Provost's Sustainability Internship Program (PSI)
The Provost’s Sustainability Internship (PSI) Program engages students and staff in a year-long campus internship designed to improve the sustainability of the UCSC campus. Students are paired with staff or faculty mentors and work closely with them on campus sustainability projects and research.
Students receive internship credit for the fall, winter, and spring quarters and a $1500 scholarship upon completion of the program in spring quarter. The goal of this project is to raise $3,000 toward the Provost’s Sustainability Internship Program (PSI). $3,000 will support two students for an entire academic year.
Examples of past PSI projects include:
Created a Green Washing Education Training Program for campus buyers.
Assessed the number of real food items in campus dining halls to support the campus Real Food Challenge.
Piloted a reusable dishware program at the Ethnic Resource Centers.
Developed a Green Revolving loan fund for campus projects that reduce emissions and waste.
Created a sustainable seafood guide for campus and delivered a sustainable seafood learning journey.
Conducted education initiatives in Crown and Colleges 9 &10 about waste reduction.
Developed a handbook to educate students on responsible recreation in campus natural lands.
Completed a campus gardens assessment.
Developed Stevenson College Garden Internship program and handbook.
The program aims to develop competencies necessary for students to become effective environmental professionals and leaders and to foster student and staff engagement in sustainable practices at UC Santa Cruz. Since its inception in 2011, the PSI program has grown from a cohort of seven to twelve (2013-2014, prospective). We anticipate steady growth for the program over time, eventually expanding to include 20 students. To date, student projects have been completed in partnership with Physical Planning and Construction; Physical Plant; Environmental Health and Safety; Family Student Housing; Dining Services; Procurement and Business Contracts; the Sustainability Office; the Center for Agro-ecology and Food Systems; College Student Life and Residential Services.
Highlights from Student Feedback
“PSI has been an incredible experience that has changed my life completely. This internship gave me the opportunity to work with national organizations, local businesses, staff and faculty members of UCSC, and students from across the country. Working on the project pushed me to learn outside of the classroom and explore issues of sustainability, conservation, political ecology, social justice, and the intersection of these disciplines.” “I have become a much better presenter than I was before, as I now know how to teach, and not just talk at people. In addition, I am much better at managing my e-mails and staying on top of my work load and in contact with professional connections.”
“I have definitely grown (professionally). Before this internship I had never had a job in a professional setting, and I learned so much from working with professionals in the field. I gained so much experience communicating professionally, writing professional project proposals, creating workplans, and presenting.”
Highlights from Staff Feedback
“I think the class was a huge part of our intern's success. He was held accountable for deadlines which set the bar for the rest of the year. The class also helped with the intern's confidence and leadership skills. He also learned how to collaborate with others. His knowledge and experience of sustainability also grew a great deal.”
“I had a very positive experience of the program and thought the program was excellent.”