Charlotte Energy Committee Sustainability Investigator for Charlotte

Williams Summer Internship
Job title: Sustainability Investigator for Charlotte
Organization: Charlotte Energy Committee (
Location: Charlotte, VT
Dates: Flexible, but ideally full-time for 6-8 weeks
Contact: Wolfger Schneider, [email protected]
Housing/Transportation: A portion of the internship may be done virtually; the organization will
assist with free housing leads
Application: Apply to the contact with a resume, statement of interest, and any questions
The Town of Charlotte Energy Committee (CEC) is comprised of volunteers who advise and guide
the community and the Select Board on resiliency in the use and production of energy.
Charlotte needs to plan for the possible descent of fossil fuel-based energy sources and how
that might inform land use planning and human settlement patterns.
Civilizations of the past have always prospered from the availability of fertile soils, and readily
available renewable resources and slave labor. Their downfall most often was due to a
depletion of accessible natural resources. Our modern civilization, however, is fueled by a onetime
availability of high energy-dense fossil fuels that enable globalized trade that enriches
some and impoverishes others. Liquid fossil fuels have reached their peak; the rate of new
discoveries is less than current usage. Compounding the supply problem for a still-growing
human population is the global heating problem caused by fossil fuel waste. As no carbon-free
energy sources on the horizon can replace fossil fuels quickly enough, we can expect, most
likely, an energy-descent future that impacts food production, which relies heavily on energy
inputs. This suggests the need for more local and labor intensive food production in the future
that in turn may require us to rethink our relationship to the land and all the lifeforms that
inhabit it.
The CEC seeks an intern that will: 1) assess the Town’s energy and land resources; 2) develop a
measure of what sustainability means for the Town using an existing State study as a guide; and
3) make informed suggestions for current land use planning compatible with the needs of a
different 2050 future. The first part of the internship, with an emphasis on research, could be
conducted virtually, but in-person work for the remainder is preferred. The ideal candidate is
able to work independently and collaboratively, is comfortable interviewing local stakeholders,
and is excited to create a fact-based vision for 2050 and how this might affect current land-use
decisions in Charlotte.