UW-Whitewater Sustainability

Get Involved

Our commitment to integrating sustainability in academics is important, but we realize that the "college experience" involves just as much outside of classroom activities that often have as much or more long-term impact on a student's life.  From the time they arrive on campus and go through our First Year Experience as an on-campus resident through their involvement in student organizations, volunteerism, and attending various campus events, our students are involved in creating a more sustainable culture on campus. 

"Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal."

- Aldo Leopold

Sustainability Volunteer Opportunities

A variety of volunteer activities are offered by the Sustainability Office throughout the year, including the Campus Garden, Upham Greenhouse, Prairie Seed Collection, and Stream Monitoring, which are explained in detail below.  Consider joining our contact list to receive a monthly newsletter with current volunteer opportunities, upcoming events and other sustainability-related news. For our current schedule of volunteer sessions or to subscribe to our newsletter, please email sustainability@uww.edu.

We welcome all students, faculty, and community members to join our gardening efforts!  Learn about plant maintenance, harvesting, weeds, and pests without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers at the UW-Whitewater Campus Garden. Whether you're new to gardening, a garden guru, or just looking to get outside and give back, all are welcome to participate! Our interns will lead the sessions by providing tools and instructions for volunteers to make gardening easy and accessible. 

The mission of the Campus Garden is to communicate the importance of locally sourced food while teaching volunteers techniques for maintaining a garden without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. We are typically in the Campus Garden from May through October, sharing tips on plant maintenance, harvesting, weeds, and pests. The Campus Garden typically produces over 2,000 pounds of produce throughout each growing season that is donated to local food pantries, including the  Warhawk Pantry. Our goal is to make gardening as accessible as possible, so volunteers do not need any gardening experience to help us out. 

The  Campus Garden is located between the Ambrose Health Center and Campus Bookstore on Starin Road.

We ask attendees to register in advance so we can communicate any cancellations. Please review the available slots by clicking on the button to sign up. For questions, email  sustainability@uww.edu.

Sign Up Here

We do a variety of garden-related activities in the Upham Greenhouse throughout the year, with most of the work focused on February-May.  During these months we are busy preparing for the gardening season by cleaning and organizing the greenhouse as well as planting and watering seeds.  There are three greenhouses in operation, including a student research house, a tropical plant collection, and a desert plant collection.  The collections are open to the campus community to browse. Student research projects must be registered with the Sustainability Office (email  sustainability@uww.edu) to reserve bench space.  

Upham Greenhouse is located on the south end of the first floor of Upham Hall. The door to enter the greenhouse is at the very end of the Physics Department hallway.

We ask attendees to register in advance so we can communicate any cancellations. Please review the available slots by clicking on the button to sign up. For questions, email  sustainability@uww.edu.

Sign Up Here

The restoration in the UW-Whitewater Nature Preserve helps to maintain a diverse array of ecosystem types by establishing and protecting native plant species and communities.  We engage in various management activities in the Nature Preserve throughout the year.

We ask attendees to register in advance so we can communicate any cancellations. Please review the available slots by clicking on the button to sign up. For questions, email  sustainability@uww.edu.

Prairie seed collection helps establish or bolster existing prairie areas in the Nature Preserve, or is used to establish native plantings across the campus landscape or donated/traded with local entities to provide a more diverse seed bank using local genotypes. Prairie seed collection starts in September and concludes in mid-November.

This is a great group activity for student groups and Greek organizations! To make an appointment for groups of 5 or more people, please email us with your affiliation, group size, along with times and dates that work best for you.

Prairie seed collection sessions meet at the  Hoffman Memorial Kiosk on Schwager Drive.

Sign Up Here

Invasive species removal of species such as buckthorn, honeysuckle, garlic mustard, sweet clover, and reed canary grass helps maintain the integrity and quality of the habitats for wildlife and student learning. Invasive removal is seasonal based on the specific species, but typically occurs throughout the year.

