The Energy, Environment and Sustainability Internship Program is a multi-stakeholder program that places students in research and project teams, while simultaneously providing professional development and enrichment training. 

This page only lists the internship positions currently open for which we are accepting applications. Application deadlines are specified below for each employer. As students leave to graduate or study abroad, we usually have a few new openings each semester. 

For more information on each of the internship employers, visit this page. For any questions, email Michelle Patterson, Internship & Business Coordinator, at mpatterson@wustl.edu. We are looking forward to reviewing your application!

Positions for Fall 2021

Office of Sustainability

We are looking for enthusiastic and hard-working graduate or undergraduate students who want to be part of the movement to advance sustainability at Washington University. The multi-semester positions require a commitment of 5-10 hours/week during the school year; summer positions are full-time (37.5 hours/week). Undergraduate positions start at $10.30/hour; graduate positions start at $12/hour. Associates work collaboratively in groups on projects with oversight from the Office of Sustainability staff and will engage in a broad range of projects including renewable energy, alternative transportation, waste diversion, sustainable food and dining, green buildings, green offices program, etc. Applications are due by Monday, August 2nd.

Carbon Neutrality Associate – 1 position

The Carbon Neutrality Specialist will support a collaborative effort to set WashU’s next carbon reduction goal. This student associate position will report to the Office of Sustainability and support an advisory committee of faculty, staff, and students throughout the University charged with proposing pathways towards an ambitious, science-based 2030 carbon reduction goal and strategy. Work will include: researching best-practices from leading higher education, private sector, local government, and non-profit organizations; synthesizing findings into succinct executive-level briefs and presentations; and analyzing various implications (ex: feasibility, risk, cost, environmental impact) of multiple carbon reduction scenarios. In addition, logistical support of planning committees (meeting scheduling, note taking, meeting follow up, etc.) will be an important part of the role.

Skills / Qualifications:

  • Strong foundational knowledge of and passion for climate change mitigation
  • In-depth specific knowledge and experience with carbon reduction strategies, including an understanding of common sources of organizational carbon emissions, carbon accounting methodologies, and basic understanding of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets.
  • Strong research and analysis skills. Ability to synthesize complex information into executive-level summaries
  • Systems thinker
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency with MS Word and Excel, design experience with the Adobe Creative Suite is a plus
  • Ability to interact professionally and confidently with University staff members
  • Self-motivated and able to work with limited supervision
  • Works well in a group setting
Engagement Specialist – 1 position

Student Associates will work collaboratively in groups to facilitate campus engagement activities with oversight from the Office of Sustainability team. Programming will span a wide range of topics, both virtual and in-person. Associates will provide logistical and promotional support for events like: Online speakers and panels, the Midwest Climate Summit, bike tune-ups, online sustainability tour, etc. In-person and virtual outreach for students and employees may also be included within the semester’s scope of work.

Skills / Qualifications:

  • Basic knowledge of and passion for sustainability issues
  • Event planning experience
  • Ability to prioritize inclusive event hosting principles and think outside of the box, both for programming content and format
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency with MS Word and Excel, design experience with the Adobe Creative Suite is a plus
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Self-motivated and able to work with limited supervision
  • Works well in a group setting
Green Office Associate – 2 positions

The Green Office Program synthesizes goals within the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations into a checklist and educates staff about how to incorporate more sustainable practices into their operations and practices. Through participation, staff transform into new advocates for the university’s sustainability ethic. The program is comprised of a point-based, self-assessment checklist with which offices can assess their current practices, set goals, and be recognized for their achievements. For more information about the program please visit https://sustainability.wustl.edu/community-involvement/green-offices.

The Green Office Associate plays a key role administering, promoting and expanding this important program. Tasks include marketing the program to new offices, meeting with offices to provide an overview of the program, processing completed checklists as they are submitted, sending re-submission reminders to offices, making periodic updates to the checklist, and writing monthly newsletters. This position acts as a liaison between the Office of Sustainability and participating offices and WashU staff. As a liaison, s/he will promote various initiatives and events coordinated by the OOS, like Alternative Transportation Month and Green Mondays. The associate will also play a role planning an annual certification ceremony for newly certified offices.

Skills / Qualifications:

  • Proficiency with MS Word and Excel
  • Ability to interact professionally and confidently with University staff members
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Self-motivated and able to work with limited supervision
  • Works well in a group setting
  • Experience giving presentations and creating promotional materials (PowerPoints, graphics, flyers, etc.)
  • Strong communication skills and willingness to “cold call” potential participants.
Sustainable Buildings – 2 positions

The Sustainable Buildings Associate will work with the Office of Sustainability and Facilities Planning & Management to further improve how sustainability is integrated into the design and construction of campus infrastructure. The Associate will explore projects involving construction waste diversion standards, plug and process load planning, thermal comfort, healthy building material standards, and various green building certification systems.  Duties will include: conducting research in various fields, organizing and documenting findings, and interacting with professionals in the field.

