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Summer Internship 2016

Spark-Y Sustainability Internship

Summer  2016

Urban Ag Lab

A sneak peak of our brand new “Urban Ag Lab!”


Join Spark-Y for our 6th annual summer internship! Empower yourself to create change in your community. Now more than ever is the time when humanity needs to come together to drive a sustainable revolution.

Spark-Y is about ACTION and this summer we have a lot of work to get done! Projects include building a community garden, urban aquaponics farming in our production facility, harvesting and selling produce at local farmers’ markets, and working with important community partners such as Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Minneapolis Public Schools and more. The internship will be broken into teams of 5-6 people, so when you apply have a few projects in mind that you are specifically interested in working on.

If you want to do rather than just dream about doing, then Spark-Y is the perfect place to spend your summer. 


Learn more about Spark-Y



There has been an Awakening. Have you felt it? The biggest, brightest, and most impactful professional sustainability experience yet. Lives will be changed, paths with be forged, models will be created, all in the name of sustainability, entrepreneurship and empowerment. Prove to yourself – and the world – that you have everything it takes to survive, thrive and be the greatest human being you can be, bar none. This year, we have a launched a fully operational urban agricultural lab and research facility, a centerpiece of this year’s internship. We also have a council of professional educators helping create a new education paradigm in the Twin Cities, with numerous community and sustainability project partnerships, field trips, events, and a HUGE summer fundraiser you WON’T want to miss. If you are reading this, it has fallen to you to change the world for the better. Let’s do this!

Zach Robinson
Executive Director
April 2016

2015 Internship

2015 Summer Interns at the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization!


  • Aquaponics – A closed-loop, sustainable ecosystem for cultivating fish and edible plants in symbiosis.
  • Entrepreneurship – Become highly employable by managing projects on a deadline and budget. Learn to run your own business.
  • Vermicomposting – Renew topsoil by turning food waste into highly fertile soil with worms.
  • Spirulina Algae – Not truly an algae, this Cyanobacteria is a fast growing & nutritious “super food” with amazing biofuel potential
  • Mushroom Cultivation – Repurposing and remediating waste streams to create edible or otherwise beneficial mushrooms and fungi
  • Permaculture – A philosophy of sustainable agriculture and design that is rooted in ethics, regenerative behaviors and other holistic stewardship principles
  • Sustainability – Designing our systems, economies, and environments so that they honor and support nature and take care of all our brothers and sisters.
  • DIY Bio – Furthering our mission by making Biology accessible for everyone and developing/incubating new ideas
  • Leadership – Synonymous with influence and organizing people towards an outcome successfully and energetically
  • Marketing – Sharing our vision in an informative and engaging way using multiple approaches, formats, and forms of media.
  • Job Skills – Naturally develop the undeniable skills that employers most look for: Leadership; Communication; Critical thinking; Team work; Problem solving; and Positivity.

Requirements and Details

4432 Chicago Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
*and other project locations around the Twin Cities

June 13 – August 11

Hours (required):
10-15 hours per week minimum
Tuesdays 1:00PM-4:00PM
Wednesdays All day flexible work day
Other work days as needed for project completion

Spark-Y Sustainability Certification (Professional Credential)
College credit (case by case basis)
Paid internship positions are competitively available

Apply By:
May 22nd, 2016

More Information


  • Production Facility Team – We recently launched our biggest pioneering program to date – the “Urban Ag Lab” aquaponics facility. We are looking for a team to help us take it to the next level! Work with chefs, co-ops, etc. to develop a strong community network and reach economic viability (additional systems include: vermicomposting; chlorella and spirulina cultivation; alternative fish food production; edible mushrooms).
  • Residential Sustainability Division – Aquascape creation for a home residence interested in making their property more sustainable.
  • Community Garden at Edison High School – Build a beautiful Edison High School student-designed garden plot for the NE Minneapolis community.
  • Marketing/Hype Team – Community outreach with local partners throughout the summer. Also create promotional materials and hype up the community for our fabulous events! We will be doing three major events.
  • Roosevelt High School – Establish and maintain a pollinator garden at Roosevelt High School. Also maintain the greenhouse and garden that are being established by students this spring.
  • NE Farmer’s Market – Establish a strong Spark-Y presence at the NE Farmer’s Market and assist with market operations.
  • DIY Science Lab Research and Development – Explore and apply scientific principles to our sustainable systems.  (past projects include DNA extraction, building an incubator, LED grow light design and assembly, arduino automation, chemical testing, and more).
  • Action Educators at MN Internship Center – Education and curriculum development at MNIC. For individuals interested in gaining experience with sustainability education.
  • Rain Garden Team – Design and build a rain garden in front of the Spark-Y production facility!
  • School Systems Maintenance Team – Visit, care for, and beautify the various Spark-Y school systems that need TLC and attention throughout the summer months.
  • Timber Framing – Work with the residents and community leaders of the Beltrami neighborhood in NE Minneapolis to build a timber frame picnic shelter at Beltrami Park.
  • Sustainable Community Projects / Partners – There are a couple more projects in the works, stay tuned!


  • Results-oriented passion around sustainability and professional development.
  • Positive, productive demeanor and attitude is required.
  • Must be reliable and able to follow through with commitments
  • Applicants should have the ability to be self-directed and work in a team setting
  • Available during scheduled program and activity times
  • Familiarity with Sustainable Agriculture is preferred but not required
  • Space is limited, interviews will be held in May


To Apply

To apply, email your resume to, and then fill out the application linked below.

Email Resume  Application