Student Opportunities

“I learned so much at my internship with The Farm. The Farm has a diverse array of crops that allowed me to gain invaluable experience in urban agriculture. I feel well equipped and knowledgeable to take on the world of plants!”

– Paige J. ’16, Biology

The Sustainability Leadership Cohort (SLC) is an intentional internship model that focuses on peer-to-peer mentorship and community building while providing experiential opportunities for Butler students to practice real-world problem solving and learn tangible skills for professional development and career preparedness. Students in the SLC work on a variety of urban ecology and sustainability projects across campus and the community. SLC students and advisors meet weekly as a cohort to support one another, co-develop ideas, and engage as a community that works to solve complex sustainability challenges.

SLC internship opportunities are intended to expand the understanding of applied sustainability through the motto: research, educate, and empower. Students have to opportunity to work on an established project at Butler and/or with the community. In some cases, the SLC advisors may support a student in the design and development of a project specific to a student’s interest.

Students may volunteer, work for hourly pay (only available for some opportunities), and/or earn academic credit*. The CUES is committed to working with students, faculty, and departments on campus to find a project that best fits each student’s goals and interests.

*Please plan to apply for for-credit positions during advising the preceding semester.

Questions? Email us!

Internship deadlines:

Semester Internship Duration Applications Accepted Internship Notification
Spring Mid-January – Early May Mid-October – until filled Within 1-2 weeks of applying
Summer Late April – Late August Early March – Mid-April Within 1-2 weeks of applying
Fall Late August – Mid-December Late March – until filled Within 1-2 weeks of applying

*Note: Federal Work Study eligible applicants are preferred, but not required for our Community internships. 

Global Center for Species Survival

The Global Center for Species Survival (GCSS) Interns will take on a proactive role assisting with global conservation priorities and projects across varying taxa (mammals, birds, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles, plants, and fungi) and realms (marine, freshwater). Interns will assist conservation coordinators in supporting the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) specialist groups, with a particular emphasis on conservation planning and action. Interns will help coordinators with urgent conservation needs ranging from coordinating communication strategies to public audiences, conducting research, organizing workshops and meetings, and assisting in capacity building efforts. This is a paid internship position available for Spring/Fall semesters. Academic credit is also available, if desired.

Eligibility and Compensation: Open to third and fourth year students at Butler University, with majors related to communications, biology, and environmental studies. Availability to work 10-12 hours/week each semester for the duration of employment. Starting pay is $14 per hour.

Freewheelin’ Community Bikes

Freewheelin’ Community Bikes is a grassroots non-profit organization that empowers Indianapolis youth and community members with skills and a passion for bikes to create a healthier, more connected Indy. The organization is partnering with the CUES at Butler University to offer a paid and (if desired) for-credit internship that seeks to improve the equitable distribution of bikes to the Indianapolis community, help build knowledge within the Indy youth, and create opportunities to get volunteers, community members and organizations involved in the process. You don’t need to know anything about bikes to contribute to the mission!

Compensation: Paid and/or for-credit position, $14 an hour, ~ 10 hours per week over the semester. This position is also Federal Work Study eligible, contingent upon student eligibility.

Touba Gardens

Touba Gardens Farm to Table is looking for an intern to help us network from various perspectives; increase our online appearance, reach out to potential partners in creating volunteer opportunities, and connecting with other farmers to buy wholesale produce. Also, work alongside us in creating a place for our very own farmers market. We hope to design a space that incorporates the artistic talents from local youth, teens and young adults. The intern will help organize opportunities for artists to express their interest by publicly displaying their work.

Compensation: This position is currently an unpaid, for-credit position, ~ 10 hours per week over the semester. This position is also Federal Work Study eligible, contingent upon student eligibility.

Kheprw Institute

The Kheprw Institute seeks to empower the community through self-mastery for positive community and world change. Looking for students to identify best practices, case studies, etc. of how urban farming and community building can best be executed on their newly purchased 17-acre property, Octavia’s Visionary Campus (OVC), on the southside of Indy. The intern will assist the OVC manager in establishing internal systems for volunteer recruitment and retention including compiling and maintaining a list of work projects suitable for volunteers. The intern will also create a public survey to engage with neighbors and other interested parties to collect and analyze data and report on community priorities. They are seeking a student with data collection and analysis skills, critical thinking skills, an ability to self-manage, good interpersonal communication skills, a willingness to work in a hybrid work environment, and ability to take direction and to work collaboratively.

