Internship in Sustainability

Training the next generation of sustainability leaders

Utilizing campus as a living-learning lab, our internship program enlists students as researchers in investigating important questions facing our community. Co-mentored by staff in operations and faculty members, students conduct research and develop programming focused on general sustainability outreach and education or in specific topic areas aligned through IU's commitment to sustainability.

Interns work 20 hours/week in the summer and around 12-15 hours/week during the academic year, and participate in a weekly seminar designed to provide students a background in sustainability and a forum for collaborating. This helps us connect Hoosiers to the environment and each other, fostering a commitment to service, cultivating lasting friendships and a connection to broader sustainability initiatives.

Applications for 2020-2021 are open until February 10, 2020 at 11:59pm. View position descriptions below.

Apply Now!

Have questions about the internship? Come to our Open House on Friday, January 24, 2020 from 12-1pm at the E-House (704 E. 10th St.)!

Why we are connecting students for a greater impact

Interns are high achieving and actively involved students who hail from all academic departments, and serve in various capacities to sustain IU. While supporting research and teaching, sustainability's most direct contribution, when it comes to academics, is to give students opportunities to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world, whether on or off campus. The heart of this is our internship program, is using the campus as a learning lab, where our students lead change in the areas of transportation, energy, food, recycling, and more.

Read more about our internship focus areas


This coming summer, the Campus Farm will be entering its 3rd year serving the IU campus, having started with a Sustainability Innovation Fund Proposal in 2017.  The Campus Farm intern will get plenty of hands on learning in sustainable food systems-learning and participating in growing, harvesting, food safety, pricing/economics, and maintaining a strong grower-buyer relationship with IU dining. The farm intern also helps create and facilitate academic engagement with the farm, working with faculty to coordinate class visits and organizing volunteer work from interested campus groups.  A key role for this year’s farm intern will be to help plan and execute student engagement at the farm, with Saturday volunteer opportunities and extra-curricular activities to engage students.  
The student must be enthusiastic about sustainable food systems, willing to get their hands dirty and able to work outside in warm weather!  Preference will given to students with some experience and/or training in gardening. Comfort leading small and large groups is also important.

The farm  intern will be mentored by James Farmer, Associate Professor in O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and will work closely with Farm Manager and Educator, Erin Carman-Sweeney.

The Hilltop Garden intern runs the Rent-a-Plot program at Hilltop. The program makes available space for interested students, staff, or faculty to learn basic gardening in their "own" space. Geared towards beginning gardeners, managing the program involves teaching basic gardening techniques, ensuring basic maintenance and engagement with assigned spaces, and coordinating "work and learn" days.  The intern is not required to be an expert, but should have some basic gardening skills. The intern will attend Food Working group meetings and share successes and opportunities at Hilltop during that meeting and with the campus community.  The intern must be an excellent collaborator and small group leader, capable of recruiting faculty/staff to help with "work and learn" days.  Over the course of the year, the position works out to about 50% labor in the garden and about 50% coordination/administration of the Rent-a-Plot program.

The ideal candidate will be organized, comfortable leading small groups, and have some gardening experience.  An ability to work independently is critical, as is a willingness to ask questions!

The Hilltop Garden intern will be mentored by Kaylie Scherer, Hilltop Garden Manager.  

This position works across commitment areas within Sustain IU to strengthen the brand through the development of written, visual, and graphic content to promote campus sustainability efforts. This intern will manage Sustain IU's social media presence, take and edit photos, create graphics for the web and print, assist in maintaining the Sustain IU website, and develop/curate content for the Sustain IU newsletter to highlight current events and initiatives.

Attendance at involvement fairs, resource fairs, and other events is an important part of this work, and may require occasional evening and weekend work. Strong journalism, creative writing, or graphic design background required. Experience using Adobe Creative Suite, strong graphic design skills, photography skills, attention to detail and grammatical accuracy required.

This intern will be mentored by Anisa Valenzuela, Sustainability Specialist at Sustain IU.

The EBE intern will support and lead the work of the Energy and Built Environment working group. Though the duties in this position can (and likely will change), the student can expect research, data analysis, and writing to be core components of the work. IU is in the process of reviewing its green building standards, so the intern may play a role in finalizing that policy and/or implementation and assessment. The intern will also have an opportunity to support ongoing IU work in the areas of building performance optimization, green labs, and renewable energy.

Ideal candidates will be passionate about the topic, be adaptable to rapidly shifting work priorities, and be enthusiastic about using data, research and excellent writing to influence university policy. Competitive candidates will be organized and have strong analytical skills.

The intern will work directly with the University Director of Sustainability, Andrew Predmore, and collaborate with working group co-chairs, Mark Menefee, Assistant Director of Utilities, and Chip Glaholt, Instructor and Lab Director, O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

This student will work to engage various campus members in daily sustainability work, in an effort to improve the culture of campus sustainability in a collaborative way. The intern will be responsible for promoting the Green Events program, and engaging faculty-staff Green Teams in important Sustain IU efforts, like the Energy Challenge. This intern will also serve as a liaison for various student groups, including Greek organizations and Eco Reps.

