Monthly Newsletter

This Just In!

A monthly newsletter published by the
Macalester Environmental Studies Department

April 25, 2014

Any upcoming events, job opportunities, new internships, or other environmental news received by the ES Department are included in this newsletter. More information on the items listed in This Just In! can be received by contacting the ES Department. This issue of This Just In! and archived issues can be found at:

In This Issue.... 

1.  Summer Jobs with Great Basin Institute
2.  Punta Mona Center for Sustainable Living and Education Internship
3.  Jobs with The Fund for Public Interest
4.  SWANA Minnesota Land of Lakes Chapter Scholarship
5.  Summer Research Opportunity at Penn State University
6.  Field Trip with Aynah
7.  Job Opportunity with the Prairie Island Indian Community

1.  Summer Jobs with Great Basin Institute

The Great Basin Institute is an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and conservation throughout the West. The Institute advances ecological literacy and habitat restoration through educational outreach and direct service programs.  They have a multitude of employment and AmeriCorps volunteer opportunities available for students, alumni, and community members. Many of these positions have start dates in April and May.  Check their website for available opportunities.

2.  Punta Mona Center for Sustainable Living and Education Internship

At the Punta Mona Center for Sustainable Living and Education, they offer a Permaculture Design Course and Environmental Living Internship which is open to students of all ages from all over the world.The Punta Mona Center for Sustainable Living and Education is one of the most extensive organic permaculture farms in Costa Rica. Located on the Southern Caribbean coast, they have 85 beach front acres of primary, secondary and established food forests. They grow over 200 species of exotic fruits trees, they have identified over 125 medicinal plants and have numerous food, construction and ornamental species. Located in the heart of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, they have abundant wildlife, extensive coral reef, their beach is one of the prime nesting zones for the leatherback and green turtles and they have 3 species of dolphins offshore. Over the past 18 years they have hosted thousands of students, from junior high school through graduate levels as well as all kinds of adult learners who come to Punta Mona to be immersed in off-the grid, environmentally conscious living.

In a Permaculture Design Course and Environmental Living Internship students gain practical field skills in sustainable design, energy systems (solar and water collection), land use and holistic food practices. They will come out with a clear understanding of the principals and philosophy of permaculture and how it can be applied in urban, suburban and rural settings. In this course they discuss triple bottom line business, ecological ethics and policy and community and personal development.

Students can sign up for the 3 week permaculture design course (which at the end students will receive a Permaculture Design Certificate) and they can then may stay on for the full 10 week internship living and working here in Punta Mona. There are two opportunities like this each year, in the Winter and Summer.

Contact:  Sarah Wu, CoDirector & Onsite Manager,,

3.  Jobs with The Fund for the Public Interest

The Fund for the Public Interest is a national non-profit organization that works to build support for progressive organizations across the country. They run campaigns for the Human Rights Campaign, USPIRG, and Environment America. This summer they will be in over 50 cities, working and lobbying to help win environmental and social justice campaigns. In Minnesota, they’ll be working with Environment Minnesota to protect the Boundary Waters from toxic sulfide mining.

Last summer their staff helped stop toxic gas drilling, worked to end subsidies for junk food, and built support for equal rights for all Americans- all while building valuable leadership skills. Currently, they have paid positions open on our campaign staff in each of our locations. They require that interested candidates are hard workers and have excellent communication skills. 

As a member of their staff, you will fundraise, build membership for their partner groups, and educate and activate citizens on pressing issues. You will also have the opportunity to organize press conferences and build coalitions with other non-profit organizations. While on staff, you gain knowledge of pressing concerns our country is facing, learn how to effectively generate public support, and obtain a firm understanding of the political process. 

To apply, please visit or call 1-800-75-EARTH ( 753-2784 ).

4.  SWANA Minnesota Land of Lakes Chapter Scholarship

The Minnesota Land of Lakes Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Scholarship Committee is seeking qualified candidates for the Floyd Forsberg Environmental Scholarship.  The Floyd Forsberg Environmental Quality Scholarship is for the 2014-2015 academic year beginning in Sept. 2014. 

SWANA is a professional association of individuals involved in resource conservation, and solid waste management.  SWANA is an international association and Minnesota has been a chapter of this organization since 1986.

