The Sustainable Campus (Trends and Innovations)

Green Guides

At the University of Arizona in Tucson, the mission of the Institute of the Environment (IE) is to advance innovative solutions to environmental challenges in Arizona and around the planet. The IE embraces the significance of its location in the desert Southwest and harnesses the collaborative expertise at the University of Arizona (UA) and among its partners to help societies, especially those in dry regions, make the best-informed decisions for a sustainable future. The institute invests in creative scholarship and cutting-edge research, promotes the environmental enterprise of the university, and trains students and faculty alike to convey their insights to the world.

Being green is easier than ever with the University of Arizona’s new Green Engagement Guide, which links students to internships, externships, volunteer work and campus student organizations related to the environment and sustainability.

By Students, for Students

Launched in April by the IE and the university’s Office of Sustainability, the guide was written by students, for students, with up-todate searchable listings for on- and off-campus jobs, tips for living more sustainably and creating a successful green project, and other information designed to highlight the extraordinary opportunities for environmental learning and career building in and around the UA.

“The Green Engagement Guide synthesizes the extensive amount of involvement opportunities in the sustainability field all in one place,” says Christina Petsas, a senior majoring in communication and Spanish who helped compile the guide. “It makes it easy for us to find opportunities to do hands-on work and gain experience in green initiatives.”

While students can find a diverse array of engagement opportunities through the university’s Office of Student Engagement, the Green Engagement Guide focuses on opportunities specifically related to environment-and sustainability-related experiences beyond the classroom. The guide can help students find ways to enhance their personal and professional development and foster curiosity about solutions to environmental, social and economic challenges.

Focused on undergraduates, the guide includes timely listings of internships, jobs, volunteer positions and research opportunities submitted by off-campus employers, agencies, organizations, nonprofits, and UA staff, faculty, researchers and clubs. For students interested in initiating a project that promotes sustainability and the environment, the guide also includes a list of previous green projects on campus and downloadable resource guides on subjects such as writing a grant, managing a budget and navigating the university administration. Additionally, students can find a list of green clubs and organizations across campus and tips for ways students can make their lives more sustainable.

The guide joins a suite of other green guides available from the IE to help students home in on UA courses, degrees and careers related to the environment and sustainability.

The Green Guides

“The Green Guides [] are designed to help students explore and incorporate their environmental interests into their UA experience, whether we’re talking about a freshman picking classes, a near-graduate looking for career options or someone looking for an interesting club activity or internship,” says Betsy Woodhouse, deputy director of the UA’s Institute of the Environment.

The Green Course Guide, updated each semester, enables students to find current or upcoming green courses, regardless of their degree choice. The Green Degree Guide makes it easy for students to find undergraduate degrees and minors at the UA related to the environment and sustainability, and it includes tips for greening one’s education. The Green Career Guide helps students determine job sectors or careers that might hold the most interest for them.

“The UA is committed to fostering a culture of experiential learning, where every moment of a student’s day is a learning experience,” says Ben Champion, director of the UA’s Office of Sustainability. “Our students have some of the best opportunities in the country to learn about real-world grand challenges in environmental and social justice. With the Green Guides, they can find the courses, research and community partners to create solutions throughout campus and Tucson.”

The IE, Office of Sustainability and Career Services developed the guides with support from the Green Fund, a student-funded and student-run program focused on sustainability projects across campus.

“Environmental opportunities exist in every college on campus, but they can be hidden in unexpected places,” Woodhouse says. “Our efforts have been aimed at identifying both the obvious and the not-so-obvious opportunities, whether the student is majoring in English or environmental studies, education or engineering.”

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

About the Author

Angie Brown is project & event coordinator for the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona.