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Sustainability Internships

Summer Internships 2016

The College is again sponsoring sustainability-related summer internships for students enrolled in undergraduate programs in the College. The purpose of these internships is to provide UR students with opportunities to contribute to faculty sustainability research and course development projects, and research and development projects that contribute directly to a more sustainable UR campus.  The College will provide a $1000 stipend and free campus housing for the months of June and July to selected students. (Please note that the offer of free campus housing cannot be converted into funds for off campus housing.) Interested students may apply by email, by sending a resume and letter of interest to Prof. Randall Curren ( The letter should indicate the specific internship(s) sought. Applications will close February 27th and assignments will be announced by the end of March.

Professor Karen Berger (EES & Coordinator of College Sustainability Studies) will sponsora summer intern to assist in background research and data collection for a book on quantitative environmental problem solving.  Tasks will include online research for reliable data sources, updating data tables, and developing numerical examples and supporting figures. Qualifications: The intern should have an interest in environmental science, strong organizational skills, and the ability to work independently.

Professor Randall Curren (Chair, Philosophy) and Professor James Zavislan (Associate Dean for Education, Hajim School of Engineering) will co-sponsor an intern to assist in the collection and evaluation of existing resources for teaching sustainability and related ethical aspects of professionalism in the engineering curriculum.  The evaluation component of this will include assessment of the educational value of the resources for engineering students, in the context of evolving standards of professional practice, emerging employment opportunities, and societal needs.  The intern will undertake the required background research, screen teaching materials, and provide written assessments.  Qualifications: The intern should have completed a substantial portion of an engineering major, and should have an interest in sustainability and ethics, strong communication skills, and the ability to work independently and collaboratively.

Amy Kadrie (Sustainability Coordinator) will sponsor an intern who would ideally engage in both sustainability research (20 hours/week) and the duties of a Facilities Sustainability Assistant (20 hours/week). The ideal candidate will have a background and interest in environmental sustainability. The person will use independent judgment to assist the Recycling Coordinator with evaluating and improving recycling and sustainability programs, as well as with the preliminary research and proposals required for the creation of new programs.  Note: This position cannot be held along with any elected positions on student sustainability group executive boards, due to the confusion this creates in expectations and responsibilities.  Qualifications: The intern should have a background in sustainability, strong verbal and written communication skills, and effective networking and organizational skills.

Professor Leila Nadir (Sustainability & Environmental Humanities) seeks an intern to assist with course development for her community-engaged fall 2016 course on food justice and urban farming in the city of Rochester.  The ideal candidate will become a Teaching Assistant in the fall course (CAS 250/ENG 242).  The intern will work closely with Seedfolk City Farm over the summer, developing relationships with staff, becoming familiar with the organization, assisting with marketing, and learning to compost and garden with local youth.  In addition, the intern will assist in the development of a Cultural Competence for Social Engagement Training in collaboration with Rochester Center for Community Leadership.  This internship will be part of the student's training to become an effective TA and skilled liaison between UR students and Seedfolk youth workers in fall 2016.  Qualifications: Ideal candidates will have previously taken Environmental Humanities courses.

Professor Jon Tresan (Philosophy) will sponsor an intern to assist him in designing a new course in Environmental Ethics, which will have a substantial focus on sustainability.  The intern’s tasks would include reading and evaluating teaching material in environmental ethics, screening texts for strength of sustainability content, relevance for current issues, interest, level of difficulty, and other factors.  Qualifications: The intern should have interest in environmental issues, sustainability, and ethics, strong communication skills, and ability to work independently and collaboratively.

Professor James Zavislan (Associate Dean for Education, Hajim School of Engineering) and Professor Stephen McAleavey (Biomedical Engineering) will co-sponsor an intern to work on a project in international engagement and sustainability in engineering.   The goal of this internship would be to shape the curriculum of an introductory, interdisciplinary course in engineering. The intern’s tasks will include background research on engineering approaches to sustainability and their application in several countries representing a range of economic development. The intern will also read and evaluate teaching materials related to this topic.  Qualifications:  The intern should be a student within the Hajim School and have an interest in international engagement and the ways that engineering and applied science can address issues in sustainability.  The intern should have strong organizational skills and the ability to work independently and collaboratively. Study abroad experience is highly desirable.

