College Student Internships for Sustainability
Good for Businesses, Students, and the Environment
- Technical assistance to New York businesses
- Positive learning opportunities for students
- Top engineering and science students introduced to New York businesses
Through an EPA grant, DEC's Toxics Reduction & Green Chemistry Unit funds summer interns to work on environmental projects that go beyond
compliance. Internships start as early as mid May and end in mid August.
Application Information and Forms
Application forms for students (PDF) (41 KB) must be received by February 21, 2014.
The company, student, and DEC sign a contractual P2 Intern Program - Work Agreement (PDF) (28 KB), which spells out the responsibilities of all parties.
The interns help New York businesses:
- Reduce pollution at the source
- Reduce energy use
- Reduce water use
- Enhance water quality
- Design green infrastructure
- Divert solid waste from landfills
- Reduce permitting burdens
- Reduce costs
- Research and implement sustainability programs
The program began in Summer 2008 with six interns placed in host facilities throughout New York, working on diverse projects.
Funded projects have included numerous program areas:
- Water, stormwater and green infrastructure
- Recycling and composting
- Air quality and greenhouse gas reduction
A number of facilities also benefited from reductions in energy use, although this was not the project focus.
Businesses hosting summer interns have included a variety of New York businesses and organizations:
- Chip fab plant
- Pharmaceutical manufacturing facility
- Waste disposal facilities
- Local government
- Nonprofit organizations
Testimonials from Businesses on the DEC P2 Summer Intern Program:
"Over the summer of 2012, Covanta Babylon had the opportunity to bring on-board two interns through the NYS DEC Program. Because of the screening process that DEC does before making potential interns available to companies like us, the interns tend to be of high caliber with a good work ethic. The DEC does a great job of matching intern talent and interest with company focus. Both of our interns ultimately pursued projects that directly related to topics of benefit to our facility. While two months is not a great deal of time to fully flesh out ideas, we commend the work that our interns completed. The work product from both will be used as a foundation for further development with the hopes of implementation in the near future. I give the DEC Internship Program two thumbs up and expect to take advantage of this great resource again!" - Mark O'Brien, Facility Manager, Covanta Babylon, Inc., Babylon, NY
"The Matt Brewing Company has had the pleasure of working with three interns through the DEC's College Student Internships for Pollution Prevention program. In each case, we identified a specific environmental goal and the DEC selected a candidate with the education, talent and interest necessary to help us reach our goal through their dedicated summer program. The time and monetary commitment was more than offset by the advancement we made toward our goals. I would highly recommend working with the DEC on this program as their staff and the students were a pleasure to work with." - Jim Kuhr, Director of Brewery Operation & Brewmaster, The Matt Brewing Company, Utica, NY
Goals for a Pollution Prevention (P2) Project
Eligible projects should seek to eliminate or reduce waste at the source or the front end of a process or a system by one or more of the following:
- modifying production processes to eliminate the use of toxic materials
- substituting non-toxic or less-toxic substances
- implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials.
P2 projects submitted from the energy and agricultural sectors that seek to prevent impairment of wetlands, groundwater sources, or other critical resources are also eligible. Interns can work on project development or implementation, as needed to assist the company.