Internships & Research Opportunities

Water in the West facilitates student research, internships and other forms of engagement in pertinent projects that link students with potential researchers or organizations to shape course assignments, term projects, theses or independent studies. Water in the West also regularly hires research assistants, engages interns and guides independent study projects. Students interested in internships, summer opportunities, or research projects for credit, as well as organizations interested in working with Stanford students, are encouraged to contact us to learn more.

Organizations that are interested in working with Stanford students on water issues include The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. EPA, NASA-Ames Research Center, Deschutes River Conservancy and others.



Full-Time Summer Research Assistant- The Bill Lane Center

The Bill Lane Center for the American West is looking for an undergraduate to provide research assistance to study the new Groundwater Sustainability Act in California. 

Job responsibilities include:

  • Conduct interviews with government officials and stakeholders
  • Literature review
  • Program Qualtrics survey
  • Assist with quantitative analyses, data visualization

Ideal candidate would have some background in statistics and computer programming. The RA is expected to work full-time for ten weeks (June - August). The salary for ten-week full-time position will be $7,000.

Interested undergraduates should send their resume, unofficial transcript, and one-page cover letter to Dr. Iris Hui ( by April 15.

About Stanford University, Bill Lane Center for the American West

An interdisciplinary Center that is dedicated to advancing scholarly and public understanding of the past, present, and future of western North America, the Center supports research, teaching, and reporting about western land and life in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.


Full-Time Summer Research Assistants- Urban Water Policy and Innovation 

The Water in the West, Urban Water Policy and Innovation Team is looking for three Master's level students to provide research assistance to our ongoing projects related to:

Big Data and Water Resources Management 

Seeking a student interested in computer programming and data science who is looking for an opportunity to develop their skills while addressing today's water and sustainability challenges. No previous knowledge of water utilities or related sector are necessary. The RA will help in a variety of projects involving data analytics and the development of tools for water management and decision-making.  The candidate should be familiar (or enthusiastic about learning):

  • Data wrangling, pre-processing, and cleaning
  • Python, R, MATLAB, and/or JavaScript
  • Database architecture including compilation, management, and manipulation
  • Geospatial analysis using ArcGIS
  • HTML and web design, preferred knowledge of Drupal
  • User interface and design


Small-Hydropower/In-Conduit Hydroelectric Generation Resource Assessment for California

Seeking a student interested in serving as the primary research assistant for a project investigation an emerging topic in the water-energy nexus.  Water systems in California have a large untapped potential to recapture energy with in-conduit hydroelectric generation while contributing to regional Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements. This project is focused on evaluating this potential and providing some guidance to enhance market penetration of these systems.  The ideal candidate would have some interest in water-energy nexus issues as well as public policy and political science, with some background in statistics and programming.  The RA will:

  • Assess the current state of knowledge on in-conduit hydroelectric generation potential in California and beyond
  • Prepare and updates, Statewide In-Conduit Hydroelectric Resource Assessment report
  • Conduct interviews with government officials and stakeholders
  • Conduct a rigorous literature review that includes evaluation of state and federal environmental policies and regulations
  • Perform quantitative analyses using Excel or the programming language of the RA's choice
  • Create a data visualization tool

*We are looking for someone that can commit to continuing this project through the 2017-2018 academic year. 


Water Financing Innovation 

Seeking a student interested in interdisciplinary research on water financing. Innovative water projects often face challenges in accessing funds or securing affordable financing, partly due to perceived operational risk and uncertain performance level.  Our team has produced multiple reports and products to address this challenge, including the development of innovative frameworks that highlight mechanisms utilized by other sectors (such as the electricity sector) and building maps that enable peer-to-peer learning opportunities. We are currently looking for a research assistant with a background in finance and economics to help us take the next step.  The RA will:

  • Conduct a broad literature review and case study analysis on topics including innovative Public Private Partnership structures, pension funds, insurance guaranties and other mechanisms and formats that have the potential to be applied to water projects
  • Synthesize findings in a way that contributes to the academic knowledge base
  • Collect, process, and analyze data about these mechanisms
  • Communicate findings via report writing, data visualizations, and presentations


Required qualifications for all these positions:

  • Academic curiosity and critical thinking
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Data analytics, and basic statistics and programming skills
  • Comfortable working independently and in teams

All positions start on June 15th (or earlier) and the RAs are expected to work full-time for ten weeks (June - August). All positions have the potential to be extended beyond summer into the upcoming academic year. If interested, please submit your CV and a cover letter to Megan Glatzel ( by May 1. 




None at this time.