Graduate Internship Opportunity – Sustainable Building Program

Seattle’s Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) is seeking a graduate intern beginning Spring quarter to conduct background investigations and assist with stakeholder engagement to support the development of building energy efficiency and GHG reduction policies. The work is part of OSE’s larger effort to implement the City of Seattle’s Climate Action Plan, which outlines how the City can achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Educational benefits to the student
  • Learn about energy related policies, programs, and regulations of diverse municipalities.
  • Gain knowledge about building energy efficiency practices through their investigations and analysis.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how the City of Seattle evaluates and advances environmental policies and initiatives.
  • Meet and learn from building professionals and representatives of Seattle’s building stakeholder organizations.
  • Strengthen their ability to effectively collect, organize, and communicate complex information.
  • Sharpen analysis and writing skills.

Job Responsibilities

  • Research and collect information on the building energy-efficiency approaches—policies, programs and regulations—of jurisdictions across the US and internationally.
  • Research and analyze available information on the impact and implementation needs of the various approaches.
  • Compile and organize all relevant resources and information into a format usable for reference by City staff.
  • Write a summary report that contains a synopsis and evaluation of each approach investigated for use as a resource by City staff.
  • Develop presentation materials for meetings with stakeholders
  • Assist with preparations, facilitation and documentation of stakeholder engagement meetings.
Desired qualifications:

Experience related to building energy efficiency.
Experience in City government.
Basic graphic design proficiency.

Hours: approximately 20 hours per week while class is in session; and up to 40 hours in the summer. Hours will be scheduled between 8:00 am – 6:00 pm M-F, and adjusted to accommodate class schedule.
Start/End dates: This internship will begin in late March/early April 2015 and end in September 2015
How to apply: Complete an online application at (click on student opportunities) and please attach the following:
  • Your unofficial transcript: including current coursework and cumulative GPA
  • Cover letter & Resume
  • Writing sample
  • Three References

** Incomplete application package will not be considered.

Job Opportunity – New Equity & Environment Program Manager

From recycling to energy efficiency, Seattle is widely known for its environmental leadership and innovation. However, the Seattle community faces many of the same challenges as the broader US environmental movement: those who shape and benefit from environmental policies, approaches, and outcomes are primarily white, upper-income communities.

To realize Seattle’s commitment to undoing institutionalized racism and its vision for racial equity, the City is launching the Equity & Environment Initiative, a City-community partnership to advance three primary goals:

1) Ensure all people and communities benefit (and none are disproportionally impacted) from the City’s environmental programs and policies;

2) Engage communities most impacted by environmental injustice in setting environmental priorities, designing strategies, and tracking progress; and

3) Create opportunities for people of color to participate and lead in the environmental field.

The Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) needs your help to find a person who can lead this important work. The new Equity & Environment Program Manager will work with City departments and offices and community partners to move the needle on equity in Seattle’s environmental work. This is an amazing opportunity to have a lasting impact on the lives of all Seattle residents.

We are looking for someone who combines strong management, policy, and stakeholder engagement skills with experience working on racial equity and/or environmental justice. If you or someone you know matches this description, please encourage them to visit to learn more and apply. The posting is scheduled to close 2/17/15.

The Office of Sustainability & Environment values diverse perspectives and life experiences. People of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. OSE was established as an executive office in 2000 to develop and coordinate environmental policies and programs.  With a staff of 18, OSE designs, coordinates, and pilots leading edge policies and programs to achieve Seattle’s ambitious environmental goals. 

White House Recognizes Seattle as a Climate Action Champion

The White House recognized Seattle as a Climate Action Champion on Wednesday, one of just 16 local and tribal governments that demonstrated a strong and ongoing commitment to actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resilience.

“This is a tremendous honor that adds momentum to our innovations on climate action and community resilience,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We applaud President Obama for drawing attention to climate change and supporting local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Obama Administration launched the local community Climate Action Champions competition this fall as a complement to his commitment to address climate change at the national and international scale. On the front lines of climate impacts and a proving ground for climate solutions, local communities have a powerful role to play in addressing climate change.

