News from the Columbia Climate School

Earth Institute Spring 2016 Internships

This spring, The Earth Institute is offering students opportunities to work as interns within various departments and research centers at the institute. All full-time Columbia and Barnard students are eligible to apply. These internships pay $15 an hour for 10 hours per week, up to 120 hours during the spring. The positions include:

  1. Spring Internship, One Million Community Health Workers Campaign
  2. Vital Signs Research Assistant
  3. 2016 CCSI Executive Training Programs on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture and Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development Internship
  4. MOOC on “Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance” Internship
  5. Mobile Application Developer
  6. Outreach, Data Management and General Administration Internship
  7. Carbon Capture Byproducts and Wastes – Physical Fate and Environmental Impacts Intern
  8. Lamont Education and Outreach Intern
  9. Natural Capital and Sustainable Water Management in New York

To apply:

Complete the online application available here: http://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form126/index.html, by January 26 at 11:30 p.m. While you may apply for more than one position, you must submit separate applications for each. Decisions will be made shortly after the deadline.

Students who are awarded internships will be expected to participate in the Earth Institute Student Research Showcase in spring 2016.

Contact Jessica Sotomayor (jsotomayor@ei.columbia.edu) with questions. You may also address cover letters to Jessica Sotomayor, senior program manager, Office of Academic and Research Programs.


1. Spring Internship, One Million Community Health Workers CampaignP1020725

Department: One Million Community Health Workers Campaign

Anticipated tasks:

The intern will be responsible for supporting the activities of the One Million Community Health Workers Campaign’s secretariat based at the Earth Institute. He/she will be expected to quickly learn the relevant terminology and trends in the global health field. He/she will be challenged to develop communications skills, execute daily tasks, design documents for communications and advocacy materials, develop graphics for web- based media, think strategically, and contribute to the long-term vision for Campaign’s advocacy activities.

General Task Overview:

  • Support material development for advocacy initiatives. This includes:
  • Assist with development of advocacy materials and contribute content to the Campaign’s social media platforms;
  • Format and design documents and reports for digital distribution;
  • Create custom visualizations for social media outreach;
  • Assist the Communications Officer with maintaining the Campaign’s digital communications. This includes:
    • Researching and authoring blog content;
    • Developing social media communications schedules;
    • Producing public-facing documentation for Campaign needs;
    • Help maintain and manage the Campaign’s email communications;
    • Create custom templates for organizational email campaigns;
    • Support development of quarterly newsletters.
  • Assist the Advocacy Manager with management of the Campaign’s website. This includes:
    • Updating website content;
    • Organize Campaign visual assets library, and build Campaign image gallery on Facebook;
    • Create custom visualizations for web-based marketing.

Other Potential Projects (To be determined based on the interests of the intern selected):

Assist the Data Visualization Specialist in promoting the 1mCHW Campaign’s Operations Room, an online dashboard to track community health worker activities and operations

Effectively publicizing the Operations’ Room’s development progress in written and digital materials (including social media)

Skills required:  

  • Familiarity with CMS (such as WordPress), Hootsuite, Mailchimp, and bitly
  • Graphic design skills and familiarity with Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator
  • Interest in issues related to international development, preferably with a focus on global health (and specifically health workforce issues)
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and assignments at the same time
  • Flexibility in responding to changing priorities in a fast-paced environment
  • Clear and precise oral communication skills
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Quick thinker, self-starter, eye for new opportunities

Basic web development skills (HTML and CSS) and Google Analytics are beneficial, but not required.

Type of student desired: Graduate.


 

2. Vital Signs Research Assistant

Department:  Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory  

Anticipated tasks:   

  1. Processes and analyze data on agriculture intensification and trade-off in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda.
  2. Run descriptive statistics analysis on sub- indicators on soils, using fieldwork data as well as publicly available data.
  3. Review literature on tradeoff between agricultural intensification, livelihoods and ecosystems services.
  4. Reviewing environmental and socioeconomic data collection protocols, and data entry processes.
  5. Map some key soil properties.

Skills required: 

  1. Familiarity with statistics analysis packages like STATA or R; some background in statistics.
  2. Working knowledge of GIS or QGIS is a plus but not compulsory.
  3. Interest in environmental, agricultural, and socioeconomic data procession and analyses

Type of student desired: Graduate


 

3. 2016 CCSI Executive Training Programs on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture and Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development

Department:  Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment  

Anticipated tasks:   

For the past several years, CCSI has tackled these complex challenges with policy-makers and practitioners in annual Executive Trainings offered at Columbia University on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development and on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture. Both trainings are holistic and multi-disciplinary, tackling the challenges of developing robust legal and fiscal frameworks; negotiating equitable deals with investors; leveraging investments for greater sustainable development outcomes, including through linkages, technology transfer and employment; and mitigating environmental impacts while protecting human rights; among other topics.

