Intern (Pay for Performance Conservation)

Winrock International

Arlington, VA, US

POSITION TITLE:              Intern, Pay-for-Performance Conservation

LOCATION:                       Arlington, VA

UNIT:                                  Ecosystem Services

REPORTS TO:                   Senior Program Officer


Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to increase economic opportunity, sustain natural resources, and protect the environment. Winrock matches innovative approaches in agriculture, natural resources management, clean energy, and leadership development with the unique needs of its partners.  By linking local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term productivity, equity, and responsible resource management to benefit the world and its people.


This three-month internship is focused on supporting Winrock’s work to create a pathway for U.S. farmers to produce and sell stacked or bundled water quality and carbon offset credits. The intern will conduct primary and secondary research and will assist in the creation of recommendations, processes and procedures necessary for such transactions. The intern will also help create and deliver outreach materials resulting from the internship. This position offers the successful candidate a diverse and meaningful experience in the area of food systems with a dynamic and leading organization in the field.


  1. Research the potential demand for WQ credits from agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and in Puerto Rico.

    • Collect information from corporate CSR and regulated entities on interest in credits from agriculture.

    • Assist in the creation of recommendations to increase demand for WQ credits and to facilitate trading.

  2. Assess the policy and market issues related to the transaction of “stacked” vs. “bundled” ecosystem service credits from agriculture.

  3. Work with American Carbon Registry staff to create a plan for registering WQ and stacked or bundled credits on ACR. This would include:

    • Research related to an ACR WQ standard;

    • Identify the methodology needs to register credits related to the PR and MD projects;

    • Assist in the development of specific recommendations for the production and transaction of C offset and WQ credits in each location;

    • Assist in the creation of a WQ “window” on ACR platform.

  4. Work with project IT staff to develop a project website to convey findings and share outputs.

  5. Assist project team with preparation of final project materials for publication and distribution.

  6. Help organize project outreach activities.


Education:          Bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g. agricultural or environmental economics, agronomy, soil science, water resources, natural resource management or policy) required.

Experience:        Working knowledge and experience in agriculture is important. Interest in conservation policy a plus.

Skills:                Strong writing and communication skills required.

    Computer proficiency. Must be skilled in the use of the Microsoft platform (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook). Webpage creation and maintenance a plus.

               Should be analytical and detail-oriented. Excellent command of spoken and written English language required. 

              Must not require sponsorship to work in the United States.

We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.