The Arava Institute is home to five renowned research centers, each with its own environmental mission and applied technology. Each year, the Arava Institute accepts interns who focus their research in one or two of these centers. We welcome interns from varied backgrounds including the social sciences and the hard sciences.

An internship at the Arava Institute is an opportunity to contribute substantively to transboundary research while gaining valuable experience in the academic or professional field of their choice. Institute interns work on a defined project while learning about their faculty advisor’s area of specialization and about the broader complexities of trans-boundary research, education, and management. Interns develop skills in environmental research and development, environmental policy, or non-profit management; gain important professional contacts; and become a vital part of the global network of accomplished Arava Institute alumni.

Depending on the length of their internship, Arava Institute interns often become integrated into the student body at the Institute. By living and learning with others interns and students from the Middle East and abroad, interns form friendships and develop skills that will enable them to lead the region in solving environmental challenges through partnership and mutual understanding. Interns participate with students on educational field trips, PELS sessions, and extracurricular activities such as culture night and holidays.



Shae Selix, Research Intern

head_shotShae Selix is a third generation Californian who interned at the Arava Center for Transboundary Water Management from September 2012 until June 2013. He graduated in 2012 from Brown University with a BS in Environmental Science and would eventually like to work at an environmental consulting firm or as an EDA federal agent. In addition to his long running interests in the environment, peacebuilding, and politics, he is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and plays the ukulele.

During his internship at Arava, Shae used GIS technology to map the Hebron Stream as part of a long-term project conducted by the Center for Transboundary Water Management. The heavily polluted stream begins near the city of Hebron in the West Bank and flows through Bedouin villages, Israeli cities, and then Gaza before finally entering the Mediterranean Sea. Along the way, the stream flows through a collection of urban and industrial areas where people are dumping into the stream and making it unusable. “I’d like to think of my work as describing politics,” Shae says, pointing out the mapping he is doing clearly shows that despite contentious boundaries, the land and water are shared. “It may be cheaper to dump pollutants on vulnerable land,” he says, “but then it just comes back to hurt (the polluters).” The data he collected was incorporated into online maps, which will be used to engage stakeholders along the route of the stream. In Fall 2013, Shae starts a master’s in public health at Yale University. He hopes to come back to the Middle East to work on water pollution in the future.

Shae says he was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the fellow students and interns at the Arava Institute.  While the Institute is based in a Jewish country and on a Jewish kibbutz, students and interns reside in a mixture of different cultures on our campus.  Shae would regularly hear multiple languages spoken every day, and not just English, Hebrew, and Arabic.  He says, “AIES really seems to attract worldly people who have a strong desire to meet people different from themselves.”

Amelie Joseph, Research Intern

amc3a9lie-josephAmélie Joseph interned for the Arava Center for Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) in Spring 2012. Amélie, originally from France, came to Israel with the goal to delve deep into environmental and agricultural issues, and learn about peace building and cooperation. Currently, Amelie lives in England, where she volunteers in a community-run café/art gallery which promotes local artists and environmentally-minded projects. She is also deepening her knowledge of permaculture, learning about local community initiatives in England and in France, and photographing the local wildlife.

Amelie reflects on her LTSER internship, saying, “Not only did it allow me to do interesting work around environmental services, acacia trees, and to widely extend my knowledge about environmental issues in the Middle East, but it gave me a unique opportunity to deeply discuss peace, politics, sustainability, life with amazing people from Israel, Palestine, Jordan and all over the world. As a non-Jewish European girl who came to Israel almost by chance, this experience was priceless. And now that I am out of the “bubble”, I realize I gained confidence on my ability to be the change that I want to see in the world.”


To apply for an internship, and to learn more, click here.