State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Free Workshop on Writing Blogs and Op-Eds

writing notes with pen
Taught by New York Times contributor and Columbia professor Claudia Dreifus, a March 3 workshop is open to students, faculty, and alumni. Photo: BookMama via Flickr

Now more than ever, the media needs science and sustainability professionals who can write with style and clarity.

If you’d like to produce blog posts that win large audiences and opinion pieces that newspapers and magazines will want to publish, the Earth Institute is offering a free Saturday workshop in science communication for Earth Institute students, faculty, staff, and alumni on March 3.

You won’t come out of the 6-hour seminar as a full-fledged Elizabeth Kolbert or David Quammen, but you will learn skills that enable you to take the essential first steps towards writing effective pieces and sharing your ideas with the public.

Prize-winning science journalist Claudia Dreifus, contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books and professor in the Masters of Sustainability Management program, will lead this new initiative.

The “How to Write a Blog/Op-Ed” seminar will take place from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, March 3 in Fayerweather Room 301. Students and alums may register through the Earth Institute Job List. For more information please email the Office of Academic and Research Programs.

Individual Coaching Also Available

In addition to the March 3 workshop, Professor Dreifus will be available for one-on-one coaching to help with magazine and newspaper submissions. This new component of the Earth Institute Professional Development program is available to Earth Institute students, alumni and faculty.

Students should come prepared with a written draft on a science or sustainability topic to discuss. They will receive coaching assistance on how to write a persuasive opinion or blog piece on that topic. The purpose of these sessions will be to help students turn their academic work/personal scientific and sustainability interests into a form that can find another audience.

Professor Dreifus will be available on Tuesdays throughout the Spring 2018 semester from 12:30 to 2PM for 30-minute coaching sessions. She will also be available by special appointment on other days. You can request a special appointment via email.

Note that these sessions will not be appropriate for students seeking help in the following areas: i) writing an academic piece for a course; ii) copyediting/rewriting; iii) helping students with written English. The Columbia University Writing Center is available as an additional resource for those topics.

To reserve a time, log into the Earth Institute Job List and go  to “Events”; “Workshops” and select a time that works for you.

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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