Sustainability Internship Program




See us featured on the front cover of the AASHE Guide to Creating & Managing Sustainability Internship Programs!

The Sustainability Internship Program (SIP) is an initiative through the Office of Sustainability that offers hands-on learning experiences for undergraduates that advance the overall mission of greater social, economic and environmental sustainability in the campus community. This unique program provides an intellectual framework for students to apply classroom learning to project-based engagement. Since summer 2014 we have connected over 100 students to sustainability projects all over our campus including UIC Dining Services, UIC Campus Housing, Utilities, Facilities Management, Bike UIC, the College of Engineering, University of Illinois Hospital and the Energy Initiative.

The program consists of an internship placement at a UIC department or affiliated organization, weekly seminars and field outings that cover a range of educational and skill building topics, and leadership development and project management experience.

Seminar topics include: environmental and energy sustainability issues, cultural sustainability issues, institutional challenges and change management, campus structure and administration, campus sustainability programs and job readiness.

As part of the SIP program interns will:

  • Develop a work plan and project goals
  • Meet regularly with an experienced mentor
  • Share experiences with other SIP interns
  • Attend weekly seminars and outings
  • Report on campus sustainability using the SIP blog
  • Present capstone project results at a poster presentation

Spring 2018 positions

Below are a few examples of internship placements for Spring 2018; this list will continue to be updated throughout the Fall 2017 semester.

Zero Waste Guide 2: Before and After Your Event

The Office of Sustainability is seeking an intern for the Good Food Festival. In the months since the OS published the Zero Waste Guide, it is clear that multiple departments, units, and work flows that must be involved in the planning of a single campus event. Because the default for UIC as a whole is to put waste into a compactor, the work flows leading to the event and following the event must be evaluated, and the units and all employees involved must be part of the discussion.

Recycling Industry Research for a Zero Waste Campus

This is a research internship attached to the Good Food Festival.  Where does the recyclable material UIC collect end up? There is anecdotal evidence that the recycling and composting industries in the area are experiencing challenges. To be genuine about UIC’s commitment to Zero Waste, there should be information about what happens to each of the streams collected. Having this data would also help in discussions with the service ware vendor chosen by the client sponsoring the event.

Past opportunities

While we continue building our list of available positions, you can get a taste of past offerings below:

Buildings and Energy Use

Building Automation Systems
School of Public Health Building Sustainability


Prairie Restoration/Bee Campus USA
Rights-of-Way Ecology
Tree Campus USA


Sustainable Purchasing
Bike UIC
Foundations Development Research Assistant

Recycling and Compost

Dead Supply Society

Good Food Fest


Water Assessment

Urban Transformations 1.1
Urban Transformations 1.2

The SIP Intern Experience

SIP Student Blog

2016 spring sip group

Check out the great work our students accomplished and read the SIP experience in their own words!


Past SIP Intern Placements

35 former SIP interns talk about their role as a sustainability intern and what it meant to them. Read their internship descriptions, as well as their favorite part of the program, here.

35 former SIP interns talk about their role as a sustainability intern and what it meant to them. Read their internship descriptions, as well as their favorite part of the program, here.


SIP Poster Presentations

Summer 16 internsSIP Spring 2016 Poster Presentation Pamphlet

SIP Summer 2015 Poster Presentation Pamphlet

SIP Spring 2015 Poster Presentation Pamphlet

SIP Summer 2014 Poster Presentation Pamphlet



SIP Intern Image Gallery

Including photos from Volunteer day with the UIC Heritage Garden Internship Program, Tour of Loop Recycling facility, Summer Intern Picnic, Poster Presentations, and SIP Careers Day