This spring marks the 17th year of the Rubenstein School Greening of Rubenstein Interns class. The course is taught by Research Associate Gary Hawley, with help this year from mentors Colleen Armstrong, manager of the UVM Greenhouse; David Slade of Slade Engineering; Seth O’Brien, Rubenstein School IT specialist; and Rich Wollbach, UVM energy consultant.

Guest speakers in the class included David Blittersdorf, chair of the Rubenstein School Board of Advisors and founder of NRG Systems and AllEarth Renewables; Salvatore Chiarelli, director of UVM’s Physical Plant; and Ethan Bellavance, recent UVM environmental sciences graduate who works at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. 

Student interns completed five projects. Two focused on increasing the energy efficiency and environmental sustainability of the Aiken Center and other Rubenstein School buildings and helped to build the vision for the Rubenstein School Net Zero Energy initiative.

"It was exciting to be a part of an ongoing project and to be able to leave an impact as the School pursues net zero energy," said Adam Wechsler '18, an environmental studies student who participated in last spring's Race to Zero competition in Golden, Colorado.

Three other intern projects addressed plans to use green roof stormwater run-off to flush Aiken Center toilets, upgrades to the Aiken solarium, and production of a wind mobile for the Aiken atrium. 

“Throughout the 17 years I have taught this course, the students’ vision and ingenuity never cease to amaze me," said Hawley, who manages the Aiken Center green roof and has taken the lead in bringing Rubenstein School buildings to net zero energy. "At the end of each course, I think the students can’t be topped, but another group of students comes along and I am once again blown away by the passion and creativity they contribute to sustainability projects in the Rubenstein School.”

Interns will give their final project presentations on May 3, 2018 at 6:00pm, location to be announced. All members of the Rubenstein School community are encouraged to attend! 

Follow the links below to read the mid-semester reports for each student project. Visit the class wiki space for more details and at the end of the semester to view final project presentations. You can also learn about past Greening Interns projects.  

2018 Greening of Rubenstein Interns Project Reports 

Forestry Sciences Building Energy Audit (pdf)
Student Interns: Adam Wechsler and Thomas McGrade 

On the Road to Net Zero (pdf)
Student Interns: Jake Campbell, Emily Downs and Dan Fleites 

Aiken Solarium Upgrades (pdf)
Student Interns: Emet Koffman and Patrick Heaton 

Stormwater for Greywater Use (pdf)
Student Interns: Audrey Seery and Kayla Freischlag 

Aiken Center Wind Mobile (pdf)
Student Intern: Jonathan Coro




Rubenstein School
Gary Hawley on Aiken Center green roof
Gary Hawley works on cold tolerance and physiological mechanisms of winter injury in forest trees; genetic diversity, evolutionary biology, and physiological adaptation of forest trees; and design, development, and demonstration of high performance green