What is the Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience (OASE)?
Since 2017, Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has matched talented engineering, chemistry, sustainability and environmental science students with Oregon businesses to create sustainability solutions. Summer projects focus on research and education that can help improve efficiency, save money, and reduce waste through energy or water audits, toxics use reduction, green chemistry, and life cycle assessment.
What is a host business?
A host business is an Oregon-based business who has been selected to host a fulltime, ten-week intern to conduct onsite research. Interns are placed at businesses to analyze the company’s waste streams and to research and recommend process improvements that will lower operating costs while reducing negative environmental impacts. Your business may be able to address waste reduction projects sooner and faster with the help of an OASE intern. An intern can make suggestions that improve efficiency, save money, reduce waste, or decrease regulatory requirements. Students are mentored and guided by an OASE engineer or scientist.
Who covers the administration and cost?
OSG and DEQ administer this non-regulatory and voluntary program. We received an EPA Pollution Prevention grant that helps offset the costs of the program.
Businesses are required to provide match (counted in hours not dollars) contributions to help support the intern program. Your hours are used to meet grant requirements. For about four months, you will need to track and submit the hours devoted to support the intern (hiring student, training, report review, etc.).
How to become a host business?
When the request for host business proposals is announced, an application will be available for download here. Before submitting a proposal, please contact us to discuss your project idea with an OASE program administrator.
What about insurance?
OASE does not provide insurance to scholars. Do you require that summer interns have liability, workers’ compensation, or other insurance coverage? Your organization may hire a student as an employee and they can still be considered an Oregon Sea Grant Scholar. Please specify this need as soon as possible. If you do not know the answer to this question, contact your Human Resources department.
Are there training opportunities?
Students are required to attend two half-day trainings that cover basic concepts of sustainability and pollution prevention, project management, report writing and professional conduct. Students and businesses representatives are required to attend a Meet and Greet social event where past successes will be highlighted and the new cohort will be introduced.
What are additional ways that host businesses can support the OASE Program?
The approximate cost for each student is $15,000, and contributing to the stipend, housing, travel, or other expenses can defray costs for the entire program. To support as many students as possible for the Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience, we ask businesses to contribute funding and/or student housing, whenever possible. OASE can also receive support from charitable contributions through the Agricultural Research Foundation (ARF).
Can a host business participate in the OASE program more than once?
Yes, returning businesses are required to contribute a minimum amount of funding in order to participate during a subsequent year. Placement will depend on availability and alignment with a scholar.