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Summer Sustainability

Community-Engaged Fellows

The Sustainability Community-Engaged Summer Fellows program is open to students enrolled in undergraduate programs in Arts, Sciences, and Engineering.

Sustainability Community-Engaged Fellowship Program

The summer 2021 Sustainability Community-Engaged Fellowship program seeks four outstanding University of Rochester undergraduate students for participation in a summer research project working with Professor Lee Murray in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Successful applicants will receive an eight-week full-time stipend of $3,900. 

Field Research

Participants will be involved with a 15-day multi-institution field campaign sampling greenhouse gases in ambient air of New York State scheduled for summer 2021 in collaboration with students and researchers at Ithaca College, SUNY Albany and Columbia University. Participants will be trained in and make measurements of greenhouse gases in ambient air if the course of the COVID-19 pandemic allows.

Following the measurement campaign, participants will be trained in and apply inverse modeling methods to relate those observations to recent upwind emissions and develop regional greenhouse-gas emission inventories for Rochester and Western/Central New York. The emission estimates will help local municipalities in their compliance with New York State's greenhouse gas reduction requirements.

Students will work closely with and present their research to the Climate Solutions Accelerator of the Genesee/Finger Lakes Region, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Students will have the opportunity to continue in term-time research for the Fall/Winter component of the campaign. 


Successful applicants must be:

  • Highly self-motivated
  • Able to work successfully as part of a team
  • Have good oral and written communication skills
  • Have demonstrated aptitude in prior research or community engagement experiences

Given the highly interdisciplinary nature of the project, students from all backgrounds will be considered; however, at least one team member must display strong familiarity with scripting programming languages (e.g., R, Matlab, python).

Students are not required to be local to Rochester, but participants must be eligible for employment in New York State, which under existing tax law is limited to those residing in the following states: NY, CA, IL, KS, MD, MA, NJ, NC, TN, and VA. 

Interested students should fill out an online application by March 31, 2021. Successful applicants will be notified within one week.