Both programs are designed to equip participants with the necessary skills to promote the responsible development of the extractive industries and agriculture sectors in resource-rich developing countries and to encourage a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe. They draw from among faculty of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, as well as many external experts from around the world. By working through real case studies and with practitioners and experts in the field, participants will be able to apply analytical tools and frameworks to the unique contexts of extractives and agricultural investments in their countries.

For both trainings, CCSI is seeking an intern to provide operational and administrative support throughout the spring semester and June 2016. The intern will be primarily responsible for assisting with administrative, logistical and operational aspects of both trainings, including through communicating updates and liaising with speakers and participants, assisting with preparation and distribution of materials, organizing social outings, managing applications, managing payment and budgeting aspects, and maintaining the Wiki site for participants and speakers.

Skills required:  

The ideal candidate will have some administrative experience or interest; good organizational, analytical, and project managements skills; and an interest in agriculture and land, extractive industries, sustainable investment or sustainable development. Preference will be given to candidates who are available during at least the Extractives training (June 6-17, 2016) if not also the Agriculture training (July 6-15, 2016). The ideal candidate will also have a strong work ethic, good attention to detail, strong communication and writing skills and work well within a team structure.

Type of student desired: Undergraduate, Graduate


 

4. MOOC on “Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance” Internship

Department:  Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment  

Anticipated tasks:  Mega investments in the extractive industries – including oil, gas, and mining – have the potential to be a springboard for development in many lowand middle-income countries, through major tax revenues, technology transfer, infrastructure development, employment and capacity building. However, reaping those benefits is challenging, and more often these investments have been a source of corruption, social degradation, resource dependency, and environmental catastrophe. How then can resource-rich countries faced with this double-edged sword make informed decisions about how to effectively leverage these resources for economic and social development while mitigating negative externalities?

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) has teamed up with the Natural Resource Governance Institute to create a 12-week massive open online course (MOOC) on the Good Governance of Natural Resources for Sustainable Development. The 12-week course, in which we expect thousands to enroll, introduces students from around the world to key elements of the governance framework that will help ensure that natural resources translate into sustainable development benefits for communities and governments.   

CCSI is seeking a research assistant to provide day-to-day administrative and operational support to the course. The responsibilities of the research assistant include the following:

  • Supporting preparation and operation of the course platform, including sequencing of lectures, uploading of supplementary materials, and communicating course protocols and expectations;
  • Outlining a communication strategy in collaboration with supervisor;
  • Sending out regular emails to students on class materials and deadlines;
  • Guiding discussion threads and responding to student inquiries;
  • Monitoring statistics on students enrollment, viewership, and completion rates;
  • Troubleshooting student challenges and referring to technical support as needed;
  • Assisting in the coordination and preparation of live sessions.

Skills required: The ideal candidate will have the following characteristics:

  • Highly organized and responsive in high pressure situations
  • Strong time management skills
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • Interest in natural resource management (and sustainable development)
  • Experience in online education platforms preferred
  • Fluency in Spanish and/or French preferred

Type of student desired: Undergraduate, Graduate


 

5. Mobile Phone Application

Department:  Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance  

Anticipated tasks:  IEDA (Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance) is seeking an intern to help develop a mobile phone application. The application will allow earth scientists to register sample metadata profiles collected on field trips into the centralized system SESAR with International Geo Sample Number (IGSN). Under supervision, the intern will learn a new computer language Object-C, if not learned yet, learn how to use mobile application development IDE, contribute the design of mobile phone app user interface, and develop the iPhone application.

Skills required: 

The intern should have at least learned one computer programming language (Java or C). OSX platform programming experience is a plus.

Type of student desired: Undergraduate


 

6. Outreach, Data Management and General Administration Intern 

Department:  Columbia Climate Center  

Anticipated tasks:   

The intern will be responsible for supporting the activities of the One Million Community Health Workers Campaign’s secretariat based at the Earth Institute. He/she will be expected to quickly learn the relevant terminology and trends in the global health field. He/she will be challenged to develop communications skills, execute daily tasks, design documents for communications and advocacy materials, develop graphics for web- based media, think strategically, and contribute to the long-term vision for Campaign’s advocacy activities.

