Toxic Reduction and Safer Alternatives

The Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience internship The Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience internship program connects environmental science, chemistry, sustainability and engineering, students with Oregon businesses to conduct pollution prevention research projects. Projects focus on reducing toxic chemicals, energy, water use and waste; jointly benefitting the businesses' bottom line and preventing pollution.

 
Oregon businesses host interns for 10 weeks during the summer. Interns receive a stipend and are paired with a technical advisor and an academic mentor who provides additional support and resources.

 
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Sea Grant partner to administer the program.

 
To apply to be a host businesses or intern, go to the OASE web page. Business applications are due every year by Feb. 10. 

OASE program benefits

  • Allow businesses to find solutions to sustainability-related challenges they may not otherwise develop or implement.
  • Help businesses improve processes and materials using pollution prevention techniques and principles.
  • Provide students with practical experience applying sustainability principles through hands-on internships. Participation in the program will allow students to strengthen their networks, build their resumes and improve their potential job opportunities.

Exceeding goals - OASE projected savings

  • $2 million for businesses  
  • 11.5 tons hazardous waste  
  • 61 million gallons of water

 Host businesses fully endorse the intern program:
 “Our intern experience was very helpful. Our intern was responsible and reliable, and helped focus our team on important improvements to our processes. The program administration process was efficient and effective, too.”, Penny Machinski, West Linn Paper Company

Hosting an intern was immensely valuable for Craft Brew Alliance, resulting in tools that are helping us save resources, and projects that have been installed!", Julia Person, Craft Brew Alliance

The Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience interns 

2018 cohort, pictured left to right:
Sharlee Hughes, Portland State University-New Seasons Market; Ashley Baker, University of Oregon-Northwest Green Chemistry; Maya Vigil, University of Oregon-NOSSA Familia Coffee and Oregon Coffee Board’ Jensen Perrick, Portland State University-Columbia Sportswear; Jake Price, Oregon State University-Boeing; Emily Hodges, Oregon State University-Craft Brew Alliance; Anika Sarkar, Oregon State University-Knife River Concrete.

Funding

The Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience internship program was funded by a 2016-18 EPA Pollution Prevention Grant to place 12 interns with businesses. Future program development is dependent on identifying and obtaining funding. Please contact program coordinators for funding opportunities.
 

What is pollution prevention?

Pollution prevention is any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source, also known as "source reduction." Implementing best practices can improve efficiency, prevent wasted resources and save money.