Sustainability Co‑op

Across all sectors, organizations are facing increased  responsibility in solving the most significant environmental and societal challenges of our time. 

For the first time at Dal, you can hire a Sustainability Co-op student.

A unique interdisciplinary program, Sustainability Co-op students bring a new diversity of thought to the workplace. Students combine the strength of their chosen discipline with a deep understanding of today’s sustainability and societal issues.  From tackling climate change to food security, Sustainability Co-op students play a leadership role in creating the conditions for a more environmentally sustainable future.

Students in the Sustainability Co-op program pursue a Science or Arts discipline of their choice and combine it with a major in Environment, Sustainability and Society (ESS) through Dalhousie’s College of Sustainability. 

More than just sustainability, Dalhousie Sustainability Co-op students consider the ways in which the environment, economy, and society are interconnected. Our students represent a new generation of solutions-minded leaders who can tackle today’s real-world problems and change our world for the better. 

Download the program rack card [PDF, 133KB].

“Our ESS students are genuinely interested, concerned and motivated to be part of the solution for today’s environmental sustainability challenges. And that translates into performance.” - Dr. Peter Muskat, Sustainability Co-op Faculty Advisor 

Student skills

Sustainability Co-op is a unique program at Dal. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, students combine their first major (within an area of Science or Arts), with a double major in Environment, Sustainability, and Society (ESS). Student academic backgrounds may vary, but typical skill sets include:

  • Numeracy
  • Analysis/Analytical Ability
  • Presentation Skills
  • Research
  • Negotiation
  • Lobbying for social change
  • Data visualization
  • Knowledge of local government structure and identifying jurisdiction
  • Knowledge of finance and economics
  • Community engagement

Employability Skills & Competencies

  • Communication
  • Professionalism
  • Ethics
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Lifelong learning
  • Solutions-based experience
  • Environmental decision making


  • Aquaculture, agriculture and forestry 
  • Non-profit and social change enterprises 
  • Construction 
  • Consulting 
  • Financial firms 
  • Legal firms 
  • Education and research institutions 
  • Environment, energy, and natural resources
  • Food industry and food banks 
  • Economic development agencies 
  • Governments and municipalities 
  • Water commissions, wastewater treatment and solid waste 
  • Conservation 
  • Transportation 
  • Sustainability science 
  • Environmental policy and planning

Past roles

While Sustainability Co-op is new to Dalhousie, the ESS program itself is well established, and boasts a network of more than 500 alumni over the last 10 years. Sustainability interns and new grads have worked in various roles, including:

  • Consultant 
  • Policy Analyst 
  • Community Engagement 
  • Researcher 
  • Business Engagement

Work term schedule

  Fall Winter Summer
2nd year Study Study Work term 1
3rd year Study Work term 2 Work term 3
4th year Study Study Break
5th year Study Graduation  

Typical pay rates

Hourly $ 20.00