Outreach:

  • Social media – assist with weekly administrative aspects of CCC social media
  • Website – assist in making weekly updates and modifications to CCC websites
  • Climate Matters Blog – research and write short blogs of interest pertaining to climate change, sustainable development, energy, and changing polar regions

Data Management:

  • CCC PoLAR Outreach Database – assist with maintenance, further development and creating visualizations of PoLAR Outreach activities

Administration:

  • Assisting with meeting logistics such as taking notes, preparing graphs and presentation elements
  • •Assisting with compiling CCC PoLAR Quarterly Reports to NSF
  • •Assisting with miscellaneous administrative tasks as needed
  • •Assisting with compiling documentation as needed for the NYSED approval process of a new master’s program

Skills required: Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Excel, and Powerpoint, strong writing and communication skills, ability to work independently, and in a team environment.

Type of student desired: Undergraduate, Graduate.


 

7. Carbon Capture Byproducts and Wastes – Physical Fate and Environmental Impacts Intern

Department: Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Anticipated Tasks: The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law develops legal techniques to fight climate change, trains students and lawyers in their use, and provides up-to-date resources on key topics in climate law and regulation. The Center is currently working on a project in conjunction with the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy and the Center on Environmental Decision-Making (CRED) aimed at identifying the environmental, social, and regulatory risks associated with the byproducts and wastes generated from carbon capture technologies.

The team has already conducted a literature review in which we identified 26 substances that are generated from carbon capture processes, as well as some preliminary legal and social questions about these substances. To continue with this project, we need to collect additional information about the physical fate and impacts of these substances. We are therefore seeking an intern to evaluate: (i) whether these substances are re-utilized in industrial processes, otherwise recycled, disposed of as solid waste, or discharged through wastewater streams or air emissions; and (ii) whether these substances pose a risk to the environment or human health.

Depending on the speed at which the intern completes this first task, the intern may also conduct research on the applicable laws and regulations that govern the creation, handling, disposal, and utilization of these substances.

Skills Required: The intern should be detail-oriented, fluent in English, and capable of efficiently reviewing technical documents. Ideally, the intern would have a background in engineering, chemistry, risk management, and/or environmental regulation.

Type of Student Desired: Undergraduate, Graduate, or PhD


 

8. Lamont Education and Outreach Intern 

Department: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Anticipated Tasks: Under the supervision of the Education and Outreach Coordinator, the intern will serve a key role in the Education and Outreach office at Lamont, which facilitates the Observatory’s ongoing K-16 programs for students and educators in the New York and New Jersey areas. The Intern will provide strategic support to all activities of the Education and Outreach office.

Tasks include but are not limited to:

Administration

  • Support and scale up new joint high school programs in New York City
  • Support recruitment efforts for professional development workshops on the Lamont and Morningside Campuses
  • Create and develop promotional materials for various education programs

Outreach

  • Support event production for various outreach events Lamont participates in
  • Assist with overall communication and stewardship efforts

Skills Required: Academic interests: earth science education, placed-based K-12 education, education administration

Skills: proficiency with Excel, strong writing and communication skills, detail-oriented

Type of Student Desired: Undergraduate


 

9. Natural Capital and Sustainable Water Management in New York

Department: Columbia Water Center

Anticipated Tasks: Ensuring adequate water supply for urban areas, agriculture, energy, and ecosystems represents an emerging challenge. Determining how to balance competing demands is complex.  Yet, the task often falls to under-resourced local governments.  The Columbia Water Center is developing a decision-making tool to enable a comprehensive approach to water management for the entire state of New York.  Optimization modeling will explore how changes in climate and water demands will influence water availability, cropping patterns, technology choices, and investment in infrastructure.

Natural capital is an important aspect of the modeling effort.  Investments in ecosystem can enhance food production, water purification, and recreation opportunities. Water projects are growing segment of the green bonds market, which reached $40 billion in issuances last year.  Despite their importance, the value of ecosystem services is poorly understood.  Furthermore, ecosystem services are often not incorporated into current water management practices.  The Columbia Water Center is addressing this research gap through the America’s Water Initiative.  This project will visualize future scenarios and balance water supplies across multiple users.

The center is seeking a student intern to assist with collecting, organizing, and analyzing data related to agriculture and ecosystem services. This includes controlling data quality and assisting in the development of economic techniques to value ecosystem services.  Overall, this research will develop a decision-making tool that can enable stakeholders in New York to evaluate and better understand tradeoffs of future water policy options.

Skills Required: Ability to learn environmental economics methods, manage datasets, and communicate results. Some background in economics and nonmarket valuation would be helpful, but we will provide guidance and training for the student. Interest in environmental management, sustainable investment, and/or water resources is also strongly encouraged.

Type of Student Desired: Undergraduate or graduate

Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
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