Professor Cary Peppermint (Art & Art History) seeks a Sustainability intern to assist with the design and production of a website for the academic program in Sustainability.  Qualifications: Candidates must have proficiency in CSS, html5, WordPress, PhotoShop. Experience in art and design preferred.

Past Summer Internships

Since 2010, the School of Arts, Sciences and Engineering has funded six Sustainability internships each summer.  The following is a list of projects and supervising faculty.


  • Facilities Sustainability Assistant
    • Pat Beaumont (Director Support Operations) & Amy Kadrie (Recycling Coordinator)
  • STARS assessment (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ program)
    • Professor Karen Berger (EES & Coordinator of College Sustainability Studies), Patricia Beaumont (Director of Support Operations), and Cam Schauf (Director of Dining and Auxiliary Services)
  • Editing manuscript and grant-writing
    • Professor Kristin Doughty (Anthropology) 
  • Environmental Humanities course development
    • Professor Leila Nadir (Sustainability Studies)
  • New media environmental art collaborative
    • Professor Cary Peppermint (Art & Art History) 
  • Biofuel research
    • Professor David Wu (Chemical Engineering)


  • Sustainability issues and how they are perceived in China
    • Professor John Osburg (Anthropology)
  • Facilities Sustainability Assistant
    • Pat Beaumont (Director Support Operations) & Amy Kadrie (Recycling Coordinator)
  • Policies and practices pertaining to carbon offsets for business travel
    • Professor Randall Curren (Philosophy)
  • Case studies related to environmental health policy
    • Professor Katrina Korfmacher (Environmental Medicine)
  • Molecular biology approach to study the microbial enzyme systems of biofuels
    • Professor David Wu (Chemical Engineering)


  • list not avilable


  • Enzymatic Breakdown of Cellulosic Biomass for the Conversion to Biofuels
    • Sponsor:  David Wu, Chemical Engineering
  • Animal Research and Rural-Urban Environmental Connections
    • Sponsors:  Leila Nadir, Sustainability and Cary Peppermint, Art and Art History
  • Sustainability in Study-Abroad Courses
    • Sponsors:  Jackie Levine, Study Abroad and Karen Berger, Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Education and Research Metrics for STARS
    • Sponsor:  Karen Berger, Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Operations and Planning Metrics for STARS
    • Sponsor:  Pat Beaumont, Support Operations
  • Forest Preservation in South Campus Woods
    • Sponsors:  Justin and Tara Ramsey, Biology


  • Development of EES 219:  Energy and Society
    • Sponsor:  Karen Berger, Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Enzymatic Breakdown of Cellulosic Biomass for the Conversion to Biofuels
    • Sponsor:  David Wu, Chemical Engineering
  • Management of South Campus Forest and Development of Teaching Materials
    • Sponsor:  Justin Ramsey, Biology
  • Assessment of Integrated Sustainability Curricula
    • Sponsors:  Randall Curren, Philosophy and Ellen Metzger, San Jose State University
  • Sustainability Newsletter – Communications Intern
    • Sponsor:  Carol Shuherk, Senior Associate Provost
  • Sustainable Dining in Upstate New York
    • Sponsor:  Cam Schauf, Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations)


  • Sustainable Coffee Production in Honduras
    • Sponsor:  Daniel Reichman, Anthropology
  • The Economics of Recycling and Economics of Sustainability
    • Sponsor:  Michael Rizzo, Economics
  • Sustainable 3D Art Practice
    • Sponsor:  Allen Topolski, Art and Art History
  • Development of BIO 264:  Ecological Communities
    • Sponsor:  Justin Ramsey, Biology
  • University Council on Sustainability Initiatives Group Revolving Loan Fund Project
    • Sponsors:  Pat Beaumont, Support Operations and Ben Ebenhack, Chemical Engineering
  • Enzymatic Breakdown of Cellulosic Biomass for the Conversion to Biofuels
    • Sponsor:  David Wu, Chemical Engineering