Intern (GIS, Land & Resource Rights)

World Resources Institute (WRI)
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

Internships at WRI are learning experiences designed for current students, recent graduates, and other candidates who wish to gain knowledge about a specific area of our work. We strive to attract diverse, intellectually-driven candidates who have a passion for sustainability and development. WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all our programs.

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices. 

Program Overview

WRI’s Land and Resource Rights project aims to ensure that rural people and the urban poor have secure rights over their land and natural resources.

Rural people in developing countries are losing their land and natural resources because of insecure property rights, with negative effects on livelihoods, well-being, local environments, and ecosystem services. Land acquisitions by governments and companies that fail to meet minimum national or international standards contribute to this insecurity. Furthermore, rural people are increasingly migrating to ever expanding cities, contributing to informal settlements vulnerable to climate change and other environmental hazards.

WRI’s Land and Resource Rights (LRR) project aims to ensure secure property rights for rural people and the urban poor. Operating across Latin America, Africa, and Asia, our work focuses on connections between land and equitable access to forests, food, and water. We work with governments, civil society organizations, development agencies, and other actors to strengthen land, resource, and property rights as a path to poverty reduction, sustainable development, and environmental management.

Internship Summary

WRI’s Land and Resource Rights team seeks a GIS Intern to support LandMark: The Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands. LandMark is the first online, interactive global platform to provide maps and other critical information on lands that are collectively held and used by Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The global platform is designed to help these people protect and secure their land rights. The intern will support the development of LandMark by collecting new maps and other information to further populate the platform’s existing data layers; working with the LandMark team to add new data layers; and conducting some analysis of the data/information on LandMark.

Learning Outcomes

The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

  • GIS analysis
  • Developing online map-based platforms
  • Conducting online research
  • Assisting in organizing and analyzing data
  • Supporting research on land rights
  • Supporting project development

Internship Qualifications

  • Required: Must have experience with ArcGIS software and working with online maps (e.g., ArcGIS Online)
  • Interest and experience in environmental science, international relations, or other related field
  • Strong communications skills with excellent written and oral skills
  • Creativity and interest in innovative approaches and technologies
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently as well as part of a team

General Internship Requirements

  • Applicants must have personal health insurance coverage.
  • US work authorization is required for this opportunity. WRI does not sponsor interns for visas.


This is a paid internship.


This is a full-time, 4-month internship with flexible start and end dates based on the candidate’s availability.  There is option to extend 2 additional months (6 months total) depending on funding availability.

How to Apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.