Nestled away in the drumlins of South Campus lies the office of Sustainability Management. Recently relocated to 161 Farm Acre Road, Sustainability Management offers students from all areas of campus the ability to apply skills learned in the classroom to a real world application. Sustainability Management was formed in 2007 after the signing of the American Presidents Climate Commitment, now known as Second Nature. As the University already has a large catalog of courses and extracurricular activities available to educate students about sustainability and effects of global climate change, Sustainability Management developed an internship program to enhance their experience.
The program has grown significantly over the years. Melissa Cadwell, Sustainability Coordinator, has been an integral part of the program’s large success. She encourages each student to research what they are passionate about relating to sustainability and their major. Students come to the office from many different majors and backgrounds, all of which reflects throughout their outstanding work.
The department advises many students with their educational projects, where they act as a client for assignments, including senior capstone projects, and group research opportunities. While many of the suggested projects start out as visions from the student perspective for the campus, some have come to fruition. The Dome’s Rainwater Catchment system artwork and the University’s commitment to purchasing 35% of its energy from renewable sources are just two examples of student lead projects.
Students are also helping on current projects, like the fall 2019 Food Pantry for South Campus, which will serve as a secondary pantry to Hendricks Chapel Food Pantry. Sustainability Management is working with a student group from the Falk College to ensure the program’s success. In addition, an internship has been created to manage a new vegetable garden going in this spring that will supplement the Food Pantries.
After extensive research from students about pollinator plant species and pollinators, Sustainability Management is seeking Bee Campus USA certification with the addition of Monarch Watch and an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program for the campus. Each certification and program aims to enhance the knowledge and presence of pollinator plant species on campus to promote healthy habitats for native pollinators.
Students that works with Sustainability Management are offered opportunities that allow them to build their resumes and continue teaching others about the importance of sustainability long after they graduate from the University. Past interns have noted how completing projects, like the University’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory, have secured full time positions in desirable companies, and goals of working with the United Nations, and others are excited about the possibilities presented to them after their internship.
If a student is in need of an internship for their academic program or is seeking meaningful employment, Sustainability Management has the ability to fuel their passion for the planet. Learn more about the sustainability internships on campus at sustainability.syr.edu or email .