State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Alumni Recruit Students for Sustainability Jobs

Earth Institute alumni, who were on the job market only one or two years ago themselves, returned to the Columbia University campus in early March to recruit students for sustainability jobs. These alumni were among the 82 recruiters who attended this year’s All Ivy Environmental & Sustainable Development Career Fair. The event drew nearly a thousand students, who are studying some aspect of sustainability, from across the Ivy League universities.



This year, alumni from the M.S. in Sustainability Management (MSSM) and the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) programs recruited for several employers, including Third Partners, LRN, Sustainable Westchester, and Noresco. Adam Gordon (MSSM 14’) was hiring on behalf of CDP North America while Curtis Probst (MPA ESP 14’) returned to the Fair for a second year to represent the Rocky Mountain Institute; both were hiring interns for spring. As a representative for Unilever, Stacy Kotorac (MSSM 15’) recruited for several full time positions in procurement, logistics and customer service. Kristina Alnes (MSSM ’14) was looking to fill a junior level position at AccountAbility, a sustainability consultancy firm.

“It is great to see so many familiar faces around the room,” said Natalie Unwin-Kuruneri, who manages the event at the Earth Institute. “The alums know that students are being trained really well for these types of jobs, and so it makes sense that they would want to recruit them.”


The Fair also hosted several sustainability practitioners who teach in Earth Institute programs, including Bruce Kahn. By day, he runs Sustainable Insight Capital Management, a sustainable investing firm; by night, he teaches courses in Sustainable Finance and Sustainable Agriculture.

Employers say they love to recruit at this event because of the caliber of the students and the variety of expertise that they offer. “It’s the highest concentration of high quality candidates around,” said Ashley Morris of Sungevity, a solar energy firm, which has recruited at the Fair the past two years.

“We were very pleased to meet so many talented students interested in what we do: renewable energy finance. It was refreshing to have intelligent discussions about the sector, and encouraging to see how much students are actually learning in classes about the business of financing renewable energy”, said Cynthia Moessner, Managing Director, Global Capital Finance.



The Earth Institute, Columbia University and its partner schools in the Ivy League are already planning next year’s event. It will be held on March 3, 2017. For more information please contact Natalie Unwin-Kuruneri (

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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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