Attendance at involvement fairs, resource fairs, and other events is an important part of this work, and may require occasional evening and weekend work. This position is responsible for engaging a wide variety of groups, so applicants must be driven, an effective  communicator, and comfortable in a variety of social settings. Successful applicants will enjoy collaboration, be comfortable with public speaking, be highly organized, self-starters, and experienced with document management and record keeping, as well as event management.

This intern will be mentored by Anisa Valenzuela, Sustainability Specialist at Sustain IU.

The Environmental Quality and Land Use Working Group is  currently working in three main areas: 1) expanding the IU Bloomington GIS tree inventory to all IU regional campuses; 2) implementing plans to reduce the use of pesticide and herbicide application on the Bloomington campus; and 3) mapping non-native invasive plans on the Bloomington campus and developing a management plan, likely in collaboration with the Hoosier National Forest. In addition to supporting work in all three areas, the intern will help coordinate and lead the working group. The intern will become a integral part of Landscape Services operations, with opportunities to contribute to other projects, like the new Landscape Services Compost facility, supported by the Sustain IU Innovation fund.  

Ideal candidates will be enthusiastic and have some training in ecology and landscape management. Preference will be given to students with interest and abilities in GIS and field work.

This intern works closely with the Assistant Director of Landscape Services, Mike Girvin, O'Neill School Lecturer, Jon Eldon, and University Director of Sustainability, Andrew Predmore.

This intern will work with diverse groups toward's IU's goal of increasing REAL Food on the Bloomington campus. REAL food refers to Local, Ecological, Fair Trade, and Humane.  The student will lead and facilitate the Food Working Group, partnering with IU Dining, Healthy IU, The Campus Farm, Sustainable Food System Science, and the Food Institute. In the summer and fall, the student's time will focus on spreading engagement in sustainable food, including planning and executing Big Red Eats Green, an annual sustainable food fair that showcases Real Food vendors in IU Dining.  In the late fall and spring semesters, this student will assess and communicate data concerning Real Food procurement from the previous year. The Sustainable Food Intern may collaborate with the Engagement Intern on other campus food initiatives or promotions as well. 

Ideal candidates will be excellent collaborators, have  passion and knowledge of sustainable food systems, and have interest in tracking progress towards IU's Real Food goals. Applicants should be highly organized, good planners, and have familiarity with Microsoft Excel. 

The Food intern will be co-mentored by Carl Ipsen, Food Institute Director and History Faculty; Rahul Shrivastav, IU Dining Director; and Makayla Bonney, Assistant Director of Sustainability at Sustain IU.

This intern will work across commitment areas to increase participation in sustainability on campus, focused on short and long term behavior change initiatives. This intern will work alongside the Energy and Built Environment working group and the Utility information group to increase water and energy conservation on the IUB campus through coordination of a campus-wide Energy Challenge.

Duties will include examining data for trends and inconsistencies, assisting in the creation of communication and engagement materials related to behavior programming, tabling at events, and other duties as assigned. This intern will develop expertise in behavior change campaigns and may have opportunities to apply those skills  in other areas like waste minimization. Ideal candidates will have excellent interpersonal skills, a strong interest in behavior change and communications,  and a passion to create measurable progress in sustainability.

This intern will be mentored by Anisa Valenzuela, Sustainability Specialist at Sustain IU.

Sustain IU collaborates with the Integrative Program in Environment (IPE) to increase the quantity and quality of research and teaching in sustainability at IU.  Though sustainability research and teaching continues to be strong at IU, one area of improvement is in the undergraduate general education requirements.  This intern will work closely with IPE and a small group of faculty to develop and steward a proposal to include sustainability as a "shared goal" within the IUB general education curriculum. The intern will also support sustainability teaching and research grant programs, as well as a summer faculty workshop on sustainability teaching. Finally, the student may be involved in attracting, coordinating and hosting sustainability speakers.

Candidates should be interested in sustainability research and teaching and sustainability in higher education.  The student will work directly with the Director of the Integrated Program in Environment, Sarah Mincey. Excellent organizational skills, writing, and public speaking ability are required.

This student will assist in managing the Indiana Sustainability Development Program (ISDP) throughout the academic year. ISDP partners with Indiana-based private, public, and nonprofit organizations to place sustainability students across the State to provide solutions-based sustainability expertise during the summer. The ISDP Program Management intern will be responsible for promoting the program in a variety of ways, supporting the Program Manager's vision and exploring opportunities to advance our statewide impact. This student will concentrate on partner recruitment in the fall by reaching out to prospective hosts and evaluating partner applications. This students will also support student recruitment by means of student outreach, alumni engagement, and application review as well as planning and preparing for the 3-day sustainability training, Boot camp, through the spring semester. 

Attendance at recruitment events, student clubs, involvement fairs, and other events is an important part of this work and may require occasional evening or weekend work. This position is responsible for engaging with a wide variety of groups, so applicants must be self-driven, effective communicators, and comfortable in a variety of settings. Successful applicants will thrive on collaboration, comfortable with public speaking, highly organized, self-started, and have experience with document management, detailed record keeping, event management, and other duties as assigned.

Qualified applicants must be ISDP alumni or have the intent of completing an ISDP externship before the 2020-2021 school year. Note: ISDP externship applications are separate from Sustain IU internship applications. This intern will be mentored by Danni Schaust, ISDP Program Manager at Sustain IU.

Sustain IU

Office of Sustainability
704 E. 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47408
Phone: 812.855.9195