Earth Day Newsletter

April 22, 2013


ECO and associates are bringing you tons of great events up to and during Earth Week in April. Come celebrate Earth Day during Columbia University “Earth Week” from April 22nd – 26th, hosted by EcoReps! Each day, groups from Columbia and Barnard will be hosting exciting events such as movie screenings, community gardening, speakers, and more. On Friday the 26th, make sure to check out our culminating event GreenFest on Lehman Lawn for free food, eco-themed carnival games with prizes, performances and more! Check out the Facebook page for more info at!


ECO and partners have an exciting line up of events in the coming weeks, so make sure and mark your Calendars. To stay on top of all our new and events do not forget to check out  and join our listserve or forward to a friend.

*Follow ECO on Facebook and Twitter*

Hope to see you at an event soon,
Your ECO Board

And now for your moment of Zen: Earth Day Google Doodle:

Upcoming Events By Date

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There Once Was An Island
What:              Film Screening:  ‘There Once Was an Island’
When:             Tuesday, April 23rd, 6:00PM
Where:            IAB room 918

What will we do (or not do) when entire countries disappear due to climate Change?
The event is part of Earth Week at Columbia University and there will be delicious food courtesy of HRWG, MWG, ECO and PAC.

What:              A Conversation with The Global Environment Facility’s Senior Energy Specialist, David Rodgers
When:             Wednesday, April 24th 1:00-2:00PM
Where:            IAB 411

Food will be served, no registration required.

David Rodgers is a Senior Energy Specialist with a portfolio emphasizing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy projects and programs. Since 2011, he has also managed GEF’s private sector strategy, defining specific modalities for utilizing $80 million set-aside, which was approved at the 41st Council meeting, November 2011. The strategy emphasizes partnerships with the multilateral development banks (MDBs) to focus on the expanded use of non-grant instruments, and also includes components to support technology transfer and innovation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Prior to joining the GEF, David spent 20 years with the United States Department of Energy in Washington, DC. David has received degrees in chemical engineering and computer science from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Masters in public management from the University of Maryland. He is a former Presidential Management Fellow. In the private sector, David has experience in the chemical, petroleum, and information technology sectors.


Join GreenHomeNYC for a special tour of the Greenhouse Project Science Laboratory at PS 333 on the Upper West Side!

What:              The Sun Works Center for Environmental Studies at the Manhattan School for Children [PS333] is the flagship Greenhouse Project Science Laboratory and serves over 700 Kindergarten through 8th grade students, in addition to training educators from around the city, the region, and the world. The greenhouse laboratory operates as an integrated part of the school’s curricula and prepares children to exceed New York City’s science standards. Students experience science through interactive technologies such as hydroponic vegetable farming, solar panels, a rainwater catchment system, a weather station, worm composting, and a kitchen corner. Guests will be shown the rooftop greenhouse comprised of solar panels, a hydroponics growing system, a composting station, a rainwater catchment system, a weather station and an aquaponics system.
When:             Wednesday, April 24th , 2013, 3:45PM-5:00PM
Where:            Sun Works Center for Environmental Studies at the Manhattan School for Children, 154 W 93rd Street, New York, NY 10025



“Closing the loop: Technology & Sustainability”

What:              Earth Institute Student Advisory Council (EISAC) – 2013 Spring Event
When:                         April 25th  7:00 – 10:00 pm
Where:            Altschul Auditorium (SIPA Building)

Where are the materials for all your tech gadgets coming from? Where is your e-waste going? What are the policies associated with these issues and how well are they working? Join EISAC at their annual spring event for a panel discussion and film screening to address these questions.

7:00-9:00 pm – Panel Discussion and Q&A; moderated by Steve Cohen; EI Executive Director

9:00-10:00 pm – Screening of Terra Blight, a documentary film exploring America’s consumption of computers and the hazardous waste we create in pursuit of the latest technology.

Speakers include:

-Lisa Sachs, Director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment

-Marc Levy, Deputy Director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network

-Caroline Kruse, Development Director at Lower East Side Ecology Center

-Steven Brautigam, Assistant Commissioner, Environmental Affairs, NYC, Sanitation

-Vasilis Fthenakis, Founder and Director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis, Professor Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University.

This event is being held to educate, inform and engage people on sustainability issues related to the extraction, manufacturing and disposal of technological devices. With the ever-increasing widespread use of technological devices, from cell phones to computers to video games, there is surprisingly little discussion on where the materials come from that go into these devices and where they go upon disposal. Experts in the field will discuss topics ranging from environmental and human rights issues, including armed conflicts, associated with the extraction of minerals and materials used in the manufacturing process, to local and international e-waste disposal mechanisms, contamination problems and innovative re-use and recycling programs.

