Washington Applied Sustainability Internship

The Washington Applied Sustainability Internship (WASI) program is an undergraduate summer internship program designed to link dedicated engineering, chemistry, sustainability and environmental sciences students with business and industry in Washington. Interns research identified pollution prevention opportunities at a Host Business to analyze, recommend, and/or implement process changes to find and use safer chemical alternatives, reduce hazardous and solid wastes, conserve energy and water, reduce water contaminants and emissions, increase efficiency and cost savings, and improve employee health and safety. These pollution prevention internship projects will benefit Washington’s waterways and other natural resources.

Washington Sea Grant (WSG) and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) administer the program in tandem. Individual Interns work for a Host Business and will have access to technical advisors at Ecology. The program is partially funded by the EPA Pollution Prevention Grant.

 Past Projects and Success Stories

Application Information for Hosts and Fellows

Instructions on how to apply to participate as a WASI Host office or apply to be a Fellow.

Host Office Application Information

HOST APPLICATIONS DUE FEBRUARY 16, 2024

2024 Host Business Application Link. Click here.

An intern will conduct onsite research at your business 

WASI places interns at selected businesses to help identify and implement pollution prevention (P2) projects. Interns can help your business work on projects that improve efficiency, save money, reduce waste, or decrease regulatory requirements. Interns are paid from an EPA P2 grant and are free for businesses. Apply now to host an intern for 10 weeks this summer.

You will benefit from

  • A new set of creative eyes looking at your project.
  • Extra help from Ecology technical assistance providers.
  • A full report and presentation detailing the intern’s work and next steps for your company.

Project requirements

  • Produces measurable outcomes
  • Prevents waste and moves beyond environmental compliance basics
  • Produces sharable results (except confidential business information)

Preferred Sectors for 2024

  • Food and Beverage Manufacturing and Processing
  • Chemical Manufacturing, Processing and Formulation
  • Automotive Manufacturing and Maintenance
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing and Maintenance
  • Metal Manufacturing and Fabrication
  • Supporting Pollution Prevention in Indian Country

Project Ideas

  • Safer chemical swaps
  • Waste reduction
  • Water conservation
  • Preventing pollution to Washington waters
  • Energy savings
  • Limited demonstrations of safer products
  • Cost-savings or cost-benefit analysis work
  • Alternatives assessment
  • Inventory management
  • Reducing air emissions
  • Advancing the practices of green chemistry and engineering

Host Business Responsibilities: Please review the 2024 Host Business Responsibilities document [PFD] prior to submitting your application below.

2024 Host Business Application Link. Click here.

To talk about your project ideas, contact Jenny Yoo at jenny.yoo@ecy.wa.gov.

Prospective Intern Information

APPLICATION PERIOD OPENS IN MARCH 11, 2024

2024 WASI HOST BUSINESSES and POSITION DESCRIPTIONS COMING SOON

As an WASI intern 

You will be matched with a Washington state business to create sustainability solutions for industry practices. During this 10-week internship, you will conduct research that can help improve efficiency, save money, and prevent/reduce waste. Project topics might include energy or water audits, toxics reduction, green chemistry, and life cycle assessment. Read the Host Businesses Project Descriptions very carefully to determine which project best suits your interests, skills and knowledge.

Additionally, you will benefit from

  • Hands on experience in project development and management
  • Collaboration with industry
  • Mentorship by an WASI engineer or scientist
  • Communicating science to interdisciplinary audiences

Eligibility 

  • The Washington Applied Sustainability Internship (WASI) is open to any Washington state-based undergraduate student with junior or senior standing (including graduating seniors) in business, economics, engineering, environmental science, green chemistry, physical science or sustainability science.
  • NOTE: each internship position has preferred majors and desired skills and experience, and may have additional eligibility criteria (e.g. citizenship requirements) see the project descriptions for more information
  • DACA students are eligible to apply, however each internship position may have specific requirements related to immigration status or citizenship (see above)
  • Black, indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC), representatives of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and allies are encouraged to apply for this opportunity

