ECO News, Events, Jobs and More November 19


November 19, 2013

Happy Tuesday ECO members and fans!

To stay on top of all our news and events, don’t forget to check out and follow ECO on Facebook and Twitter. Click here to join our listserve or forward to a friend.

Hope to see you at an event soon,

The ECO Board

And now for your moment of Zen: Your solar panels are probably facing the wrong way


ECO Board Elections!

ECO’s mission is to elevate the profile of global and local environmental issues at SIPA and Columbia. Being an ECO board member provides opportunities to hone leadership and management skills, network with leaders in the field, and host events that raise the environmental awareness and support the career aspirations of other students. It is also a great way to connect with environmentally-minded students across concentrations and schools at Columbia.

Attached to this newsletter is information on each of the available positions. Please take a look and think about which role you are most interested in. Because we are a young group, and very much member-driven, we encourage you to look beyond the positions we’ve had in the past and to think of a position that will inspire you. If you don’t see a position listed here, feel free to come and talk to us about adding it to our board, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Applications are due by 8 pm Friday, November 22. We will hold online elections November 25-27 and announce the results on December 2. To apply, please send an e-mail to with your name, UNI, position, resume, and short statement of interest (one paragraph). We look forward to seeing your application!


ECO Environment Internship Panel
Come and join us at the internship panel, where the second years will share their experiences of environmentally-linked internships this past summer, and first years can get a feel of the opportunities
When: Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 1-2 pm
Where: IAB 411
Lunch will be served
Beyond the Echo Chamber: Challenges & Innovations in Climate Communications
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 8-9PM
Hamilton Hall, Room 517
Columbia’s Sustainability Media Lab is excited to present a panel discussion on the current state of climate communications. Often, news and information about climate change get stuck in the “echo chamber”, only reaching an audience already interested & informed about the topic. A panel of climate communicators from a diverse range of organizations will share their insights on how to push this critical issue into the mainstream.
Brian Kahn, web editor at Climate Central, will moderate a panel including:
– Nora Vogel, science content manager, Climate Nexus
– Clara Vondrich, account director for climate & energy, Fenton
– James Gerken, green editor, Huffington Post
– Duncan Meisel, digital campaigns manager,
– Jessica Brunacini, project manager, PoLAR Partnership
The event is free and open to the public; RSVP is encouraged! There will be FREE DUNKIN’ DONUTS! For more information, please This event is cosponsored by Consilience and SEEJ.———-

The Green Program
What: The GREEN Program is a short-term experience which combines hands-on education, adventure, service learning, cultural immersion and global networking to create an unparalleled learning experience in Iceland & Costa Rica. This program becomes a launchpad for the future innovative leaders of tomorrow.

When and Where:
Costa Rica 12 days Summer and Winter, 9 days Spring – Five forms of renewable energy, action-packed adventures, cultural immersion, memories for a lifetime all in paradise.

Iceland 10 days Summer, 8 days Winter and Spring – Noted as the greenest country in the world, Iceland is an untapped reserve of energy and adventure. We have partnered with Reykjavík University’s Renewable Energy and Sustainability Master’s Program (REYST) and the School of Science and Engineering to provide quality insight into the industry from the leading innovators.

More Details: Upon completion of the GREEN program you will receive:
-Experiential Education visiting several renewable energy facilities
-Service Learning through community service projects in impoverished areas
-Adventures such as surfing, glacier & jungle hiking or tectonic plate snorkeling
-Cultural Immersion in local indigenous tribes, eco-lodges or animal rehabilitation reserves
-Entrepreneurial inspiration developing your own green venture
-Access to our alumni network with job opportunities and industry connections
-Custom letters of recommendation based on your capstone project
-Transferable academic credit awarded by Reykjavik University

For more information and to apply, Click Here


The 9th Annual Columbia University Energy Symposium

Friday, November 22, 2013

with a Career Fair on Thursday, November 21, 2013, from 1-4:30pm

“The Future Now: Energy Progress in the 21st Century” is the guiding theme of this year’s Energy Symposium, organized by students of CBS and SIPA. Several hundred participants will explore how key drivers are impacting the energy business and policy-making and how innovation can deliver the necessary energy progress to avoid a looming energy crisis. The energy challenges discussed cover how shifting geopolitics of oil and gas are impacting the energy industry, how private capital can be unlocked to scale up renewables, how 1.3bn people can gain access to modern energy services, how the utility of the future will look like, how water stress is impacting the energy business and how we can build more resilient energy architectures.