Invasive species removal sessions are staged in various locations, based on where the targeted species is found, and will be included in the sign up form for each planned work day.

Sign Up Here

The UW-Whitewater Sustainability Office participates in stream monitoring with the Water Action Volunteers (WAV) Program through the Rock River Coalition. With the help of faculty, staff, and students, we go out to local streams and take measurements of different variables that help determine the health of these tributaries of the Rock River. These measurements include temperature, stream flow, transparency, dissolved oxygen, stream depth, and biotic index. These measurements are reported to the WAV program, as well as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. We typically conduct stream monitoring three times per month between April and October at our site locations along Bluff Creek, Whitewater Creek, and Spring Brook Creek. 

Stream monitoring sessions leave from the Sustainability Office at the scheduled start time.

We REQUIRE attendees to register in advance so we can communicate any cancellations, coordinate transportation to the locations, and get your wader size. Please review the available slots by clicking on the button to sign up. For questions, email  sustainability@uww.edu.

Sign Up Here

Internships and Employment

Internship and employment opportunities appropriate for a college student to start a career in sustainability are available from a wide variety of sources in Wisconsin and across the United States.  There are certainly many more out there that can be revealed with some careful searching and networking, but this page is dedicated to trying to bring as many of these opportunities together for students at UW-Whitewater to find what matches their interest or major and get started.

The Sustainability Office offers a variety of paid and unpaid internships every semester in areas that address various aspects related to campus sustainability. Students are hired to work on the Engagement Team or Operations Team to collaboratively work on various projects in those areas. New positions are typically posted in November and August each year for hiring to work the following semester. Most of our interns end up working at least the full academic year on a paid basis. For current listings, please visit Handshake and search "Sustainability" for jobs listed under Facilities Planning and Management, our home department.

AASHE Bulletin job postings - Find a career in campus sustainability with postings from a variety of higher education institutions.

B Work - The vision of B Work is to make it easy (and eventually automatic) for purpose-driven jobseekers and employers to find each other. This will make the attraction of great talent into such a competitive advantage for social enterprises that it becomes a magnet for more companies to measure their impact, and join our movement.

Back Door Jobs - Are you looking for opportunities to work, travel, play, live, learn, help, create, experience and grow? Come explore, dream, discover, do and thrive with Backdoorjobs.com! This job board highlights short-term "job adventures."

Careers in Sustainability-Portland State - Comprehensive review of sustainability career options, with a focus on positions in the Portland or Oregon area.

Conservation Job Board - The world’s largest and most-visited career website in conservation, ecology, forestry, wildlife, and fisheries.

Dayaway Careers  - Dayaway is a renewable energy jobs board, networking platform and resource center helping college students and recent graduates find renewable energy jobs.

Environmental CareerThe Environmental Career Center provides employers and job seekers with comprehensive career, and staffing services in the environmental, sustainability, natural resources, energy, and green jobs sectors.

Environmental Career Opportunities (ECO) - Features a email newsletter delivering hundreds of current jobs every two weeks.

Environmental Education Jobs in Wisconsin - Positions offers throughout Wisconsin with a focus on environmental education, but varous other opportunities are available.

Green Dream Jobs - If you want your work to be green, you’ll find all kinds of green jobs here, from renewable energy jobs to green building jobs, organic industry jobs, policy, planning and scientific jobs that restore our natural resources.

Green Jobs Network - This is a listing of resources to assist job seekers who are looking for jobs or careers in Milwaukee that focus on social or environmental responsibility. 

GreenBiz Green Jobs and Sustainability Careers Center - A business-focused website with relevant career paths highlighted in their Career Center.

Idealist - Connected more than 130,000 organizations with tens of millions of people: posted close to a million jobs and hundreds of thousands of internships and volunteer opportunities; organized more than 250 graduate-school fairs; and built a grad-school directory to help people advance their social impact career.

iHireEnvironmental - This page targets jobs in the Madison area, but other opportunities are available nationally.

