All posts by compase

Join the sustainability office’s team of fall interns

Every semester, we are excited to offer some internship opportunities to UW-Whitewater undergraduates seeking experience in project management, campus engagement, and best practices research across a wide range of focus areas related to campus sustainability. Our internships are designed to run semester to semester, although many of our interns are able to maintain their paid internship positions throughout the course of the academic year. Every fall, our entire slate of active positions are opened for us to consider new applicants.

This year the COVID-19 pandemic will pose some challenges and limits to our ability to host events and campus activities, but all of our positions incorporate some remote work opportunities along with safe, socially distanced, and COVID-aware accommodations to help our students complete their internships successfully and in good health. Please take a look at the brief descriptions below and click the links to see the full job posting on Handshake to consider applying for one or more positions.

The number of internship positions available each semester varies based on the projects and priorities of the Sustainability Office. This photo is of our Fall 2019 Sustainability Office team.

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing The primary responsibility of this internship is to develop and coordinate exciting content for various digital platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and this blog! Students will be expected to utilize engaging features to tell the story of environmental initiatives at UW-Whitewater by covering events to generate new and relevant content, and adhere to social media brand guidelines. Applicants should submit a portfolio of previous work. This internship is perfect for a Marketing major and will work with a UW-Whitewater alum with a BBA in Marketing, but various majors have been successful as long as they bring their creativity to the position.

Environmental Outreach

Environmental Outreach – This is a new internship position responsible for managing our citizen science program participation, which includes stream monitoring for the Water Action Volunteers program. There are other citizen science programs being considered for ongoing participation and engagement of the campus community and general public. The projects will also include developing trail signage to help transform the UW-Whitewater Nature Preserve into a more park-like environment for visitors to learn and explore. The position is great for an Environmental Science or related major interested in work as a nature educator or park interpretive guide.

Grounds Management

Grounds Management – This position has grown considerably in scope to encompass opportunities understanding how to better manage the ecosystems found on the UW-Whitewater campus. The primary focus will be developing a management plan for the UW-Whitewater Nature Preserve with coordination from faculty experts in the area. This intern is also involved in aspects of tree care related to our campus arboreta, specifically the Salisbury Idea and 50 Trees for 50 Years of Earth Day campaign. Interested students should either have a strong background or interest in identifying a wide variety of plant life and a responsible self-starter to manage restoration projects according to best practices.

Waste and Recycling

Waste and Recycling – As UW-Whitewater starts a new waste hauling contract with Advanced Disposal and finishes the roll-out of the Waste Bin Reduction program, this position will focus on outreach and education resources related to communicating with campus users how best to recycle various materials. The intern is also typically involved in developing pilot composting programs and gets involved with hands-on work to implement new signage and bin placements. This internship is ideal for a student newer to sustainability as waste/recycling issues are often the best identifiable aspect of campus sustainability in operations.

Sustainability interns, Emily and Ashley, checking on milkweed plants at the prairie.

Garden and Greenhouse Manager

Garden and Greenhouse Manager – This position carries a higher level of responsibility and expectation for independent work as you manage two of our remote locations on campus: Upham Greenhouse and the Campus Garden. Students will start by learning how to properly care for plants in the botanical collection of the greenhouse, propagate houseplants for fundraising sales, learning how to manage an aging facility with plenty of “quirks,” and maintaining a clean and orderly environment for greenhouse users. Spring semester is focused mainly on propagating plants for the spring plant sale and Campus Garden planting for the 2021 season. The position will include full-time hours in Summer 2021 and is not subject to Fall 2021 renewal. Students hired for this position must have a graduation date of December 2021 or later for consideration. Interviews will include participating in a two-hour volunteer session at the Campus Garden with the 2020 Garden and Greenhouse Manager.


