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Meet the Spring 2023 Sustainability Interns

The Sustainability Office is working with college students who are learning about and contributing to the City’s sustainability efforts and goals.

Last year, the Sustainability Office expanded to welcome three Sustainability Specialists to the team. This semester, the Office would like to introduce four college students whose internships are supporting the Sustainability Office’s work and the 2021 Climate Action Plan goals.

Alexis Pierce, Mayor’s Select Internship, Sustainability Policies
Alexis is a senior at UNM majoring in political science and English. She currently serves as digital editor of the student-run literary and arts magazine CSW. In her free time, she enjoys writing and combing her love for sustainability/fashion with sewing thrifted clothes. Alexis’ work with the Sustainability Office focuses on researching policies related to sustainability, including reuse economy policies and state legislation.

Feleecia Guillen, Sustainability Studies Internship, Food Waste and Composting
Feleecia is a sophomore at the University of New Mexico studying General Management and Sustainability Studies. She was raised in Edgewood, New Mexico where her passion for environmental action and sustainability began. Through her work with UNM Leaders for Environmental Action and Foresight, she believes that everyone has the power to make a difference and pursue environmental change. In the near future, she hopes to start a non-profit or B Corp focusing on environmental justice for our most vulnerable communities. Feleecia is supporting food waste and composting work in the Sustainability Office.

Elizabeth Chou, Sustainability Studies Internship, Food Rescue
Elizabeth is a third-year undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Minor in Sustainability Studies. She was born and raised in the surrounding cities of Chicago, Illinois. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, rock collecting, and star gazing. Elizabeth’s internship centers on assessing the potential for food waste recovery in Albuquerque with a focus on the grocery sector.

Charley Allen, Sustainability Studies Internship, Sustainability Asset Mapping
Charley is a senior in the Geography BS program at UNM with an emphasis in GIScience and a minor in Sustainability Studies. They hold an Associate's Degree in Environmental Planning and Design from CNM and have been living in New Mexico for five years. Originally from Florida, Charley used WWOOFing and other seasonal farm work as an opportunity to explore the country before landing in Albuquerque. They have been involved in organic and regenerative small-scale agriculture for eight years and currently grow vegetables and small livestock on a closed-loop family farm in the South Valley, as well as dabbling in alternative construction methods. Charley's research interests and areas of academic focus include sustainable and adaptive development and land management, food waste and reclamation infrastructure, and socioeconomic implications of climate change in rural agricultural regions of South America (and beyond). Currently, Charley is assisting the Sustainability Office with community resource mapping projects concerning composting, community gardens, and more.

The Office is thrilled to be working with these four students, who are learning about and contributing to the City’s sustainability efforts and goals. Already this year, the students and Sustainability staff toured the Water Authority’s wastewater treatment plant and Soilutions’ commercial-scale food waste-to-compost operations. Mentorship is a vital part of creating a sustainable Albuquerque, and the students are invited to shadow staff on site visits and meetings to learn more about the municipality and the Office’s collaborations. We hope you join us in welcoming these students to the professional world of sustainability! These internships are made possible by the University of New Mexico’s Mayor’s Select Internship Program, the Sustainable Studies Professional Immersion Internship Program and the Center for Community Geography.

If you are currently looking for an internship, Solid Waste is taking applications and provides opportunities for waste reduction and recycling projects. Just send your resume and cover letter to Emily Moore.