State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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Summer Internships for Graduate Students

The Earth Institute is seeking graduate interns to work on various research projects. These projects will allow the interns to grow professionally while the Earth Institute centers benefit from their meaningful contributions. The positions include:

Safe Water for All

Department: Columbia Water Center

Anticipated Tasks: The intern will compile data from a variety of federal and state datasets related to water quality and drivers of water contamination, such as exposure to lead, nitrates, arsenics, and others. As part of the project, the intern will perform analytics to identify local hot spots, space and time trends in water quality violations, the likelihood of exposure to a set of contaminants, and the demographics affected. This will require using GIS tools to plot/correlate with demographic attributes. This is a data-intensive project so we would greatly benefit from having resources to help us compile, develop, and analyze the multiple data streams.

Skills Desired: Experience with data analysis (R or Python), GIS, database management, and ability to work independently. Knowledge of machine learning methods is a plus.

Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Access in Rural India

Department: Center for Sustainable Development

Anticipated Tasks:

  • In conjunction with the principal investigator, participate in monitoring data collection from 1200 households and interviews of clinical staff at primary healthcare centers;
  • Analyze data from the household surveys and interviews with clinic staff about disruptions to healthcare access during COVID-19;
  • Participate in the discussions and design of new policies with the local state government to counter the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare access;
  • Participate in the writing of the final manuscript.

Skills Required:

  • Data analysis (STATA, SPSS or equivalent)
  • Organizational skills
  • Advanced knowledge of Excel
  • Research experience a plus
  • Understanding of developing world context, particularly India, is a plus
  • Interest in policy work a plus

To apply:

Complete the online application available here. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 20, 2021 at 11:55pm. While you may apply for both positions, you must submit a separate application for each.

You must be a full-time graduate student to apply. Interns will work up to 20 hours a week, funded at a rate of $17. Contact Cari Shimkus ( with questions.

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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