Compensation: This position is currently an unpaid, for-credit position, ~ 10 hours per week over the semester. This position is also Federal Work Study eligible, contingent upon student eligibility.

Hoosier Environmental Council

The Hoosier Environmental Council is a non-profit in Indiana that advocates for equitable and environmentally friendly development and policies on behalf on Indiana’s citizens. We are looking for students to conduct secondary research on water policy, with a focus on one of five areas depending on the successful applicants interests:
  1. Water Policy Research Assistant (Economic Focus) – Conduct research on the economic benefits of wetlands.
  2. Water Policy Research Assistant (Water Quality Focus) – Write a 1-2 page executive summary on Indiana’s 2022 Integrated Water Monitoring and Assessment Report for internal use by the organization and possibly a wider audience.
  3. Water Policy Research Assistant (Local Development Focus) – Conduct research on local development regulations to support HEC’s watchdogging work in the Upper White River watershed/central Indiana.

Compensation: This position is currently an unpaid, for-credit position, ~ 10 hours per week over the semester. This position is also Federal Work Study eligible, contingent upon student eligibility.

Compensation: The below listings are unpaid, for-credit opportunities, unless otherwise noted. For-credit internships are generally open to third- and fourth-year Butler university students. We currently do not offer internships to first-year students and, rarely, to second-year students. First- and second-year students interested in getting involved with the CUES, should contact us to inquire about volunteer opportunities. Volunteering is a great way to establish a relationship with the CUES team in preparation for a future internship opportunity. Our for-credit internships are typically BIO, ENV, STS, CCOM, and ED credits however, we can work with your home department to try and offer other credit types. Internship credits are typically 3 credit hours (126 hours throughout the semester) and independent study credits can range anywhere from 1-3 credit hours.

The Farm at Butler

Come join the Farm at Butler team!  The Farm is located on West Campus south of the I-Lot and produces a ton of delicious fruits and veggies for use by Butler Dining—and it does so in a context of ecological enrichment.  Farm assistants will get their hands dirty across a wide range of farm tasks including harvest and packing, weeding, soil amending, and various other farm tasks.  Enjoy the outdoors and learn about ecologically-focused food production as you work.​

Labor requirements: Commitment to designated schedule, willingness and ability to work hard physically in all types of weather, and capacity for detail-oriented tasks and creative problem solving.

Compensation: Paid and/or for-credit position, $12 an hour, ~ 10-12 hours per week over the semester.

Sustainability is a wide and deep practice with overlapping concerns in equity, the environment, and the economy. Student sustainability intern(s) will learn the complexity and interconnectivity of sustainability while progressing sustainability on campus. Multiple sustainability internship positions are available each semester in areas of the built environment, food systems, zero waste, ecological systems, and social change. A few examples are provided below. We also accept project ideas from interested students.

Time commitment: Depending on credit type, interns will work at least 126 hours (8-10 hours/week) on a sustainability project throughout the semester. At least half of these hours will be in the CUES office.

Academic requirements: Weekly cohort meetings with all CUES interns, workplan, social media posts about project, experience reflections, and final portfolio of project outcomes.

  • Sustainability Programming Internship: The CUES is looking for a student to coordinate and recruit participation in the Green Grad and Green Office programs on campus as well as assist in planning campus events. The Green Grad program is for Butler undergrads to become sustainability champions on campus and earn a green cord for graduation. The Green Office program helps campus departments in making sustainability commitments and earning recognition for sustainability efforts. We also plan events related to Fair Trade, U-pick gardens at Irvington House, Sustainability Month, and Earth Week.
  • Sustainability Operations Internship: The CUES is looking for students to assist with sustainability projects on campus. Project vary by semester and by student interest, but may include data collection and analysis.
  • Sustainability Communications Internship: The CUES is looking for a student to assist in the development of a marketing campaign to highlight student intern projects and campus sustainability.
  • Bon Appetit Partnership Farm Internship: The CUES and Bon Appetit are looking for students interested in local food, agriculture, and/or agroecology to plan events and communications that highlight Bon Appetit’s sustainability practices. Projects vary each semester and include: promoting local food, benefits of organic food, composting, farm-to-fork, etc.