Skills / Qualifications:

  • Proficiency with MS Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Self-motivated and able to work with limited supervision.
  • Ability to conduct research to evaluate different strategies.
  • Ability to interact professionally and confidently with University staff members.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Strong communication skills and willingness to “cold call” industry professionals
  • Familiarity with building systems, energy efficiency systems and techniques, or a willingness to learn
  • Familiarity with LEED and/or other building certification systems.
Waste Reduction/Diversion Associate – (1 position)

Washington University is working diligently to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill through recycling, composting, reuse, and donations. The Waste Reduction/Diversion Associate plays a critical role moving these efforts forward. We are seeking a data-driven individual who is good at and has experience with problem solving, communications, and data analysis.

Intern position duties will include: conducting waste audits in various campus locations to help determine opportunities for improvement and diagnose problems; organizing and recruiting volunteers for waste audits and the Recycling Genius outreach program; tracking campus-wide waste data; researching a variety of waste-related projects on campus, such as the environmental impact of different approaches and the feasibility of composting on-site; and working on various other waste-related projects as they arise.

Skills / Qualifications:

  • Proficiency with MS Word and Excel
  • Experience planning and running projects
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience recruiting and training volunteers is a plus
  • Self-motivated and able to work with limited supervision
  • Ability to conduct research to evaluate different strategies
  • Foundational knowledge of sustainability, the impact of different waste streams, and how waste sorting operates on campus

Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies understands that our students don’t only want to learn about environmental issues in class. They also want to apply their knowledge & skills on the ground, and make a positive impact in our community. Our Impact Internships embed students within St. Louis organizations, engaging with the environmental issues that impact people’s lives every day. To become an Impact Intern, students may apply to available internships with Environmental Studies’ existing partner organizations (listed below), or seek environmental internships in the St. Louis region of their own choosing.

We are now accepting applications for PAID Fall 2021 applications with a priority deadline of Sunday September 5th at 11:59pm. However, applications for all positions are rolling, so it is in your best interest to apply ASAP. We have had very HIGH demand for internships from students over the past several semesters, so get your applications in early. Please read each description and this whole webpage carefully for information on time commitment and application instructions. Contact Carolyn at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu with any questions.”

Foodways Outreach Intern – Bulrush STL

Bulrush STL is a contemporary dining and craft bar experience in the Grand Center Arts District. James Beard semi-finalist chef, Rob Connoley features contemporary foods rooted in Ozark cuisine. Our goal is to define Ozark cuisine by looking into the past – the origin story, so to speak, when the indigenous Osage people first encountered the immigrants and settlers, who also brought the enslaved into the region known as the Ozarks. This is a messy story. A story often filled with troubling histories – histories that aren’t ignored. Our focus is on the food and using our platform to give voice to the story tellers of the past. We look at how each of these cultures offered ingredients, techniques and traditions to what melted together to become what we now know of as Ozark Cuisine.

Internship Deliverable: One component of our work is conducting foodways outreach. In partnership with local organization Elevating Voices of Leaders Vying for Equity (EVOLVE), Bulrush is working to reach out to living descendants of enslaved people in Southeast Missouri.

The intern will support this project to locate living descendants of known freed slaves from the Coffman, Missouri area. Already-completed family trees will be distributed to all living descendants, and follow-up interviews will be conducted. This internship will be hybrid, with most activities taking place remotely with periodic in-person meetings. No travel is required of the intern.

Start & End Date: September 2021- December 2021 with possibility of extension

Compensation: Washington University offers interns a stipend of $500/mo for up to 4 months during the semester, and $2000/mo for up to 2 months during the summer.

Hours: A minimum of 130 total hours during the semester are required by Washington University. Specific hourly schedules are determined by the intern and their supervisor. Summer internships require 260 total hours during the summer.

Required Qualifications:
Must be a WashU undergraduate or graduate student. Strong interpersonal skills, interest or experience in food, foodways, anthropology, history, and storytelling. Experience conducting interviews preferred.

Application Instructions: To apply, please send a resume and cover letter describing your interest and qualifications to Carolyn Cosgrove Payne at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu.
Deadline: The priority deadline for Fall internships is Sunday September 5th 2021 at 11:59pm.

Renewable Energy and Affordable Housing Intern – Idleburg Consultants

IDLEBURG CONSULTANTS produces and provides resources, trainings, webinars, and research to build the capacity of leaders and organizations, and advance the impact of the field. Expertise includes law and policy frameworks necessary to create change, racial equity problem-solving, goal-setting, strategic planning and organizational development. Justin Idleburg (principal) strives to be a catalyst to bring together individuals, organizations, and communities to build strength and cohesion around racial equity, and sustainable and innovative infrastructure for affordable energy efficiency.

Idleburg Consultants has partnered with the Missouri Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) coalition to conduct racial equity training and consulting. EEFA is a national coalition of energy and housing advocates working across 12 states to advance energy efficiency solutions for affordable multifamily housing. As part of its focus on energy justice in low-income housing, EEFA has made racial equity a top concern. Idleburg Consultants is seeking a Renewable Energy for Affordable Housing Intern to focus in on this work in St. Louis.

