Climate School Internship Opportunities for Fall 2022-Spring 2023

by Yana Zeltser |July 28, 2022

The Columbia Climate School is offering internship opportunities during the fall 2022 to spring 2023 semesters for various administration, communications, and research roles with climate and sustainability-related projects. Current full-time Columbia and Barnard students (undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D.) are eligible to apply.

The  fall 2022 – spring 2023 internship positions include:

  1. Climate Education For All
  2. Social Media for Low-Carbon Materials at Columbia University
  3. Imagining Diverse Climate Futures – Gathering Series and Public Conference
  4. Wildfire Policy in the American West
  5. Building A Circular Community

To apply:

Complete the online application by Tuesday, August 30 at 11:55pm. While you may apply for more than one position, you must submit separate applications for each.

Contact Yana Zeltser (yz2321@columbia.edu) with questions.

Full-time Columbia and Barnard students are eligible to apply. Positions are funded at a rate of $21.50/hour for up to 10 hours a week, September through May, for a maximum of 240 hours for both fall and spring semesters combined. Decisions will be made shortly after the deadline.

Students who are selected for a position will be expected to participate in the Climate School Student Research Showcase in spring 2023.

Internship Position Descriptions:

Position: Climate Education For All

Department: Center for Sustainable Futures, Teachers College

Project Objectives: The project is part of the New York City Partnership for Sustainability Education. This research practice partnership brings together teams from the NYC Department of Education Office of Sustainability and Teachers College, Columbia University to better understand and ultimately improve how schools support NYC’s sustainability goals. This project aims to understand variations across schools that serve students from different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. To do so, we will analyze school-level data that show how sustainability coordinators engage climate change education and whether there is an association between this engagement and the student population.

Anticipated Tasks: The intern will support the PI with tasks related to data management, data analysis, and communication. More specifically, they will lead effort to prepare datasets for analysis (merging, harmonizing, cleaning, documenting) Together with the research team, the intern will take part in the analysis of the newly created database. The intern will also prepare memos and visualizations. The PI will invite the intern to contribute to publications.

Skills Required: The intern will need to demonstrate the following skill sets:

  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel (e.g.; vlookup function, charts);
  • Working knowledge of statistics (descriptive, inferential, multivariate);
  • Working knowledge of Stata (experience with loops and coding is preferred);
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Ability to work independently and in teams;
  • Familiarity with visualization tools is preferred.

Position: Social Media for Low-Carbon Materials at Columbia University

Department: Natural Materials Lab, GSAPP

Project Objectives: The project aims to advance low-carbon material activities at Columbia University and beyond. The intern will write articles for the Natural Materials Lab website, posting content to social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as planning and executing events, all at the intersection of low-carbon, natural, and non-toxic building materials and construction techniques.

Anticipated Tasks: As part of this project, the intern’s tasks will include strategizing, writing, and administrating events. Specific tasks would include updating news on the lab’s website, writing short articles, bringing together scholars from around Columbia University who focus on material worlds and their life cycle, arranging a consortium of speakers, and administrating podcast recordings.

Skills Required: The position requires exceptional organization and communication skills, and experience in content development for blogs and/or social media. Visual graphics including Adobe software suite. Experience and passion for design and curatorial art is a big plus.

Position: Imagining Diverse Climate Futures – Gathering Series and Public Conference

Department: Earth Networks Program

Project Objectives: Imagining Diverse Climate Futures is at the heart of the Climate Imaginations Network’s community-building programming. There are two components: a trust-building co-created dinner series over the fall term, leading to a public-facing interdisciplinary event on imagining diverse climate futures in the spring. The project is designed to (1) build trust and community amongst a diverse community of Columbia and community affiliates, who gather together to share meals they make together through the fall semester with a view toward co-creating a public-facing conference about using creative tools to imagine diverse climate futures.

Anticipated Tasks: Assist in selecting a diverse (race, gender, Columbia affiliation, career stage) team of attendees at dinners over fall term to serve as the backbone for planning the spring event; liaise with the venue and assist in planning meals; attend all fall term gatherings and record notes and action items; assist in co-creation of spring term conference.

Skills Required: The IDCF intern should be: a self-starter who is willing to take initiative; a creative and lateral thinker with experience and interest in the creative industries and in event planning across diversity; a warm communicator with the ability to relate to individuals from a broad range of backgrounds, including non academic and non student audiences; a tech-savvy planner with social media familiarity and strong time management skills.

Position: Wildfire Policy in the American West

Department: Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development, Columbia University

Project Objectives: This project will identify a typology of policies and initiatives, evaluate their effectiveness for reducing risk to communities, and trace funding pathways to identify the availability of funds for effective policies. It will include recommendations to inform policymaking and budgeting for effective community wildfire risk reduction. The outcomes will help answer the questions: What policies work best to reduce risk to communities? How and to what degree are effective policies being funded? The intended audience for this report is federal and state policymakers, land management agencies, and local elected officials.

Anticipated Tasks: The intern will play an integral role in three administrative tasks that are central to the success of the project. First, they will take the lead in organizing the literature review, including compiling, reading, and summarizing over 200 scientific articles. Second, they will locate and inventory appropriations and other budget spreadsheets from state and federal agencies to identify funding patterns relevant for wildfire. Third, they will help with all aspects of final report development and release, including managing contacts with the media and local elected officials.

Skills Required: The intern should have some experience (working, living, or traveling) in the American West, and understand complexities associated with public lands management and wildfire risk. Additionally, the intern must have top-notch writing skills, including some background in editing and citation management.

Position: Building A Circular Community

Department: Barnard College, Campus Sustainability and Climate Action

Project Objectives: Building upon Barnard’s circular campus initiative, the Circular Community will create a holistic, systems-based framework designed to reduce emissions, waste, and costs, transform consumption patterns, increase access and affordability for students and residents, and support the transition to a just, sustainable economy. We aim to enable our campus and the Harlem/Morningside community to engage in the practice of reuse, which increases access to high-quality goods while reducing overconsumption. We want to make visible, scale, and amplify the habits of circularity that are already all around us and are so desperately necessary as we transition to a just and sustainable future.

Anticipated Tasks: The intern will be tasked with interfacing with the community. The time necessary to build personal connections is vital to our successful endeavor to build a resilient, circular community. Tasks include:

  • Recruitment: finding community partners and working to onboard the organization as well as members of that organization;
  • Communications: Tabling, Social media, creation of online resources, creating infographics on various aspects of Circular Community including general education (ie, what is a Circular Community, why is it important) and communicating impact findings;
  • Technical support: setting up participants with access and training on our online peer-to-peer exchange platform, Rheaply.

Skills Required: An interest in circular and equitable economies; ability to clearly communicate; ability to work collaboratively, creatively, and independently; and motivation to work effectively is a must. All other skills can be taught. Helpful skills include event planning, social media, tabling/digital and in person outreach, ability to connect quickly with others, and database management. Graphic design skills (Adobe Spark, Indesign, Photoshop, or equivalents) are a plus.


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