Among this year’s speakers figure Kenneth Cohen, Vice-President, Government and Public Affairs, ExxonMobil Corporation; Richard Kauffman, Chairman NYSERDA; Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund; Sergej Mahnovski, Director, Sustainability and Long Term Planning, Office of the Mayor of New York City; Kevin Parker, CEO of Sustainable Insight Capital Management, and other energy leaders.

To learn more about the Symposium, please click here:

Registration is open!


Engaging Women in STEM: Perspectives from the United States and Germany

Wednesday, December 11, 2013, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. with

Jan Wörner,Chairman of the Executive Board, German Aerospace Center

Andrea Boese, Chief Diversity Officer and Head of the Department, Diversity and Equal Opportunities, German Aerospace Center

Iraj Kalkhoran, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Academics, Polytechnic Institute of New York University

moderated by

Joann Halpern, Director, German Center for Research and Innovation

German House, 871 United Nations Plaza (First Ave. at 49th Street), New York, NY

RSVP by December 9 by clicking here.

Registration is required to attend. Seating is limited.


Hult Prize

For the first time, the prestigious Hult Prize, a global social enterprise competition, is coming to Columbia University.

In 2012 the Hult Prize competition received over 10,000 applications from student groups in over 150 countries. Roughly only 300 of these applications were selected to move on the regional competitions. HultPrize@ Columbia provides a great opportunity for Columbia students to develop and present their innovative ideas with the winner guaranteed a spot in the regional competition. Winners of the regional competitions go on to pitch their enterprise to President Clinton, with the winning team securing $1 million to begin their enterprise.

Who is eligible: HultPrize@ Columbia University campus competition is open to all graduate and undergraduate students in any program.

What: Students will form teams of four to five students to design a sustainable and scalable social enterprise addressing non-communicable disease in urban slums. Solutions are in the form of social enterprises and need not be health-based. Potential solutions could address access, technology, education, policy, etc. Teams will be given three minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges. One winner will be selected to go on to the regional competition of the winning team’s choice.

Where/When: The competition will be held December 12th from 6:00 – 8:00pm. Exact location on campus TBD.

HultPrize@ Columbia is hosted by SUMA Net Impact, the Net Impact chapter of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program jointly offered by The Earth Institute and the School of Continuing Education.

Click for more information about the HultPrize@ Columbia the HultPrize and this year’s case. Follow us on Twitter @sumanetimpact.


NYC Recycling Reminders!

After years of confusion about plastics recycling in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg announced earlier this year that “… if it’s rigid plastic, any kind of rigid plastic, recycle it.”

The NYC Recycles website provides the following examples of rigid plastics that now can be recycled – with containers rinsed before they placed into a bin:

  • plastic bottles, jugs & jars
  • rigid plastic caps & lids
  • rigid plastic food containers (yogurt, deli, hummus, dairy tubs, cookie tray inserts, “clamshell” containers, other plastic take-out containers)
  • rigid plastic non-food containers
  • rigid plastic packaging (“blister-pak” and “clamshell” consumer packaging, acetate boxes)
  • rigid plastic housewares (flower pots, mixing bowls, plastic appliances, etc.
  • bulk plastic (crates, buckets, pails, furniture, large toys, large appliances, etc.)

Stay tuned for how SIPA is going to better advertise these new rules on our own bins!



UNDP Opportunity

Are you interested in interning with UNDP, with the Environment and Energy Group? We are looking for someone starting either December or January, and staying from 3 to 6 months.

Requisites: currently enrolled in a graduate program; studies in environment and/or sustainable development. Fluency in French and/or Spanish is an asset.

If interested, please send your CV to, indicating if you are interested in a part-time or full time internship.




China Officially Abandons its Pursuit of “Growth at All Costs”


Colorado Governor Proposes Strict Limits on Greenhouse Gas Leaks From Drilling


Off-grid Solar in Africa is Bankable. Crowdfunding Initiative Sets Out to Prove It.


Steve Engler
SIPA Environmental Coalition (ECO) Communications Director
MPA Candidate (2015), School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

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