Environmental Studies Internship

UCSB’s Residential Dining Services is seeking student interns for the upcoming academic year. Residential Dining Services has a strategic vision of partnering with others to research and implement ‘Best Practices’ in sustainability. In order to reach our strategic vision Residential Dining Services offers an internship for interested students seeking valuable work experience in dining and sustainable practices.  Interns are given the opportunity to work alongside professionals in the field, and do meaningful work across our dining department. We want to provide a learning opportunity for individuals to grow and be challenged to develop their capabilities. Find out how you can contribute to gain invaluable experience.

Who We Want

We are looking for UCSB undergraduate and graduate environmental studies students with an interest in food and sustainability. We particularly welcome applications from junior or senior standing students and graduate students. We are interested in applicants that are creative, outgoing, and motivated, who are passionate about food, even just eating food. Interns will need to be capable of working well on teams but also independently.

Internship Details

Student interns will research assigned projects, collect and input data, and provide recommendations to Dining Services to improve current sustainable practices. Interns will interact with student customers, staff and community members, and develop educational materials that can be used in our residential program.
Occasionally, work will need to be assigned and completed with a short turn-around time, but typically there is flexibility. Tasks will be assigned based on student ability, expertise, and interest, as well as Dining’s needs.  


  • Residential Dining Services offers this internship during the academic year (Fall, Winter, Spring Quarters).
  • If interns are interested in working over the summer, an arrangement can be made with the Dining Supervisor.
  • Interns are required to commit to all three quarters and work a minimum of 6 hours per week.
  • The internship must be taken for academic credit.

For more details on unique requirements for internship positions, see the Internship Application.

How to apply:

  • Students must submit four documents before being considered for an interview:
    • A cover letter
    • An up-to date resume
    • University/college transcript(s); undergraduate and graduate (if applicable)
    • A signed and completed Internship Application Form
  • Internship Application

Applicants can send all aspects of the application in one email to dsinclair@ucsb.edu or fax to 805-893-4766 attn Danielle Sinclair, Dining Services Dietitian.

Acknowledgements from Previous Interns:

Asami Osato, 2013-2014  Intern (Environmental Studies Major)

I believe in the power of making small changes through education, and I appreciated the fact that this internship focused on sustainability and health--both of which I am very passionate about. I got to do many different things with this internship; I interacted with students and staff on campus, local farmers, people in the food industry, and various food councils. Because of this I learned a lot of interesting things while improving my communication skills. This experience also taught me software skills including Microsoft Publisher, which I used to make educational materials for upcoming events as well as special projects. It was rewarding when I got to see my work on display during tabling events in the dining comments and see students respond. My favorite part of the internship was this interaction with the students who were interested to see what we were doing. This internship was challenging and exciting, being able to work with Danielle who always asked us for suggestions and listened to our ideas. I liked the fact that I had an input in choosing and executing my projects. She really valued our opinions and feedback, so our meetings were always fun. I enjoyed working with the other interns and I feel like my work had an impact!

Dominic Schlies, 2013-2014 Intern (Environmental Studies Major)

As an environmental intern for UC dining commons, I was able to learn all about UCSB's sustainable dining practices first hand and why they're so important. In addition to learning a variety of different approaches to sustainability, the internship was a great introduction to the working world and demonstrated the kinds of logistics that are required to turn ideas into action. It was also fun to be active with other students while tabling at events in an effort to educate them about how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

 Krystyna Livingston, 2012-13 Intern (Environmental Studies Major)

The internship with the UCSB Dining Commons was an important and useful part of my college career.  Firstly, it was inspiring to see an organization as large and influential as the UCSB Dining Commons work towards sustainability.  Secondly, I admire the transparency of the Dining Commons because they provide students with the opportunity to learn about where their food comes from.  This internship was beneficial for me because I learned what changes towards sustainability are realistic and how to properly execute them in an organization as large as the Dining Commons.  Additionally, and most importantly I learned how to expose the general public to sustainable foods and the importance of thinking about where your food comes from.  Finally, I was simultaneously enrolled in many of David Cleveland’s classes and I was presented with the opportunity to reiterate what I learned in class in the internship.  I gained valuable experiences and knowledge from this internship that I plan to take into my future career related to food, and I encourage others to apply and participate!

Carla Curle, 2011-12 Intern (Environmental Studies Major)

The UCSB Residential Dining Services Sustainability internship was an incredibly valuable experience during my undergraduate career. As a student trying to make a difference in sustainability practices on the UCSB campus, this internship allowed me to pursue several different avenues for change within an already established system. Over the course of the year, I worked alongside other interns to track utility usage for the four dining halls, evaluate the effectiveness of Green Mondays, and increase farm to table transparency for UCSB students. It was a rewarding experience for me and I would highly recommend the opportunity to current students.