Monday, April 6, 2009

The 2009 IUB Summer Program in Sustainability (Internships)

This spring Indiana University announced the creation of its first Office of Sustainability. Directed by Bill Brown, the office will continue the work of the IU Task Force on Sustainability, addressing issues of environmental sustainability in campus operations, academic programs, and university-community relations. This summer, we are seeking a group of undergraduate and graduate students dedicated to advancing sustainability at Indiana University Bloomington.

The IUB Summer Program in Sustainability will run from May 11th through August 14th. Funding is available to support up to sixteen sustainability-related internships. Students will be expected to work approximately twenty hours per week over the course of the summer and participate in a 1-credit summer seminar in sustainability taught by Bill Brown. Student interns and their mentors will have discretion in setting their work schedules to accommodate vacation and other commitments. For their summer of service, graduate fellows and undergraduate interns will receive stipends between $2,500 and $3,500 and a 1- credit fee remission for the summer seminar.

To apply, send a brief statement specifying which of the following project(s) interest(s) you most, resume, one letter of reference, and contact information by email or by mail to Bill Brown at the Office of Sustainability, Geology 429, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 47405 no later than Friday, April 17th, 2009. General information about the IUB Sustainability Program can be found at Internship information is also available on the web at

Questions regarding internships or the application process can also be directed to

1. Campus Tree inventory – Mentors, Mia Williams, Landscape Architect and Rich Thurau, SPEA. Interns will work toward completion of a GIS-based inventory of campus trees. The work will build upon past interns’ data-gathering projects and will complete the inventory of the “core campus” south of 10th St. The complete data set will help us document the ecosystem services provided by trees for storm water capture, pollution removal, and carbon sequestra tion. Interns will work on creation of a new “Woodland Campus” brochure, which celebrates IU’s stewardship of trees on campus and our new distinction as at “Tree Campus USA” from the National Arbor Day Foundation.

2. Campus Recycling Center Feasibility Study – Mentor, Steve Akers, RPS. This internship will focus on a feasibility study for an on-campus recycling center. This concept could take the form of a small center that would accept both traditional items (paper, newspaper, plastic, glass, plastic, metals) as well as specialized recycling items (e.g., household batteries, toner and cell phones, automotive motor oil, textbook/book donations for recycling, clothing, etc.) Such a center could become a hub for recycling on campus, and could help unify all of the currently separate recycling systems on campus. Such a center may also be allowed to serve near-campus apartment complexes. The feasibility study could initially cover research into the recycling needs of the campus community, estimating the volume of material that might be expected, and exploring logistics between outside partners such as Hoosier Disposal and the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District.

3. Prairie Restoration and Labyrinth Development - Mentor, Greg Speichert, Hilltop Gardens. The area of open space at the headwaters of the Jordan River that recently has been converted to a no-mow preservation zone is in need of conversion from non-native and invasive plants to native grasses and forbs. The internship will involve research on preferred natives, propagation of plants, installation, and maintenance of newly planted areas to help ensure their viability. A second component is the development of a labyrinth design within the emerging prairie. The labyrinth will allow people to experience the prairie from within as they walk paths directed with interpretive signage.

4. Campus Energy Metric Development – Mentors, Charlie Matson and Jeff Kaden, Engineering Services. This internship will help provide metrics to help IU Engineering Services study and manage energy use and improve building occupant comfort. Several new buildings on campus will have the ability to provide fine-scale data of building energy use and comfort levels in order to fine-tune building systems. The intern will help develop accurate greenhouse gas emissions coefficients for measuring the IU campus’s carbon footprint, accounting for the power generation mixes in each region.

5. LEED Documentation – Mentors, Charlie Matson and Jeff Kaden, Engineering Services. Assistance is needed in the development of a compilation of previous completed or partially attempted IUB LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) credits. The compilation of human resource and expense estimates will serve as a guide and baseline for future LEED projects at IUB. Additionally, the intern will assist in revisions to Design Deliverable requirements, Design Standards, General Conditions, RFPs, etc. to define LEED certification reporting responsibilities.

6. Funding Opportunities for Campus Sustainability Projects – Mentor, Bill Brown, Director of Sustainability. This intern will research successful models for internal and external funding of campus sustainability initiatives and their relative fiscal impact. The study will include comprehensive evaluation of revolving loan funds for energy-efficiency upgrades and how that strategy could be implemented at Indiana University to fund the initial cost difference between conventional and more energy-efficient projects, with the loan fund repaid from energy savings. This internship would also help to develop the rules of how this fund would operate in such a way as to assure a sustainable return on investment. The intern will help research potential grant funding from government, foundation, corporate and individual sources and assist in creation of case statements, query letters, cover letters and grant applications.

7. Utility Department Media Relations – Mentor, Mark Menefee, Director of Central Heating Plant. This internship will publicize the IU Utilities Department’s current efforts to increase conservation become more environmentally sustainable. Part of this communication strategy will be to provide students easy access to information about energy use on campus and individual energy conservation techniques.

