Environmental Justice and Food Security

Environmental Justice and Food Security


Unitarian Universalist Ministry for EarthUnitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth’s mission is: To be a wellspring of spiritual and educational grounding and practical support for bold, accountable action for environmental justice, climate justice, and the flourishing of all life.

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Opportunities for Engagement:

  • UUMFE is looking for students interested in working for climate justice and the amelioration of climate chaos through an intersectional and inter-spiritual lens to work with us on a number of ongoing and emerging projects.
  • Education – review and/or creation of Earth-based curricula for learners of all ages
    • Support the Young Adult and BIPOC Caucus teams; support our fundraising and grant writing efforts, coordinate our communications and outreach efforts
  • Media/Outreach – development of outreach materials, movies, and/or social media campaigns
  • Environmental Resources – create documentation, training, and/or outreach to increase awareness
  • Religion – collaborate with our lead ministers on programming for clergy and others
  • Anthropology/Sociology – create case studies about climate concerns to raise awareness

Hours:  Students can register for either 0.5 or 1.0 unit of credit. 0.5 unit = 40 hours over the semester with the organization + 30 hours of academic work 1.0 unit = 80 hours over the semester with the organization + 60 hours of academic work

Are you interested in getting involved with UUME? Visit here for your next steps.


Dutchess Outreach exists to widen food access, increase advocacy, and provide emergency relief by offering a range of vital services for those in need while working to uncover a deeper understanding of the social ills our community faces in order to create innovative, community-minded solutions to achieve a healthier, vibrant, sustainable community.

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Opportunities for Engagement:

  • Volunteer with the Lunch Box
  • Volunteer at the Food Market Pantry
  • Volunteer with the Mobile Farmers Market
  • Assist with the greenhouse

Hours:  Students can register for either 0.5 or 1.0 unit of credit. 0.5 unit = 40 hours over the semester with the organization + 30 hours of academic work 1.0 unit = 80 hours over the semester with the organization + 60 hours of academic work

Are you interested in getting involved with Dutchess Outreach? Visit here for your next steps.


Sustainable Hudson ValleySustainable Hudson Valley’s mission is to speed up, scale up, jazz up and leverage progress against climate change, creating communities where people and nature thrive. They work across many disciplines to work to achieve climate goals throughout the state.

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Opportunities for Engagement:

  • Support the Regional Climate Action Strategy: research, writing, and data visualization intern team to help finalize the publication of the Regional Climate Action Strategy currently in discussion draft
  • Build on the GIS and storymapping work of past intern teams.
  • Support the Repair Cafe of the Hudson Valley and Catskills with data entry, graphic design, outreach and hands-on assistance at Repair Cafe events

Hours: Students can register for either 0.5 or 1.0 unit of credit. 0.5 unit = 40 hours over the semester with the organization + 30 hours of academic work 1.0 unit = 80 hours over the semester with the organization + 60 hours of academic work

Are you interested in getting involved with Sustainable HV? Visit here for your next steps.


The Poughkeepsie Farm Project’s mission is to cultivate local leadership in sustainable farming, food access and education, and to foster an inclusive, welcoming community for everyone.

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Opportunities for Engagement:

  • Farm crew assistant
    • Harvesting, planting, maintenance
  • Educational program support
    • Support field trips to the PFP

Hours: Students can register for either 0.5 or 1.0 unit of credit. 0.5 unit = 40 hours over the semester with the organization + 30 hours of academic work 1.0 unit = 80 hours over the semester with the organization + 60 hours of academic work

Are you interested in getting involved with the PFP? Visit here for your next steps.


The Preserve at Vassar is a 525-acre multi-use space situated just south of Vassar’s campus, across Hooker Avenue. The northeastern portion of the Preserve hosts a number of organizations and initiatives, including The Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns, the Hudson Valley Corps of the Student Conservation Association, the Community Gardens, the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, and Vassar Rugby and Cross Country.

The remainder of the Preserve, around 475 acres, is a designated natural area comprised of many habitats, including streams, wetlands, ponds, forests, and old fields populated by a stunning diversity of flora and fauna. The Preserve is an invaluable resource for Vassar students and faculty, who conduct research to better understand the Preserve’s natural systems and work to protect and preserve the ecological diversity of the land, ensuring that its educational value will be maintained in perpetuity.

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Opportunities for Engagement:

  • CEL students can join one of our three existing teams (Invasive Species and Restoration, Preserve and Trail Steward, and Environmental Monitoring) or come up with self-designed and directed work relevant to the Preserve.
  • Specific duties and responsibilities will be determined during the CEL registration process.
  • Outdoor education programming, including Exploring Science and after-school programs. They will work closely with Cooperative staff to run field trips for local schools and organizations at the Preserve. The intern will gain experience and understanding in environmental education, urban/suburban conservation, natural resources management, sustainability, and communicating information to a general audience. Individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM are encouraged to apply.

