As part of its ongoing education activities, Southface offers a limited number of internships to qualified applicants as training for the benefit of each intern. The internships are intended to provide meaningful and challenging learning in a fast-paced organizational environment. Academic credit is available when applicable to curriculum.

The Southface Energy Institute, located in Atlanta, GA is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance. The Southface Energy and Environmental Resource Center , located in downtown Atlanta , has been our organizational headquarters since July 1996. It is a professional work environment. The resource center is also a demonstration home for alternative energy technologies and building systems that are practical for buildings in the Southeast region and beyond. The features include, but are not limited to, a photovoltaic (PV) shingle roof, geothermal heating and cooling, structural insulated panel (SIP) construction, a range of energy-efficient appliances, green products (non-toxic, reused, recycled and/or recyclable), water-efficient landscaping and alternative transportation options.


The strength of our internship program is in part related to the wide diversity of people who have added their strengths to our organization and its mission. Southface accepts undergraduates, college graduates, or those who have an equivalent level of work and educational experience. We have a special need for self-motivated people who have knowledge in and a willingness to learn about the following areas:

* Sustainable building construction, design, and research
* Building Science
* Mechanical and Civil Engineering
* Architecture
* City and Urban Planning
* LEED™ – a national standard for green commercial buildings
* EarthCraft House – the residential green building program in Georgia
* Environmental and economic issues in relation to the use of energy and resources, particularly in conjunction with building technology and development
* Atlanta regional sustainability issues
* Nonprofit management and program development in the environmental sector
* Outreach to promote our mission: public relations, marketing, graphic design, event planning

Time Commitment

Internships in the Southface Internship Program usually last a minimum of six months and can be prearranged for up to a year. A longer duration may be arranged through the internship coordinator and will depend on performance during initial months. Applications are accepted at all times of the year. Interns work and train 40 hours per week based on a five-day working week. Schedules are generally centered around business hours, 9AM to 5 PM. Weekend and evening work will be scheduled occasionally.

Financial Compensation and Accommodation

The internship package includes:

* Financial stipend
* Shared housing (when available)
* Free mass transit passes

Southface offers stipends to help interns meet their personal financial needs. The stipend is $100 per week, paid every two weeks as determined by the regular Southface pay schedule.

In addition, when available, we provide shared, co-ed housing for interns. Housing is limited, so Southface is constrained by the number of interns accepted with housing needs.

Southface provides transportation for interns traveling to and from work by the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority), Atlanta ‘s commuter rail network.

Projects and Responsibilities

The Southface Internship program is divided into two tracks –Southface and EarthCraft House. All interns spend approximately one half or more of their time assisting staff with on-going activities. This may include helping with the Southface “hotline,” answering questions about Southface activities, conducting research, maintaining membership databases, preparing mailings, managing the in-house recycling program, coordinating events and participating in meetings and planning. Interns participate in giving tours to local groups, explaining energy and building technologies to these groups and to the public. Interns are also expected to greet and assist visitors to the Resource Center on a daily basis. Interns provide assistance to staff and visitors at other educational programs (such as the monthly roundtable) and with facility maintenance. EarthCraft House interns assist in technical services (such as energy audits). Some of these activities also involve physical work, related to light construction, landscaping and building maintenance.

Once an intern demonstrates reliability and capability, more of their time will be spent on special project work directly with project managers. Some examples are setting up and staffing exhibits at trade shows, conducting research or writing articles for our quarterly journal and other magazines, participating in industry and government-sponsored projects, policy research, assisting with hands-on workshops, participating in speaking engagements to promote Southface’s mission and interfacing directly with builders in our EarthCraft House program.

As part of the educational experience, interns may participate in classes and seminars in a support role as time or space allows. Educational programs at Southface offer a unique opportunity to learn about the practical applications of sustainability and building science.

Southface internships are offered to benefit the training of future environmental leaders.

The Southface Energy Institute is committed to a policy of non-discrimination.

© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine,, Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine,, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.