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Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience Internships

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DEQ is committed to preventing pollution through voluntary, statewide programs. We administer and manage the Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience project with our partner the Oregon Sea Grant. This project is made possible through the EPA's competitive pollution prevention grant program that focuses on measurable environmental benefits. 

The Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience internship program connects environmental science, chemistry, sustainability and engineering students with Oregon businesses to conduct pollution prevention research projects. Research projects focus on preventing pollution and saving resources and money by reducing toxic chemicals, energy, water use and solid waste.

Visit OASE Success Stories for examples on how this program makes a difference in the lives of interns and the businesses who host them.


  • Businesses find innovative, cost-effective solutions to sustainability-related challenges they may not otherwise develop or implement.
  • Businesses improve processes and materials using pollution prevention techniques and principles.
  • Students gain practical experience by 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 while creating concrete and cost-effective contributions to protect the environment and public health.

OASE interns helped businesses

If businesses implement the OASE interns’ recommendations, then together the companies could annually:

  • save $6,699,708,
  • prevent the use of 286 tons of hazardous waste,  
  • reduce water use by 120 million gallons, and
  • prevent 86,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted.


Reaching sustainability and hazardous waste reduction goals and targets is not an easy task; the OASE team have provided technical expert support, and interns that are driven and selected to maximize their time and efforts for our team to be successful. -TE Connectivity

Hosting an OASE intern this summer was invaluable and our intern went above and beyond. They helped us identify areas for pollution prevention and contributed to the business beyond just the requirements of the program - we loved being a host business! -Bold Reuse

The OASE internship program empowered us to undertake a pollution prevention project that would have otherwise been beyond our capacity. Our intern played a pivotal role in coordinating meetings with both local and international industry experts, building momentum for change beyond our company alone. -Bridgetown Mushrooms


The program is funded by the EPA's Pollution Prevention Grant. Future program development is dependent on identifying and obtaining funding. Please visit the OASE website for donation opportunities.


For more information, contact Lisa Cox at DEQ and Jenny Engels at Oregon Sea Grant.

oase Interns, names are in the caption

Top row: Kayla Gacosta, Boeing; Kristina Schmidt, Pacific Seafood; Camden Schmidt, Vivid Stabilized Woods

Bottom row: Jacquelynn Ngyen, Oregon Kelp Alliance; Angel Contreras Cruz, Tofurkey; Amanda Newman, Bridgetown Mushrooms