2018-2019 UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative
Project-based Undergraduate Intern

Application Deadline: June 8th, 2018

*Recommendation letters can be accepted after June 8th if other materials are submitted by the deadline. Letters can be sent directly from the sender to: internshipsucsbsustainability@gmail.com.

Hours Per Week: 12-15 Hrs.
Wage: $14/hr.
Preferred start date: Summer 2018 (Fall 2018 could be possible though)
Commitment date: Must be available to participate through June 2019
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 and/or address climate change in other ways. 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.

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 or faculty advisor who will meet with you no less than every other week though we recommend weekly. (Staff recommended project suggestions listed below come with a pre-assigned 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 2018-2019 academic year.
  • Demonstrate that the project would help UCSB or UC to advance our efforts in reaching carbon neutrality and/or address the issue of climate more broadly.

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:

  • Time dependent evaluation of emission associated with electricity on campus: UCSB reports greenhouse gas emissions to the State and to the national Climate Registry on an annual basis. Carbon accounting historically has not employed any time dependent valuation (TDV) metric. The purpose of TDV is to take into account the time-value of energy use and to credit energy savings accordingly. For example, reductions in electricity use during peak summer hours are more valuable than in the middle of a winter night. California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standard (Title 24) has included TDV values for several code cycles, and weighting for electricity usage has been proposed by the UC to the national Climate Registry for future reporting methodology versions.
  • Pursuing local carbon offsets: The CNI fellow would work with local organizations and institutions to identify potential local carbon offsets that UCSB could invest in.  In the past year, a CNI intern completed research on what it would take to create local offsets.  The coming year would be spent applying this research to specific projects and working on implementation.
  • Staff/faculty commuter emissions: Continue the work of a CNI intern from 2017-2018 to develop and implement strategies to reduce the carbon emissions of staff/faculty commuting to UCSB.  This could be through promotion of existing resources (vanpool, the new commuter train, biking, carpool, etc) or identifying new strategies that could be implemented.  This is a big area and so you could propose to work broadly in this area or work on a specific project within this.
  • Air Travel and GHG Impact: Develop programs to reduce or mitigrate greenhouse gas emissions related to air travel emissions. This could be developing an Air Travel Mitigation Fund for UCSB like the UCLA fund or expanding on models for hosting conferences with less emissions such as this white paper/guide lays out.
  • Cool Campus Challenge: Help to develop an outreach plan for the Cool Campus Challenge (https://www.coolcampuschallenge.org/) and execute that plan. The Challenge will occur in Spring 2019.  The first two quarters would be focused on developing promotional materials, strategies, etc. to support the launch of the Challenge.
  • Building Campus Resiliency: The Santa Barbara community and UCSB suffered significant disruptions from a trio of recent climate-related impacts: a multi-year ongoing drought since 2011; the Thomas Fire—the state’s biggest on record—in December 2017; and the Montecito mud slide/debris flow in January 2018, followed by multiple precautionary evacuations in Feb and March 2018. These events impacted the UCSB campus in many ways, including poor air quality from ash, smoke and soot causing the closure of campus in Dec. 2017, and freeway closures in Dec and Jan impairing access to US101 for students, faculty and staff. For this project, the CNI Fellow will research ways that the UCSB campus can increase resilience to future climate impacts, with a focus on evaluating how recent and future events impact UCSB students.

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 2018-2019 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.

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. This person does not need to work with you on the project once launched.
    • If you are choosing a create your own project this must be from the staff/faculty 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/