Plant Phenology Intern: The CUES is looking for a student interested in establishing a plant phenology trail and monitoring protocol for Butler’s campus that will be used by Butler classes and internships to assess seasonal changes in plant leafing, fruiting and flowering. The protocol will be used to collect data as part of the Indiana Phenology Network and the USA National Phenology Network that monitors seasonal plant changes to understand how population changes in leafing, flowering, and fruiting may shift as a result of climate change. The intern will research tree species on the National Phenology Network database, specimens in the Friesner Herbarium, and campus tree species from an existing inventory to determine common species that can also be monitored for a comparison of various geographic regions and historical time periods. Time commitment: The intern will work 10 hours per week for a total of 126 hours. Academic requirements: Students are expected to work with the academic internship supervisor to develop a work plan and sign an internship contract, attend regular intern cohort meetings, create a portfolio of final products, and present their project through various social media assignments. Labor requirements: Commitment to the job schedule, willingness to walk through campus and determine ideal tree/plant specimens for monitoring, capacity for detail-oriented tasks and creative problem solving, and time management skills.

Sustainable Agriculture Community Liaison: Dr. Sean Berthrong in the Biology Department is seeking a student that is interested in urban agriculture and soil health. The successful applicant will assist local urban farmers in Indianapolis test and improve their farm soils. The main goal of this internship involves interpreting soil test results for farmers and creating infographics, flyers, and other materials to show useful techniques for soil health. The internship will run from the fall through the spring semesters of 2024 and is a paid opportunity. Academic credit is available, if desired.

The Farm at Butler is seeking to fill part-time summer labor positions from the last week of April through the end of August. We are looking for motivated and committed interns to take part in the operation and maintenance of the CUE Farm including: soil preparation, planting, weeding and cultivating, harvesting, and preparing for sales to campus dining. Job requirements: Ability to work an average of 20 hours/week, commitment to the job schedule, willingness to work hard physically in all types of weather, and capacity for detail-oriented tasks and creative problem solving.

To apply, please email a resume and detailed cover letter to the CUES. SUMMER 2023 POSITIONS ARE FILLED. PLEASE PLAN TO APPLY IN APRIL 2024 for SUMMER 2024 POSITIONS.

  1. Prepare your professional resume.
  2. Write a cover letter specific to the position. The cover letter should describe why you are applying for the position, your career area(s) of interest, your goal in pursuing the internship (i.e, what you hope to professionally achieve), the academic project you would like to undertake (either from the list provided in the ad or your own idea!), and how this internship will help you develop specific professional skills.
  3. Email cover letter, resume, and current academic schedule to the CUES (if you have registered for classes, if not, we will request this information at a later date). Make sure the subject line of your email contains the name of the internship to which you are applying!

You will be contacted to schedule an interview within 2-3 weeks.

The CUES almost always has volunteer opportunities available, both once-off and of more regular frequency.

Bird Window Strike Project – Volunteers are needed to help the CUES survey for bird carcasses around campus buildings during the fall (mid-September through mid-October) and spring (mid-April through mid-May) migration periods. Each day’s sampling takes 1–2 hours and is conducted between 2:00–5:00 PM.  If interested, please contact Dr. Shelley Etnier.

Indy Wildlife Watch – Volunteers are needed to assist with tagging animal species present in photos collected at 50 sites in Indianapolis via motion-triggered cameras. Volunteers will be trained and asked to attend regular meetings, but photo analysis can occur at any time making this opportunity great for students will full schedules. If interested, please contact the CUES.

Hoosier Riverwatch Water Quality Monitoring – Volunteers are needed to assist in the collection water chemistry, macroinvertebrate, and flow data as well as assessing habitat quality at two stream sites in Indianapolis. No scientific experience necessary. If interested, please contact the CUES.

The Farm at Butler Labor Volunteer –The Farm at Butler, a one-acre sustainable agriculture project on Butler’s campus, is seeking students who would like to learn more about sustainable agriculture by assisting with farm labor. Students are expected to commit to an entire semester and volunteer regularly scheduled hours each week. The number of weekly hours can be determined by the student. If interested, please contact the CUES.

Touba Gardens  – Touba Gardens is a local farm committed to growing local, affordable, and healthy food. They seek volunteers to help network from various perspectives: increasing our online appearance, reaching out to potential partners in creating volunteer opportunities, and connecting with other farmers to buy wholesale produce. Volunteers may also opt to help with farm labor or work to create a farmers market location that incorporates the artistic talents from local youth, teens and young adults. If interested, please contact the CUES.

To increase the educational impact of CUES internship projects and train interns in professional communication skills for the future, CUES students develop social media content describing their project and why it is important to Butler and the community.