Indiana University

News Release

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sustainability task force announces summer internship program

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May 29, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As part of a rapidly expanding initiative to advance environmental sustainability at its Bloomington campus, Indiana University's Sustainability Task Force has appointed 18 undergraduate interns and graduate fellows to its second Summer Program in Sustainability.

Under the mentorship of IU faculty and staff, students will work on a broad array of academic and operational issues related to sustainability. Building upon the work done by their predecessors last summer and through the past academic year, the students will engage in research and lay the groundwork for new initiatives aimed at further improvement of sustainability on the Bloomington campus. Projects range from basic research investigating IU's greenhouse gas budget, inventories of the campus tree population, and watershed health to long-range implementation projects exploring IU's sustainability efforts in the libraries, campus computing systems, and pest management programs.

Michael Hamburger, co-chair of the Sustainability Task Force, said, "We're delighted to be able to offer the internship program again this summer. The students bring a tremendous amount of energy to the initiative and are often the leading edge of change on our campus. We have a talented cohort this summer and, based on our experience last year, we have very high expectations for what they will be able to accomplish this summer."

Biographies for the 2008 interns and fellows can be viewed at:

In addition to their individual projects, the undergraduate interns and graduate fellows will participate in an academic seminar focused on sustainability. Building on the last summer's program, the seminar is designed to build a cohesive cohort of interns and fellows as well as a learning community of individuals interested in issues related to sustainability. The 2008 Summer Program in Sustainability is being jointly sponsored by the Offices of the Provost and Vice President for Administration.

"The Bloomington campus provides a rich -- and complex -- learning laboratory where students can collectively explore how best to incorporate global concepts of sustainability into local applications in campus operations, university academics and the community," said David Fuente, coordinator of the summer program. "By combining individualized projects and a collective seminar, the summer program seeks to create an experience that constantly explores the balance between theory and practice as well as the tension between the ideal and the tough realities of implementation."

Terry Clapacs, IU vice president for administration and chief administrative officer, noted, "We look forward to working with these outstanding students. We feel that they provide a very valuable service to our operations, and they bring a fresh perspective to their studies as they help analyze these important issues. In the end, it's always all about the student experience at IU."

"The Summer Program is a critical component of IU Bloomington's response to the Sustainability Report," said Provost Karen Hanson. "The students who are engaged in the program will make progress on some of the projects identified in the original report, and their efforts will also help guide our next steps. The program is attentive to operational as well as academic issues, and the working groups are dedicated and talented. The program is exciting, because it aims at both instruction and transformation."

Joshua Hunter, a summer fellow who will be working on education and community outreach initiatives, said, "The program recognizes the great potential that lies in integrating different entities within IU for the common purpose of addressing sustainability in a manner that is holistic, responsible and far-sighted. This kind of collaborative effort will help students to develop the ability to critically address issues to ensure a sustainable future, and it will help the university as a whole to become a better steward of resources. This way IU will also be better equipped to compete with other universities across the country by becoming a leader in sustainability."

Established by Clapacs in March 2007, the IU Task Force on Campus Sustainability is co-chaired by Hamburger, a professor of geological sciences, and Paul Sullivan, deputy vice president for administration. In January 2008, it released its Campus Sustainability Report, which can be viewed at Additional information about the task force can be viewed at

2008 IU Summer Program Undergraduate Interns and Graduate Fellows:

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