Rural Community Development Apprentice

Sierra Institute for Community and Environment

About the organization

Our Mission
Promoting healthy and sustainable forests and watersheds by investing in the well-being of rural communities and strengthening their participation in natural resource decision-making and programs.

Our Approach
Recognizing the direct relationship rural communities have with forest landscapes, Sierra Institute has advanced integrative programs that support rural environmental, economic, and community health at local, regional, and national levels for the past twenty-five years.


The apprentice will primarily:
• Work with Sierra Institute supervisors and community partners in the town of Westwood,
CA, to refine survey methodology and data collection tools, including survey instrument
and code book;
• Develop a data collection protocol and work with community partners to administer the
survey to all households in the community;
• Input survey results into a database, clean data, and analyze results, including by
integrating results from previous surveys to understand change over time; and
• Communicate results, including through formal write-ups, short research briefs, and
meetings with key stakeholders and community members to ensure results are widely
communicated and provide a pathway to rural community development.
In addition to working on the Westwood survey, the apprentice will have the opportunity to learn
about and support other aspects of work at the Sierra Institute, based on the apprentice’s interests
and the Institute’s needs. This may include:
• Contribute to planning and implementation of community workshops that measure socioeconomic conditions in Sierra Nevada forested communities;
• Support program planning efforts centered on workforce development in forest
• Conduct outreach, project support, and assessment efforts with programs supporting
forest restoration crews working in rural areas of the state as well as with Tribally-run
forestry crews;
• See Job Description for more


• Interest in environmental justice issues in rural communities;
• An undergraduate degree or other related experience in the social science, natural
resources or related field;
• Excellent written and oral communication skills;
• Experience with qualitative and/or quantitative social science research methods;
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel);
• A willingness to work and live in a rural, mountainous area that receives snow and ice in
• A team-oriented perspective with a productive level of self-guidance and initiative;
• An ability to bring critical thinking skills, creativity, and laughter to the workplace;
• A personal vehicle for transportation outside of work;
• Experience living and/or working in a rural setting and a strong desire to learn about rural
• Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Skills or experiences that can fill in for desired qualifications may be considered.
The Apprentice will have a commitment to environmental stewardship and promoting
economically vibrant and equitable rural communities.


$2,000/month, plus shared housing

Application instructions

Contact email: [email protected]

Send your resume, cover letter, and the contact information for your references as one pdf to [email protected] with the position title you are applying for in the subject line.

The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

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Equal Opportunity Employment

The posting employer has certified that this announcement complies with Peace Corps’ Equal Opportunity Employment policy:

The Peace Corps is committed to providing equal opportunity to all employees, Volunteers, and applicants for employment and volunteer service. Peace Corps policy prohibits discrimination and harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or over), disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, union membership, genetic information, or history of participation in the Equal Employment Opportunity process, grievance procedure, or any authorized complaint procedure.

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