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WaterWRLD Internship Program

The WaterWRLD Internship Program runs through the academic year. Positions for the 2020/2021 program have been filled. We will be accepting applications for the 2021/2022 program in the Spring of 2021. Please email Lisa Shipek lisa@watershedmg.org with any questions.

Program Overview

This experiential internship program is designed to provide University of Arizona students with real-world work experience and community engagement opportunities. Interns will work directly with WMG staff, docents, volunteers, and partners on project work that fulfills WMG’s mission.

WMG intern teaching kids about water harvesting Students participating in this internship program:

  • Commit to a year of academic credit by registering for 3 units.
  • Complete 150 hours of internship work each semester, which averages about 10 hours per week.
  • Be available for weekly internship program meetings at WMG facilities on Friday afternoons from 2 - 5 pm throughout the semesters, as well as some weekends.
  • Work with a WMG staff mentor on a specific intern job description with specific goals and project work.
  • Participate in hands-on work, activities, and events in addition to your specific project work.
Who is Eligible

Sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate students at the University of Arizona are eligible to apply. Students from any major or program are welcome. Students must be in good standing, with a 2.7 GPA or higher.

Internship Options

Through the application process, interns will be paired with a WMG staff member to work on one of the job descriptions outlined below.

Sample Internship Job Descriptions
  • Community Green Infrastructure Design (Full position description)Watershed Management Group interns
    • Assist with technical design, graphic design, community outreach, education, and research tasks to support the development of WMG’s neighborhood-scale green infrastructure and restoration work.
  • Environmental Education and Spanish Communications (Full position description)
    • Assist in developing hands-on curriculum and activities to engage the Latinx community.
  • Geospatial Technologies (Full position description)
    • Create and analyze geospatial data (e.g. GPS, GIS, remote sensing, LiDAR) for research and advocacy related to water conservation, river restoration, and watershed planning.
  • River Restoration Planning, Site Assessment, Design and Implementation (Full position description)
    • Help build the River Run Network program through hands-on restoration planning and implementation activities, citizen science monitoring and education programs, and watershed research and analysis to support river restoration plans.
  • River Run Network Community Engagement (Full position description)
    • Help build the River Run Network program through assisting with community outreach, education, and advocacy, supporting the long-term goal to restore Tucson’s heritage of flowing creeks and rivers.
  • Urban Sustainable Living (Full position description)
    • Assist in the care and maintenance of an urban sustainable living demonstration site including systems such as composting toilets, veggie gardens, chickens and water harvesting systems.
  • Zero Waste Coordinator (Full position description)
    • Audit WMG's waste stream and create a Zero Waste plan. Coordinate with staff to implement the plan and assist in educating the WMG community on zero waste philosophy and implementation.
  • Green Infrastructure (Full position description)
    • Organize events for the Green Living Co-op and Monsoon Squad program, perform regular administrative duties, and will develop educational materials related to both programs. Work alongside the co-op field staff helping to install various water harvesting systems.


Coordination with the University of Arizona

The WaterWRLD program was designed in 2015 in partnership with professors from the UA’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment. The program is open to students from any department, however, WMG works closely with our UA Liaison, Gregg Garfin Ph.D., Associate Specialist and Associate Professor in Climate, Natural Resources and Policy, School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Our UA Liaison provides feedback on the program, helps coordinate student orientation, and provides mentoring opportunities for students in the program.




Staff Mentors

Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar
Cultural Ecologist

Joaquin specializes in building resilience in diverse communities by enhancing the connections between people, culture, and natural resources. Joaquin brings vast experience on the multicultural border region between the US and Mexico, where he has implemented community-based approaches to watershed management, river restoration, geo-tourism, conservation of native peoples, and best practices for the ranching community. His past work has been with the Sonoran Institute and as a consultant for National Geographic Society and other organizations. Joaquin is a graduate of the University of Arizona with MSc in Natural Resources and Agricultural Economics and a PhD in Renewable Natural Resources Studies with an emphasis on management, policy and economics of natural resources. A native of Sonora, Mexico and resident of Arizona, Joaquin is fluent in both Spanish and English.



Catlow Shipek
Policy and Technical Director

Catlow Shipek is a founding member of Watershed Management Group. He received a MSc in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona. Catlow has over ten years of experience in applied watershed management, planning and policy specializing in urban applications like water harvesting, green infrastructure, stream restoration, and eco-sanitation. Catlow has worked on several successful local policy initiatives including Tucson's Green Streets Active Practice Guidelines, Tucson Water's residential rainwater rebate program, Tucson's residential greywater ordinance revision process, and through the Complete Streets Taskforce the adoption of Tucson's Complete Streets Policy. Catlow has served on the Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee for Tucson Water including Chair of the Conservation & Education subcommittee and on the University of Arizona's School of Natural Resource and the Environment's advisory board. Catlow currently serves on the Complete Streets Coordinating Council following the 2019 adoption of the Complete Streets policy. Catlow's passion is to link people to their local environment for improved stewardship and prosperity.

Trevor Hare
Restoration Director

Trevor graduated from the University of Arizona in 1991 with a degree in Ecology. For ten years he studied the impacts of suburban development on rattlesnakes and Gila monsters. Trevor has practiced riparian and upland restoration across the Sky Island Region for the past 25 years and developed a robust methodology for the assessment, planning and design of restoration projects, which has resulted in over $2,000,000 of on the ground restoration work in SE Arizona, SE New Mexico and northern Sonora.




Lisa Shipek
Executive Director

Lisa Shipek is a founding member of Watershed Management Group and has served as the Executive Director since 2006. Lisa directs fundraising, strategic development, financial planning, and outreach activities for WMG. She co-directs the River Run Network program, manages the development of the Living Lab & Learning Center, and oversees the growth of the Phoenix branch. Her specialized skills include developing experiential education programs; building community coalitions; and adapting technical information for public consumption. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and an M.A. in Latin American Studies. Lisa gives back to the community through serving on advisory boards, which has included: Tucson’s Environmental Services Advisory Committee, Tucson’s Transit Task Force, Tucson Conserve to Enhance, and the Community Water Coalition. She fills her free time with playing ultimate frisbee and dancing and enjoys gardening, bike touring, and camping with her husband Catlow.


Charles Alcorn
Program Coordinator

Charlie graduated from Dickinson College in 2012 with a B.S. in Physics and has worked in environmental education and non-profit communications. He ventured from Pennsylvania to Tucson in early 2016 and has become enchanted by the Sonoran Desert and Tucson community. Charlie is passionate about using community education to help drive sustainable decision-making on an individual basis and in city decision-making. Charlie will be the first person to contact for anyone interested in WMG’s Green Living Co-op and for anything related to the Monsoon Squad. Charlie likes playing soccer, cooking, and dancing with his two left feet.




For More information please contact the Lisa Shipek, at lisa@watershedmg.org