Hours: Students can register for either 0.5 or 1.0 unit of credit. 0.5 unit = 40 hours over the semester with the organization + 30 hours of academic work 1.0 unit = 80 hours over the semester with the organization + 60 hours of academic work

Are you interested in getting involved with The Preserve? Visit here for your next steps.


For over 50 years, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champion of the Hudson River, working to pass landmark legislation like the Clean Water Act, and providing innovative educational programs, environmental advocacy, and musical celebrations, including the renowned annual Clearwater Festival, to inspire, educate, and activate millions of people.

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Opportunities for Engagement:

  • In addition to Watershed protection, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater works on Environmental and Climate Justice, teaches municipalities how to take leadership in the transition to a renewable energy economy with storage and efficiency. They work to ensure the safest possible decommissioning of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, and to prevent new fossil fuel infrastructure from being built along the Hudson River and beyond, while promoting positive alternatives, such as solar and battery storage.

Hours: Students can register for either 0.5 or 1.0 unit of credit. 0.5 unit = 40 hours over the semester with the organization + 30 hours of academic work 1.0 unit = 80 hours over the semester with the organization + 60 hours of academic work

Are you interested in getting involved with The Clearwater? Visit here for your next steps.


The Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC) was established in 1977 as an organization of county governments comprising Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties. It’s one of 650 such councils in the United States that, in addition to providing a regional perspective, offers planning, education & outreach, and advocacy for the communities they serve.

Opportunities for Engagement:

  • The Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC) is seeking an intern to supoprt with climate leadership. The student will carry out tasks related to the Climate Smart Communities Program specifically for a Dutchess County municipality as part of the County’s Climate Action Planning Institute (CAPI), a New York Department of Environmental Conservation-funded program coordinated through HVRC with guidance and support from a team of subject matter experts.
  • The main responsibility is to assist a local government in the completion of a government operations greenhouse gas inventory, a government operations climate action plan, a climate vulnerability assessment, and a climate adaptation plan.

Hours: Students can register for either 0.5 or 1.0 unit of credit. 0.5 unit = 40 hours over the semester with the organization + 30 hours of academic work 1.0 unit = 80 hours over the semester with the organization + 60 hours of academic work

Are you interested in getting involved with HVRC? Visit here for your next steps.


Regardless of how sustainably a product is produced, we are almost completely dependent on fossil fuels for shipping. In order to create a resilient regional economy we need local renewably powered shipping options. The Hudson River is the original super-highway of this region and can provide practical carbon neutral shipping. Since 2020 the Apollonia, a 65 ft Schooner, has been sailing freight and cargo throughout the Hudson Valley. To date we have completed 11 round trip voyages to NY Harbor, delivering over 110,000 lbs of cargo and connecting with 20 different Hudson River ports.

In addition to delivering cargo the schooner creates activity at waterfronts and promotes public interaction with the River. The Apollonia delivers cargo & promotes cultural exchange, spark conversation and hope to inspire other vessels to do the same. They have done collaborative flotillas with the Sloop Clearwater and Solairs and next season we plan to partner with more vessels to create waterfront events – music, theatre, book tours and more as we travel along the Hudson. Being able to share information about docking and logistics is key to planning these types of collaborations.

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Opportunities for Engagement:

  • Help develop a database and map to support trade, commerce and public activity at waterfronts along the Hudson River. (This work was started though CEL in 2021 and you will have the opportunity to build upon this existing work.)
  • Gather and input basic docking infrastructure, water depth, ownership
  • Students are encouraged to go beyond docking infrastructure to include information such as: local markets, producers, public spaces for events and potential retail partners.
  • The scope is the Hudson River from NYC to the first lock in Troy, NY.Desired Skills: Interest in Sustainability and the Hudson River, Proficient in Map Reading / Creation, Basic GIS skills, Friendly personality and willingness to make phone calls and gather information, and ideally some boating / on the water experience.

Hours: Students can register for either 0.5 or 1.0 unit of credit. 0.5 unit = 40 hours over the semester with the organization + 30 hours of academic work 1.0 unit = 80 hours over the semester with the organization + 60 hours of academic work

Are you interested in getting involved with The Apollonia? Visit here for your next steps.


This project is proposed on behalf of the Gardiner Town Board, by the Gardiner Environmental Conservation Commission (ECC) together with the Gardiner Open Space Commission (GOSC). The ECC and GOSC are seeking continued support to revise and update our NRI interactive web map created in conjunction with the Vassar CEL in the Fall of 2021. The Town would like to update this set of web maps and layers allowing the ECC, GOSC, Planning Board, and other users, as well as the general public, to interact with the data more easily and to update some of the unfinished aspects in more depth.

Please find the full description here.

Hours: Students can register for either 0.5 or 1.0 unit of credit. 0.5 unit = 40 hours over the semester with the organization + 30 hours of academic work 1.0 unit = 80 hours over the semester with the organization + 60 hours of academic work

Are you interested in getting involved with The Town of Gardiner? Visit here for your next steps.


Return to view all Spring 2023 Opportunity Issue Areas here.