Summer Intern to assist the Town’s Climate Action Plan Committee

Posting for the Center for Environmental Studies – Williams College, Williamstown, MA

Summer Internship location:  Town of Needham, Massachusetts 02492

Position: Summer Intern to assist the Town’s Climate Action Plan Committee

Department: Department of Public Works & Building Design and Construction Department

Dates: Flexible during Summer of 2022 (approximately 37.5 hrs. /week)

Internship Description: 

The Town of Needham is forming a Climate Action Plan Committee (CAPC) to create a Climate Action Plan for Needham. Needham is in the western suburbs of Boston.   (For more details about the town see  This 9-member volunteer CAPC will include members from the community with a background and interest in enhancing this Green Community’s commitment to sustainability.  The following charge was created by the Needham Select Board:

Climate Action Plan Committee (CAPC) shall guide the Town in developing a plan that meets or exceeds the State’s climate mitigation and resilience goals.  The Committee will make recommendations to the Select Board on approval of a Climate Action Plan (CAP), and may be asked to continue to serve as an advisory committee to oversee the implementation of the CAP. 

Charge: The CAPC shall:

  1. Review the Town’s climate-related data (GHG inventory, energy consumption, vulnerability assessments, hazard mitigation plans, etc.). 
  2. Seek guidance and establish a program to create a GHG inventory for the entire Town of Needham including pass through traffic, residential, commercial, and municipal. 
  3. Recommend for adoption to the Select Board long-term climate action goals that focus on reducing greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions and building resilience within and across the Town’s residential, commercial, and municipal sectors, including roadmaps of steps to achieve goals.
  4. Recommend for adoption to the Select Board target dates, benchmarks and/or annual/interannual climate mitigation goals to achieve climate action goals.  
  5. Plan and prioritize cross-sector efforts to reduce Town’s GHG emissions and build climate resilience. 
  6. Recommend to the Select Board programs and policies to implement GHG reduction goals and climate resilience planning in such areas as, but not limited to: 
    1. Energy, including reduction, source, and generation; 
    2. Built environment including permitting, zoning, siting and code for new construction and renovations for municipal, school, commercial, industrial, and residential structures;
    3. Transportation systems; 
    4. Land use; 
    5. Water, Sewer & Stormwater;
    6. Waste management; 
    7. Infrastructure; and
    8.  Open space, agriculture and forestry.
  7. Develop a Climate Action Plan for the Select Board’s review and approval that includes: 
    1. Definition of the climate action goals for each decade through 2050, with a focus on the next decade;
    2. Strategic options and incentives that seek to overcome barriers to implementation of climate action goals; 
    3. Recommendations for any structural changes, resource, or staffing recommendations that would assist in implementation; 
    4. Actions to protect environmental justice communities from disproportionate effects of climate change; 
    5. Recommendations for implementing the plan across all sectors of the Town;  
    6.  Measures that assist in tracking and reporting Town’s progress towards fulfilling climate action goals; and
    7.  Funding opportunities the Town should consider. 

Reports: The CAPC shall report at least semi-annually to the Select Board on the following:

  • Progress towards climate action goals; 
  • Measures taken to reduce emissions and build resilience;
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness and implementation of these measures; 
  • Funding needed to enable initiatives recommended by the CAPC; and 
  • Community education and engagement. 


The Environmental Intern will assist in research and reporting on the various topics noted above for presentation to the Committee. The Intern will work directly with the two Town staff members assigned to support the committee, Cecilia Simchak, DPW Director of Finance & Administration and Hank Haff (Williams ’75), Director of Building Design & Construction.  The Intern will be given a desk at the Public Services Administration Building, 500 Dedham Ave, Needham, MA but some of the research assignments can be done remotely.  The Town does not have funding for food and lodging for the summer intern, and the position will not offer any town employment benefits.


If you are interested in discussing more about this Internship opportunity, please email:

Hank Haff – at [email protected] with your resume and to set up a call date / time.