Students interested in learning more about sustainability through practical experience will find a number of opportunities available right here on Auburn’s main campus. Current on-campus programs that offer internships in areas related to sustainability include:
- Academic Sustainability Programs
- Auburn Technical Assistance Center
- Office of Sustainability
- Waste Reduction & Recycling
For more information about opportunities in these areas, please contact the appropriate office.
The Office of Sustainability offers unpaid student internship opportunities each academic year beginning with the Fall semester in August. Internships are open to students who have sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the beginning of the academic year.
Students from any academic discipline interested in or passionate about sustainability and want to make a difference by applying their talents, training, and skills in ways that will support Auburn University in its move toward sustainability are encouraged to apply.
Office of Sustainability interns have the opportunity to work on a range of individual and team projects. As such, we look for self-motivated, team-oriented, and collaborative individuals who are capable of independent work. Our expectation is that our interns will commit to volunteering 10 hours per week while classes are in session.
We typically look for interns who can help us in one or more of the following areas:
- Content creation: graphic design and/or writing
- Communications & Public Relations: social media, student engagement, event planning, promotion
- Policy & Research: research into policies/practices, data gathering, data analysis, grant writing
Interns who join our team will:
- help cultivate an ethic and practice of sustainability at Auburn University
- take a leadership role in sustainability projects on campus
- serve as a liaison for the Office of Sustainability
- help with office support duties
- attend a weekly intern meeting
- have opportunities to attend sustainability conferences and other events
We issue a call for applications in March, and make final decisions for the next academic year by the end of April. Announcements for applications are made via our newsletter, website, This Week at AU, and social media.
For questions concerning the internship, please contact us.
Each year we’re lucky to have a group of undergraduate students volunteer their time and talents to help achieve our mission. You can learn a bit more about this year’s group below, and of course, you can meet our prior year interns, too!
Senior — Natural Resource Management
Nature Based Recreation Minor
Crystal Boutwell is a senior majoring in Natural Resource Management with a minor in Nature Based Recreation. She grew up in Brewton, Alabama. She initially fell in love with the outdoors through family camping, hiking, and fishing trips, but became interested in sustainability after taking classes at Auburn. Through her classes, Crystal has realized the connection between our actions and the well-being of the earth and strives to learn as much as possible about the impact of our actions in order to make wise and healthy decisions in the future. She believes that the earth and people are interwoven and that sustainable practices are necessary to provide not only a healthy earth, but also a healthy people. As an intern, she hopes to help educate students and faculty to more sustainable practices and encourage low-impact behavior in her peers. In her career, she hopes to work with rural communities to provide opportunities for economic development in healthy and sustainable ways that will better both the community and the earth.
Senior – Environmental Science
Kenzley Defler is a senior majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Sustainability. She was born in Louisville, Kentucky and lived there her whole life until coming to Auburn. Kenzley’s interest in sustainability began in her high school science classes and has grown since being exposed to many new areas of the field. She is especially passionate about issues of food security and enjoys her work with the Campus Kitchens Project focusing on reducing food waste and fighting food insecurity in the local community. In her second year with the Office of Sustainability, Kenzley hopes to raise awareness regarding ways to reduce our impact on the environment in order to make Auburn a more sustainable place to live.
Senior – Environmental Design
Rural & Community Development & Urban Environmental Sciences Minors
Max Garcia is a senior majoring in Environmental Design with minors in Rural & Community Development and Urban Environmental Sciences. He was raised in Naugatuck, Connecticut and moved to Alabama in 2005. His admiration of the outdoors started with hiking trails and walks on Huntsville’s greenways during lunchtime. Auburn has further exposed him to the importance of human-environment interaction by researching the design of recreation and community planning. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, Max hopes to gain an understanding of how to manage sustainability on a college campus and hopes to improve student wellbeing through eco-friendly lifestyle choices.
Senior — Chemical Engineering
Shelby Hall is a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering. She is from Tampa, FL, where her interests in sustainability first began by spending lots of time near the water. At Auburn, she rediscovered her interest in sustainability when thinking about how sustainable practices should be implemented in chemical engineering industry. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how to one day implement sustainable practices in industry and bring more awareness of sustainable practices to Auburn’s campus.
Junior — Graphic Design
Grace Harkin is a junior at Auburn University majoring in graphic design and minoring in marketing. She is from New Orleans, Louisiana, but has traveled all over the United States. Through her traveling, Grace has developed a passion for the environment, and how human populations affect environments. After coming to Auburn, Grace was inspired by the efforts the city makes to be more environmentally friendly, and hopes that that mentality can become more widespread. With her internship with the Office of Sustainability, Grace hopes to use her skills as a designer to help reach the student population and make the campus community more aware of sustainability issues. She believes through good communication and teamwork, Auburn can continue to become a better community.
Senior — Industrial Design
Kelsey Lawrence is a senior in Industrial Design with a minor in Sustainability. She is from Memphis, Tennessee, and enjoys painting, reading, and traveling. She has always been interested in environmental issues, but her interest in sustainability was piqued by professors in Industrial Design and the Honors College. While studying abroad, she was further inspired by forward-thinking, sustainable design concepts at Milan Design Week. Kelsey believes sustainable thinking is necessary to ensure basic quality of life for future generations, and she sees design as an integral way to implement sustainable practices. During her second year as an intern, Kelsey is serving the Office of Sustainability as a consultant, producing eco-friendly, three-dimensional products for both internal and promotional office use. In her career, she aspires to implement more sustainable methods of design within the mass-consumption-driven field of industrial design.
Senior — Ecological Engineering
Spanish, Sustainability, Minors
Hallie Nelson is a senior majoring in Ecological Engineering with minors in Spanish, Sustainability, Community and Civic Engagement. She grew up in Austin, Texas, then moved to Birmingham, Alabama where her family now lives. In her free time, Hallie enjoys going camping or listening to live music. Her interest in sustainability began while taking classes at Auburn University. Her commitment to sustainability continues to grow through her work with student groups, like the Campus Kitchen. Hallie hopes to motivate students and employees at Auburn to get involved in sustainability during her coming year as an intern.
Senior — Biosystems Engineering
German and Sustainability Minors
Matthew Preisser is a Senior in Biosystems Engineering with minors in German and
Sustainability. He grew up in Crescent Springs, Kentucky, but currently lives in Houston,
Texas when not at Auburn. He became interested in Sustainability through his passion for the environment, which started when he obtained his open water Scuba License. During his
sophomore year of high school when he volunteered at the Newport Aquarium in Newport,
Kentucky, he recognized the need for a shift towards sustainable practices as a way to protect coastal environments. In his third year as an intern, Matthew plans to use his position as an intern to help others find a personal connection to the natural world and to educate others on the importance of protecting aquatic ecosystems.
Senior — Journalism
Ingrid is a senior studying Journalism. She lived in Trussville, Alabama, her whole life until she started school at Auburn. Her membership in Girl Scouts throughout her grade school years sparked her interest in sustainability, and their motto was to leave every place better than they found it. Her time in Girl Scouts also gave her a deep appreciation for the outdoors—she loves riding her mountain bike through Alabama’s state parks or pitching a tent and spending the night under the stars with friends. Ingrid hopes to use her internship with the Office of Sustainability to show others how to change their daily behaviors into more sustainable ones and how to appreciate the world we have been given.