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Sustainable Living
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  Program Directors

  Lonnie Gamble

  641-472-7000 ext. 2291


  Travis Cox

  641-472-7000 ext. 3306

  Department Chair

  David Fisher

  641-472-7000 ext. 2139


Internships with Real World Experience

We work individually with every student, assess their interests and career goals, and tailor each internship to those aspirations. The Internship Program is a student’s opportunity to receive on-the-job training, get an idea if this is the career they are truly interested in pursuing, and in some cases students are hired on after graduation by their internship providers. We have placed interns across the U.S. in a variety industries including sustainable agriculture, green building, renewable energy, and many more specialized venues.

Watch the video below to see what our students enjoy most about their internships!

Sustainable Living students often have a blog or several blogs from previous classes in the department, but advisers emphasize that the internship blog should be looked at differently.  Part of the internship grade is based on the blog, but students are asked to post their text, pictures, and videos with a larger goal in mind: showcasing skills and abilities for future employers.  When students return from their internship(s) we round out the experience by opening a LinkedIn page, adding their resumes, and building an online presence.

Check out Sustainable Living major Zach Dean’s blog about his experiences as an intern at Rodale Institute.

Here is a brief sample from Zach’s blog, detailing a day in the life of a busy Rodale intern…

“First thing Thursday morning we flipped all three compost piles, which was easily done with 8+ people taking turns helping out with all the piles. After that Scott and I headed over to a plot that was originally meant to be part of the Right Size Garden project but has since been allocated to Elaine’s desire to experiment with local under story plants. Her hope is to see which ones do the best and put together seed packets for farmers and a like to use as they desire. Lindsey brought us a huge container of water with the riding mower and we watered all the under story plants, which didn’t take long at all. Once that was done I headed over to the microscope lab to look at samples, which I did until lunch and picked it back up again after lunch until 3pm. Around 3 Elaine taught a class on how to run a potential microscope business: what to charge per sample, how to set up the processing forms, and how to cater your interpretations of your findings to meet what the client is trying to grow. It was a good bit of information to take in.“


Here are several organizations Sustainable Living students have interned for:

Sustainable Agriculture
  • Ecology Action: teaches people to better feed themselves while building and preserving the soil and conserving natural resources, featuring the Grow Biointensive method. Student Experience
  • Soil FoodWeb: a way of improving the soils we work with now and keep them in a healthier state without damaging any other ecosystem.
  • Burr Oak Center for Durable Culture: directed and self-directed studies ranging from seed to seed agronomy, organic permaculture, animal husbandry, and marketing.

Energy and Sustainability
  • Ideal Energy: using specialized diagnostic equipment to assess current energy usage of an existing building and locate areas of energy loss or over usage—and staying abreast of available rebates, incentives, and grants for improving efficiency.
  • Rural Renewable Energy Alliance: making solar energy available to people of all income levels.

Green Building and Design
  • City Repair Project: organized group action to educate and inspire individuals and communities to creatively transform the places where they live.
  • California Institute of Earth and Architecture: using earth and ceramic architecture technologies to empower people to create their own homes and communities—particularly in poor or disaster-stricken areas.
  • Eco Nest: building hand-crafted homes of clay, straw, and timber.

Sustainability as an Engine for Change
  • Bonnell Building Project: a nonprofit organization that provides physical space, infrastructure, and resources for community members to engage in a variety of learning activities, and to start and grow organizations (for-profit or nonprofit).
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