TransportationTransportation programs at UW-Whitewater have grown in a wide variety of ways and our intern primarily focuses on methods that are most frequently used by students, including bicycling, walking, and other forms of non-motorized transport to and around campus. Besides promotional activities, the intern will use the Bicycle Friendly University assessment to guide future recommendations. The intern will also assist with promoting ridership in the carpooling service Zimride and the Warhawk Shuttle services. Students with an interest in urban planning might find some of the considerations for transportation planning a good fit for future careers.

Data Analytics

Data Analytics – This internship will focus primarily on improving the overall data collection methodology utilized by the Sustainability Office, including data management for the STARS sustainability assessment to be conducted in 2021. This intern will also utilize the Energy Star Portfolio Manager to curate utility data for the university and explore development of a data visualization platform (either Tableau or Microsoft Power BI). This specialized internship is ideal for a student studying Business Analytics or degree programs in the Computer Science Department.

Summer Stream Monitoring Continues

Written by Ashley Roscoe

Happy Summer! My name is Ashley, and I am the Stream Monitoring Coordinator at the UW-Whitewater Sustainability Office. I took over the monitoring program last fall, and have enjoyed every minute of it! Our program has run under the Water Action Volunteers program since 2013, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Normally, we will have volunteers come out to sessions to learn about the program and participate in conducting tests. As soon as the University switched to remote learning due to COVID, we suspended volunteer participation. I have still been going out three times a month (each stream gets monitoring once a month), sometimes with the help of garden and greenhouse manager, Cam.

Cam emptying the net full of pebbles and critters. This is used to conduct the biotic index portion of the Stream Monitoring program.

A new addition to our program has been nutrient monitoring! While we are out at our three creeks (Spring Brook at Willow Brook Golf Course, Bluff Creek at Hwy P, and Whitewater Creek at Fremont St Bridge), we now collect a sample of water. We mix in a small amount of Sulfuric Acid, and then send the sample to the State of Wisconsin Hygiene Lab. From this water sample, the amount of nutrients are able to be calculated. This data is used to determine trends in the waterway, and are able to establish a baseline nutrient level.

Plain Pocketbook Mussel (Lampsilis Cardium)

Along with baseline monitoring and nutrient monitoring, we also participate in the Mussel Monitoring Program through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. We mainly search for mussels in Whitewater Creek. Over half of the 52 mussel species in Wisconsin need conservation assistance or we need more information on the location of the species. Through this program, we locate mussels, take photos of the mussels, determine species located, take counts of numbers per species, and then we report these mussels to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This program helps track mussel populations throughout the state! Mussel populations in Wisconsin were decimated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries due to the button industry. This program helps ensure populations are staying at consistent, healthy numbers. 

To learn more about the stream monitoring program, watch our youtube video that outlines more of the program! You can also visit or for more information! If you are interested in volunteering with us for stream monitoring, contact the Sustainability Office at

New CSA Program From the Campus Garden

Receive fresh produce from the Campus Garden throughout the growing season with the UW-Whitewater CSA program. Members will receive weekly shares of produce from the student managed garden which produces over 2,000 pounds of vegetables and fruit each year using practices in line with organic growing methods. This blog post includes information about the Campus Garden CSA, why to consider supporting, how it works, and how to join!

Photo: UW-Whitewater/Craig Schreiner

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and allows consumers to purchase produce directly from the farmer. Individuals pay for a “member share” upfront, early in the year in exchange for freshly harvested goods throughout the growing season. There are numerous types of CSA’s that offer a variety of goods. For more information, visit

Why Join the UWW CSA?

Support the UW-Whitewater Campus Garden Program – The Campus Garden provides hands-on learning experiences for the students managing the garden as well as the volunteers that help maintain it. This space allows us to tangibly communicate the importance of locally sourced food while teaching gardening methods in line with organic production. Additionally, excess produce generated from the Campus Garden is provided to local food pantries to support individuals in the community.  Funds raised from the CSA program will help provide materials and labor needed to continue the Campus Garden program. 