Seattle stands out as a national leader with a citywide goal to be carbon neutral by 2050, ambitious Climate Action Plan and Seattle City Light’s decade-long track record as a 100 percent carbon neutral electric utility.

As a Climate Action Champion, Seattle will benefit from facilitated peer-to-peer learning, climate science data, risk projection tools and targeted support from a range of federal programs. Check out the White House Fact Sheet for more information on the recognition and what it means for Seattle and the other 15 Climate Champions.



Seattle’s Urban Forestry Commission Position Opening

The City of Seattle is looking for a new Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) member to fill Position #4. This position is for a hydrologist or similar professional, preferably with expertise in the study of natural drainage, climate or air quality, or a combination. This position is appointed by the Mayor, and confirmed by City Council, for a renewable, three-year term starting December 1, 2014 and extending through December 1, 2017. Applications are due Monday, November 10, 2014.

To be considered, please email a letter of interest and resume to Sandra Pinto de Bader. To send a paper submittal, address it to: Sandra Pinto de Bader, Urban Forestry Commission Liaison, Office of Sustainability and Environment, City of Seattle, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1868. PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA 98124-4729.

The nine-member UFC consists of a wildlife biologist; an urban ecologist; a representative of a local, state, or federal natural resource agency or an accredited university; a hydrologist; a certified arborist; a representative of a non-profit or non-governmental organization; a representative of the development community or a representative from a non-city utility; and an economist, financial analyst, or Washington State licensed real estate broker.

The City of Seattle set the bold goal of achieving 30 percent tree canopy cover by 2037 to increase the environmental, social, and economic benefits trees bring to Seattle residents. The Seattle Urban Forest Stewardship Plan (UFSP) is a comprehensive strategy for increasing Seattle’s tree canopy cover to meet the 30 percent target. The UFSP lays out goals and a broad range of actions to be implemented over time to preserve, maintain, and plant trees as well as restore the public forested areas remaining in the city. The Urban Forestry Commission was established in 2009 by Ordinance 123052 to advise the Mayor and City Council on policy and regulations governing the protection, management, and conservation of trees and vegetation in the City of Seattle. Commission meetings are held twice a month on the first and second Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Commission members generally must commit approximately 10 hours per month to Commission business and serve without compensation.

For more information, please contact Sandra Pinto de Bader, Urban Forestry Commission Liaison, at (206) 684-3194 or via email at

Lower Your Carbon “Foodprint”

By now, you’ve probably heard of a carbon footprint, where you measure the carbon associated with your daily activities, like commuting, heating/cooling your home and taking trips. But one of the biggest choices you make to impact the climate may be related to food, or your carbon “foodprint.”

Food production is very energy intensive, as it includes direct emissions from food growing, as well as energy associated with transport, food production, processing, packaging and distribution. Food waste is another big contributor (food in a landfill doesn’t break down as it does when composted, instead releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas). This is particularly impactful when otherwise edible food is thrown out – all the energy it took to grow the food is lost, too.

But there are plenty of ways to lower the impact of what you eat. First, you can take a quick survey to find out your carbon foodprint, which will give you a better idea of how various food choices impact the environment. You might be surprised by a few things, especially if you love dairy…

No one wants to waste food, but it happens. In fact, Americans waste about 25 percent of all food and drinks we buy, adding up to more than $1,600 each year. Ouch! Luckily, there are ways to prevent a lot of waste and some good tools out there to help us along the way. Check out the Food, Too Good to Waste toolkit to learn tips on planning meals, shopping, preparing and storing food (hint, basil will last longer outside the fridge!).

Some things you just have to toss, so don’t forget to throw your scraps in the compost or yard collection bin (or feed to chickens if you have them, they’re some of the best recyclers around).