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Internships and Opportunities


The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) intends to be the “front porch” for students seeking jobs, internships, and other educational opportunities in the areas of sustainability, energy and the environment.

This page is a repository for such opportunities as they become available.

Internship with Sustainability Living Learning Community

Job Description:

The Sustainability Living-Learning Community (LLC) is a residential community in University Housing dedicated to the issues surrounding sustainability. The Living-Learning Community Intern will report directly to Jennifer Bechtel, the Program Director for the Sustainability Living-Learning Community (LLC), to assist in overseeing the organization and management of the Sustainability Lounge, the Sustainability Garden Shed, and two student work and study spaces for students in the Sustainability LLC. This intern will also assist with the organization, marketing, and facilitation of programming within the Sustainability LLC, which will require some standard office hours and irregular evening and weekend hours.  Other duties will be arranged with supervisor, based on programmatic needs and special skills, experiences, and interests of the successful applicant. This position is paid, and an inter would be expected to work 10-12 hours per week.  

Required Skills:

Must be a UIUC student. Must have excellent written, verbal, and organizational skills. Must be willing to learn new skills and concepts independently. Must feel comfortable working independently and as part of a team. Must be enthusiastic about working closely with undergraduate students. Must be passionate about empowering students to make the world a better place. Must have some sort of teaching, presentation, leadership, or facilitation experience and/or training. Must have a creative outlook and a willingness to try new things.

Preferred skills include experience teaching and/or mentoring undergraduate students and/or student groups, marketing experience, gardening experience, bike maintenance experience, awareness of campus resources related to sustainability, and an understanding of basic principles of sustainability.

To apply:

Send a cover letter and a copy of your resume to Sustainability LLC Coordinator Jennifer Bechtel ( by 5p.m. February 16th.

Campus Styrofoam Recycling Internship

The newest recycling program on a the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus needs your help to grow! Each spring, summer, and fall semester, the Styrecycle student team will need high-energy interns. Duties will include recruiting new buildings and labs to participate, working with interested building managers to create a space for and advertise an in-building collection bin, and picking up Styrofoam from campus buildings and delivering it to the mass collection point.

The intern will be compensated with 1-4 course credit hours available through the ENVS 491: Sustainability Experiences course. Opportunity may exist to continue involvement into the fall semester.

To apply, send an email to expressing your interest and availability. If selected, you will be given details to register for ENVS 491.

Sustainability Working Advisory Teams - multiple student positions

Campus Sustainability Interns:

Leave a legacy at Illinois as a student member of one of iSEE’s Sustainability Working Advisory Teams (SWATeams). These teams — each consisting of two faculty, two staff, and two students — examine broad themes of campus sustainability within the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) and recommend concrete steps the campus should take to meet its iCAP targets. The six SWATeams are:

  • Agriculture, Land Use, Food, & Sequestration
  • Energy Conservation & Building Standards
  • Energy Generation, Purchasing, & Distribution
  • Purchasing, Waste, & Recycling
  • Transportation
  • Water & Stormwater

Each year, iSEE seeks students to serve one-year terms on several different SWATeams beginning in the fall semester — though occasionally spots open midyear. Time commitment varies by team and by particular project, but should not exceed two to three hours a week. Passion for sustainability is the No. 1 criterion for candidates; experience in the fields related to a SWATeam topic are a plus.

This is a great opportunity to get experience working on real-world issues of sustainable operations! Contact Ximing Cai, iSEE Associate Director for Campus Sustainability, at if you’re interested in making Urbana-Champaign the most sustainable campus it can be.

SWATeam Clerks:

iSEE also seeks students to support the Sustainability Working Advisory Teams (SWATeams) with their day-to-day operations each semester.

SWATeam Clerks are 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.

The Clerk position is ideal for freshmen and sophomores with excellent written and oral communications and a desire to start earning relevant sustainability experience on campus.

Clerks may enroll in the ENVS 491 (“Sustainability Experience”) SWA Section to receive one course credit hour. View the class syllabus.

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 Chair will also serve as your course adviser for ENVS 491.

To express interest in this opportunity, please send an email to Ximing Cai, iSEE Associate Director for Campus Sustainability, at




Previous Opportunities

Lavey Rosencranz Scholarships

Warren Lavey and Dr. Holly Rosencranz Research Awards in Climate Change and Public Health

lavey winners

On Nov. 18, 2015, members of the selection committee and the 2015-16 Lavey Rosencranz Research Award winners gathered for a lunch to discuss the three new research projects. From left: Brian Allan, Assistant Professor of Entomology; Madhu Khanna, iSEE Associate Director; Erin Welsh, award winner and grad student in Integrative Biology; Nora Sadik, award winner and grad student in Civil and Environmental Engineering; Surendra Karki, award winner and grad student in Pathobiology; Marilyn O’Hara Ruiz, Clinical Associate Professor of Pathobiology; benefactor Warren Lavey, Adjunct Professor of Law and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES); benefactor Dr. Holly Rosencranz, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine; Jeffrey Brawn, Professor and Head of NRES; and Marise Robbins-Forbes, Director of Development at NRES.

In July 2015, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) announced the 2014-15 Warren Lavey and Dr. Holly Rosencranz Research Awards in Climate Change and Public Health, awarded to three Illinois students. You can read the news release here.

Three students were selected in late spring: Surendra Karki, Pathobiology; Nora Sadik, Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Erin Welsh, Integrative Biology. You can read their research abstracts and check out their November 2015 and final April 2016 research updates here.

In Spring 2015, students were asked to submit applications and a letter of reference to iSEE. The purpose of the awards is to encourage research on the impacts of climate change on public health. Relevant research topics included, but were not limited to:

  • the impacts of climate change on incidence of cardiovascular, respiratory, infectious and other diseases;
  • public health infrastructure preparedness for climate-related events;
  • food/water security and safety in changing climates;
  • effectively communicating to the public the connection between climate change and health;
  • developing economic mechanisms targeting the public health impacts of climate change; and
  • threats of climate change to parks as attractive spaces for healthy exercise.

You can read about the open application process here.