Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center - Lake Washington Watershed Internships

The Lake Washington Watershed Internship offered at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center is a year-long program that assists teens in becoming informed stewards of their local community through mentoring, hands-on learning, restoration, and stream monitoring. Youth gain a greater understanding of the world around them while developing teaching and presentation skills, mentoring elementary-aged students about their local environment, and obtaining job experience. Watch the following video to learn more.

Interns participate in weekly after school meetings to develop their environmental science background, learn presentation and teaching skills, perform field investigations, engage with occasional guest speakers and take exciting field trips.

"If I had to choose one experience in my life that has changed me the most, I would have to choose the Lake Washington Watershed Internship. Before this Internship, I had no idea what a macroinvertebrate was, I couldn't talk in front of a group of people, and my experience teaching children was limited to babysitting and volunteering in my mom's classroom. Now, I have no fear of acting as a leader, can speak to groups of scientists with confidence and have become a resource for my friends when questions about the environmental arise. Though the most important impact this Internship has had is guiding me to my passion. Prior to the Internship, I was interested in conservation and sustainability, though did not plan on pursuing this area in the future. With each meeting, my passion for what we talked about grew and grew. My new-found interest in environmental conservation has led me to many amazing experiences that I would not have pursued without this Internship." -Madeline, Intern Since 2009

As a Lake Washington Watershed intern, youth have the opportunity to explore their local environment through outdoor experiences such as snowshoeing and canoeing. They also undertake trips to tour where our drinking water originates at the Cedar River Watershed, following its path as it travels through our communities and is eventually processed at Sewage Treatment Plants before being deposited into the Puget Sound.

"Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I have always loved the outdoors and I have always cherished nature, and that is what drove me to apply to the Lake Washington Watershed Internship. One of the most influential experiences of my life has been participating in this Internship at the Mercer Slough. The things that I have taken away from my experience are things that will help me in for the rest of my life. Entering the Internship my sophomore year, I was absolutely terrified of public speaking. Through the Internship I was pushed out of my comfort zone to teach lessons to elementary kids, and even teach family workshops. I have always enjoyed working with kids, but my time as an Intern has cemented the fact that my desire is to pursue a career working and interacting with children. At the Internship I gained a lot of courage, and not only did I drastically improve my confidence to speak in front of large groups, I also learned a lot of new information about environmental science that I would not have learned otherwise. From stream monitoring to participating in the Envirothon, I have been able to learn things in a hands-on way and I feel better prepared for my AP Environmental Science course as well as the future." - Allie, Intern Since 2009

Our internship year begins in October and ends the following September. Interested youth are encouraged to submit an application or contact us throughout the year.

If you have questions, please call (425) 450-0207 or email


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