Apply for a Student Position 

Students have the opportunity to bring idea papers to fruition by applying to Development Teams. These teams are responsible for writing project proposals that have been brought forth by other student's idea papers. Development Teams can range from 1-4 students per team and we usually have a range of 2-5 teams per semester. HEIF also has two standing teams that typically work for a full academic year; the Building Standards Team and Energy Analysis Team who work on a wide variety of energy and sustainable projects. If you have any questions about whether or not we are currently hiring, please email 

2016 Fall Projects

Project proposals development teams were working on last fall:

a.    CCAT Water Heater Replacement

CCAT currently has a solar thermal hot water heater that is designed to store heat from incoming solar radiation in refrigerant and distribute it to a storage tank that supplies domestic hot water.  Unfortunately, the coil used to transfer the hot refrigerant into the hot water tank has broken.  Without this coil, the water in the tank is heated by a pilot light which burns natural gas.  We would like to replace our current hot water tank with one that has a working solar thermal coil.  We would also like to install an inline heat pump which would be connected to the outside of the  facility and extract heat from outdoor air and deposit it into the domestic hot water tank.   One of CCAT’s core objectives is to reduce our carbon footprint. By cutting out natural gas, we will be  one step closer to achieving our goal of becoming 100% electrically powered. Once all of our  appliances run on electricity it would be possible to offset that energy usage through installation of  additional photovoltaic solar panels on the roof. Pictured below are development team members Akash Dixit and Alyssa Marquez.


b.    Daylight Harvesting

By installing photosensors and connecting them to existing lights in rooms that receive sufficient sunlight, will help reduce the need to turn on the lights, and reduce the school’s energy consumption. This method of using natural sunlight to light our buildings is called Daylight harvesting. This project would focus on setting up daylight harvesting system at J dining hall, student recreation center, and student recreation and wellness center. These 3 specific sites receive enough sunlight and have the potential for making daylight harvesting very effective. Daylight harvesting systems decrease the use of electrical light as daylight contribution increases. The desired amount of light can be set and lights can still be manually controlled. Pictured below are development team members Jessica Solomon and McKenna Rayburn.

c.    Hydration Station

Similar to what has been done in the past, the installation of water bottle fillers onto campus drinking fountains will help save energy, reduce waste, and make it convenient for both students and faculty to fill their water bottles on campus. Facilities Management will order 4 water bottle fillers that attach to existing drinking fountains and install water bottle fillers in the buildings which are lacking them. They will also order a separate hydration station with a built-in “green ticker” feature which keeps track of the amount of water bottles that are saved from being wasted; they will install this hydration station in the first floor of the Forestry building to replace the outdated drinking fountain that currently exists in that building. Pictured below are development team members Megan Moore and Emily Johnson.

d.    Smart Parking Infrastructure

To decrease on-campus parking congestion and decrease carbon dioxide emissions associated with vehicles circling HSU parking lots hunting for parking spaces, we are suggesting the installation of smart parking infrastructure in HSU parking lots. Smart parking systems give commuters real time updates on parking space availability; anecdotal evidence suggests students have spent hours circling the parking lots searching for spots. By showing which parking spots are available where, emissions associated with this idling will be abated. Pictured below are development team members Amanda Lagasca and Ty Muhovich.

e.    Solar Powered Benches

It is highly common that students today have personal devices on their person and use them regularly. Having the ability to charge those devices using power from the sun could foster more environmental awareness as charging personal devices is directly related to student daily lives. Students who charge their devices on the solar charging station will be less likely to use outlets installed in buildings on campus that use energy obtained from other sources. Measuring systems could be installed along with the charging station itself to show the use and benefit of solar charging devices.

f.      SERC Solar Array

Lowen Hobbs and Jake Rada were hired by HEIF to produce a proposal for a solar array installation on the Schatz Energy Research Center's (SERC) roof on campus. Through donations of solar panels and design work from current Solar City employees that are HSU and SERC alumni, much of the project's immediate needs have already been successfully addressed. Eighty solar panels will be installed on SERC's largest south-facing roof to create over 20kW[DC] power that will offset a small portion of HSU's utility bill. This project will include a display system that will both educate and entertain passerby with fun facts and statistics about the solar array, as well as other SERC and HEIF projects. 

g.     The Campus Wall

Campus wall is essentially a buying, selling, and trading hub for goods and services that is limited only to others at your university. It is a website already utilized by dozens of universities across the country, and with funding from HEIF, Humboldt State would be able to create an account there as well, and make the resource free to students on campus. Everything posted to the site is seen only by other HSU students, making it a safer, easier option for exchanging goods. Campus Wall works to reduce waste and dumping by promoting exchange and reuse in a safe environment. Pictured below is Anne Maher and Tessa Lance, developement team members working on the project. 

h.     Compost Bins

In coordination with the re-launch of the Food Waste Diversion Program at Humboldt State University, four permanent compost bins will be purchased and installed at specific locations throughout campus. Led by the Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP), this project aims to improve compost bin accessibility on campus. Furthermore, the project encourages the campus community (students, staff, and faculty) to be active participants in practicing zero-waste principles by diverting compostable waste from landfill-bound waste. Pictured below are developement team members Shohei Morita and Kelly Fox.