State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Undergraduate Program Fall 2016 Teaching Assistant Positions

The Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development is accepting applications for Fall 2016 teaching assistant positions.

Applicants must be current full-time Columbia University students enrolled in a degree granting program. Applications will only be accepted by graduate students and undergraduate juniors or seniors.

The teaching assistants will support the following courses:

  • SDEV W1900 Intro to Sustainable Development Seminar
  • SDEV W3400: Demography of Human Populations
  • SDEV W3390: GIS for Sustainable Development and Lab
  • SDEV W2320: Economic and Financial Methods for Sustainable Development

For all positions described below:

Time commitment and responsibilities

A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, like grading written coursework. This also may include developing, distributing and statistically analyzing “peer review” and “self review” forms.

To apply: Post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) to

The deadline to apply is 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2016.

Teaching assistant for SDEV W1900: Introduction to Sustainable Development Seminar

This course will take place on Monday from 11:40AM-12:55PM during the fall semester and will be taught by Professor Jason Smerdon. The course is designed to be a free flowing discussion of the principals of sustainable development and the scope of this emerging discipline.

This course will also serve to introduce the students to the requirements of the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development and the content of the required courses in both the special concentration and the major. The focus will be on the breadth of subject matter, the multidisciplinary nature of the scholarship and familiarity with the other key courses in the program.

Applicants should have knowledge of sustainable development, with previous coursework in the area and be familiar with the structure of the major and the special concentration in the undergraduate program in sustainable development.

Teaching Assistant for SDEV W3400: Demography of Human Populations

This course will take place on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:10-2:25PM during the 2016 fall semester and will be taught by Susana B. Adamo.

Population processes and their outcomes in terms of population size, distribution and characteristics have a fundamental role in sustainable development and also broad policy implications. This course will introduce students to the scientific study of human populations as a contribution toward understanding social structure, relations and dynamics, as well as society-nature interactions. The aim is to offer a basic introduction to the main theories, concepts, measures and uses of demography. The course will cover the issues of population size, distribution and composition, and consumption, at different scales from global to regional to local, as well as the implications for population-environment relationships.

Applicants should have strong knowledge of, and an interest in, the topics studied throughout the course of the semester.

Teaching assistant for SDEV W3390: GIS for Sustainable Development

This course will take place on Monday from 1:10-2:25PM and Wednesdays from 1:10-3:30PM fall semester. This course will be taught by Professor Kytt MacManus.

This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying GIS systems and to give students a strong set of practical skills to use GIS for stainable development research. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain knowledge of the principles behind raster and vector based spatial analysis, and learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Student will also learn to use newly emerging web based mapping tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics.

Teaching Assistant for SDEV W2320 Economic and Financial Methods for Sustainable Development

This course will take place on Tuesday and Thursday from 2:40-3:55PM during the Fall semester and will be taught by Professor Satyajit Bose.

The objective of this course is to introduce students to key analytical concepts, skills and methods necessary to understand and evaluate the economic and financial aspects of sustainable development. Throughout the course, students will compare competing objectives and policies through the prism of economic & financial reasoning. This course is intended to provide students with a flying introduction to key analytical concepts required to understand topics in environmental economics and finance and to introduce them to selected topics within the field.

Applicants should have strong finance and economic skills and an interest in sustainable development.

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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