State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Spring 2022 Internship Opportunities

The Earth Institute is offering undergraduate, graduate and PhD students with opportunities to intern in various departments and research centers in a variety of administration, communications and research roles. Interns work on a variety of sustainability-focused projects across the Earth Institute. These projects provide interns with hands-on workplace experience, allowing them to grow professionally while the Earth Institute centers benefit from their meaningful contributions.

Spring 2022 positions include:

  1. A web-based dashboard for a microbial observatory
  2. Developing portable electrochemical sensors for the detention of heavy metals and water toxicants (GRA)
  3. Columbia Climate Conversations
  4. The Value of Resilience
  5. Modeling Human Migration Due to Conflict and Food Insecurity East Africa (GRA)

To apply:

Complete the online application available HERE by Sunday, December 26 at 11:30pm ET. While you may apply for more than one position, you must submit separate applications for each.

Only full-time Columbia students are eligible to apply for internships. The positions marked “GRA” are only open to full-time graduate students. All internships are funded at a rate of $18 per hour (a maximum of 120 hours during the semester). Decisions will be made shortly after the deadline.

Students who are selected for a position will be expected to participate in the Earth Institute Student Research Showcase in spring 2022.

Contact David Morales-Miranda ( with questions.

1. EI Network for Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems

Department: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Student Desired: Undergraduate/Graduate/PhD

Anticipated Tasks: The intern will co-design a web-based tool for data visualization and display with the PI and his colleagues from Kotzebue, Alaska. The intern will develop the HTML code required and will participate in Zoom conversations with members of the community in Kotzebue to get feedback on the design and implementation of the website.

Skills Required: The intern should be conversant in HTML programming and the skills to develop web pages.

2. Developing portable electrochemical sensors for the detention of heavy metals and water toxicants (GRA)

Department: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Student Desired: Graduate/PhD ONLY

Anticipated Tasks: This project involves the training of the intern in order to be able to conduct the related lab works, field collected measurements. Fusion of designing a sensing system, optimizing it to its best performance, data collection and validation of the system by the standard methods. The student will get training in some instrumental analysis in order to fulfill the needs for the work. Some data collection might be needed as well. Student participation would significantly advance our ability to design detection methods, which can be implemented in the field for water toxic species monitoring.

Skills Required:

  • Coursework in chemical or environmental engineering, chemistry, and statistics is desirable
  • Proficiency and interest in instrumental analysis
  • Experience graphing and visualizing data in R

3. Columbia Climate Conversations

Department: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Student Desired: Undergraduate

Anticipated Tasks: The intern will be responsible for the planning and executing three panel events, including brainstorming, and reaching out to potential panelists, managing honorarium disbursement, and maintaining an active web presence on the Columbia Climate Conversations website. In addition, the intern will work to identify and access resources to support the in-person Environmental Justice Summit (May 2022). Intern support is crucial for making this dynamic and visionary event a reality by helping to secure an on-campus space and raise funds that will support advertising, catering, and programming. In addition, the intern will provide insight into how to best engage the Columbia undergraduate community, many of whom are interested in topics of environmental justice and sustainability, in this flagship initiative. This will simultaneously leverage the existing interest and expertise of the Columbia undergraduate community and elevate the Earth Institute/Climate School as an institution that advances environmental justice for CU undergraduates.

Skills Required:

  • Organized, self-motivated
  • Some experience with grant writing
  • Knowledge of social media principles and best practices
  • Background in sustainability and racial justice through coursework, work experience, advocacy and/or lived experience

4. The Value of Resilience

Department: National Center for Disaster Preparedness

Student Desired: Undergraduate/Graduate/PhD

Anticipated Tasks: The intern will be responsible for taking meeting notes, managing, and maintaining project resources, coordinating with team members in a distributed hybrid environment, assisting the project director with overall project coordination. The intern will be a critical support for increasing administrative capacity in the earliest parts of the project, crucial to later successes, with opportunities to innovate systems for resource to systematize processes.

Skills Required:

Interns must be communicative in a hybrid environment and able to use Slack and Zoom proficiently. Office skills must include Google Drive and the suite of Google’s professional tools, Microsoft Office Suite, and online equivalents (SharePoint, etc.). Experience with task managers such as ToDoist are encouraged but not required. Must be willing to learn if not already proficient at taking meeting minutes, coordinating schedules, and creating filing systems. Interns may participate in research collection, data analysis, or report writing if there is additional interest (not required). Capacity to read and understand research-oriented correspondence and briefings is encouraged.

5. Modeling Human Migration Due to Conflict and Food Insecurity East Africa (GRA)

Department: Columbia Climate School, Partner Affiliate Program

Preferred Student: Graduate

Anticipated Tasks:

The intern will assist senior personnel with assembling and presenting quarterly Climate School research updates for member affiliates. The incumbent will consult with all units within the Climate School and its Columbia partners to curate recently published research, research in progress, and prospective research, and will develop a written summary and annotated bibliography. He/she/they will also assist Climate School leadership in organizing the quarterly research updates by providing underlying resources such as slide presentations and other review materials. On occasion, the intern will be asked to construct a more detailed summary of specific topics as requested. The intern should be able to meet with the senior advisor on a weekly basis to discuss activities in support of other partner affiliate programs, including roundtables and incidental discussions with external partners.

Skills Required:

  • excellent writing and oral communication skills
  • ability to work independently and on deadline
  • interest in gaining familiarity with primary climate research literature and other scholarly resources
  • ability to organize research resources within a higher-level summary framework
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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