A one-of-a-kind paid internship to kickstart your career in land use planning and public service.

1000 Friends of Oregon's Gerhardt Internship was established in 1986 to commemorate the life and work of Paul Gerhardt, Jr., our first staff planner. The application window for this unique hands-on learning experience typically opens in mid-January, for an internship to take place that summer. Our Gerhardt Interns come from all walks of life, all over the country, and receive a generous stipend for their participation in this program.

Gerhardt Interns enjoy 10 weeks of close collaboration with our expert staff, receiving project support and guidance throughout. Publication and public presentation of Gerhardt Internship projects and project deliverables are strongly encouraged. 


Our application period for the Summer 2023 Gerhardt Internship is closed! 

Information & Application Details


On-the-job experience for planning students or those in similar fields, especially for those interested in public service.


The position is for 30 hours per week for 10 weeks, at the 1000 Friends’ Portland office.  A stipend of $5000 is provided.  Limited additional funds are available for assistance with travel expenses to and from Portland. NOTE: Due to COVID-19 this internship might take place remotely, or in some combination of remote and in-person. A final determination will be made prior to the beginning of the internship.

Description of Work

The intern will work on one or two large projects, such as 1000 Friends’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through linking land use and transportation planning, ensuring communities plan for affordable and diverse housing, or to preserve farmland. The intern might also work on smaller, short-term projects to gain a better understanding of Oregon’s land use system. Supervision provided by the 1000 Friends’ staff person overseeing each project.

Selection Criteria

The criteria used in selecting the intern includes academic excellence, demonstrated interest in public service, evidence of initiative, and the ability to work independently.  Preference will be given to undergraduates majoring in planning or a related field and graduates who have not yet begun graduate school. Graduate students will be considered. Law students will not be considered.

Applications and Deadlines

Applications should include a cover letter, resume, academic transcripts, writing sample, and two reference letters including at least one from a professor familiar with the applicant’s work.  References should offer a confidential evaluation of the applicant’s qualifications as measured against the criteria above and should be sent directly to 1000 Friends via email.  References should provide full contact information.  The writing sample can be on any topic and need not be lengthy.  We encourage applicants to share their preferred names and pronouns in application materials if they feel comfortable doing so. 

The 2023 application window has closed. The intern will be selected by Monday, April 3, 2023, and will be notified by phone shortly thereafter. Those not selected will be informed by letter. There is no interview in the application process.   

Watch this page for updates on our 2024 Gerhardt Internship application dates.


1000 Friends is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law. Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women, and people with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply. 


Recent Gerhardt Internship Projects
Hands together
Public Participation (Re)Visions

Recommendations for a more equitable and inclusive Land Use Planning Goal 1. 2021 Gerhardt Intern Bridget O'Brien looks into the importance of community involvement in our land use planning system.

Death by 1000 Cuts Feature (3)
Death by 1000 Cuts

Urban expansion, rural rezoning, and nonfarm uses on farmland continue to take land out of farm use despite Oregon’s land use protections. 2019 Gerhardt Intern Amber Shakleford outlined the problems and created a 10-point action plan that offers realistic policy recommendations. 

Is this Oregon's future?
A New Vision for Wildfire Planning

Could land use be the key to reducing wildfire risk in Oregon? 2018 Gerhardt Intern Ashlee Fox explored the issue in detail and provided 6 key policy recommendations in a report that became a cornerstone of our work as part of the Governor's Wildfire Response Council.