Indeed.com - Sustainability Internships - One of the largest and most popular job boards has a number of options for sorting for entry-level or internships in sustainability.

Internships - Chegg Internships can help you locate an internship in a variety of career paths and geographical areas.

JobsInMadison - You can seek positions in "Environmental and Natural Resources" in the Madison area.

LinkedIn - Sustainability Internships - This professional social media site allows you to set up a profile as an "online resume" and see a wide variety of positions.

MilwaukeeJobs - You can seek positions in "Environmental and Natural Resources" in the Milwaukee area.

Monster - One of the original job boards can help you find jobs for a variety of keyword and location searches.

Nelson Institute Job Board - You can also sign up for a weekly email with the latest job postings by sending a blank message to nelson-envirojobs+subscribe@g-groups.wisc.edu. Emails are sent at noon every Monday.

Net ImpactNet Impact has grown a grassroots, global movement of students and emerging impact leaders who want to use their skills to make a positive impact for people and planet.

Outdoor and Environmental Education Jobs - Many of these jobs are for positions at camps and education centers.  If you enjoy working with kids and love to do all sorts of outdoor activities, these jobs are for you.

SimplyHired - This job board allows you to use various keywords related to "Environment" to find possible postings.

Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Job Board - SAEA is dedicated to the promotion and development of sustainable agriculture education. One way to accomplish this is to provide resources for people seeking positions in this field. 

USA Jobs - National Park Service - Find a rewarding career working for the National Park Service here.

UW-Madison Office of Sustainability - The Office of Sustainability provides information about sustainability jobs and internships in the Madison area and across the country. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the larger community are encouraged to use the jobs page to find opportunities to engage in sustainability through work experience.

UW-Stevens Point Environmental Education & InterpretationThe following is a list of current job opportunities in wildlife education, environmental education, and interpretation sent to the College of Natural Resources. Experience is the number one characteristic employers are looking for when hiring in this field. These opportunities build off your college coursework, providing the real life experience needed to find a job after graduation.

Wayup.com - Environmental Internships - The phrase “change the world” is thrown around a lot, but with environmental internships, you really can do just that. And there’s no requirement as to a specific major: anyone can help save the planet. 

Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice & Sustainability - Work for peace and justice! Here are some of the job opportunities we've heard of. Job notices are posted as they are received, and this list will be updated about once a week, so please check the application deadline before applying.

Work for GoodSince their founding in 1999 as Opportunity Knocks, this is one of the first job boards focused exclusively on mission-driven careers in the non-profit realm that have worked with more than 30,000 organizations find the talent they need. 

American Conservation Experience - ACE offers four programs to provide a range of experiences and entry points for volunteers:  Conservation Corps, Conservation Volunteers, Emerging Professional Internship Corps (EPIC), and Corporate Volunteers.

BSR - Organization of sustainable business experts that works with its global network of the world’s leading companies to build a just and sustainable world.

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries -  Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Job Board

Environmental Law and Policy Center -Public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization that develops strategic advocacy campaigns to improve environmental quality and protect our natural resources.

National Wildlife Federation's EcoLeaders Career Center - Learn more about how to plan for a career in sustainability in a variety of career sectors and sign up for their newsletter to receive recent job postings.

The Nature Conservancy's GLOBE Program - Growing Leaders On Behalf of the Environment (GLOBE) Program offers students summer internships working for one of the field's top organizations.

Pacific Forest Trust- To sustain America's forests for their public benefits of wood, water, wildlife, and people's well-being, in cooperation with landowners and communities.

Power Shift Network- The Power Shift Network mobilizes the collective power of young people to mitigate climate change and create a just, clean energy future and resilient, thriving communities for all.

Student Conservation Association (SCA) - Join conservation leaders through hands-on service to the land. Explore green career opportunities through individual internships, team based projects, and special programs.

