Sustainability Pathways Fellowships


Sustainability Pathways is a fellowship program where undergraduate students merge academic learning with work experience to address the complex sustainability challenges of our time. Students apply a systems thinking lens to a paid fellowship experience where students are placed with a local organization, school, agency or business to advance place-based sustainability initiatives in the Methow and Okanogan Valleys in North-Central Washington.

Students sit in a field, working on a group project on laptops outside a yurt
Students and a community advisor stand in front of a "Climate Action Plan" poster

The fellowship includes a cohort learning experience with provided housing and a paid 11 week work practicum. Students also develop community-engaged project management skills through the Sustainability Planning Studio course (UEPP 471).

Students spend the summer building practical skills while immersed in partner organizations that represent dimensions of sustainability including environmental quality, public health, economic development, social justice and equity, and place-based learning. Reciprocity is practiced by program partners who are committed to student learning and mentorship and the skills, energy, and innovative ideas students bring to organizations and the community.

A student uses a sensor for surveying work
Student Sarah Quenemoen tends to a community garden bed

Who Should Apply?

Sustainability is interdisciplinary and participation from diverse academic backgrounds enables dynamic systems thinking. Students of all departments and majors are encouraged to apply.

Whether you are interested in energy studies, climate leadership, urban planning, community health, food systems, youth advocacy, wildlife biology, ecological restoration, education, economic development, communications, or community art, your creativity is essential for doing cross-sector community work.

Students Julia Downing and Olivia Taylor-Manning present on pollinators in the area
Student Zoe Hemez poses by the sign for her practicum organization, Methow Trails
Student Olivia Kaulfus with their model for a tiny home

Students enroll in the 3 credit WWU Campus Sustainability Planning Studio course (UEPP 471) and may also choose to earn internship credit for their fellowship (1-8 credits, optional). Depending on your major, the Sustainability Planning Studio course may be taken as an elective or may also be applied to the Sustainability Minor (see WWU catalog for more information). 

Please consult with your advisor to see how UEPP 471 fits in your degree path.

Application Process

Review position descriptions and consider what professional work skills you want to develop. Complete the online application and candidates will be selected for interviews based on online application responses.

Prior to interviews, applicants will review the updated practicum position descriptions and indicate the positions most interested in.

Once offered a fellowship position, students can register for Campus Sustainability Planning Studio (UEPP 471), and if registering for internship credits, complete an internship/learning agreement for the appropriate number of internship credits.
Please direct questions about the program, your application, or any of the fellowship positions to

Practicum Placements

Students apply for the Sustainability Pathways program and are matched to positions based on the skills and interests they hope to develop and the qualifications needed from the community partners. 

Most positions also have the option of serving as Civic Leadership and Engagement Corps AmeriCorps members, earning an education award that can be applied to student loans, future tuition, and other educational opportunities.

Carefully review descriptions for position responsibilities and requirements. The fellowship is a paid work experience and housing is provided for students. The fellowship involves students living primarily in the Methow Valley with some students based in the neighboring Okanogan Valley.

Application and Program Timeline 

  • Applications go live November 15th and are due January 7th, 2024
  • Register here for our online open house on December 11th at 5pm. Join us at this link.
  • Interviews and placements will be completed by the end of January
  • The 2024 program dates are from June 17th - August 30th

Apply Here!

Practicum Positions

Students apply for the Sustainability Pathways program and are matched to positions based on the skills and interests they hope to develop and the qualifications needed from the community partners. See below for the summer practicum positions.

2024 Practicum Positions

Are you an alumni of the program? Consider applying as a Sustainability Mentor and spend another summer in the Methow Valley supporting the next cohort of students!