State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Apply Now for Summer Research Experiences on Connecting Climate to Communities

The Earth Institute is excited to announce a new summer research opportunity for undergraduate students and K12 educators. The program, called Beyond Basic Science: Connecting Climate to Communities, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and will provide a 10-week research experience with a $6,000 stipend to undergraduates and K12 educators for summer 2021. Applications are now open and will be due by April 9, 2021 at 5PM ET. Due to COVID-19, this program will be fully remote this year.

The Earth Institute will leverage its transdisciplinary approaches and research on climate change while creating a space where students can share their critical perspectives on climate science and climate justice. As such, all of our research opportunities will be highly participatory and will allow undergraduate students and educators to work with Earth Institute researchers to co-develop tangible climate change solutions that are relevant for a wide-range of communities.

The research projects will promote developing knowledge and solutions around pressing climate change challenges, as well as learning how to engage various stakeholders and communities on these challenges. Placements will include topics such as climate justice; youth, peace and security; climate change and racial inequalities, migration and displacement, and more.

In this program, participants will also have several opportunities for mentorship as well as other professional development activities including weekly content lectures, skills workshops, and participatory research sessions. Through these activities, students will develop a deeper content knowledge of various aspects of climate science from around the Earth Institute and will have the opportunity to engage with centers that are outside of their internship placement. Students will further develop skills in data collection and dissemination, research communications, stakeholder engagement, and more.

This program is open to all undergraduate sophomores and juniors as well as K12 educators who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents. We encourage student applicants who are under-represented in the STEM fields to apply, particularly those at community colleges, historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and minority-serving institutions. Interested students can learn more from the recording of our information session and access the application on our program website.

Applications will require a resume, transcript, a statement of interest of 1,000 words, the names and emails of two individuals who can provide letters of recommendations, and an indication of the applicant’s top three choices of research projects. Accepted participants will be notified by early May.

Questions about the program should be directed to Cassie Xu ( or Joshua Fisher (

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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