Sustainable Solutions Lab 

The Sustainable Solutions Lab (SSL) is a collaborative research and action hub that responds to the needs of our university community to address sustainability challenges. The SSL bridges knowledge from the classroom to our campus operations.

  • Use the campus environment as a living laboratory to find solutions to reduce our carbon footprint and operate more sustainably.
  • Facilitate collaboration between staff and faculty subject matter experts to design and support high impact projects for students to pursue.
  • Address known sustainability gaps on campus by facilitating paid internships for undergraduate students, paired with staff and faculty support.
  • Handle administrative needs, supervise students and provide project management, professional and leadership development support in a cohort model.

Who We Are:

Elizabeth Palchak, PhD

As an experienced curriculum developer and teacher, Elizabeth identified the SSL model to better prepare UVM students for careers in the broad field of sustainability. She leads the SSL and works to help identify high leverage projects and partnerships that advance the goals of the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan.



Caylin McCamp

As a long-time supervisor of applied student projects through the Eco-Reps program Caylin acts as the direct supervisor for many students in the SSL providing them with project support, leadership and professional development resources and assists them in connecting with stakeholders across campus to strengthen and share their work.



Meet the Students:

Liz Amler – Policy Fellow

Liz is pursuing a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Environmental Policy. Liz’s work involves tracking local, state and national policy developments to identify possible implications and opportunities that are relevant to the implementation of the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan. She brings extensive policy experience to her role, having served at the Senate Office of Bernie Sanders and on political campaigns. Liz is dedicated to sustainability efforts across campus and is also the Program Director for the Sustainability Learning Community. Her passion for building a sustainable future stems from her time as an outdoor educator at North Country Camps in the Adirondack mountains of New York.

Clare Nelson – Data Analyst

Clare Nelson is pursuing an MS in Civil Engineering with a focus on transportation and sustainable policy development. Her work supports sustainability planning and data analysis with a focus on transportation emissions. Before joining the SSL, Clare had been an Eco-Rep, interned with the Physical Plant Department, completed research on sustainable building materials, acted as secretary and president of the UVM chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and remains an active researcher with the UVM Transportation Research Center. Her research explores alternative fuels tax funding mechanisms as well as transportation challenges in small, rural communities. On the side, she's always up for long bike rides, snowboarding, painting, propagating plants, making delicious curries or giving haircuts.

Erin Camire - Pollinator Intern

Erin is pursuing a bachelor's in forestry with a focus on sustainable landscapes, highlighting the interconnections between nature, human cultivation and design. Their work focuses on mapping and analyzing UVM's landscapes and making suggestions on how to reduce emissions from lawn equipment and increase pollinator habitat, to forward the goals set by the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan. They've spent many summers learning about the natural growing habits of pollinator plants in the fields of Hudson Valley, New York and all throughout the forests of Vermont. This background knowledge in combination with their experience in the landscape maintenance field will ensure their recommendations are ecologically sound and resilient in the face of a changing future. This semester you'll probably find Erin pacing out swaths of lawn or reviewing gardens around campus to help make these spaces pleasing for all who dwell here.

Eric Urbaniak - Carbon Pricing Researcher

Eric Urbaniak is a first-year master's student at UVM, pursuing an MS in Natural Resources. Prior to moving to Vermont, Eric interned for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe on waste diversion projects, the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park for sustainability planning, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Biosolids Taskforce. Additionally, during his time as an undergrad, he cocreated, then directed the Central Michigan University Office of Sustainability. Eric's current research on carbon pricing aims to investigate policy mechanisms towards higher education decarbonization efforts. In his free time, Eric enjoys biking, skiing, and drumming!



Current Openings - none