Sustainability Leads - A job board that highlights a wide variety of positions, but without dates or details. The links that point to various organization website career pages that may have other positions related to sustainability.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center - Aldo Leopold Nature Center offers many opportunities for meaningful internships for a semester, summer or longer time frames.

Clean Wisconsin - Clean Wisconsin's mission is to protect and preserve Wisconsin's clean water, clean air, and natural heritage.

Community GroundWorks- Community GroundWorks is a nonprofit organization that connects people to nature and local food.

Gathering Waters -  Wisconsin's Alliance for Land Trusts' mission is to help land trusts, landowners and communities protect the places that make Wisconsin special.

Leonardo Academy -  Leonardo Academy is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing sustainability by leveraging innovative tools and information to motivate the competitive market.

MacKenzie Center Internship Program The MacKenzie Center,just 25 miles north of Madison, is a diverse environmental education and outdoor skills center with a remarkable conservation history.

Madison Audubon - Each summer, Madison Audubon Society hires paid interns seasonally for youth education programs and restoration ecology work.

Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District- A passionate team of experts who work to recover resources and clean wastewater for return to nature 365 days a year through our innovative engineering, conservation leadership, and recovery expertise.

Midwest Environmental Advocates - We specialize in Clean Water Act enforcement, leveraging our expertise with science, the law and effective communication to mobilize communities, inform public policy and protect healthy water.

Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service - MOSES is a nonprofit organization that promotes organic and sustainable agriculture by providing the education, resources and expertise farmers need to succeed.

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District- MMSD is a regional government agency that provides water reclamation and flood management services in the Greater Milwaukee Area. We serve 411 square miles that cover all, or segments of, six watersheds.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper -  Their mission is to protect, improve and advocate for water quality, riparian wildlife habitat, and sound land management in the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic River Watersheds.

Office of Personnel Management - Federal Government jobs for students and recent graduates.

Sierra Club John Muir Chapter - Volunteer opportunities are often available for those of you who want to make a difference on environmental issues. Internships can also be found in the "Get Involved" tab of the main web page.

The Water Council - The Water Council is a non-profit organization that drives economic, technology and talent development to support the global water industry.

USDA Forest Service - Make a long lasting impact by helping sustain the nation's forests and grasslands for future generations.

Urban Ecology Center -  The Urban Ecology Center provides year-round educational programs and events for kids, families and adults of all ages to foster ecological understanding and preservation of natural areas.

Wisconsin Conservation Corps - WisCorps crews complete high priority conservation and community revitalization projects across the state of Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest.

Wisconsin DNR - The DNR employs a large, diverse workforce throughout our state in areas of Natural Resources, Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Law Enforcement, Business, Information Technology and Administrative Support.

Wisconsin Energy Institute - WEI is the collaborative home of energy research and education that works to transition away from fossil fuel dependence toward new, clean energy systems and solutions.

Wisconsin Environment- Wisconsin Environment is a citizen-based environmental advocacy project of Environment America. We believe there's something special about Wisconsin - something worth protecting and preserving for future generations.

Wisconsin Land + Water- The Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association is a non-profit, membership organization that supports Land Conservation Committees.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters-  Learn great skills, meet great people, save great places.

Wisconsin Wetlands Association - Wisconsin’s wetlands need great wetland professionals! Check back here often to see wetland-related job opportunities for positions located in and near  Wisconsin.

Student Organizations

UW-Whitewater Terrestrial & Aquatic Ecology Club is a student organization that frequently partners with the Wisconsin DNR and other conservation groups, takes various trips, and participates in volunteer service related to their field of study. Email ecologyclub@uww.edu to find out more about this organization and their meeting times. You can also ask to join their Facebook Group.

The Gardening Club focuses on all topics related to gardening and horticulture by learning and sharing necessary skills to grow plants and organic food. Activities generally include plant sales, field trips, workshops and other hands-on training. Connect with the Gardening Club by emailing gardenclub@uww.edu or visit them on Facebook and Instagram

Outdoor Adventure Club serves as an outlet for outdoor recreation enthusiasts and provide opportunities for such adventures. Email oac@uww.edu for more details about this org or follow them on Facebook.

