Internships and Volunteer Positions

What does it feel like to jump out of a plane and fight a forest fire with only your tools and your wits about you? Can you imagine working alongside flames taller than your average office building? Know in your gut that wildland fire is good for the environment, but are conflicted when you see reports on large fires in the media? Short of dropping everything and starting a career as a firefighter, the best way to experience and understand wildland fire is to hear about it from the experts – from men and women who spend their days out on the fireline. Enter

How about this? Are you passionate about communicating and advocating for environmental issues? Curious about how to blend your technical skills with something seemingly outside your field or background? Get a kick out of storytelling, history, digital media, and/or emerging technology? Be part of a new and exciting project—one that revolves around the fascinating and engaging issue of wildland fire—by joining The Smokey Generation as an intern or volunteer.

What is The Smokey Generation right now? The Smokey Generation is a website dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the stories and oral history of wildland fire. These stories ignite the imagination, provide intriguing perspective, and showcase the fascinating culture of wildland fire. At its core, it is a celebration of wildland firefighters telling the stories of their lives and experiences. Beyond that, though, these stories allow us to explore our human relationship with wildland fire and the natural world.

What it’s working towards: By creating a framework of digital storytelling tools and techniques, socially driven content, curated imagery, and strategic messaging, The Smokey Generation will facilitate conversations about the social and cultural components of wildland fire, with the goal of helping to shift public perceptions and enable more progressive and corrective fire management practices. It will be a model for effectively engaging the public in productive, authentic, and meaningful discourse around any given environmental issue. It will be recognized for its innovative subtlety, technologically inventive storytelling, and strength in social/community driven content.

The Smokey Generation is an emerging project in the initial phases of start-up non-profiting (yep, we think coined that term, too). Interns will contribute a creative spirit, work on website and storytelling components and projects, and gain familiarity with working within a virtual workplace. If you think you’re pretty awesome and want to be a part of something new and interesting – you should definitely let us know by applying to become an intern or volunteer.

Virtual Internships:

Intern Time Commitment: 10-20 hours per week (flexible) for a two to four month period (also flexible).

Location: All internships are virtual. In other words, aside from being fully clothed, audible, and focused while web-chatting, you can take part in your internship from the beach, your dorm room, or local coffee shop.

Pay: Virtual high-fives and gobs of gratitude.  Seriously though, these internships are unpaid.  If you finish your internship successfully and to satisfaction, you will receive a personalized summary of accomplishments that you can use for job applications down the road.

Intern Expectations: These positions are completely and totally virtual and you will be expected to utilize an online log to track work and hours. You should anticipate formal weekly one hour meetings to evaluate performance and learning objectives, discuss progress, and determine the coming week’s goals. On-going interaction will be conducted online using contemporary internet applications (i.e., Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.). Though you will be working independently within a virtual work environment, interns will be provided personal, high-touch supervision.

Learning Objectives: We will collaboratively craft learning objectives at the start of your internship. Objectives will be based on your interests and needs, as well as The Smokey Generation’s current and on-going projects. These objectives will be agreed upon, measurable, and mutually evaluated at the end of the internship period.

Core Learning Opportunities:
• How to work productively within a collaborative virtual workplace
• Start-up non-profit fundamentals
• Professional/organizational communication techniques
• Specialized technical skills (dependent on intern/internship)
• Wildland fire principles, industry structure, and related environmental issues
• Oral history and digital storytelling methods

Desired Characteristics for Interns:
• A self-directed learner (e.g., curious and driven)
• A collaborative and innovative problem-solver
• Communicative and comfortable using both written and oral communication techniques in a virtual environment (e.g., web chat, video conferencing, emailing, texting, etc.)
• Adaptable and flexible to changing priorities
• Willing to try new things without guaranteed success
• Constantly looking for ways to improve modes of business
• Generally excited to be a part of an emerging/evolving project

• Requirements: Access to an internet connection, computer with webcam, and down-to-earth enthusiasm.
• Process: Submit an application (just answer the questions in the form below). We’ll reach out to you and set up a time to chat.


Virtual Volunteers:

Volunteer are awesome:
Think the project is cool but have a full schedule and just want to chip in just a little bit? We’ll take it! Those interested in contributing to The Smokey Generation as a volunteer should go through the same quick application process as interns (just answer the questions in the form below). We will reach out to you with a big smile and go from there!

Available Internships and Volunteer Positions:
So, “What kinds of positions are available?” you ask? We can likely craft an internship or volunteer slot that is agreeable and awesome for us both – even blending together different components is a possibility.  Take a look at the focus areas below (just click on the boxes below for full descriptions) and use the application to indicate what areas resonate with you.

Business Management and Development


The Smokey Generation is part of a larger non-profit entity called The American Wildfire Experience but is run as it’s own project. Interns/volunteers will conduct basic research and help facilitate setting up a virtual structure to support operations. This person should be well-organized, resourceful, and willing to dig in to basic and business set-up and maintenance activities (including fundraising).