Scholarship Amount:  This year the SWANA-Land of Lakes chapter is offering a scholarship in the amount of $3000.  The scholarship will be presented at the annual SWANA conference in the fall, scholarship recipients are also invited to speak at the Annual Conference & Show.  Two additional scholarships totaling up to $2,000 will be awarded to the runners up.  

Eligible Applicants:  Minnesota college students currently enrolled in Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Health, Environmental Sciences, Soil Science, Solid Waste Management or other environmental related programs at post high school educational institutions located in Minnesota with sophomore standing or higher are eligible to apply.

To Be Considered:  In order to be considered for this year's scholarship, applications must be emailed or postmarked by 4 p.m., April 30, 2014.  Completed applications must be mailed, emailed, or hand delivered to Thomas Halbach.

Application Materials:

  1. A letter of application that includes a brief description of the applicant's career goals in the fields of solid waste, environmental quality, environmental health, or related areas.  The letter should not exceed two pages in length and should include all relevant contact information including name, address, telephone and email address.  Preference will be given to those applicant's whose career goals and field of study relates to solid waste management.
  2. A copy of the student's college transcript and or their current graduate transcript and their degree plan.
  3. A letter of recommendation from their college advisor, or another professor who is familiar with their studies and the student's potential for growth, development, and service in the environmental quality field.
  4. Documentation supporting the students declared major.

Applications Due April 30, 2014

Send all application materials to:   Thomas Halbach, 439 Borlaug Hall, Department of Soil Water & Climate, University of Minnesota, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108,,

5.  Summer Research Opportunity at Penn State University

The Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM) links a transdisciplinary team of climate scientists, economists, philosophers, statisticians, engineers, and policy analysts to answer the question, “What are sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient, and ethically defensible strategies for managing the risks associated with climate change?

SCRiM invites undergraduates and beginning (first- and second-year) graduate students interested in climate change, sustainability, risk management, and/or decision making under uncertainty to propose summer research projects centered on SCRiM themes. Appropriate projects might include modeling experiments using simple Earth system and/or economic models, analyses of geophysical datasets (observed or modeled), or meta-analyses based on synthesis of existing literature. Although projects will be largely self-directed, participants will be mentored and supported by SCRiM researchers as they develop and execute their research agenda.

The program runs for 9 weeks, starting 2 June 2014. Housing, travel support, and a stipend of $4500 is provided for all participants.

Students studying in the following disciplines would be well-positioned for the program:

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Geosciences / Geology
  • Meteorology / Atmospheric Science
  • Oceanography
  • Operations Research
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Statistics

This is a competitive opportunity with a limited number of openings. To apply, please send a single PDF file to containing a cover letter (briefly explaining your interest in the program and what you hope to gain from the experience), a one-page research proposal, a current CV, transcripts (unofficial acceptable), and contact information for two references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and should be submitted no later than Monday, April 28, 2014, to receive full consideration. Women, members of underrepresented groups, and students from small colleges are especially encouraged to apply.

To learn more about SCRiM, please visit

6.  Field Trip with Aynah

The non-profit organization, Aynah, ( connects university students with hands-on opportunities to learn about sustainable community development, both here and abroad.

They have a 3 night/4 day trip coming up in Minneapolis right after schools ends, from May 29 to June 1, which will feature workshops, trainings, and tours of various community development organizations, international NGOs, and cooperative businesses. Students will be able to take these hands-on learning experiences and directly apply them to their careers or potential projects they are working on.

Check out the flyer announcing the trip. Given feedback from their successful trip in January, they are limiting registration to just 13 students so they can have the most intimate hands-on experience possible. A limited number of scholarships are also available.

If you interested in attending, register here.

Contact:  Natalie Locke, Associate Director, Aynah,, 503-422-5137,

7.  Job Opportunity with the Prairie Island Indian Community

The Prairie Island Indian Community is seeking a full-time Environmental Health Specialist (EHS) who will plan, develop, and implement an outdoor and indoor Tribal Air Program for the Prairie Island Indian Community (PIIC). The EHS will implement a Clean Air Act Section 103 grant funded project to develop a Tribal Air Program for the PIIC including investigating air quality, completing an emissions inventory, and development and management of an ambient air monitoring program. Native American Preference will apply.  Click here for more information.

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