It is the mission of PEACE to uphold and progress ideals which promote social, political, and environmental justice at the local, state, national, and international levels in addition to facilitating personal growth and inner balance within its members and surrounding community.  Throughout the year, they host a variety of events to expose students to issues and potential solutions to the problems we face as a society. Connect with PEACE by emailing peace@uww.edu or follow them on Facebook.

Students Allied for a Green Earth (SAGE) promotes ecological sustainability and awareness, democracy, cultural diversity, and social justice at UW-Whitewater, in the Whitewater, WI community, and on a global level. SAGE strives to educate and inform members and the community about sustainability issues and environmental problems through field trips, hands on activities, and events. To get involved or request further information, email sage@uww.edu or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

University Housing

UW-Whitewater University Housing is committed to incorporating sustainable practices in their operations, but also focus on providing a living environment that fosters student involvement and promotes sustainable living practices in the residence halls.  University Housing Sustainability operates their own sustainability website that is full of information on ways to get involved, facilities initiatives, and other resources.

University Housing employs a student to serve as the Sustainability Coordinator for the campus residence halls to connect housing with sustainability initiatives on campus. This position is responsible for leading the team of Eco-Reps, planning and assisting with programs related to sustainability, and other various tasks that serve to develop problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and team building skills.

Each housing complex has an individual sustainability coordinator, called Eco-Reps, that educate peers on sustainability issues and campus initiatives. This is done primarily by coordinating sustainability programs and communicating with Leadership Involvement Teams, Resident Assistants, and other students in the residence halls with the support of other Eco-Reps and the University Housing Sustainability Coordinator.  If you're interested in getting involved, contact your Assistant Complex Director or Resident Assistant.

Leadership Involvement Team (LIT) is an organization for students living in residence halls to get involved with their community's activities. Since we typically have an Eco-Rep position for each LIT, there are usually opportunities in LITs for students within their hall to get involved in projects or programming that help keep our campus green.

In an effort to promote a sustainable mode of transportation, bike lockers are provided in key areas near residence halls. Consider this option when deciding if you should bring your bike to campus.

Student Projects and Resources

Every semester, numerous student projects focus on a wide range of sustainability topics, from global environmental issues to sustainability initiatives conducted by UW-Whitewater.  These projects provide students with valuable insight on the varied and complex problems sustainability seeks to address and opens a window of insight into how our campus operations and community try to make more sustainable choices.

If you are a student seeking information for a project and would like assistance, please browse the resources available on this website and check back regularly for new information as we continue our sustainability journey.  If you have additional questions not addressed by this website or would like to explore the feasibility of a funded project, please contact the Sustainability Director to set up a meeting.  

Examples of Student Research Projects

There are great student research projects taking place in a variety of classes that have a sustainability focus.  This list gives some idea of what has taken place over the years, but is by no means exhaustive.  If there is a great project you'd like to see featured on this site, please contact us!


As part of Dr. Eric Compas's Cultural Ecology and Sustainable Development class (GEOG452), the class examined environmental practices on UW-Whitewater and developed a suite of recommendations. A video of their presentation to the Chancellor is available along with a wiki of their recommendations. This project led directly to hiring our campus Sustainability Coordinator.

Are students at UW-Whitewater interested in environmental issues? If the university is to invest in programs to support sustainability agendas, then it needs the support of the student community to make the efforts topics of discussion within student organizations, and successful in the long term. Kreischer administered a survey to nine classes on campus. The objective was to gauge campus environmental awareness and interest. The survey discovered that a large percentage of students would be willing to financially support environmental programs on campus, would like to see alternatives to turfgrass lawns on campus, and a majority would be interested in using new recreational trail extensively. Although there does seem to be interest in "greening" the campus, only a minority of students are interested in volunteering their time.

