State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Sustainable Development Program Seeks Teaching Assistants for Fall 2023

The Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development is accepting applications for fall 2023 teaching assistant positions for the following courses:

  1. SDEV UN1900 Introduction to Sustainable Development Seminar (x2)
  2. SDEV UN2320 Economic and Financial Methods for Sustainable Development (x2)
  3. SDEV UN3280.001 Workshop in Sustainable Development
  4. SDEV UN3280.002 Workshop in Sustainable Development
  5. SDEV UN3360 Disasters and Development
  6. SDEV UN3390 GIS for Sustainable Development
  7. SDEV GU4550 The New York City Watershed: From Community Displacement to Collaboration and Climate Adaptation
  8. SDEV GU4650 Building Climate Justice: Co-Creative Coastal Resilience Planning

Applicants must be current full-time Columbia University students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Students should expect to work 10-20 hours per week on average, but this can vary throughout the semester. Applications will only be accepted from graduate students and undergraduate juniors or seniors. Please note Teachers College and Barnard students are not eligible to apply. Be sure to check the description for each position for additional restrictions and information.

To Apply

Applicants are welcome to apply to multiple positions provided they submit a separate application for each. Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) here. The deadline to apply is May 8 at 11:59 pm.

Introduction to Sustainable Development Seminar (SDEV UN1900; 2 positions available)

Expected course day/time: Tu 11:40 AM – 12:55 PM

The course is designed to be a free-flowing discussion of the principals of sustainable development and the scope of this emerging discipline. This course will also serve to introduce the students to the requirements of the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development and the content of the required courses in both the special concentration and the major. The focus will be on the breadth of subject matter, the multidisciplinary nature of the scholarship, and familiarity with the other key courses in the program.

Applicants should have knowledge of sustainable development, with previous coursework in the area, and be familiar with the structure of the major and the special concentration in the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development.

Time commitment and responsibilities: A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, like grading written coursework. This also may include developing, distributing and statistically analyzing peer-review and self-review forms.

Applicants must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted from undergraduate juniors or seniors and graduate students. Preference will be given to undergraduates who have taken the course.

Economic and Financial Methods for Sustainable Development (SDEV UN2320; 2 positions available)

Expected course day/time: M/W 1:10 – 2:25 PM

The objective of this course is to introduce students to key analytical concepts, skills and methods necessary to understand and evaluate the economic and financial aspects of sustainable development. Throughout the course, students will compare competing objectives and policies through the prism of economic and financial reasoning. This course is intended to provide students with a flying introduction to key analytical concepts required to understand topics in environmental economics and finance and to introduce them to selected topics within the field.

Applicants should have strong finance and economic skills and an interest in sustainable development.

Time commitment and responsibilities: A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant will be responsible for maintaining the course materials online, attending classes, directing recitations and discussions, responding to student queries and grading student work. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned.

Applicants must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted from graduate students.

Workshop in Sustainable Development (SDEV UN3280.001 & UN3280.002; 2 positions available)

Expected course days/times:

Section 1: M/W 2:10-4:00 PM

Section 2: T/TR 12:10-2:00 PM

The upper-level undergraduate Sustainable Development Workshop will be modeled on teamwork and client-based graduate-level workshops, but with more time devoted to methods of applied policy analysis and issues in sustainable development. The heart of the course is the group project on an issue of sustainable development with a faculty advisor providing guidance and ultimately grading student performance. Students will receive instruction on methodology, group work, communication and the context of policy analysis. Much of the reading in the course will be project-specific and identified by the student research teams.

Applicants should have strong project management skills and an interest in sustainable development.

Time commitment and responsibilities: A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, such as grading written coursework. This also may include developing, distributing and statistically analyzing peer review and self-review forms.

Applicants must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted from graduate students.

Disasters and Development (SDEV UN3360)

Expected course day/time: M/W 6:10-7:25 PM

This course offers undergraduate students, for the first time, a comprehensive course on the link between natural disaster events and human development at all levels of welfare. It explores the role that natural disasters might have and have had in modulating development prospects. Any student seriously interested in sustainable development, especially in light of climate change, must study the nature of extreme events — their causes, global distribution and likelihood of future change. This course will cover not only the nature of extreme events, including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and droughts, but also their transformation into disaster through social processes. It will ultimately help students to understand the link between such extreme events, the economic/social shock they represent, and development outcomes. The course will combine careful analysis of the natural and social systems dynamics that give rise to disasters and examine through group learning case studies from the many disasters that have occurred in the first decade of the 21st century.

Applicants should have a basic knowledge of sustainable development, with previous coursework in the area.

Time commitment and responsibilities: A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, such as grading written coursework.

Applicants must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted from graduate students.

GIS for Sustainable Development (SDEV UN3390)

Expected course day/time: M 10:10 AM – 11:25 AM & W 10:10 AM – 12:25 PM

This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying GIS systems and to give students a strong set of practical skills to use GIS for sustainable development research. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain knowledge of the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use newly emerging web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics.

Applicants should have advanced knowledge of geographic information systems software, with previous coursework in the area.

Time commitment and responsibilities: A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, such as grading written coursework. This also may include developing, distributing and statistically analyzing peer-review and self-review forms.

Applicants must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted from graduate students.

The New York City Watershed: From Community Displacement to Collaboration and Climate Adaptation (SDEV GU4550)

Expected course day/time: October 7-8, 2023 *course takes place over one weekend

A graduate student is needed to support the preparation and delivery of a two-day field-based course. The candidate will work closely with Professor Ruth DeFries on the successful implementation of the course on October 7-8, 2022.

The successful candidate will have strong attention to detail, ability to work with minimal supervision, and experience with supporting a class. Preference will be given to students who have previously taken the course.

Time commitment and responsibilities: Under the supervision of the professor, the candidate will help to prepare the logistics of the class and assist in its implementation. Tasks will include, but are not limited to:

  • Distributing materials to students
  • Answering student queries
  • Acting as a second reader/grader on the assigned final paper, due in mid-late October
  • Other assignments as needed to support course preparation and implementation

Applicants must be full-time graduate student with:

  • Excellent organizational, communications and leadership skills;
  • Strong attention to detail;
  • Must be able to manage tasks and time with minimal supervision;
  • Demonstrated interest and knowledge of the watershed communities or the Catskills Mountains preferred, but not required.

(New course!) Building Climate Justice: Co-Creative Coastal Resilience Planning (SDEV GU4650)

Expected course day/time: M 4:10-6:00 PM & W 2:10-4:00 PM

This course will educate students and support effective coastal resilience planning and climate justice through social and data science learning and data acquisition and analysis, making use of emerging technologies and best practices for collaboration with environmental and climate justice practitioners.

Instruction is provided in two areas: i.) Climate adaptation planning and climate justice; and ii.) Data science: acquisition, analysis and visualization.

Time commitment and responsibilities: A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, such as grading written coursework. This also may include developing, distributing and statistically analyzing peer-review and self-review forms.

Applicants must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted from graduate students.

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

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