Convenient and Fresh Produce That Follows the Season – All produce provided in the weekly shares is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers and harvested within the last 24 hours from the Campus Garden. Produce is stored in refrigerated conditions in the Warhawk Pantry and is easily accessible to nearby parking.  The vegetables you receive will vary week-to-week depending on what is in season and ready to harvest, offering CSA members with new experiences mixed with traditional favorites. Garden production will increase throughout the course of the season and peak in mid-August. 

Weekly Member Mailings – In addition to the produce, members will also receive updates from the gardening team as well as with delicious recipes and proper storage techniques.

Photo: UW-Whitewater/Craig Schreiner

How Does the UWW CSA Work?

Harvest – Starting late June or early July, UW-Whitewater Sustainability Office student employees and volunteers will harvest produce every Tuesday and deliver it to the Warhawk Panty. From there, the employees will distribute the produce equally between each of the member’s crates. All member shares will receive the same types of produce with approximately equal amounts. 

Pick up – Members will pick up their produce from the Warhawk Pantry each Wednesday between 3-5 PM. Members will place the items from the crate (labeled with their name) and place them in a tote bag, leaving the crate at the Warhawk Pantry.  Members will be provided with a large reusable tote bag the first week and asked to bring a bag with them each week for picking up their produce. This process will continue for the next 14 weeks (July 1 through mid-October) or until the first killing frost of fall. The final pickup date will be determined by staff and communicated via email based on growing conditions as the season winds down.

Join the UW-Whitewater CSA

  1. Sign up for Membership. Click here to submit your member interest form. We are offering ten member shares for the first season of the UW-Whitewater CSA program. Memberships will be assigned in the order that inquiries are received and considered filled once payment is received. Please note, submitting a member interest form does not guarantee you will receive a CSA membership. Once all ten memberships have been offered we will begin a waitlist.
  2. Check your Email. An email will be sent to the address listed on your sign up form. This email will state whether you are offered a membership or are on the waitlist along with the corresponding next steps. 
  3. Make Payment. If offered a membership, you will need to pay the $300 in full by Monday, June 22. If your payment is not received by this time, your membership offer will be withdrawn and transferred to the next individual on the waitlist. More instructions on how to make a payment will be included in the membership offering email.
  4. Pickup Starting 7/1. Keep an eye out for an email from with detailed instructions for picking up your weekly share each Wednesday from 3-5 PM at the Warhawk Pantry in Drumlin Dining Hall. Each week we’ll send you a reminder email with instructions for pickup and parking along with recipes and storage tips for the produce items received that week. 

Sustainable Living While Traveling

Traveling can be fun, but also hectic when figuring out all of the logistics. It can be even more difficult if you are trying to plan sustainably. Here are some tips and tricks to help make vacation planning a little easier for the avid environmentalist.

Flying vs Driving

A plane produces a lot more carbon than a car does, even if you drive for a longer period of time. Try to pick vacation destinations that are within driving distance. Taking a road trip also allows for the opportunity to do more sightseeing along the way! If you chose to go on a road trip, bring friends along! Driving and road tripping are ecologically better if you travel with more than one person.

If you are going somewhere by yourself, try to opt for flying. If you decide to fly, try to book nonstop flights since the most carbon is released from a plane during take off and landing.

Travel to destinations that support sustainability.

Spring break is an economic boom for areas that are popular during travel seasons, like spring break. If you are trying to decide where you would like to travel, consider places where you would like to help the economy, because they put their money towards their environment.

Some sustainable destinations are:

  • Costa Rica has been consistently working towards protection and restoration of their natural beauties and ecosystems. They focus on land preservation, which is why 60% of the island is covered in forest, and 30% of these forests are nature reserves. Costa Rica has also planned to become carbon neutral by 2021, which would make it the first country to become carbon neutral.
  • The National Park Service has been actively working towards protecting and preserving the parks since Theodore Roosevelt started the National Park Service in 1905. The National Parks continue to strive towards conservation. Some examples of this would be Yellowstone National Park bringing back the wolves, Bird monitoring in Pinnacles National Park, and the reintroduction of wolves at Isle Royale National Park.
  • Switzerland is well known as a leader in sustainability due to their impressive recycling rate including 94% of old glass is getting recycled, along with 81% of all PET containers. Along with this, legislation in Switzerland has been actively making sure that 30% of the land of Switzerland is trees. They have been doing this for 125 years now!

