State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


A New Course: Environmental Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities

MS in Sustainability Management Professor Carter Strickland
MS in Sustainability Management Professor Carter Strickland

Carter Strickland, a new faculty member in the Masters of Science in Sustainability Management program, is recognized as a national leader in sustainability and environmental policy, with extensive regulatory, financial, stakeholder and media experience. He has extensive operational experience in a challenging urban and media environment, and a proven ability to create and execute long-term sustainability strategy, operational efficiency initiatives, and organizational restructuring plans.

Carter will bring his expertise to the classroom in fall 2016 with a new course, Environmental Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities.

He is currently a vice president at HDR, an architecture and engineering firm, where his projects include resiliency at Hunts Point, infrastructure development for a three-state consortium in the Western U.S., a greenhouse gas study for New York City, and advising cities, water and wastewater utilities, and other clients on sustainability matters. Carter has been active in the New York and New Jersey environmental communities for over 20 years, representing groups as a lawyer with the New York Attorney General’s office and Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic in a wide variety of matters, from public trust to hazardous waste to eminent domain cases.

As commissioner for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, (2011-2014) and deputy commissioner for sustainability (2010-2011), Carter led several strategic initiatives of the largest integrated municipal water utility in the United States, whose 5,700 employees deliver 1.1 billion gallons of clean drinking water every day to nine million customers, treat 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater every day, and regulate air, noise, asbestos and hazardous substances for New York City. Under his leadership the agency undertook external and internal reforms to become a Utility of the Future, including structural changes to create offices of organizational development, energy and green infrastructure, investments in energy efficiency and development and ecological measures to improve water quality, affordability and billing reforms, and regulatory reform. These strategic initiatives also shaped NYCDEP’s $14 billion, 10-year capital plan, $3.5 operating budget, and rate and financial programs.

As part of Mayor Bloomberg’s sustainability team, Carter created and implemented integrated approaches to infrastructure, water quality, air quality, climate change, land use, ecological restoration and energy issues.

He was the architect of the $2.4 billion NYC Green Infrastructure Plan and the Clean Heat Plan, oversaw integrated watershed protection efforts, led the agency’s response to hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and initiated strategic and structural reform initiatives. He served as a board member with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and is currently a board member of the New York Harbor Foundation, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, and the Natural Areas Conservancy.

Carter graduated with honors from Dartmouth College and Columbia Law School, lives in Brooklyn with his wife and children, and enjoys outdoor activities in the Hudson Valley and mountains and rivers throughout the world.

The M.S. in Sustainability Management, co-sponsored by the Earth Institute and Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, trains students to tackle complex and pressing environmental and managerial challenges. The program requires the successful completion of 36 credit points. Those credit points are divided among five comprehensive content areas: integrative sustainability management, economics and quantitative analysis, the physical dimensions of sustainability, the public policy environment of sustainability management, and general and financial management. Visit our website to learn more.

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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