This Week in Sustainability 1.28.13

01/28/2013 § Leave a comment

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Upcoming events are listed in a weekly email bulletin and on our calendar. If you do not receive our weekly email and would like to, please email to subscribe.

Select ongoing events and opportunities are highlighted in our weekly email, while the full list of items are available on this weekly blog post. Instructions for submitting an item to either our calendar or blog are at the end of this post.

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Featured news, ongoing events, and opportunities: 

Applications for the Summer 2013 Internships are Now Open (posted 1/28)
Application Deadline: Friday, February 15, 2013
Time Commitment: Each position will require 20 hours per week.  The positions run from May 2013 – August 2013.
Compensation: Interns will be compensated for their time at a rate of $11/hr for graduate students and $9/hr for undergraduates.
Positon Description: Numerous positions are available for the Indiana University Office of Sustainability Summer 2013 Internship Program.  Applicants must be full-time students at Indiana University Bloomington at the time they apply to the program.  Applicants must also have a good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0.  Graduate and undergraduate students in all schools are eligible to apply.  Click here to learn more about the internship opportunities we have available.
Questions: If you have any questions, comments, concerns or need some advice about the application process, email us at .

Bloomington Community Orchard Nonprofit Internship Program (posted 1/28)
Application Deadline: Sunday, February 3, 2013
Compensation: NA at this time; information upon request.
Positon Description: The Bloomington Community Orchard’s Operations team seeks interns for the 2013 winter/spring season.  There are three positions available on the Operations team.  Each intern will participate int he operations of the orchard, in addition to developing and managing their independent project.  For the individual assignment, the interns will choose from the following positions: Tree Steward, Pest Management, and Permaculture Design.  If you are interested in community development, urban agriculture, food security, and education through demonstration, then this is the internship for you.
Questions: If you have any questions regarding the organization or internship, feel free to email Amy Allen at .  Click here for more information about the organization, internships, and how to apply.

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An Update on the Campus Garden

01/27/2013 § Leave a comment

By: Frances Einterz Campus Garden Initiative Intern

It is cloudy, uncomfortably cold, and the grass crunches pleasantly under our feet as we walk across the frozen campus. The crocus flowers, confused and eager to bloom prematurely a couple weeks ago have receded, and the gardens on campus: the Hilltop garden, the Bryan House garden, and the SPROUTS garden are sitting quietly under cover crop as they patiently wait on winter to subside.

And yet, there remains a call for volunteers at one Campus Garden (located at Hilltop Garden and Nature Center) every Tuesday from 5-7 p.m., despite the common misconception that there is nothing to do. Instead of moping, weighted down by winter doldrums, allow yourself to be enlightened by the multitude of tasks waiting at the garden!

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Elinor Ostrom’s Third Way to Sustainability

01/22/2013 § 1 Comment

By Erik Schneider, Greening the Athletic Department Intern


You may have heard of the tragedy of the commons — the idea that public natural resources, such as water, air, pastures, or forests, will be depleted by people acting in their self interest. While the outcome seems dreary, there are solutions. Typically there have been two major responses to this problem: taxes and private property rights.

Indiana University’s late Nobel Prize-winning professor, Elinor Ostrom, worked tirelessly to uncover new solutions to this problem, which will help maintain the sustainability of our natural resources. Through a mix of historical research, fieldwork, and complex experimental studies in game theory, she discovered a third way to successfully manage resources — given the right situation, we can do it ourselves.

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3 Application Tips for the Summer 2013 Internship Program in Sustainability

01/21/2013 § 1 Comment

By Jessica Plassman, Project Coordinator; Brand and Marketing Specialist

As you prepare your IUOS application, consider the following tips from actual application reviewers:

1. Be strategic about your recommendation.

When choosing who will write your recommendation letter (required to apply) be strategic. Past applicants have failed to recognize that just because a professor or professional has clout in his/her field, they may not have been able to speak in detail about your abilities. While choosing someone who is in a position of authority (i.e. is highly regarded in his/her field) is important, it is equally important that this person knows your work and can provide a detailed summary of your qualities, your job skills, and how you would best fit with IUOS.

Beyond making the best choice in your recommender, don’t be afraid to provide guidelines to your recommender about specific areas he/she should focus on. If you feel there is a specific skill, ability, or attribute you possess that would make you stand out as a great choice feel free to ask your recommender to highlight that area. But don’t just ask them, provide them reasons why and how best he/she might do that. This clearly guides your recommender to ensure that he/she is not creating a cookie-cutter recommendation but one that is tailored to you.

Don’t forget to give your recommender plenty of time and be sure to remind them at least one week before your submission is due.

2. Be specific and provide examples.

As you will find, there are many short answer questions included in the application. These questions allow the panel of reviewers to assess your abilities. Beyond your resume, we want to get a first-hand account of your skills and experience. Too many times applicants provide a one-sentence answer that is both vague and nondescript. Use these questions as an opportunity to point out your strengths. You should approach these questions both individually and as a whole. As you are answering each question, ask yourself:

  • Have I answered the question directly?
  • Have I been thorough in my answer?
  • Have I provided a specific example of an experience or skill?
  • Does my answer highlight my strengths?
  • How does my answer fit within my entire application (i.e. have I been able to point out several different attributes; do I need to add variety in my examples)?

