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Michael Hamburger
Task Force on Campus Sustainability

Mike Steinhoff
Task Force on Campus Sustainability

Last modified: Wednesday, December 3, 2008

IU Sustainability Task Force announces interns for the 2008-2009 academic year

Dec. 3, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As part of a rapidly expanding initiative to advance environmental and societal sustainability on Indiana University's Bloomington campus, the Task Force on Campus Sustainability has awarded internships to 14 undergraduate and graduate students for the 2008-2009 academic year.

The students will work on a broad array of issues related to sustainability under the mentorship of IU faculty and staff. While engaging in research, students will be laying the ground work for new initiatives to further improve the sustainability of the IU Bloomington campus.

"The exciting thing about the current internships is that many of the projects are building on the research done by past years' interns, and they are really aimed at developing proposals to take IU's sustainability initiative to the next level," said Mike Steinhoff, coordinator the 2008-2009 Academic Year Internship Program. "I was also really surprised to see the level of interest and talent coming from the Kelley School of Business. It's good to know that tomorrow's business leaders can see how these issues are important in their careers."

From the beginning, the Sustainability Initiative at IU has strived to promote experiential learning. However, unlike the sustainability internships offered over the past two summers, interns will now be conducting their projects over the course of the school year.

"This opens up the opportunity to study the sustainability of the campus 'in action,' when the campus is full of people learning, researching, and being a part of a campus community -- and consuming energy and other resources," Steinhoff said.

This internship program also allows students the possibility of finding connections between their projects and the academic programs in which they are enrolled. Interns will participate in an informal seminar through the spring semester, which will seek to place the individual interns' projects in a broader context and help to develop a learning community among participants in the internship program.

The 2008-2009 Academic Year Sustainability Internship Program is being sponsored by the Offices of the Provost and Vice President for Administration and by a number of IU's operational programs such as the University Architect's Office, the IU Division of Residential Programs and Services, Utilities Services and Transportation Services.

"We are very excited about the set of projects to be undertaken this semester," said Terry Clapacs, vice president for administration. "They will continue to build on our initiatives established by the task force. The additional information and insight provided by these interns will help us continue to move forward."

This year's internship projects range from nuts-and-bolts data collection efforts -- such as an IU campus tree inventory and a campus waste audit -- to some ground-breaking new campus initiatives, such as a sustainability and diversity project and a new transportation demand management program.

"This dynamic and innovative internship program encourages inquiry, hands-on learning, and service to our campus and community," said Provost Karen Hanson. "Even as students learn by conducting important research, they help make a sustainable IU Bloomington campus a greater reality."

The IU Task Force on Campus Sustainability was established in March 2007 by IU Vice President for Administration Clapacs and is co-chaired by Michael Hamburger, professor of Geological Sciences, and Paul Sullivan, deputy vice president for administration. Its mission is to develop and implement initiatives to advance sustainability on IU's Bloomington campus. For additional information on the Task Force, visit Descriptions of 2008-2009 Academic Year internship projects can be viewed at