Thanks to Environment Illinois’ summer interns we’ve made progress to protect wildlife and wild places

Environment Illinois’ summer 2023 interns learned skills, had fun and made a difference on important environmental issues.

Emily Kowalski | TPIN
I will forever remember the summer I interned with Environment Illinois as being filled with bees and butterflies, galore! As a Protect Pollinators summer intern on the Save the Bees campaign, I took on a variety of tasks that all had a common theme: teaching the public about the importance of pollinators.

Anna Westbrook, Environment Illinois Protect Pollinators Intern

Anna created social media posts, wrote content for the website, submitted a letter-to-the-editor, hosted a community outreach event at a local farmers market, and got more than 200 people to send a message to their government representatives urging them to protect pollinators. Although being an intern and working as a barista at the same time was a challenge, they found the work they did for Environment Illinois incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. It was also really fun!

They got to travel to a local nature museum to film a tour of a pollinator garden, interview an urban beekeeper (and see her beehives), and meet so many passionate, like-minded people. 

Emily Kowalski | TPIN
I’m leaving this summer feeling confident that my time with Environment Illinois has helped me develop skills I need to be successful in my future career, and I’m excited to see what comes next!

Kamebry Wagner, Environment Illinois Conservation Intern

Kamebry jumped right into working on building support for a bill to phase out polystyrene foam cups, take-out containers and other foodware in Illinois. She was trained to reach out to stakeholders, phone bank members to build support, and develop social media and website content. Although the bill didn’t pass as is this session, the legislature did pass a phase out of polystyrene foam foodware for government agencies and the support that she helped build has strengthened the movement going into future campaigns.

It was exciting to know I was right in the middle of an important movement to reduce plastic waste for an entire state.

Once the Illinois legislative session wrapped up for the year, her focus shifted to our campaign to protect wildlife. She did research on the Illinois wildlife action plan, created a series of #WildlifeWednesday social media posts, built relationships with partner organizations and organized two successful events.

Read more about Kamebry’s experience in her own words:

Emily Kowalski | TPIN

Apply to intern with us this fall

This fall Environment Illinois is hiring interns to promote clean energy, protect clean water, reduce plastic pollution and more. As an intern you’ll learn how to analyze environmental problems, push for smart solutions, and build the public support it takes to win. You’ll work side-by-side with one of our staff, learning the ropes. You’ll also attend briefings and trainings to learn even more about environmental issues and gain organizing skills. At the end of an internship with Environment Illinois you will have gained skills and had fun all while doing important work to protect Illinois’ environment.


Emily Kowalski

Outreach & Engagement Manager, Environment Illinois

Emily manages the marketing and public engagement strategy for Environment Illinois's campaigns, including our campaign to protect the Great Lakes from plastic pollution. Emily lives in Chicago where she enjoys knitting and biking.

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