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Partners In Pollution Prevention Internship Program: Success Stories And Lessons Learned

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.440.1 - 3.440.4



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Paper Authors

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Wayne Woldt

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Mohamed Dahab

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Bruce I. Dvorak

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Dennis Schulte

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3151

Partners in Pollution Prevention Internship Program: Success Stories and Lessons Learned Bruce I. Dvorak, Wayne Woldt, Mohamed Dahab, and Dennis Schulte University of Nebraska-Lincoln

An innovative internship program in pollution prevention (P2) has been developed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). This program contains educational, research and extension components and has been successful in the first year of its four-year project period. The Partners in Pollution Prevention program is funded by the US EPA, Region VII (Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri). Matching funds are provided by the University of Nebraska. Support for the program is provided by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. The three main goals of this program are to provide: 1) an intensive educational experience in pollution prevention for engineering students, 2) technical assistance to small businesses and industries in Nebraska, and 3) research on complex pollution prevention problems.

The technical assistance is delivered each summer by 15 to 18 undergraduate engineering student interns and three graduate students. The undergraduate interns participate in two weeks of intensive formal training before spending nine weeks in an assigned (industrial, small business, or regulatory) location providing a specific type of technical assistance. For participating in this program, the undergraduates receive both a stipend and 3-credit hours of senior-level technical elective. The graduate research assistants focus on providing P2 assistance for the most complex research-oriented problems. Students from eight Region VII universities and three majors (civil engineering, biological systems engineering, and chemical engineering) participated in the program during the first two summers.

Approach A series of tasks are required to develop a successful internship program. These tasks include student recruiting, training curriculum development, organizing the mechanics of student-provided technical assistance, integrating the graduate students into the project, and ensuring an appropriate stipend for the students. Each of the tasks required to achieve the program goals and the lessons learned during the first year of the program are discussed below.

Student Recruitment Students were recruited for this program from the four-state area of US EPA Region VII . To be eligible for the program, a student must be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate engineering program, be a resident of or attending a university in one of the four states covered by US EPA Region VII, and must have completed a course in environmental engineering. Students have participated in this program from eight universities (representing all four states) and three majors. Over the first two summers, 14 of the interns were Biological Systems Engineering majors, 13 were Civil Engineering majors, and five were Chemical Engineering majors.

To attract the best students, a strong emphasis has been placed on recruiting. Seven

Woldt, W., & Dahab, M., & Dvorak, B. I., & Schulte, D. (1998, June), Partners In Pollution Prevention Internship Program: Success Stories And Lessons Learned Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7334

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