Internship program tackles sustainability over the summer

students working at alpine valley

There are many opportunities for students at all UWM campuses to participate in internship programs throughout the school year and over the summer. The College of General Studies offers a course, “LEC 294 – General Internship Course.” This course offers students the opportunity to earn college credit from their work. UWM at Waukesha student, Katherine, was able to take advantage of this course opportunity.

Professor Quintin Bendixen, Senior Lecturer of Geology, Geography and Sustainability, is the Venue Sustainability Coordinator for Live Nation at Alpine Valley Music Amphitheater. He was able to hire a Sustainability Crew over the summer and recruited students from our Waukesha campus and the Conservation and Environmental Science program on UWM’s main campus. Their goal was to make the concert and event experience as sustainable as possible. A large part of their job was to identify and implement opportunities to reach zero waste. Additionally, they assessed other sustainability factors such as energy, water management and conservation.

My experience with the students has been great so far. It is truly difficult work to identify, plan and implement sustainability-based initiatives at a large 37,000-person music venue. Specifically, our attempts at creating a zero waste event on the day of concerts. So far, we are averaging a 65% diversion rate, meaning only 35% of the waste makes it to the landfill. We average around 4,000 lbs. of recycling per concert. I am convinced that without our work, 0% of the material would actually end up recycled.

The day of show work is difficult as I and the students sort the waste into the proper receptacles (we literally open every bag of trash and go through them…you get used to it). I always ask the students to make observations and provide feedback as to how to create a more sustainable concert experience. We also get to watch a lot of live music!

– Professor Bendixen
internship program group at alpine valley
Picture Right to Left at two nights of Dave Matthews Band: (only UWM students identified): far right side Katherine Nguyen (UWM@WAK), Rachel John(UWM@WAK),center Kristian Zenz (UWM and former UWM@WAK), back row left side Sean O’Dwyer (UWM and former UWM@WAK),front row left side Leona Moriarti (UWM),front row left side Ingrid Bayer (UWM), not pictured Briana Laska (UWM@WAK),Georgia Meysembourg (UWM)

Looking to learn more? Read about our internship opportunities or browse the latest course catalog.