8. Utility Conservation, Academic Buildings – Mentor, Lee Walters, Utility Information Group. This internship will build on past internships that focused on water conservation in some of the highest usage buildings on campus. The intern will expand on previous efforts to examine usage data for trends and inconsistencies, develop communication materials on water conservation, and attempt to link trends in usage to implementation of conservation messages. Additional work will pilot similar initiatives in energy conservation.

9. Utility Conservation, Non-Academic Buildings – Mentor, Lee Walters, Utility Information Group. This internship focuses on a number of IU-owned historic homes and other buildings surrounding the campus, which are used for housing various research centers, office space, and support functions. Part of this initiative will focus on analysis of past utility consumption in these buildings. Database and computer expertise will be needed to format utility data into a useful form and establish priority areas for conservation measures. A second component will involve preliminary energy audits to identify obvious areas for building retrofits and improvements. Additional responsibilities include researching the effectiveness and costs associated with improvements to these buildings.

10. Green Purchasing Guide – Mentor, Tim Rice, IU Purchasing: There is a growing desire among various departments to purchase environmentally preferable products, but often some confusion about which products represent the greatest environmental benefit, and how to obtain these products through IU Purchasing Department. This intern will help create a purchasing guide to help the IU community “buy green” wherever possible. This guide will include office supplies, equipment, cleaning products, and event supplies such as cups, plates and utensils. The intern will research products currently used by departments on campus and help develop price comparisons between traditional and environmentally preferred products.

11. Native Landscaping – Mentors, Heather Reynolds and Keith Clay, Biology: This internship will help to enhance the use of native and locally adapted landscaping to decrease costs and reduce the need for fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation. Use of native species also helps to preserve and showcase the biological heritage of the State of Indiana. This internship will involve: (1) developing a native species database for campus (including species traits and other information needed to design new native plantings), (2) developing educational signage for naturally landscaped areas, and (3) restoring and protecting areas of campus threatened by invasive plants. Additional opportunities exist in the restoration, protection, and scientific monitoring of at risk campus areas, including Dunn Woods threatened by euonymus and the railroad corridor threatened by tree of heaven.

12. Campus Sustainability Reporting Research and Database – Mentor, Bill Brown, Director of Sustainability. Several campus sustainability rating systems such as the Sustainable Endowments Report Card, AASHE STARS, and the Princeton Review are judging the sustainability of colleges and universities through a number of metrics, including examination of the investment portfolio of these institutions. This position would lay the groundwork for improving IU’s ranking in these areas by exploring more accurate and proactive reporting. This research would involve a comparison study of peer institutions to highlight IU’s relative strengths and weaknesses.

13. Presidents Climate Commitment/Climate Action Plan – Mentor, Bill Brown, Director of Sustainability. The Presidents Climate Commitment is often the cornerstone of many university’s sustainability initiatives and is quickly gaining momentum among many peer institutions, including nearly half of the CIC (Big 10) institutions. Currently IU is not a signatory to the Commitment and is thus ineligible for significant funding that is available to signatories for renewable energy projects and building retrofits from the Clinton Global Initiative. This position will comprehensively assess the benefits and potential pitfalls for IU to join this movement and lay the ground work for a Climate Action Plan that could be implemented with or without signing on to the Presidents Climate Commitment.

14. Sustainable Computing and E-Waste Solutions – Mentor, Kristin Hanks, Informatics. This internship will focus on increasing the sustainability of computing at Indiana University. Specifically, the intern will continue current work on e-waste pick-up events where vendors pick up old monitors, cell phones, and other types of e-waste so that it can be handled appropriately, with zero cost to the community. This position could also aid in the Campus Recycling Center Feasibility Study with the creation of a long-term plan for collecting smaller e-waste on campus such as toner and ink cartridges, batteries, cell phones, etc. This position would benefit from a student who is willing to contact multiple people in departments across campus including residence hall managers and outside partners.

15. Environmentally Sustainable Practices at IMU - Mentor, Mark Lame, SPEA. The IMU Dining Services “Sustainability Internship” is being established to illustrate the long standing Public-Private Partnership between Sodexo Campus Services and Indiana University through the evaluation and improvement of environmentally sustainable activities. The Intern will be challenged to work with the management team to develop or enhance efforts in the following areas: local purchasing, recycling, composting, energy usage, integrated pest management, and physical and food safety. The Intern will write a paper summarizing sustainability efforts by IMU Dining Services for Sodexo and Indiana University for publication in a professional/trade journal. (FILLED)

16. Campus Sustainability Assessment – Mentor, Bill Brown, Director of Sustainability. The Indiana University Task Force on Campus Sustainability produced its landmark Campus Sustainability Report in November of 2007. One of the key recommendations of that report was a regular assessment of the campus’s sustainability programs using a number of concrete metrics. The intern will survey former authors and other stakeholders for needed changes, interview task force members, survey other universities’ sustainability reports, define trackable metrics for evaluation, and update and add information as necessary to keep the report timely and accurate and manage the editing, publishing and press release process with a large group of stakeholders.