A number of practicum opportunities can be developed depending upon the interests of the students and needs of local, regional, national, and global organizations. The program prides itself on creating these opportunities for students within the Sustainable Science M.S. department. It is encouraged early on for students to express career interests so that optimum placement can be arranged; below is a sample of potential practicum opportunities. Below are partnerships created via the SMS program.

MSU Scholar

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TVA’s EnergyRight® and Renewable Solutions organization

By working with TVA, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the company and gain valuable experience working in a professional setting. An intern should expect challenging work assignments, regular feedback of work performance and opportunities to learn and network.

TVA’s vision is to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy. The EnergyRight® and Renewable Solutions organization plays a key role in delivering this vision. Partnering with local power companies, direct serve customers and other stakeholders we deliver energy efficiency, demand-side management and renewable energy solutions that enable homeowners and businesses to save money, improve the economy, protect the environment and enhance the quality of life of people living in the Valley.

Interns with EnergyRight Solutions for Home, Business and Industry, Customer Systems and Renewable Energy Solutions will work with the program managers on assignments associated with the design and implementation of energy efficiency, demand response and renewable programs. Market and Program Analysis interns are assigned duties supporting the collection, validation, analysis and reporting of data associated with implementation of EnergyRight and Renewable Solutions programs and pilots.

Minimum Requirements-

} You must be enrolled as a full-time student at a U.S. Department of Education accredited four-year college or university.

} You must have successfully completed at least thirty credit hours of college courses before beginning the internship.

} You must have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale.

} You must be at least 18 years old at the time of the initial work assignment.

} You must be able to pass pre-employment fitness for duty evaluations.

} You must be a U.S. citizen or meet the non-citizenship requirements outlined in TVA’s Citizenship Policy.

} You must possess proficiency with Microsoft Office software programs – Word, Excel and Powerpoint

Suggested Requirements-

} Prior experience with energy audits is helpful.

} An interest in energy efficiency and/or renewable energy solutions is preferred.

} Prior experience with MATLAB is desirable for Market and Program Analysis intern positions.

TVA employs interns for fall, spring, and summer semesters. An intern may be hired for one or more terms based on business needs and the student’s continued performance. Hours are determined during the interview process. Students are paid a competitive hourly rate. Rates are based on class standing (graduate student, senior, junior, sophomore).

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the intern program in order to be considered. Please go to TVA's Career Gateway and apply on the internship posted that correlates with your major.

Calloway County Cooperative Extension Service

The Calloway County Cooperative Extension Service is a portion of the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University off-campus information network. The office provides a link between local producers and the researched based information that is developed by our specialists. Through these relationships we provide educational opportunities for a wide range of audiences.

Interns with the office will work to develop programs to inform the general public about the environmental impacts of their everyday lives. They may also work to assist producers in identifying and implementing practices that would make their operations more sustainable. We also have the option of working primarily with youth through our 4-H program on water sampling and other environmental impact studies.

Unpaid internships are offered during the semester/summer on a project driven basis: Not assigned a particular amount of hours per week, but rather a project to work on and would evaluate along the way.

Alternatively, interns can apply through the official University of Kentucky Internship program online.

Research Policy Fellow: Kentucky Soybean Association

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Partnering Organization: Kentucky Livestock Coalition

The Kentucky Livestock Coalition is a not-for-profit partnership formed in 2009 by 11 agriculture, veterinary and farm business groups to connect consumers with agriculture. KLC works to ensure environmentally-friendly, socially-responsible and economically-viable agriculture to provide safe and affordable food. Learn more at:

Livestock Coalition members include the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association, Kentucky Soybean Board, Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, Kentucky Pork Producers Association, Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association, Kentucky Poultry Federation, Kentucky Dairy Development Council, Kentucky Sheep & Goat Development Office, Kentucky Farm Bureau, United Producers and Farm Credit Mid-America.

Fellowship Overview:

The Kentucky Livestock Coalition seeks a graduate student to assist with research and educational projects on behalf of Kentucky’s soybean, cattle, pig, corn, small grain, poultry, dairy, sheep and goat farmers. The student may select a specialized area of interest pertaining to improving sustainability in production agriculture.

The primary objectives of the fellowship are to:

- Familiarize students with sustainability issues relevant to Kentucky’s farm economy,

- Connect students with leaders working on agriculture sustainability issues in state environmental agencies, farmer associations, state universities and in the private sector, and

- Facilitate a student-selected area(s) of focus to research and write a report on for the Livestock Coalition.

The student may concentrate on specific sustainability issues relevant to Kentucky agriculture, including livestock and poultry housing, water quality, water supply, pest management, food safety, biotechnology, carbon footprint reduction, soil fertility, farm worker safety, and production economics.

The Coalition emphasizes a three-pillar approach to sustainability that considers social, environmental and economic factors. Students should be comfortable working on issues using only credible, peer-reviewed information sources.


In coordination with the Murray State Sustainable Science Masters of Science Program Development Coordinator, the student may choose the duration of the fellowship and weekly time commitment. The Livestock Coalition is staffed by the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board office located in Princeton, Kentucky.

E-Waste Sustainability Plan for Murray State University Recycling Program.

Murray State University Procurement Services is looking for a graduate intern to help develop an E-Waste plan for not only the university, but one that incorporates the city of Murray and any interested community members willing to transport their electronic waste materials to campus. This is an exciting opportunity to work with state organizations in recycling and project management and implementation.

Developing a sustainable energy plan for Murray State, local and regional businesses, or the state of Kentucky;

Working to improve environmental education at Land Between the Lakes, local K-12 schools, or at Murray State;

Implementing and testing sustainable agricultural practices on local farms;

Creating management plans for threatened or endangered species.

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