When you travel to destinations, you benefit the economy in these areas. Take time to think about where you want to benefit the economy and choose areas that promote for sustainability and conservation when possible.

Packing for Travel

Don’t forget to pack these essentials for traveling sustainably!

  1. Reusable water bottles (especially great for tropical destinations).
  2. Reusable bags are handy for shopping trips while on vacation.
  3. Wooden utensil sets are a great alternative to plastic ware because they are biodegradable, reusable, and easy to throw into a purse, cooler, or backpack.
  4. Reusable containers can come in handy for snacks or leftovers throughout your trip. Mason jars are a convenient option and a great alternative to plastic bags. 
  5. A good pair of sunglasses and shoes to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, wherever you go!

Have fun on your spring break trips, but also try to instill daily sustainable practices while on vacation, just as you would in your daily life.


Water Conservation on Campus

Water Conservation on Campus

Wisconsin Energy Initiatives (WEI) is a statewide partnership between private companies and the state government with a focus geared toward conserving energy in various facilities, including universities. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s sustainability efforts has incorporated several water saving techniques throughout the residence halls. This includes dual flush toilets and water saving faucets, shower heads, and washers.

Dual Flush Toilets

These dual flush toilets are also known as Sloan WES Dual Flush Valve and Zurn toilets. They allow for different directions of flushing, push the handle down for solid waste and pull the handle up for liquid waste. These different directions of flushing are useful in conserving water on our campus. Solid waste (or pushing down) uses 1.6 gallons of water per flush, while liquid waste (or pulling up) uses 1.1 gallons of water. We save 0.5 gallons of water every time we flush up for liquids. When compared to that of a regular flushing toilet, our dual flush toilets use about 25 percent less water which is a significant amount when considering the number of toilets and frequency they’re used. Dual flush toilets are located in Tutt, Knilans, and Starin halls, with Fischer and Wellers soon to follow as renovations on campus continue.


All of the faucets in the residence halls are low flow and conserve water. In new construction areas and Starin Hall, faucets have flow rates of 0.5 gallons per minute in the bathrooms and 2.0 gallons per minute in the kitchen. The rest of the residence halls have water saving flow rates of 1.5 gallons per minute.

Shower Heads

All shower heads on campus ensure water is being conserved each day while students shower. The new construction areas on campus have shower heads with a flow rate of only 1.75 gallons per minute. While older shower heads on campus have a flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute, which is well below the federal mandate of 2.5 gallons per minute or less.


In campus residence halls you will find Maytag White Commercial High-Efficiency Front-Load Washers, which are great at conserving water. These washers sense the amount of clothing inside and dispense only the required amount of water in order to complete the wash cycle. This saves at least 50 percent more water than traditional washers. The high efficiency of these washers, also allow for less detergent to be used by students while washing their clothes.

Overall,  UW-Whitewater has implemented several initiatives to ensure water is conserved throughout the residence halls. First, our dual flush toilets save 0.5 gallons of water every time we flush up for liquids, as well as using 25 percent less water overall than regular flushing toilets. The faucets found in residence halls ensure low flow rates of water, resulting in increased water conservation. Shower heads found in residence halls have flow rates well below the federal mandate of 2.5 gallons per minute. With flow rates of 1.75-2.0 gallons per minute, these are great for saving water. Lastly, our high efficiency washers found in residence halls save at least 50 percent more water than traditional washers, also allowing for less detergent per wash. All of these water savings really add up! With each of these initiatives, UW-Whitewater allows students to be sustainable while living in the residence halls.