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Sustainability Internships

Academic Year Internships

Sustainability UCIS Seminar Coordinator
The Sustainability UCIS employs one student intern each academic year as logistics manager for the Sustainability Speaker Series. Applications are solicited each fall through the Office of Student Employment. Interns work approximately 10 hours per week.

Sustainability Newsletter Editor
The Office of the Provost employs one student each academic year to assume complete responsibility for developing stories and overseeing dissemination of the bi-weekly sustainability newsletter, UR GREENews. Applications are solicited each fall through the Office of Student Employment. Interns work 10 hours per week.

Summer Internships 2015

College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering
The College is again sponsoring sustainability-related summer internships for students enrolled in undergraduate programs in the College. It 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 at The letter should indicate the specific internship(s)sought.

Applications for summer internships close in February and assignments are announced by the end of March.

Pat Beaumont (Director Support Operations) & Amy Kadrie (Recycling 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 Karen Berger (EES & Coordinator of College Sustainability Studies), Patricia Beaumont (Director of Support Operations), and Cam Schauf (Director of Dining and Auxiliary Services) will sponsor a summer intern to work on UR’s STARS assessment. The STARS intern will assist in gathering, organizing, and evaluating data for University of Rochester’s updated submission to STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ program. STARS® is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. More information about the program can be found at Data were gathered previously using 2011 information, and this will now be updated for Fiscal Year 2014 for submission to STARS 2.0 in Fall 2015.

  • Qualifications: The intern will need strong verbal and written communication skills, knowledge of sustainability initiatives and programs on campus, ability to research sustainability measurements, strong organizational skills, ability to work independently and in teams, and an ability to think creatively when encountering obstacles in data collection.

Professor Kristin Doughty (Anthropology) will sponsor an intern who can help with two key tasks. First, the intern would help with the final stages of a book manuscript, entitled "Remediating Rwanda," an anthropological analysis of law and post-genocide reconciliation in Rwanda. The book has several chapters focused on how land disputes are resolved in grassroots legal forums and through a legal aid clinic. Tasks will likely include helping with final revisions and citations of relevant literatures, reviewing copy editing, and perhaps indexing. Second, the intern would help with grant-writing for a project entitled, "Land matters: Meanings and logics of land disputes in central Africa," including aiding with literature reviews. Overall, this is an opportunity to learn about multiple stages of publication and grant-writing.

  • Qualifications: The intern must be detail-oriented, organized, and a clear writer. Some familiarity with anthropology, Africa, or both would be helpful.

Professor Leila Nadir (Sustainability Studies) seeks an intern in environmental arts and humanities to assist with developing two Environmental Humanities courses. Areas of research include: (1) watching and writing summaries of environmental films, ranging in media from animation to documentary to Hollywood feature films, as well as researching environmental shorts on YouTube (or other social networking sites) that have been politically effective and disseminated widely; (2) identifying scholarly and scientific articles that analyze the films from a humanities perspective or elucidate the environmental issues raised in the films; (3) reading and writing summaries of environmental justice media and literary works, including novels, short stories, creative nonfiction, and poetry. For both the film and literary works, the intern will compile scientific research that relates to the environmental problems in specific texts (such as supporting data regarding pollution, land grabbing, agricultural working conditions, environmental racism, food deserts, etc.).

  • Qualifications: The intern working on this project will be expected to have excellent research and writing skills as well as experience in working in a humanities research context.

Professor Cary Peppermint (Art & Art History) will sponsor an intern who can assist a new media environmental art collaborative's ongoing creative research involving new media, design, and the environment. The ideal intern will contribute original ideas and skills toward social media and the development of ecological art works that involve digital media and design.

  • Qualifications: The intern must have web design experience and be skilled in CSS, Word Press, HTML, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

Professor David Wu (Chemical Engineering) will sponsor an intern to participate in his biofuel research. He uses a molecular biology approach to study the microbial enzyme system that breaks down recalcitrant cellulosic materials into fermentable sugars, which are in turn converted to ethanol or other biofuels through a fermentation process. The molecular biology approach will be used for engineering the microorganism for a more efficient cellulose-ethanol conversion process.

  • Qualifications: The intern will need background and interest in biological science.

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.


  • 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