My friends up at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage (where — disclaimer — I’m now a board member) have a knack for creating educational opportunities based on their own efforts to build a sustainable community. Both work exchanges and internships have focused on skills and practices many of them have honed for years. This Summer, they’ll be adding to the educational offerings with two 3-month internships in environmental engineering, specifically dealing with renewable energy generation.
The work will focus on the future of energy generation at the village. They’ve already planned to build a new community building (that will need heat), and also to install 35kW wind turbine and a village-wide electric grid. In conjunction with these plans, they “envision a system that collects thermal energy from the sun, supplemented by a biomass fired boiler which together power electricity generation with resultant heat going to meet the common house’s heating requirements.”
That’s right… you can contribute to the evolution of the community’s energy infrastructure. The work will include exploring a variety of technical options for making these systems a reality… by the end of the three months, interns will also have finished a paper suitable for publication on the community website (and perhaps in other publications).
You’ll get to do all of this while participating in the DR community… and I guarantee you’ll learn just as much from that portion of the experience. The community will provide room and board at Skyhouse, one of the village’s original buildings (which is really comfortable… I’ve got to admit I was really surprised when I first visited). Expect to eat fresh seasonal produce (much of which is grown just a few feet away), contribute to meal preparation, and (I’d guess) enjoy games of ultimate frisbee and dips in pond. Plan to spend quality time with really friendly, down-to-earth people.
If you’re pursuing an engineering degree (ideally), and think this sounds like a great way to spend the Summer, you’ll find much more information at the internship’s web page. Applications are due by April 1st.
Think you might apply? Already have ideas about the community’s plans? Let us know what you think…
Image credit: Dancing Rabbit