Climate Fellows

Advancing Indiana leadership in climate action and sustainability

The McKinney Climate Fellows (MCF) is a workforce development program for undergraduate and graduate students focused on climate, sustainability, and community resilience. The program partners with Indiana-based private, public, and nonprofit organizations to host student fellows and provide solutions-based sustainability expertise.

Climate fellows gain valuable experience working full-time in a professional setting, partners receive assistance in sustainability and climate planning from talented students, and Indiana benefits from this critical sustainability work. 

MCF goals:

  • Develop a statewide network of sustainability professionals in the corporate, nonprofit, government, and higher education sectors
  • Prepare students for sustainability careers with advice from industry professionals
  • Contribute to sustainability projects through professional development opportunities and trainings

Big impact since 2017

161student fellowships

48local government partner placements

55non-profit partner placements

28corporate partner placements

A brighter future for all Hoosiers

Research by the Joint Economic Committee in the United State Congress ranks Indiana in the bottom 20% of states in terms of higher education talent retention. This ranking reflects a trend that ERI staff have witnessed for years: many of our most talented, well-trained, and passionate sustainability students graduate from Indiana University and leave to pursue sustainability careers elsewhere. While talent continues to flow out of the state, Indiana faces a myriad of sustainability and climate-related challenges, now and into the future. These are not just environmental problems – the Hoosier State ranks 49th in terms of pollution and related public health risks. We need talented, climate-competent sustainability professionals who are prepared to tackle these challenges.