  • Learning objectives for interns may include: business fundamentals, non-profit structuring, and basic business management

Website Development, Management, and Planning

Web-developer is a WordPress site and is aching for a little lovin’. An intern or volunteer may be utilized to address some of the responsive/mobile/theme issues, track and analyze analytics, research/implement new plugins and functionality, and/or maintain some of the site’s components. This person should be proficient in WordPress, have a background in web development (doesn’t need to be formal), and willing to geek out on innovation.

  • Learning objectives for interns may include: strategic planning, website and project management, and user behavior

Digital Storytelling Coordination


The Smokey Generation is about to launch two really cool initiatives called, “The League of Storytellers,” as well as our “Fire Stories Ambassador” program, both of which will showcase digital storytelling from select photographers, videographers, artists, musicians, writers, and other crowdsourced content creators. The intern or volunteer will help facilitate the development of these component in a real and meaningful way.

  • Learning objectives for interns may include: digital storytelling techniques, multi-media curation, crowdsourcing, website development

Graphic Design


The Smokey Generation is in dire need of an intern or volunteer to develop website, video, and social media assets. This person should have proficiency and access to Adobe Photoshop, as well as familiarity with graphic design principles and concepts. There is a ton of room for creativity, brainstorming, and developing your graphic design skills.

  • Learning objectives for interns may include: project management, marketing/branding principles, framing theory

Digital Media/Video Editing


Our digital media intern/volunteers will focus on putting together compelling videos using content from collected interviews and donated/available imagery. This person should have existing access to Adobe Premiere for editing videos and be competent in basic video and audio editing techniques. Though some of the work will include a standard formula, there is plenty of room for creativity (and this person should be excited to propose ideas on how to make things engaging and contemporary).

  • Learning objectives for interns may include: strategic planning, marketing/branding principles, and media management

Social Media/Communications


Are you totally social media savvy? The Smokey Generation is brand-spankin’-new and poised to explore social media and connectivity on a really awesome scale. One of the goals of the project is to engage and facilitate conversations about wildland fire – you would be on the bleeding edge of that conversation. Interns or volunteers should be prepared to work on social media strategy development, content development, account management, and communications plans.

  • Learning objectives for interns may include: strategic planning, branding, analytics, framing theory

Content/Technical Writing


From titling and writing descriptions of videos (a great opportunity to blend technical and creative writing), to developing position papers for the project, we have a ton of writing opportunities covering all styles and formats. Interested in blogging, developing contextualized content, constructing copy, exploring how different writing styles affect engagement? This might be a great fit for you.

  • Learning objectives for interns may include: technical writing, blogging techniques, branding, copy editing, multi-media storytelling

Science/Industry Monitor


Interested in wildand fire science, forest and fire management, or the wildland fire industry as a whole? An intern or volunteer in this position will help The Smokey Generation keep tabs on emerging science, industry trends, media reports and politics, new and ongoing global projects in forest and fire management, and more.

  • Learning objectives for interns may include: project management, analysis and reporting, branding, wildland fire science and politics

Public History

The Smokey Generation is a public history project at its core. From helping build out our Wildland Fire Historical Photo Archive, to collecting stories or producing podcasts that showcase historical content, The Smokey Generation is a great platform for bringing history into the public sphere.

  • Learning objectives for interns may include: public history collection, archiving, and preservation techniques, oral history skill development, digital archiving practices, ethnographic interviewing techniques

Random Awesomeness

There are bits and pieces of the project that we could always use help with – from fundraising to repetitive organizational tasks. If you’re willing to volunteer and have an idea, certain restrictions, or skill sets that you’d specifically like to put to use, please let us know. Even if you’ve just got an hour to give, we would love to chat about it and see what we can make work!

  • If you’re a prospective intern interested in a Random Awesomeness Internship (e.g., a specially created position), we’ll need to figure out exactly what that means and what learning objectives would need to be defined.

Apply Today!
The Smokey Generation will benefit from different perspectives and experience levels. Don’t be shy! Just take a quick stab, hit submit, and we’ll be in touch. Thanks so much for your interest!


    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your Phone Number (required)

    Type of Application?


    Using three descriptive words, what do you think about wildland fire?

    Why do you think you’d be a good fit for The Smokey Generation?

    What are your goals for getting involved?

    What is the thing you like best about yourself?

    What is your availability? Start date, weekly schedule, number of hours…

    Select which positions/focus areas you’re interested in:
    Business Management and DevelopmentWebsite Development, Management, and PlanningDigital Storytelling CoordinationGraphic DesignDigital Media/Video EditingSocial Media/CommunicationsContent/Technical WritingScience/Industry MonitorPublic HistoryRandom Awesomeness

    Upload your resume, if you have one you’d like to share:

    Questions? You can use the contact form or shoot an email out to Bethany: