College Student Summer Internships

Photograph of three student interns lying on the ground underneath some solar panels that are placed on sawhorses.

Sandia interns mounting photovoltaic modules onto a sun tracker at the Crownpoint Institute of Technology.

Student Internship Program, 2002-2014

  • 31 undergraduate and graduate interns have participated in the Tribal Energy Program Student Internship Program
  • 18 different tribal affiliations have been represented
  • 15 different student majors have been represented
  • 29% of interns were converted to year-round status (9 of 31)
  • 13% of interns were hired as full-time employees or Sandia contractors (4 of 31)
  • 55% of interns were female students hired based on merit and competitive selection process (17 out of 31)
Photograph of four student interns standing on a ridge with wind turbines in the background.

Field visit to New Mexico Wind Center — 2004 interns (pictured left to right): Benjamin Mar, Colin Ben, Deborah Tewa, and Jennifer Coots.

Current full-time technical undergraduates and graduate students—who are familiar with Native American culture and tribal issues—are needed to support Tribal Energy Program efforts with technical project tasks. As Tribal Energy Program student interns, they'll assist a cross-disciplinary team to perform specific tasks at Sandia National Laboratories.

Internship interactions will be with Sandia's renewable energy staff, Native American tribes interested in renewable systems, and Sandia's American Indian Outreach Committee. Instant immersion in these activities is offered to work directly with experienced and internationally recognized peers. Travel will be required, including field visits to renewable energy projects.


Student applicants must be U.S. citizens, and there is a preference for Native Americans, defined as members of federally recognized Tribes, Alaska Native villages, or Alaska Corporations (excludes state-recognized tribes; bands or groups; and first peoples of Guam or Hawaii). Specific interest in renewable energy is required.

Application Process

For information on the internship application process, see the 2014 Summer Internship Program announcement or contact Sandra Begay-Campbell at 505-844-5418 or

Hands-On Experience

Interns will gain experience with the following renewable energy systems:

  • On-grid photovoltaic (PV) installations — New Mexico
  • Off-grid PV electricity system — Arizona and New Mexico
  • Off-grid PV/small wind hybrid system — Arizona, Utah (Navajo), and California (Ramona)
  • Large-scale commercial wind farm — New Mexico (Taiban Mesa)
  • Solar power tower — New Mexico (Sandia Labs)
  • Distributed energy resource systems: large PV array, microturbine, fuel cell, large battery bank — New Mexico (Sandia Labs).

Distributed energy resource systems: large PV array, microturbine, fuel cell, large battery bank — New Mexico (Sandia Labs).

See all of the past student intern research reports.

Past Interns

Learn more about the college student interns from past summers, including their research papers, educational backgrounds, testimonials, and photos.

  • 2012: Nora Cata, Chelsea Chee, Colleen Cooley
  • 2011: Tammie Allen, Gepetta Billie, Chelsea Chee, and Devin Dick
  • 2010: Gepetta Billie, Joni Fuenmayor, Prestene Garnerez, and Logan Slock
  • 2009: Gepetta Billie, Prestene Garnerez, and Suzanne Singer
  • 2008: Gepetta Billie, Amanda Montoya, Carson Pete, and Suzanne Singer
  • 2007: Terry Battiest, Nick Johnson and Cherylin Wilson
  • 2006: Terry Battiest, Jonathan Biron, and Lani Tsinnajinnie
  • 2005: Jennifer Coots, Tanya Martinez, and Deborah Tewa
  • 2004: Colin Ben, Jennifer Coots, Benjamin Mar, and Deborah Tewa
  • 2003: Keith Candelaria, Velissa Sandoval, and Shaun Tsabetsaye
  • 2002: Deborah Tewa