Indiana Sustainability Development Program

ISDP cohort1

Some members of the Indiana Sustainability Development Program's first cohort.

Expanding careers in sustainability

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Every sector has sustainability as a goal.

Sustainability is an economic, social and environmental consideration across all employment sectors. Corporate, nonprofit and governmental entities are all interested in creating a sustainable future, and this area of expertise is in high demand nationwide. It involves risk management and profitability, community and civic engagement, public health and resource preservation. Sustainability professionals come from a wide variety of backgrounds and educational training and Indiana University is preparing some of the most capable future managers ready to take on the state's sustainability challenges. Sustainability jobs are good jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports environmental scientists and specialists earn a median salary of $68,910. A 2014 McKinsey Global Survey found 43 percent of executives say their companies seek to align sustainability with their overall business goals. 


According to an EDF Climate Corp report.


As reported by GreenBiz.

Our aim is to:

  1. Develop a statewide network of sustainability professionals in the corporate, nonprofit,
    government and higher education sectors.
  2. Learn how to best prepare students for sustainability careers by listening to industryprofessionals.
  3. Train and place interns in sustainability-focused positions through partnership development and an intensive bootcamp.
  4. Build the state of Indiana’s sustainability workforce capacity by retaining skilled talent through employment and internship opportunities.
Meet this year's externs

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ISDP is happy to introduce the first 15 externs in the program. Click on the drop downs below to learn more about the students making up this year's cohort.

  • City of Kokomo

    Rutu Patel

    Rutu Patel will work with the City of Kokomo to develop a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis examining city department operations and how sustainable practices can be implemented. Rutu holds a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Illinois and has worked in sustainability communication.

     (See the full job description)

  • Prosperity Indiana

    Kristen Billings

    Kristen Billings will assist Prosperity Indiana’s Director of Sustainability with outreach, solar programs, sustainability training curriculum development and cohort network facilitation for ISDP. Kristen has worked as the campus engagement intern with IU’s Office of Sustainability and as a peer writing tutor.

     (See the full job description)

  • Sierra Club

    Lauren Travis

    Lauren Travis will produce a report on Indiana water quality and volunteer water monitoring for use by the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club by communicating and working with volunteers in the field. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and is currently working on data collection for a National Science Foundation research grant on Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act enforcement.

     (See the full job description)

  • Hoosier Environmental Council

    Kevin Goehring

    Kevin Goehring will assist the Hoosier Environmental Council with environmental issues and legal policy advocacy in the areas of water, land and air. Kevin has worked as a legal assistant and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

     (See the full job description)

  • Indiana Forest Alliance

    Sarah Johnson

    Sarah Johnson will assist the Indiana Forest Alliance tell the story of Indiana’s forests and their volunteers by making videos for use in promotional efforts aimed at protecting the state’s forests. Sarah is minoring in environmental and sustainability studies and has worked as the communications intern for Hilltop Garden and Nature Center.

     (See the full job description)

  • Center for Sustainable Living

    Jorge Paez

    Jorge Campana Paez will assist the Center for Sustainable Living with research into policy, volunteer management, distributed decision making, finance and program development. Jorge has worked as a research specialist with the City of Bloomington’s green team and provided cost-benefit analysis of bike sharing companies.

     (See the full job description)

  • Bloomington Food Policy Council

    Olivia Ranseen

    Olivia Ranseen will bolster the efforts of the Bloomington Food Policy Council to influence the city’s development of a new master plan to include policy solutions to food insecurity and access. Olivia has worked with the IU theatre department to identify new sustainability opportunities. 

     (See the full job description)

  • City of Bloomington

    Juan de Valle Coello

    Juan de Valle Coello will assist the City of Bloomington’s Office of Sustainability to develop its sustainability plan, conduct outreach for the Monroe County Energy Challenge, assist with contracting and do other research and evaluation. Juan is a high achieving Cox Research Scholar working on a project to measure vulnerability of the world’s delta regions.

     (See the full job description)

  • Ingredion

    Seth Grossman

    Seth Grossman will work with Ingredion’s Commodities department to train growers in using software, track growers’ sustainability efforts and educate growers on corporate sustainability policies. Seth has experience as a consultant and a peer tutor teaching software applications.

     (See the full job description)

  • Indiana Furniture

    Yash Mehta

    Yash Mehta will take inventory of Indiana Furniture’s sustainability efforts, identify cost-effective strategies to enhance those efforts and assist in ensuring the company is best telling its sustainability story to prospective clients. Yash holds a master’s degree in environmental science and has worked on environmental impact statements and management plans.

     (See the full job description)

  • Earth Charter

    Emma Knuttel

    Emma Knuttel will work with Earth Charter’s Resilient Cities Campaign by connecting with community leadership and identifying successes, opportunities and challenges. Emma has experience in communication and engagement and has written for the SPEA Abroad website.

     (See the full job description)

  • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful

    John Roberts

    John Roberts will help Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s GreenSpace director log and evaluate the condition of its various GreenSpace projects, as well as connect with community partners through outreach. John has a background in entomological and forestry research.

     (See the full job description)

  • City of Indianapolis

    Kyle Davis  David Cullmer

    Both Kyle Davis and David Cullmer will work with the City of Indianapolis’ sustainability department to inventory greenhouse gas emissions, draft recommendations on climate action plans, design an energy challenge for commercial buildings and organize sustainability events. Kyle has worked with Greening Cream and Crimson and studied environmental management techniques in South Africa. David holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and was the assistant rowing coach for Litchfield Hills Rowing Club.

    . (See the full job description)

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