State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Congratulations to the MPA in Environmental Science & Policy Class of 2013

Graduates of the MPA-ESP Class of 2013 pause for a quick photo in front of the International Affairs Building. (Photo: Haakon Gloerson)

Students from the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program commemorated their graduation from the School of International and Public Affairs on May 23 at a pre-ceremony breakfast reception in Faculty House.

Faculty, family and friends joined the 69 graduating students in celebrating their accomplishments, fondly remembering the various assignments that they have completed as students in the program.

“Graduation gave me the chance to reflect on the opportunities for personal and professional growth that I have experienced over the past year,” 2013 graduate Kimberley Miner said. “Through the class and group work, interactions with ESP alums now working in the field, and the engagement of my professors, I feel extremely well equipped to talk about and take on the environmental and energy challenges that face us as a global community.”

After the breakfast, the graduates took part in the commencement ceremony for the School of International and Public Affairs on Columbia University’s South Lawn. Degrees were awarded to 613 candidates from six different degree programs. George Stephanopoulos of ABC News gave the keynote address to this year’s class, discussing the transformative effect of modern technology on politics and policy. The 69 Environmental Science and Policy alumni join more than 550 program alums who have graduated over the past 10 years.

“Everyone experiences graduations in different ways,” Sara Tjossem, the program’s associate director of curriculum, said. “I particularly like two aspects of ours: finally getting to meet many of the friends and family ‘support crew’ at the ESP breakfast, and seeing each former student parade across the graduation stage into a new phase of life.”

Students in the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program enroll in a year-long, 54-credit program offered at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, in partnership with the Earth Institute.

Class of 2013 members
From left to right: MPA-ESP Class of 2013 Graduates Tim Grose, Kelsie DeFrancia, Claire van Zuiden, and Max Litt (Photo: Haakon Gloerson)

Since it began in 2002, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program has given students the hands-on experience, and the analytical and decision-making tools to implement effective environmental and sustainable management policies. The program’s 619 graduates have advanced to jobs in domestic and international environmental policy, working in government, private and non-profit sectors. Their work involves issues of sustainability, resource use and global change, in fields focused on air, water, climate, energy efficiency, food, agriculture, transportation and waste management. They work as consultants, advisers, project managers, program directors, policy analysts, teachers, researchers, and environmental scientists and engineers.

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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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