Following the panel discussion, at 9:00 pm, there will be a screening of Terra Blight, a 55-minute documentary exploring America’s consumption of computers and the hazardous waste we create in pursuit of the latest technology.

Terra Blight traces the life cycle of computers from creation to disposal and juxtaposes the disparate worlds that have computers as their center. From a 13-year-old Ghanaian who smashes obsolete monitors to salvage copper to a 3,000-person video game party in Texas, Terra Blight examines the unseen realities of one of the most ubiquitous toxic wastes on our planet.”

China’s Environmental Movement and the Role of Investigative Journalism

What:              China’s Environmental Movement and the Role of Investigative Journalism: A public talk by one of China’s leading investigative journalists, Liu Jianqiang
When:             Friday, April 26th, 5:00PM – 7:30 PM
Where:            World Room, Pulitzer Hall, Columbia School of Journalism 2950 Broadway (at 116th Street)

In English. Open to all.


Talking about the Plateau (In Chinese Only)

What:              Talking about the Plateau: A Roundtable Discussion led by Liu Jianqiang, Nyima Tashi, Gao Yufang & Gelek Pasang
When:             Saturday, April 27th, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Liu Jianqiang, formerly a senior investigative reporter with Southern Weekend, China’s most influential investigative newspaper, is Beijing Editor of, an online bilingual forum on environment in China. He is known for his exposés of the controversial Tiger Leaping Gorge dams in southern Yunnan, genetically modified rice, and the Summer Palace Lake Reconstruction Project, all of which led to shifts in government policy. He has been featured in the Wall St Journal and the book China Ink and is a visiting scholar at Berkeley. His books include Heavenly Gems – a Tibetan Legend (2009) and The Last Raft on the Jinsha River (2012).

Presented by The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism & the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, with Greater China Initiative, the Asia Pacific Affairs Council, Modern Tibetan Studies & SIPA Environmental Coalition

***In Chinese only.

Breakfast & lunch provided. To apply, register at

Global Mayors Forum

What:              International Global Mayor’s Forum. The Keynote speaker will be Mayor Park Wan-su of Changwon, South Korea. Mayor Park has focused on sustainability projects in Changwon, a major industrial city, including creating a public bicycle rental system, which he will discuss in his talk. Refreshments will be served.
When:             Tuesday, April 30th,  4:00-5:30PM
Where:            IAB 1501
Register for the event here

MIT’s Climate CoLab: Your ideas can help combat climate change, and you might win $10,000

At MIT’s Climate CoLab you can work with people from all over the world to develop ideas for what we can actually do about climate change. If you submit one of the winning ideas, you’ll be able to present it to the media, government officials, business executives, and scientists at an MIT conference on September 17-18, where a grand prize of $10,000 will be awarded. Even if you don’t have new ideas yourself, you can help improve other people’s ideas and support the ones you find most promising. Current contests address low-carbon energy, building efficiency, adaptation, geoengineering, and many other topics. Entries are due May 31.Can crowdsourcing save the planet? Join the crowd and find out at

If you have any questions, please contact Katie Walsh, (Tufts Urban Planning/Fletcher School Law and Diplomacy ’13) serving as a fellow for the urban adaptation contest:

Eco Cuba Network
 Environmental Protection & Sustainable Development Research Trip
This Cuba research program takes place during the
IX International Conference on the Environment and Development. Research program includes urban and rural site visits in Havana and western Cuba
When:             July 5th–14th, 2013
Where:            Cuba

To learn more or register go to:

Jobs/Internships/Volunteer Opportunities

New Posting(s)

Brazil Finance / Agriculture Consultant
FOREST TRENDS (FT) is an international not-for-profit forest conservation organization based in Washington, D.C., that works to achieve sustainable forest management and conservation by capturing market values for ecosystem services; supporting innovative projects and companies that are developing these new markets; and enhancing the livelihoods of local communities living in and around those forests. The  Public Private Co-Finance Initiative at FT works with partners in the public and private sector to develop innovative financing structures and architecture so the greatest amount of capital possible flows to activities that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+), improve the productivity of agricultural and livestock systems, and improve livelihoods of rural populations. In Brazil, the PPF Initiative is working in states such as Acre and Mato Grosso to understand the current sources of financing available and the financing gaps to transition traditional agricultural/livestock systems in sectors such as soy and beef to no/low deforestation models. We are analyzing agricultural programs and sources of finance at the Federal Level that may support this transition. Working with the public and private sectors, we will work to build integrated and efficient financial architecture at the jurisdiction level that supports investment into these new models. In addition, we are working in Acre to help structure the state’s Public Private Company for Environmental Services so it is best able to support the state in achieving its low-emission development goals and emissions reductions.