3. Write a strong personal statement.

Some of the applications we receive don’t include a personal statement at all or if they do, it is under-developed. Not providing a personal statement is a missed opportunity! You should use the personal statement as a chance to engage the reviewers and highlight skills/attributes that directly relate to the internship position(s) you are applying for. Providing a poorly written or underdeveloped personal statement gives a bad first impression. Take enough time that you can formulate a statement with a well-rounded argument (i.e. 5 paragraph essay). Be sure to proofread for any spelling and grammatical errors (your entire application should be free of errors like this).

While cover letter/personal statement writing is a skill you will develop over time, it’s important that you see the statement as your first impression to a company. There are many tips online for writing a strong cover letter and if you’ve never written one before now is the time to start reading those tips! Tips can vary depending on what a reviewer is looking for, but in general, a well written, thoroughly executed cover letter that is direct and relevant is a great start. Before you submit your personal statement, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my personal statement free of errors?
  • Is my argument well-rounded? Is it succinct and relevant?
  • Have I included all relevant skills and attributes that pertain to the position(s) I’m applying for?
  • Have I included examples that clearly align with the position(s) and demonstrate my ability to achieve success?

For more tips and how to apply click here.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Consider an IUOS Internship

01/21/2013 § Leave a comment

By: Jessica Plassman, Project Coordinator: Brand and Marketing Specialist

As our office prepares to hire the next group of bright minds for the Summer Internship in Sustainability, I wanted to find out what the current interns have to say about their favorite reasons for working at IUOS.

Here are their top 5 favorites:

1. Professional development

One of the advantages of an IUOS internship is that it prepares you for the business world. Whether you imagine yourself in a large, small, corporate, or non-profit atmosphere, you have the opportunity to experience it all. Through working with a small organization, navigating a large bureaucratic organization, and learning to develop business-to-business and business-to-customer relationships, an IUOS internship teaches you about sustainability and builds your business acumen.

As one intern says, “I think this internship can act as a really great segue from being a full-time student, to a full-time professional. It has taught me how to manage my time, hold meetings, manage people and events, etc. All while focusing in an area that I care about.”

2. Instilling change and making a lasting impact

From the start of their internships, IUOS interns are immersed in a large and very complex organizational structure that they will learn to navigate. Summarizing this process, one intern says, “Before my internship I had no idea of the complexity that goes into running IU. Through talking with the other interns and my own work I have learned more about the operational side of IU and I can better appreciate what goes into making it a pleasant campus to live and learn on.”

Producing change is an important facet of all internship initiatives. As interns acclimate to the bureaucratic structure of the university, they are able to develop and implement plans for events, research, and studies that will have an impact on driving all facets of IUB toward sustainability.

Interns agree that, not only were they initially unaware of what it takes to make IUB run smoothly and to instill change, one of the best rewards of all their hard work is seeing the operational and academic sides of the university evolve. As one intern suggests, “As an intern, I’ve had the autonomy to define my own plan and decide where, when, and how changes will be made to make IU and the community more sustainable.” Almost all interns agree that while change can happen slowly and takes a lot of hard work, “it was totally worth it.”

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Saving Energy (and Money) In the Winter

01/16/2013 § 6 Comments

By Jonathan Moberly – Document Management Intern

Winter has finally come. For those students like myself that are living off campus, this means that we finally have to get used to the fact that our utility bills are about to go up. As a college student on a budget, I have experimented with a lot of different ways to save on that utility bill without spending much money. For the past three years my roommates and I have set our thermostat in the low 60s, saving money and energy. Here are some of my suggestions for how you can do the same.

One of the easiest things you can do to deal with the winter is to change your habits to match the season. For example, by cooking more hot meals, you’ll heat up yourself and to a lesser degree the house. Another habit to get into is layering up. One of the big changes I make over the winter is to start wearing a lot more layers not only when I’m outside but when I’m inside as well. Everyone has a Snuggie or an old sweatshirt from high school lying around and if you throw one on next time you get cold you will be a lot less tempted to turn up the heat. Also I’ve found that when you’re asleep, you don’t care about the temperature in the living room, kitchen, etc. Because of that I make sure to turn the heat down before I go to sleep and throw an extra blanket or two on the bed. From eating warmer to throwing on an extra layer of clothing, you can warm yourself up without turning up the thermostat.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Think About What You Throw Away

01/15/2013 § Leave a comment

By: Skyler Roeshot, Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale Intern 

Every year in May students at IU move away from Bloomington, and in mid August, students move back on to campus. During the final week of spring semester, many students are faced with the challenges of studying and taking finals and moving out of their dorm, house or apartment all in the same week. If you are like me, finals week usually comes complete with one or two all-nighters and lots of stress; the last thing I want to do is pack up all the stuff I still need and figure out a good home for the rest. Hoosier to Hoosier (H2H) is a reuse program that aims to 1) divert reusable items from the landfill during student move-out, 2) prevent additional resource consumption by selling collected items to student and community members and 3) raise funds for local charities and other organizations. This year, the H2H coordinators are aiming to get the IU and Bloomington communities to start thinking about their waste and their consumption all year round.

As the H2H Community sale intern, I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of the Sycamore Ridge Landfill. This is the landfill where the waste from IU and the city of Bloomington goes. The landfill is in Pimento, IN, just south of Terre Haute, 54.5 miles from Bloomington. That’s a long trip for all of your trash to take in inefficient garbage trucks! This experience was so powerful that it’s hard to find words to explain it. Standing atop of one of the still open landfills and rotating 360°, for almost as far as you can see, are landfills that are already covered; mountains of trash all around you. I took these pictures to show what I can’t seem to put into words.


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