardians is an equal opportunity employer and actively strives to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees and constituents regardless of differences based on culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender identity, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, or sexual orientation.