Are Americans in love with their lawns? Or do we continue to manage vast expanses of lawn because it is socially correct, or is it because we don't know any better? Maintenance requirements of lawns are high, and the use of chemicals and fertilizers carry risks to the environment. Thirty billion dollars are spent annually to maintain forty million acres of lawn in the US. Lassiter discusses alternatives to the turfgrass lawn, including use of clover, native prairie grasses, flowering plants, and xeriscaping, as well as limited maintenance of turfgrass. Many colleges and universities have begun to explore the use of lawn alternatives as a replacement for trees and bushes, but are reluctant to replace lawns because of aesthetics. Whitewater has slowly made some changes; Lassiter suggests a plan that could be implemented in order to evaluate several alternatives, and would allow students to be actively involved in the study.

UW-Whitewater has been involved with the process of restoring prairies since the early 1980s. The campus community has long realized the importance of reclaiming the prairies, and recently has considered the replacement of traditional turfgrass lawns for maintenance and aesthetic reasons. In this report, Peterson takes us through the process of acquiring seeds to create the prairie. Restoring a prairie is not as simple as going to your local landscape company and buying a bag of seeds - each prairie is unique in the species it supports. The appropriate species must be identified, and sources for the seeds found. Peterson describes methods of collection, and discusses the need for campus involvement in the time-intensive seed collection process. SAGE, Students Allied for a Greener Earth, assisted in the effort that resulted in the collection of seeds of seven species. Collection of the seeds will reduce the expenditures necessary to restore prairie areas.

The Wisconsin DNR has announced the development of the Glacial Heritage Area (GHA), dedicated to preserving remnants of the last glaciation in southeastern Wisconsin. Much of the activity is focused in Jefferson and western Waukesha counties. The hope is to provide recreational activities and trails that will allow residents and visitors to enjoy the natural and agricultural areas, including several trails centered around Fort Atkinson, WI. The city is already recognized as a bicycling hub, and such a trail would support commuters as well as visitors. Rahn proposes routing for a trail that would connect Fort Atkinson and Whitewater, using a combination of paved, dedicated trails, existing bikeways, and rustic roads. The trail could be used for a variety of non-motorized purposed. By using roadways, the cost to develop the trail can be reduced, while eliminating current routing along busy highways, making the routes more "family friendly."

Jeremy Deibert as part of his Human Environmental Problems (GEOG252) class in Spring 2009 used a ScanGauge II to monitor his vehicle mileage to and from the university. Drawing suggestions from the hypermiling website, Jeremey was able to raise his gas mileage from 29 mpg to 35 mpg – an increase of 21%!

Wind turbine

Using funding from an Undergraduate Research Grant, Greg Koschak, an education major, designed and built a wind turbine which he hopes to develop into a kit for high school science classes. Current plans are to install the turbine on Upham Hall's roof to measure the turbine's performance.

Sustainability Events

The Sustainability Office participates in a variety of annual events to deepen engagement with campus stakeholders around designated topics. These programs also provide opportunities to collaborate with faculty, staff and students. To explore potential partnerships through such events and activities, email sustainability@uww.edu.

Earth Day has a long and proud tradition in Wisconsin since it was Gaylord Nelson, former Governor and Senator from Wisconsin, that created the holiday in 1970.  At UW-Whitewater, we have scheduled a wide variety of events to provide programming that is most relevant and interesting to students.  See the current (or most recent) schedule to learn more about our events.

RecycleMania is a national recycling competition held during the beginning of spring semester and lasts a total of eight weeks.  The goal of RecycleMania is to maximize the amount of the overall waste stream being recycled while striving to reduce the overall amount of waste being generated and encourages schools to undergo specific steps to eliminate waste.

Campus Sustainability Month is celebrated every October by hosting a variety of events that raise awareness of the value of sustainability in higher education.