2017-2018 UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative
Project-based Undergraduate Intern

Application Deadline: April 24th, 2017

Hours Per Week: 10-12 Hrs.
Wage: $14/hr.
Preferred start date: Fall 2017
Commitment date: Must be available to participate through June 2018
Primary Department: UCSB Sustainability

Work-study students are encouraged to apply, though participation in the work-study program is not a requirement for applicants. We realize that most students will not be certain if they are work-study eligible until later in the summer. More information on work-study here.

Description of Internship

The UC President’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) Student Fellowship Program funds student-generated projects that support the UC system’s goal to produce zero-net greenhouse gas emissions in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025. More on the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative at the UCOP website or for local information, please visit UCSB’s CNI Homepage. All 10 UC campuses plus the UC Office of the President, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are participating in the program. The program began in spring 2015. The program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, and administered at each location to ensure that student efforts align with local needs.

UCSB seeks students who would like to build on the work already happening on campus, who are excited to partner with the many stakeholders (students, staff, and faculty) engaged in this topic, and who are interested in helping us plan for and implement projects that help us achieve the goals of the UCSB Climate Action Plan and the CNI. Each student will be asked to either

  • Select a project suggested by staff or
  • Be creative and suggest your own project!

If you are planning to suggest your own project, you will need to be able to:

  • Have a staff advisor who will meet with you no less than every other week. (Staff recommended project suggestions listed below come with a preassigned advisor)
  • Have access to the data that you need to do the project (for example if your project requires energy metering data, you will need to demonstrate that you have a partnership with a stakeholder that can help you access that data and that the data exists).
  • Demonstrate that the project has a reasonable chance of success by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.
  • Demonstrate that the project would help UCSB or UC to advance our efforts in reaching carbon neutrality in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025. We are also open to projects to reduce emissions of staff and faculty commuting to campus.

Students accepting a staff suggested project are encouraged to consider this a point of inspiration from which the student can add their own ideas to. We encourage our students to be creative in approach, solutions development, and implementation efforts. Staff suggested projects include:

  • Investigating carbon offsets and sequestration projects. Explore questions such as:
    • Helping to develop carbon credits for a partnership with UCSB and Goleta Sanitary District where we are capturing methane
    • Developing a process for identifying local offset projects, partnering with the community to develop offsets, and seeking third party verification of offsets
    • Evaluating whether campus restoration and tree planting projects could be used for carbon sequestration and how credits could be verified for this.
    • Developing informational resources on carbon offsets for campus committees and stakeholders
  • Reducing commuter emissions for staff and faculty. Through this project you would identify a variety of interventions to encourage staff and faculty to come to campus by alternative means including new programs, education and outreach strategies, and policy interventions.
  • Develop an outreach program connected to the proposed new energy dashboard. Through this program you would encourage campus staff and faculty to reduce their emissions by showing them real time energy use of their building and encouraging competition with their peers.

Duties in the Internship

  • Investigate what UCSB has already done and is working on in relation to your project.
  • Collect peer reviewed research related to your project (if available).
  • Interview other peer institutions to collect best practices.
  • Collect information on current laws and protocols.
  • Complete a feasibility assessment.
  • Define pros and cons of alternative approaches.
  • Determine potential barriers.
  • Develop recommendations and a full proposal.
  • Vet the proposal (seek feedback from students, staff, and faculty on campus).
  • Possibly work on implementation of ideas (depending on the timeline of the proposal development and approval process).

Minimum Requirements

  • Professional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to write about technical subjects in a way which is accessible to non-technical campus administration.
  • Be an undergraduate student in the 2017-2018 academic year at UCSB.

Preferred Requirements

  • Knowledge of energy efficiency/ green building practices.


Students will have an opportunity for occasional travel to meet students from other campuses; travel costs are typically covered by UCOP for such events. Please see the key dates below. Additional activities include monthly conference calls.

Key Dates

  • June 26th, 2017: Fellows Symposium at UCSB

Application Instructions

Please read all of the instructions for this program and the job posting carefully in order to ensure that you have the best chance of being selected. Submit the following documents by the deadline at the top of this posting:

  • A resume (please no C.V.s)
  • Cover letter
  • An unofficial transcript from UCSB
  • Application
  • Support letter
    • If you are choosing a staff proposed project, this could be from any staff, faculty, TA, or past supervisor that you have worked with.
    • If you are choosing a create your own project this must be from the staff member who will advise this project should it be selected.

UCSB Career Services offers support and advising in writing résumés and cover letters. Please consider taking advantage of their generous services, especially if this is the first time you have written a résumé or cover letter.

Please ensure that when you apply the subject line of your email and your email body indicate clearly that you are applying for the “CNI – UG Project-based Position”. We have several positions currently open ranging across multiple programs.

For More Information
Please email Katie Maynard, internshipsucsbsustainability@gmail.com after having read the above information thoroughly.

More internship opportunities available at: http://www.sustainability.ucsb.edu/internship-opportunities-ucsb-sustainability/