How to Apply

Washington Sea Grant uses eSeaGrant for submitting applications. In order to access this system and submit your application for this fellowship, please:

  1. Email sgfellow@uw.edu declaring your interest in applying and so that the Washington Sea Grant internship team can provide application support
  2. Access eSeaGrant at: https://esg.wsg.washington.edu and register for a user account
  3. All application materials (see Required Application Components below) should be uploaded to eSeaGrant by the published deadline. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. While we encourage electronic submission of your application if this is not a possibility please contact sgfellow@uw.edu and we will provide accommodations
  4. Note: Applicants may apply for one or more of the available internship positions. If applying for more than one project you must submit a Project Preference Statement for each project.

Intern Selection

Finalists will be interviewed and selected by the WASI Review Panel including representatives from the host business, Washington Sea Grant, and the WA Department of Ecology.

Interviews will take place in early May and internships will start in early June.

 

Required Application Components 

A complete application will include the following 3 components: 

  1. A Resumé describing your work and/or volunteer experience. (maximum two pages; use 12 point Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins.)
    • The resumé must include your name, contact information (including phone and email address), GPA, and educational history.
    • The resumé should also detail your work and volunteer history, particularly as it relates to the WASI opportunities.
    • Include names and contact information for at least 2 references
  2. A Personal Statement sharing your academic and career vision and how the WASI opportunity fits into and supports your goals (maximum one page; use 12 point Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins, and 1.5-line spacing.)
  3. A Project Preference Statement indicating which WASI project or projects you are interested in, how you would benefit from the project and how your skills align with the host business project(s) of interest. (maximum 300 words)
    • NOTE: You may apply to more than one project position. If applying for more than one project you must submit a Project Preference Statement for each project AND you must rank the projects in order of preferences (i.e. 1 for first choice project, 2 for second choice project, and so on)
  4. Unofficial transcripts showing all college-level education. While required to confirm eligibility, details of student transcripts are not factored into the selection process

Note: Please include only the required components in your application packet (i.e., do not include a cover letter, additional recommendations, or photos). Failure to follow all guidelines may result in the disqualification of your application.

WASI Internship Review Criteria – 20 points total
  1. The student’s articulated goals for what they want out of the position align with project objectives. (0 – 5 points, poor to excellent)
  2. Applicant has skills relevant to the position. Which may include the following: lifecycle assessment, cost benefit analysis, energy audit, economic / sustainability analysis, materials/waste management, etc. (0 – 5 points, poor to excellent)
  3. Student degree aligns with those identified by host. (0 – 5 points, poor to excellent)
  4. Priority for graduating students. (0 – 2 points)
  5. Priority for students who would benefit from this experience (have not already had similar opportunities). (0 – 3 points)

Stipend Amount

  • $8,000 per student for the summer. This is a full-time (40hrs/week), 10-week internship and interns must be available to work onsite or virtually at the businesses on a daily basis.
  • Housing costs are not provided, but limited funds may be available to support program-related travel expenses
  • Intern stipends are administered through Washington Sea Grant and the University of Washington

Note: Internship stipends are non-benefits-eligible and will not have taxes withheld. Interns are not UW employees—i.e., this is not an employment relationship but rather a trainee/learner experience

Intern Selection

Applications will be evaluated and finalists selected by the Washington Sea Grant WASI review panel. Finalists will then be interviewed and interns selected by a team consisting of representatives from the host businesses and Washington Sea Grant.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Washington Sea Grant

WSG maintains a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, by pursuing diverse perspectives, and enhancing cultural understanding. WSG works to create equitable access to resources and opportunities for Washington’s diverse communities and seeks to incorporate their voices and priorities. WSG’s values are informed by environmental justice and are based in a culture of inclusion, respect, long-term engagement and accountability. Individuals that are historically underrepresented in marine science and policy work are encouraged to apply for this opportunity.

For further information, please contact Deborah Purce, WSG Fellowships and Research Specialist: sgfellow@uw.edu.