State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Internships Available With Earth Networks Program

The Earth Institute is seeking interns to support its Earth Networks program. This program provides a framework of support for interdisciplinary collaboration and networking across Columbia University, to promote fresh approaches to research, education and impact on themes related to climate, sustainability and the future of planet Earth.

Earth Networks are three-year working groups formed around one interdisciplinary topic. The 2020 – 2023 networks are described in detail below. Each of these groups is seeking one intern to provide network coordination and administrative support. Tasks may include helping to organize staff meetings, webinars and events; providing website and social media support; preparing communication and outreach material; managing projects and follow-up; developing and managing systems and processes to maintain network connectivity, and more.

The intern will play a strategic supportive role to the co-directors, helping to implement outputs, which may vary in size and scope depending on the network (e.g. seminars, events, podcasts, articles, courses, research projects, exhibitions, etc.). This is an excellent opportunity to engage with researchers and practitioners across the university.

Candidates should be able to work 10-15 hours per week remotely. This position starts as soon as possible. Columbia and Barnard students (graduate and undergraduate) are eligible to apply. The ideal candidate will be able to work into the spring term and possibly longer.

The following describes each Network and instructions for the application process. Applications are due Friday, October 23.

Details and Application Instructions

(1) Climate Mobility: Research Translation for Policies and Programs

Co-directors: Alex de Sherbinin (Center for International Earth Science Information Network), Ama Francis (Sabin Center for Climate Change Law)

During the three years we will develop a network of migration researchers, educators, and law and policy practitioners across the social, physical and health sciences with a focus on “climate mobility” — meaning voluntary or forced migration and other mobility patterns in partial response to climate stimuli. The network will develop the ability to think and teach about, and to offer policy guidance on, migration matters, appreciating the complex ways in which human mobility fits into individual and societal goals subject to multiple interacting drivers. Our outputs will align with the four purposes of Columbia University and the Climate School:

  • Education: develop a course; organize seminars; compile teaching exercises
  • Research: workshop and seminars; journal articles and special issues
  • Communication and outreach: blog posts; policy articles; opinion pieces
  • Fourth purpose: guiding policies and engagement with stakeholders

The intern will organize telecons, conduct desk research, write briefs, and facilitate communication with the wider university and groups such as the Committee on Forced Migration. Excellent organizational, written, and oral communication skills required. Prior research or work on migration is considered a plus.

This position pays $17 per hour. To apply, please send a resume and cover letter with the subject line “Earth Networks Intern Application” to Gina Dinnegan at by Friday, October 23.

(2) Environmental Justice and Climate Just Cities

Co-directors: Christian Braneon (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), Jacqueline Klopp (Center for Sustainable Urban Development), Kate Orff (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation)

This Earth Network will engage Columbia researchers and faculty across disciplines, support co-learning with environmental justice advocates and community-based organizations, and share learning across national and global networks. The network’s goals are to inform the underlying value system, operating model, research, and curriculum of the Earth Institute and the Columbia University Climate School, make our institutions more responsive to the urgent social and environmental demands of this moment, and support direct application of climate just approaches to implementation of urban policy, advocacy, planning, and programs. This network will gather a diverse set of scholars and environmental justice partners, many already working on issues intersecting climate change and social inequities.

Roles and responsibilities of the EJCJC intern will include assisting in the review of existing environmental justice and climate justice work at CU and within the wider New York City community, virtual resource development, as well as scheduling, coordinating, taking notes, and participating in all internal meetings and meetings with external partners that will help guide new collaborations and curriculum development. Responsibilities may also include workshop set up, documentation, and communications (e.g., note taking, downloading Zoom recordings and chats, sharing of notes).

This position pays $20 per hour. To apply, please send a resume and cover letter with the subject line “Earth Networks Intern Application” to Christian Braneon at by Friday, October 23.

(3) Habitable Planet

Co directors: Caleb Scharf (Astronomy Department), Linda Sohl (Center for Climate Systems Research)

This network will further the development of an active community of strongly interdisciplinary researchers and students across the Earth Institute and other Columbia departments, all of whom share a common interest in the breadth of questions encompassed by the concept of a ‘habitable planet’, and the role of this concept in providing unique and novel insights to fundamental questions of planetary sustainability.

The network has two major goals:

  • Develop a set of interdisciplinary research endeavors that capitalize on and improve the strengths of Columbia’s work in planetary science and geoscience, exoplanetary science and solar system science, together with biological systems and ecological science—with the goal of making fundamental contributions to understanding and contextualizing Earth’s evolution and present condition as a complex integration of living systems, planetary systems, and human agency.
  • Develop a strategic roadmap for guiding a notional habitable planet program as part of Columbia’s Climate School.

Lastly, and critically, this network will build a student-led (graduate and undergraduate) community to support student engagement in relevant habitable planet research opportunities, to provide access to pedagogical resources across departments, and to create pathways for upcoming generations to apply themselves to this interdisciplinary work.

This position pays $17 per hour. To apply, please send a resume and cover letter with the subject line “Earth Networks Intern Application” to Caleb Scharf and Linda Sohl by Friday, October 23.

(4) Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems: Local to Global Scales

Co-directors: Jennifer Woo Baidal (Columbia University Medical Center), Walter Baethgen (International Research Institute for Climate and Society)

This network will advance and support fresh approaches to interdisciplinary research and educational offerings on healthy and sustainable food systems. The initial activities include:

  • Education: Develop courses and capstone projects that provide an interdisciplinary, cross-cutting perspective on the multiple aspects of healthy and sustainable food systems (e.g. nutrition and health; climate and environment; economics; behavior; policy; equity and vulnerability). The content and approaches will provide the basis for educational activities at various levels of undergraduate, graduate, and executive education for public and private sector practitioners.
  • Collaborative Research and Practice: Link major food systems projects led by network members to develop new collaborations that expand the interdisciplinary breadth of these projects.
  • Engagement and Outreach: External stakeholders, such as community groups and international partners, will be included in network activities. Key activities include: 1) engaging with stakeholders in New York City, such as community-based organizations, food banks, local government, and private companies, to identify potential partnerships on regional food issues; 2) developing a design process for integrated food systems activities that leads to an investment strategy in food systems for a government; 3) holding an event in concert with the UN Food Systems Summit 2021.

The intern will provide support to the network on all activities, as well as on internal organization, communication, and facilitation for the network.

This position pays $17 per hour. To apply, please send a resume and cover letter with the subject line “Earth Networks Intern Application” to Alison Rose at by Friday, October 23.

Columbia campus skyline with text Columbia Climate School Class Day 2024 - Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments