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EcoAmbassador Internship Program

EcoAmbassadors are students chosen by the Committee on Sustainability to communicate the message of sustainability to various departments and offices on campus.  EcoAmbassadors help to green office practices, educate the W&M community about sustainable practices, and create programs to carry out sustainability related projects at the College.

EcoAmbassadors may be eligible to receive one credit through the Environmental Science and Policy program for their participation. The internship will consist of approximately 5 hours spent per week creating and implementing a sustainability project in a department or office, in collaboration with a supervising staff or faculty member, EcoAmbassador class instructor Beth Chambers, and Patrick Foley, the Sustainability Fellow.  This is a great opportunity to work with different departments or offices on campus on environmental issues that are important to the College community.  If you have questions about the EcoAmbassador program or any of the Fall 2013 projects, contact Beth at [[bhcham]] or Patrick at [[e|pjfoley]]. To apply for the Fall 2013 EcoAmbassador projects, complete the application form.

For the Fall 2013 semester, the following EcoAmbassador projects are underway:

1. Planning Earth Week 2013 (2 Positions) (year-long)

The two EcoAmbassadors assigned to assist in the planning of the annual Earth Week celebration will have the opportunity to work closely with the College Sustainability Fellow, Patrick Foley, on one of the biggest sustainability-focused events taking place on campus this upcoming academic year. The EcoAmbassadors for this project should be well organized, creative, and enthusiastic as their responsibilities will include campus outreach, working with college administrative offices, and planning campus-wide events that include a broad variety of academic disciplines. This is a full year project; the students would receive one credit for the fall and one credit for the spring semester.

Project goals:

  • Organize weekly planning meetings for Earth Week
  • Develop an academic theme related to sustainability to build the events around
  • Contact the Scheduling Office and confirming locations for events well in advance of the celebration
  • Assist with the logistical support for these events i.e. planning multimedia & electronics set-up, campus advertising
  • Contact other groups on campus about participating in the celebration i.e. AMP, SEAC
2. Native Plant Nursery for Sustainable W&M Landscapes (1 Position) (year-long)

The student selected for this project will work with Patricia White-Jackson, Biology Greenhouse Manager, and Beth Chambers, Herbarium Curator, to research rationale and feasibility of growing native plants from the W&M campus grounds for use in landscaping on campus. The applicant should have an interest in plants, and preference for students with experience in the campus greenhouse, Botany Club, botany courses, or other applicable experience.

Project goals:

  • Research role of native plant propagation in light of efforts for sustainable landscape conservation, and identify anticipated benefits (e.g., cost, ecosystem function, land use impacts, biodiversity enhancement; preservation of campus plant genetic stock)
  • Investigate feasibility of native plant propagation with existing campus resources (staff, facilities, institutional organization)
  • Research peer institutions that have attempted native plant propagation on similar landscape scales
  • Prepare a cost estimate and proposal for implementation of a native plant nursery on campus using the greenhouse
  • Initiate a pilot program for seed collection and/or plant propagation using Biology Department greenhouse resources
3. Recycling Analysis and Education (1 Position) (year-long)

This student will work with Bob Avalle, Director of Operations and Maintenance in Facilities Management, to educate the campus about recycling issues and increase the recycling rate by laying the groundwork for a new orientation program to teach students about recycling and sustainability on campus. The student will also work on the new campaign to increase recycling signage across campus.

Project goals:

  • Make recommendations on enhancing recycling education
  • Recruit students to join campus initiatives related to recycling
  • Develop an orientation program to educate future students about recycling on campus
  • Take an active role in the Operations working group and recycling campaigns on campus
4. Sustainability Conference (1 Position) (Fall Semester)

This Student will work with Mary-Carson Saunders of the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic in planning a sustainability conference in the fall semester. The student will assist Sharon Hartzell, the student chair for Programs and Education, in recruiting student groups and regional partners in participating in the conference. This position will require strong organizational skills and the ability to communicate with student groups as well as faculty members and outside professionals.

Project Goals:

  • Help determine an appropriate venue for the conference on campus
  • Identify and contact possible conference participants
  • Work with local vendors to provide food/beverages for the event
  • Assist in promoting the event and creating materials for participants i.e. agenda, brochures
5. Web Design and Sustainable Communications (1 Position) (year-long)

This EcoAmbassador will work to improve the web presence of the Committee on Sustainability. In recent years, COS has expanded its activities in digital media to reach out to new students and make others aware of opportunities on campus. This student will maintain these applications for the Committee and also have the opportunity to update the design and information on the site. Experience with web design is preferred, but not required.

  • Receive training in the Cascade system to update the web pages on the W&M site
  • Meet weekly with the sustainability fellow to discuss updates to the page
  • Manage the Twitter and Facebook feeds for Committee on Sustainability
  • Generate content and update the HarkupontheGreen blog

EcoAmbassadors for the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters were:

  • Amanda Morrow '14, who worked on SWEM Library's Sustainability Guide and helped implement and promote SWEM sustainability events
  • Blair Doucett '13 and Will Ozbun '13, who helped coordinate W&M Earth Week
  • Philip Hart '13 and Sami Mirimiri '14 who worked with Dan Patterson in Facilities to present report energy use data on the W&M Sustainability website
  • Nicholas Ryu '13 who worked with Robert Avalle in Facilities to promote Recycling on campus
  • Tracey Brinkerhoff '14 and Caitlin Verdu '14 (Fall Semester) and Philip Hart '13 (Spring Semester) who worked with faculty at the School of Business School on communicating sustainability among the many groups with these overlapping goals

The EcoAmbassadors for the Spring 2012 semester were:

  • Will Douthitt '12 and Katie Snyder '13, who are reseached and wrote grants for the EcoVillage.
  • Sharon Hartzell '14, who revitalized the COS blog to make it a more effective outreach tool.
  • Elizabeth Saccioccia '14, who worked with Facilities Management on GIS documentation of campus features like memorial trees, sensitive habitats and areas of archeological importance.
  • Darya Minovi '14, who worked to certify the College as a bicycle friendly campus.
  • Jeremy Zhang '14, who revamped Swem Library's sustainability guide.
  • Priscilla Lin '13 and Zander Pellegrino '15, who planned Earth Week 2012.

The EcoAmbassadors for the Fall 2011 semester were:

  • Katie Robinson '14, who worked to increase the level of LEED certification in the Rec Center.
  • Will Douthitt '12 and Katie Snyder '13, who did research and wrote grants for the EcoVillage.
  • Sharon Hartzell '14, who revitalized the COS blog to make it a more effective outreach tool.
  • Tom Innes, MBA '12 who worked with Facilities Management on documentation of campus construction with emphasis on underground utility mapping to support future campus planning, construction, and maintenance.
  • Huan Song '13, who worked with the Mason School of Business to develop an effective environmental signage campaign and raising awareness about water issues.

The EcoAmbassadors for the Spring 2011 semester were:

  • Dominique Paxton '13 and Julia Casciotti '12, who worked in the Office of Procurement on an e-recycling program.
  • Patrick Foley '13, who worked in the Government Department on a sustainable transportation project.
  • Morrison Mast '12, who worked with GIS to map fisheries in South America.
  • Sarah Appleton '14, who worked to improve recycling at Swem Library.
  • Thuy Tran '12 and Will Ozbun '13, who worked on non-traditional recycling programs in the Athletics Department.
  • Maegan Crews '12, who worked with the Art Department to recycle construction waste into art projects.