State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Research Assistant Position Opening

The Earth Institute is seeking a research assistant to work with Dr. David Maurrasse, an adjunct associate professor of International and Public Affairs. The content of this research will focus on how philanthropy and cross sector partnerships are addressing critical social concerns.  These include: health disparities, poverty and economic inequality, educational access and literacy, climate change, and others.

The premise of this research emphasizes the importance of creatively leveraging existing resources to solve social and economic problems, and strategies to combine resources and expertise across sectors to address issues of common interest.  The research assistant will investigate case examples of such strategic partnerships and philanthropic initiatives, as well as observe important trends in how to leverage institutional and other forms of resources for broader societal goals.

The results of this research will inform articles on the role of strategic partnerships in various current events to be submitted to State of the Planet, among other platforms.


  • Identify timely strategic partnerships and philanthropic initiatives.
  • Summarize findings and propose ideas for articles.
  • Submit article drafts to Dr. Maurrasse for review.
  • Revise and edit articles.
  • Submit articles to be posted online.


  • Strong writing and analytical skills.
  • Interest or experience in qualitative research.
  • An ability to work independently.
  • Reliability and responsiveness to deadlines.

Position Logistics:

The position pays $18 per hour for a range of 12 to 15 hours per week. The hired candidate will work independently.  Periodically, the candidate will meet by phone or in person with Dr. Maurrasse.  The candidate will continually communicate with Dr. Maurrasse by email.  The position will begin in September of 2016 and may extend into the spring semester, depending on performance and mutual agreement.

Please submit a cover letter stating your interest in and fit for the position along with a resume and writing sample to by Friday, August 26, 2016. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to apply.


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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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