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Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

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. Biology ‘16



The Sustainability Leadership Cohort (SLC) is an intentional internship model that focuses on peer-to-peer mentorship and community building while providing experiential research 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 research 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.

Butler students propel sustainability on campus and SLC internships are a key component for ensuring sustainable change on campus now and for future generations of students. SLC internship opportunities are intended to expand the understanding of applied sustainability for individual student interns and the campus and city communities through the motto: research, educate, and empower. All SLC projects fall under at least one of the CUES’ sustainability priority areas: zero waste, ecological systems, built environment, social change, and food systems.

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. We encourage projects that offer students the opportunity to collect data and contribute to a larger database, or contribute to community improvement through research, education, and empowerment.

Students may volunteer, work for a financial stipend, 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! 

CUES Internship Deadlines

Internship Duration

Applications Accepted

Internship Notification


Mid-January – Early May 

Mid-October – untill filled

Within 1-2 weeks of applying


Late April – Late August 

Early March – Mid-April

Within 1-2 weeks of applying


Late August – Mid-December 

Late March – until filled

Within 1-2 weeks of applying

For Credit CUES Internships


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 with the SLC. Volunteering is a great way to establish a relationship with the CUES team in preparation for a future internship opportunity.

How to Apply

  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. Find the internship opportunity that you are interested in from the list below. Click on "Apply Here" and follow steps provided.

You will be contacted to schedule an interview with CUES Director, CUES Assistant Director, and/or the Farm Manager.

CUES Internships: For Credit, Unpaid

The Farm at Butler

The Farm is a one-acre sustainable agriculture project on the Butler campus that promotes excellence in education to the campus and community while serving as an example of sustainable urban agriculture through the exploration of local food production and sales.

The Farm can provide 3-credit internships to a variety of majors including: BIO, STES, STS, and ED. Please contact the CUES if you are of a different major and looking for internship credit.

Time Commitment: The intern will work three hours per week on the academic project and six hours per week in farm operations for at least 126 hours a semester. Farm labor will enable the student to learn more about all aspects of farm operations to improve their individual project outcomes. 

Academic requirements: Weekly cohort meetings with all CUES interns, workplan, videos about sustainability project, social media posts, updated resume, and reflections. 

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

Demonstration Garden Farm Intern – The Farm at Butler is looking for students interested in local food, agriculture, and/or agroecology to work on The Farm and a food project, the Irvington Demonstration Garden. The Demo Garden serves as a small model of The Farm outside of the Irvington residence hall on main campus, providing a highly visible tie into the larger campus food system. This internship maintains the plantings within the demo garden and develops educational classes/events to engage students in gardening while connecting back to The Farm.

Bon Appetit Partnership Farm Intern – The Farm at Butler is looking for students interested in local food, agriculture, and/or agroecology to work on The Farm and a food project highlighting the collaboration with Bon Appetit (Butler’s food provider). Projects vary each semester and include: promoting local food, benefits or organic food, composting, farm to fork, etc.

Community Event Farm Intern – The Farm at Butler is looking for students interested in local food, agriculture, and/or agroecology to work on The Farm and develop a food related event celebrating The Farm. This event can be themed as desired by the intern and focus on building connection to the farm with Butler students, faculty, and staff.

Apply Here


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.

Time Commitment: Depending on credit type, interns will work at least 126-150 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, videos about sustainability project, social media posts, updated resume, and reflections.   

Sustainability Intern(s) (STS413, ENV411, A+D, 3 cr.) – Sustainability interns work on a variety of campus related projects to help Butler become more sustainable. Based on specific campus sustainability needs, topic areas for internships include: the built environment, food systems, zero waste, ecological systems, and social change. Interns will discuss specific project opportunities with the Assistant Director of CUES.

Sustainability Media & Communication Intern(s) (CCOM, 3cr) - The CUES is looking for a Communications major to assist in the development of a marketing campaign to highlight student intern research. This intern will collaborate with all other CUES interns to create videos for social media including scheduling, filming, and editing. This intern is an essential component of promoting student research and sustainability awareness on Butler’s campus.


