State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Capstone Workshop in Sustainable Development Presentations by Seniors

Impressive seniors in the Capstone Workshop in Sustainable Development delivered their final presentations for the Fall 2012 to fellow students and faculty at Columbia University. The workshop is a required course for students in the Sustainable Development major or special concentration. The workshop is unique in that it requires students to work collaboratively on a specific, client-based project. After months of research and preparation, two workshop groups shared their findings at Columbia University, before doing so for their respective clients.

NYC Parks

Natural Area Volunteers

Students in the Capstone Workshop partnered with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Program, Natural Area Volunteers (NAV) as one of their clients. Natural Areas Volunteers supports the restoration and protection of New York City’s forest and wetlands through volunteerism and training. The goal of NAV is to help establish New York City as a global destination for environmental service projects in addition to developing a well-trained corps of locally committed volunteers. Students in the Capstone Workshop worked with NAV to increase recruitment to their program and improve volunteer retention. The students recommended that NAV expand their social media outreach and implement new programs. Along with these recommendations, the students put together a promotional video for NAV and created a brand new logo for them.

Rockland County Legislature

Outdoor Water Conservation Case Studies were the focus of students partnered with the Rockland County Legislature as their client. Rockland County faces water scarcity issues related to growth pressures, and is seeking to explore demand reduction measures. Students analyzed previous reports and models relating to fresh water and wastewater for Rockland County. They were faced with the issue of how to implement non-emergency outdoor water ordinances that will conserve water. The team went on to evaluate comparable case studies and recommended that Rockland County push enforcement, education, and incentives along with water efficient landscaping to best conserve water in Rockland County.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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