Recruiting for 5 new campus sustainability opportunities


Student leaders in sustainability, energy, and environment gathered at a campus sustainability effort kickoff meeting in September 2015.

Do you have a passion for sustainability? Do you want to make a real difference on campus? Become an iSEE intern for the Spring 2016 semester! The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) is searching for undergraduate students to lead a variety of campus sustainability projects. Scroll for a list and full descriptions of each position.

All positions are offered for course credit through the ENVS 491: Sustainability Experiences course. Find a syllabus for the course here. Three sections of this course are available for different positions. Please pay attention to the course and section listed (in parentheses) for each position.

All position applications are due by 11:59p.m. Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. Application link.


Campus Sustainability Interns/ SWATeam Clerks (ENVS 491 SWA)

iSEE is looking for three students to support the Sustainability Working Advisory Teams (SWATeams) with their day-to-day operations.

SWATeams are topical teams charged with reviewing and suggesting strategies to help the university campus meet its Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) goals. As SWATeam Clerks, these interns will be responsible for scheduling meetings, preparing minutes, working with iSEE Staff Liaisons to post materials on the iCAP Portal website, assisting with the preparation of reports, performing data analysis or background research as needed, assisting with the preparation of formal recommendations and assisting with the development of scope for proposed sustainability studies.

Clerks may enroll in the ENVS 491 SWA Section to receive one course credit hour. The class’s syllabus can be found here.  As a student in ENVS 491, interns are  expected to spend an average of four hours per week per credit hour on SWATeam-related activities. The interns will meet with SWATeam Chairs at least once per week to review progress and identify activities they can engage in to support the team’s work.

The SWATeam Clerk position is ideal for freshmen and sophomore undergraduates with excellent written and oral communications and a desire to start earning  relevant sustainability experience on campus. In the context of ENVS 491, the chair of your SWATeam will serve as your Advisor for the course.

Please apply using this link:

You can learn more about the six SWATeams’ roles on campus in the formal Campus Sustainability Procedure.


Energy Conservation Engagement Intern – ENVS 491 CSI

iSEE’s Energy Conservation and Building Standards SWATeam seeks a student intern to explore possibilities for new energy conservation initiatives on campus. Over the last few semesters, the team has examined programs implemented by other universities — such as Longhorn Lights Out at University of Texas at Austin, Friday Night Lights at Purdue University, and the famous “Earth Hour,” whereby entire campuses or cities go dark for one hour.

We are looking for an intern to do the following:

  • Research in more depth the two lights out programs mentioned above and consider the pros and cons of an Earth Hour.
  • Research additional energy conservation programs at other universities, such as power strip usage in the dorms, and arrange more specific consultation with the two or three other universities that we selected.
  • In consultation with the ECBS SWATeam, draw up draft plans for implementing one or two engagement projects.  Include cost projections.

Please apply using this link:


Green Labs Initiative Development Intern – ENVS 491 CSI

Great potential exists for energy conservation in campus labs, which often contain high energy consuming equipment. The idea of Green Labs is to change lab user behavior and install new technologies to improve lab energy efficiency.  Such programs have been successfully implemented at other universities, such as the University of Texas a Austin, Yale, and Stanford. Programs have included fume hood behaviors, installing timers on lab equipment and changing the set points on freezers. Many have incorporated competitions between units to incentivize users.

The Green Labs Initiative Development Intern will do the following:

  • Research the Green Labs initiatives at other universities.
  • Present the results of the research to members of the ECBS for the team to select two or three that would work for this campus to emulate.
  • Arrange more specific consultation with the two or three universities that we selected.
  • Draw up draft plans for a Green Labs Initiative here, in consultation with Fred Hahn and Karl Helmink, in particular.

Please apply using this link:


Dump & Run Recycling Intern – ENVS 491 CSI

The Dump & Run Recycling Intern will spearhead efforts to formally integrate campus’s largest community-sponsored move-out programs into the University Housing student move-out and move-in experience. Working alongside the University YMCA, which currently coordinates the program, this individual will be responsible for all marketing and communications efforts and reporting on the economic and environmental impact of the program in its new home.

This position requires four to five hours of work per week with advisors from iSEE and the University YMCA. The position begins February 2016 and carries on through the Spring 2016 semester.

Intern responsibilities include:

  • Develop a communications strategy, utilizing various media methods of publicizing the program to students in University Housing, Private Certified Housing, apartments and Greek Life.
  • Research and implement creative communications methods from other campus move-out recycling programs at other universities.
  • Develop a strategy to collect information on the quantity and type of items donated including weights and volumes for the total items diverted from the waste stream by the program.
  • Develop surveys of students and staff in University of Illinois housing facilities about waste generated during move out and general attitudes towards recycling.
  • Survey collection host sites in May 2016 to estimate the amount of waste both diverted and not diverted by the program.
  • Other coordination duties, such as working with potential collection sites.

Please apply using this link:


Student Sustainability Committee Working Groups Members – ENVS 491 SSC

The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) awards more than $1.1 million in grants and loans to campus sustainability projects. Help decide what your sustainability student fee dollars support by becoming an SSC Working Group member.

Working groups explore possible projects for future funding within each of SSC’s five focus areas:

  • Education
  • Energy
  • Food and Waste
  • Land and Water
  • Transportation

Group members pre-review each funding application and make a recommendation to the full committee for project funding. Each working group is chaired by a student SSC member and advised by a faculty or staff SSC member.

All members of SSC Working Groups are eligible to receive one hour of pass/fail class credit in ENVS 491 – Section SSC.  The only requirements to receive the credit are regular attendance at working group meetings and participation in proposal evaluation.

Working group schedules will be finalized during the first two weeks of the semester, so enroll soon! Email Micah Kenfield, SSC Coordinator, at for more information or to enroll.