My name is Rachel Summers and I am a second-year Environmental Studies and Political Science major. I have also been an intern at the Office of Sustainability since January.
Since joining the office, I have had the chance to work on a lot of great projects, such as policy work like construction and demolition waste and integrated pest management at the University. I have also helped with events and sustainability outreach such as with Big Red Welcome and the Sustainability Summit where I was able to plan my own event: Myths and Misconceptions. The planning for the event was the most intense aspect of the entire event. I came up with the idea for the summit after seeing how much misinformation and anxiety people my age had about the environment and sustainability in general. We then reached out to students and had them submit their biggest questions and after that it just became a matter of finding experts to answer them, I was lucky enough to find some really great and knowledgeable people who were excited to share their knowledge with students. Overall, the entire process took about three months to plan and come to fruition, but I am so happy with the end result.
The largest part of my work at the office though is the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). This is a tracking and ranking system used by colleges nation-wide for sustainability. Currently, UNL is just two points away from the next level, and a huge part of my job is helping make sure we reach that goal.