Apply Here

Urban Ecology Research

Bird Window Strike Research Internship (BI401-403, 1-3 cr.) – The Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability is looking for students to assist with research on bird window strike casualties on campus. The intern will be responsible for conducting a literature review on bird window strike research and conducting laboratory experiments on bird biomechanics, assessing the impact of environmental factors on the likelihood of bird collision death, and/or collecting physical specimens during the spring migration. Time Commitment: The intern will work a total of 42-126 hours on the project, depending on number of credits, throughout the semester. Weekly hours will vary depending on the timing of the spring or fall migration periods. Generally, students will be expected to work fewer hours per week throughout the semester and 15 hours/week during the migration period to collect field specimens and perform data entry. Academic requirements: Students are expected to work with the academic internship supervisor to develop a project, attend regular check-ins, write a final research paper, and present their findings as a poster or oral presentation during finals week or create a video for social media. Apply Here

CLOSED - Plant Phenology Intern (BI490 or ENV411 3 cr.) – 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 8-9 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 in Urban Systems of Indy (Biology/STES, 1-3 cr.) – The intern will work with Dr. Sean Berthrong to sample and analyze soils from Indianapolis urban agriculture projects for biophysical and nutrient parameters. Contact Dr. Berthrong if interested.

Indy Wildlife Watch (Biology/STES, 1-3 cr.) – THIRD AND FOURTH YEAR STUDENTS ONLY! The intern will work with faculty to prepare urban wildlife field monitoring equipment for deployment at 50 sites in Indianapolis. Students will help with database management and photo analysis. There is also an opportunity for the student to pursue an independent research project. The intern is expected to work 9 hours/week and must have two 4-5 hour block of time in their academic schedule for fieldwork. If interested, contact Dr. Julia Angstmann.

Environmental Action Research Internship (SO484, 6 cr. over two semesters) - Professor Kate Novak from the Department of Sociology & Criminology, in collaboration with the Center for Urban Ecology is looking for students to assist with sociological research. Students completing the internship will work with faculty mentors to conduct original research on environmental stewardship in the Indianapolis area. Possible research topics include: community awareness about/ access to the CUE Farm and other local markets, barriers to/ incentives for environmentally sustainable practices, and other questions that will help expand our knowledge about environmental stewardship and urban ecology in Indianapolis. All juniors and seniors are invited to apply for this internship; however, preference will be given to students who have demonstrated an interest in environmental stewardship, either through coursework (for example, by completing SO 205 or a similar course) or extracurricular activities. For more information, please contact Professor Kate Novak.

Summer CUES Opportunities

Paid, non credit

CLOSED—Farm Summer Positions – The Farm at Butler is seeking to fill 2–3 part-time summer labor positions from April 29, 2019 through August 28, 2019. 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, preparing for market sales, running the farm stand, and leading tours of The Farm. 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. Summer 2019 farm positions have been filled. Reapply for summer 2020 in spring 2020.

Volunteer Opportunities

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 you are interested in volunteering for a few days each week, please contact the CUES.

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 CUE.

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 CUE.

Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW) – ROW, a group that seeks to improve Indianapolis' waterways, regularly seeks volunteers for once-off events and more regular assistance. Please contact ROW metrics coordinator, Kelly Brown, for current opportunities.

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

The Farm at Butler Educational Tours –The Farm, a one-acre sustainable agriculture project on Butler’s campus, is seeking students who would like to learn more about informal education opportunities by assisting with farm tours to K12 schools and community groups. Time of tours vary, but typically are M-F, 9:00am-5:00pm. If interested, please contact the CUES

Interns and Projects

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.


Current CUES Interns & Volunteers

Haley Cowart, Environmental Studies '20 – Sustainability Intern

Carly Dobert, Biology '21 - Indy Wildlife Watch Intern

Jake Gerard, Biology '20  – Indy Wildlife Watch Intern

Noelle Grabowski, Biology '22 – Indy Wildlife Watch Volunteer

Torey Kazeck, Biology '21 - Farm Intern

Jarrod Koester, History & Sociology '20 – Sociology Intern

Madison Jones, Biology '21 - Farm Intern

DaCoda Love, Sociology '20– Sociology Intern

Spencer Lybrook, Biology '21 – SAUSI Intern

Cassidy Niewiadomski, Biology '21 - Farm Intern

Hannah Ogrean, Energy Engineering & Environmental Science '23 – CUEFarm Volunteer

Natalie Pegg, Biology '20 - Indy Wildlife Watch Intern

Taylor Pugh, Digital Media Production '20 – CUES Communications Intern

Corrina Reiss, Art + Design '21 – Farm Intern

Connor Riley, Biology '20 – Indy Wildlife Watch Intern

Stephanie Selby, Organizational Communications & Human Leadership '21 - Farm Intern

Abby Shores, Biology '20 – Sustainability Intern

Addison Trapp, Biology '21 - Indy Wildlife Watch Intern

Samantha Worden,  Biology '20 - Indy Wildlife Watch Volunteer