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About Us

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to building a nation connected by trails, reimagining public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit Connect with RTC @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Job Description

RTC’s Trail Development Team is looking for an intern interested in working on trail planning and climate resiliency research. The selected intern will participate as a full member of the team and will be included in staff meetings and social meetings. Hours are flexible to accommodate class schedule(s) or other commitments, but there will be required meeting times during core business hours.

Job Location

This position reports out of RTC’s national office in downtown Washington, D.C., and is easily accessible from Metro’s red, orange, silver and blue lines. RTC is currently operating with a hybrid work schedule. Remote work is acceptable; however, mandatory works days in the D.C. office may be required upon the office reopening from closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for interns working a hybrid schedule. Considerations will be made for a remote-only work option.

Job Duties

The internship will run 12–16 weeks, approximately 20–24 hours/week. The Trail Development Intern will assist the Trail Development and TrailLink Coordinator and the Senior Director of Trail Development with the following tasks:

  • Conducting literature reviews that summarize climate resilient practices for trail planning, design, construction and maintenance
  • Developing case studies and other public-facing summaries for RTC’s Trail Building Toolbox on the intersections of trail planning/management with fire management, flood management, hazard mitigation and other natural hazard vulnerabilities due to climate change impacts
  • Developing a survey for trail managers to capture current and best practices around resiliency and trails to create an inventory of examples
  • Working together with staff to develop and implement a webinar on the topics listed above

Supervisory Responsibilities

There are no supervisory tasks assigned to this role.

Desired Background and Personal Attributes

RTC is seeking an undergraduate or graduate student working toward a degree in planning, public policy, social sciences, natural resources or a related field. Applicants should be highly organized, able to work independently and manage time efficiently, and possess a strong interest in the topics of health, the environment, sustainable transportation, pedestrian issues, bicycling or trails.

Proficiency with Microsoft Suite is required, and familiarity with ArcGIS Online is preferred. Candidates should also possess a comfortability with cold calling and engaging with RTC partners to ask questions and document best practices. 

Work Environment

Normal office setting with low to moderate noise level.

Employer's Rights

RTC reserves the right to revise, change or reclassify this job description at any time in accordance with RTC’s business needs. This job description is by no means an implied contract.

How to Apply

We are now accepting applications for Spring 2022. Due to COVID-19, remote work is an option. To apply, please email with the following:

  • The position you are applying for in the subject line

  • A résumé (as a separate attachment)

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement about your personal background or experiences that demonstrate your potential to contribute to RTC’s commitment to create an inclusive and diverse workplace.​

Commitment to Diversity

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy seeks diverse, passionate and qualified individuals who want to make a difference in the world. RTC is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, age, and other legally protected characteristics.

If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the employment process, please e-mail and provide the nature of your request and your contact information.