The Renewable Energy for Affordable Housing Intern will report directly to Justin Idleburg, and will work with other members of the MO EEFA coalition on reducing energy burdens for families using a combination of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and smart technology. This work will include:

  • Creating architectural renderings of historic affordable housing structures (like Preservation Square or Alpha Gardens) retrofitted with renewable and smart technology and appliances, as well as more modern multi-family units that are historic, modern sustainable, smart, and bankable. 
  • Obtaining cost estimates for renewable energy retrofits and supporting brainstorming for strategies on fundraising for these projects.
  • Research and preparation of presentation materials.
  • Meeting logistics & thorough notetaking during meetings.
  • Engagement of advocacy groups and coalitions to foster initiatives around racial equity commitments, forging organizational alignment and cohesion.

Basic Qualifications

Applicants should have experience creating architectural renderings (coursework counts as experience). Additionally, applicants should have fluency in racial equity issues, dialogues around race and public policy, green energy, sustainable design, architecture and the concept of ‘energy burdens’ and consequences for health equity. They should be self-directed, have organizational skills, attention to detail, oral and written communication skills, and proficiency with computers (fluency with Microsoft Word and Excel, Google Docs and spreadsheets, and proficiency with video chat software). 

Applicants should familiarize themselves with the “Environmental Racism in St. Louis” report prepared by the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University’s School of Law, and should strive to incorporate or leverage some of the report’s conclusions as part of the internship.

Applicants can also review the report “Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide,” produced by Health Equity Works in the Brown School at Washington University.

Compensation: This position may involve a payment of $1,000 upon completion of the term, in addition to the compensation provided by Washington University described further down on this page.

Hours: 10 hours/week (negotiable), between August and December, 2021. Internship may be extended into the next semester if mutually agreeable to intern and supervisor.To Apply: Please apply by sending a cover letter, resume, and example of a past architectural rendering you have created with a short description included, and class schedule to ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu in pdf format, and include “Renewable Energy for Affordable Housing” in the subject line. In the cover letter, please highlight your interests and most relevant experience. Priority deadline for applications is 11:59pm on Sunday, September 5th 2021. Please note we encourage early applications.

Sustainability Research Intern – United Soybean Board

The United Soybean Board (USB) is the governing body that directs the U.S. commodity checkoff program for soybeans. Our mission at USB is to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel through administering soybean checkoff activities that focus on research and market development and expansion. One of the greatest strengths of the soy checkoff is our network of farmer leaders. Efforts of the checkoff are directed by 78 volunteer farmer-leaders nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs). The nominees are appointed to the board by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Each year, these leaders meet to approve new projects that increase innovation, resilience, and profitability for U.S. soybean farmers, all the while driving a coordinated message of sustainability across the entire value chain.

Start & End Date: August/September 2021-November/December 2021 with possibility of extension

Compensation: Washington University offers interns a stipend of $500/mo for up to 4 months during the semester, and $2000/mo for up to 2 months during the summer.

Hours: A minimum of 130 total hours during the semester are required by Washington University. Specific hourly schedules are determined by the intern and their supervisor. Summer internships require 260 total hours during the summer.

Internship Deliverable: Soybean farmers can play a critical role in addressing climate change, and their understanding of new systems and adoption of sustainable practices is key. In addition, soybean products create sustainable opportunities in the marketplace that serve consumer and customer demand (e.g., for sustainable alternative to petroleum). The USB intern will explore our diverse research portfolio and create tangibles looking at past, present, and newly proposed research spanning a range of topics from regenerative agriculture and cover cropping to biotechnology and use of new technologies on-farm. Outcomes could include a review of literature as well as materials that enhance global understanding of soybean’s sustainable footprint.

Internship Duties that Will Result in Deliverable:

  • Explore our diverse research portfolio and participate in numerous organizational meetings and events related to the selected topic or topics.
  • Perform research on sustainable topics in agriculture, identifying enablers and barriers associated with the transformation required in order to meet the growing demands of our population while using natural resources responsibly.
  • Review topical publications and literary works to inform the art (the people-related aspects) + science (techniques, methodologies, processes, and tools) involved in that transformation.
  • Conceptualize solutions and improved understanding through an interdisciplinary approach and develop science communication and educational materials for outreach purposes.

Required Qualifications: Must be a WashU undergraduate or graduate student. Strong interpersonal skills, interest or experience in sustainability, agriculture, and science communications.
Preferred Qualifications: Knowledge of and enthusiasm for sustainable initiatives in the agriculture sector; a strong desire to make steps towards transformational progress.
Application Instructions: To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Emily Dustman at edustman@unitedsoybean.org and Carolyn Cosgrove Payne at ccosgrovepayne@wustl.edu.
Deadline: The priority deadline for Fall internships is Sunday, September 5th 2021 at 11:59pm.