Consultancy: Scope of Work.  We are seeking a consultant to work closely with other senior staff and specialists at Forest Trends and its network of partners to:

·      Use third party technical and economic analysis to complete and/or provide input into financial models to understand the financing gaps for REDD+ activities in Brazil, including transformation of agriculture and livestock production models into low/no deforestation models, as well as other changes in land use practices such as restoration of degraded lands, afforestation, etc. This may include due diligence on the financial models themselves.

·      Review and identify public sector incentives and potential sources of public finance or rural credit (e.g. ABC, Pronaf) that could be integrated into REDD+ and private sector financing;

·      Review existing financial mechanisms and risk mitigation tools available in agriculture/land use sector and other comparable sectors (energy) to make recommendations regarding how best to apply or adapt these public sector tools to drive private sector investment.

·      Build relationships with relevant public sector contacts (e.g., at BNDES, Ministries of Agriculture and Environment) and private sector players (e.g., Banco do Brazil, insurance companies, large agrobiz companies, and producers) to better understand their risks, financial constraints, and barriers to investment in land use change models.

·      Review of funding disbursement models and public private financial architecture that are currently available and help make recommendations on efficient and effective public private structures to maximize private sector investment in scaled-up models;

Skills and Qualifications.

·      Practical experience in structuring deals (banking or legal background) and/or practical experience supporting agricultural lending or administering government incentive programs

·      Experience with natural resource and land-based financial modeling related to the above

·      Experience employing or designing financial and/or risk mitigation mechanisms

·      Experience working on public-private partnerships

·      MBA or equivalent plus 3 years of experience in banking or legal (project finance)

·      Demonstrated experience working in a team to deliver outcome-based results under tight deadline

·      English and Portuguese fluency a must

Time Commitment: 3 months; possible opportunity for extension of assignment.

Location: Brazil


Please send resume & letter of interest to as soon as possible

Previous Posting(s)

Earth Institute Internships
The Earth Institute, Columbia University, is pleased to offer seven internships this summer with units and centers throughout the Institute.  All full time Columbia and Barnard students may apply to the following positions:

1. CRED Outreach Administration, Data Management, and General Clerical Internship

2. Supporting the Millennium Cities Initiative

3. One Million Community Health Workers

4. Dynamical Systems Theory (DST) Clearing House

5. Climate Adaptation Webpage Construction

6. Climate Sensitivity in Low Latitudes

7. Communications and Outreach for Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy (LCSE)

Interns through the Earth Institute will be paid $15/hr for up to 35 hours per week for 12 weeks.  For more information on these positions and to apply, please click HERE.

The deadline to apply is 11:30PM on May 12

Connecticut Community Conservation Crew Leaders (seasonal)  Student Conservation Association

The Student Conservation Association (SCA), America’s #1 conservation service organization seeks two qualified applicants to lead, educate, and inspire high school students for the Connecticut Summer Crew Programs.
Stamford / Norwalk / Greenwich / New Haven / Bridgeport, CT

Co-lead, mentor and coach a crew of 10 students, ages 15-19, while completing various conservation service projects designed to build an ethic of community and environmental stewardship. Projects include a range of activities such as trail and park maintenance, habitat restoration, revitalization of abandoned urban properties or to urban agriculture and run for 5-6 weeks at a time. In addition, leaders will facilitate pre- and post- program planning which includes crew training, environmental education and reporting.
Check out for more information

Program Dates July 1st – August 23rd, 2013

Junior Consultant / Green Marketing Assistant J. Ottman Consulting, Inc.
We are consumer product mavens and marketers who are fueled by a passion to prevent waste and a profound respect for natural resources. We see opportunities for businesses to become leaders in their industry through the power of eco-innovation and credible green marketing.

We help our clients to meet their consumers’ needs sustainably by: identifying areas of strategic opportunity; generating concepts for new “greener” products, services and business models; strategically positioning products in the marketplace, and via thought-leadership, workshops and trainings.

World Snapshot: Environmental Headlines

Earth Day update: 6 recent changes tofederal environmental programs

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Earth Day Goes Global as it Turns 30

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Lindsey Brickle
SIPA Environmental Coalition (ECO) Communications Director
Columbia University| School of International & Public Affairs
MA, Sustainable International Development 2010
Brandeis University, Heller School of Social Policy and Management

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