ECO News, Events, Jobs and More December 2


December 2, 2013

Happy Monday 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: Promiscuous corn can be made to behave


ECO Board Elections — Vote by 9 pm tonight!

Vote for your next ECO board at!

Each member can vote once. For Co-President Candidates, please rank the candidates, and the two highest-ranking candidates will serve as Co-Presidents. In addition to voting, there is space to give suggestions for the incoming board.


How to succeed as an environmental advocate
Discussion with Chris Hunt, Senior Policy Advisor at GRACE Communications Foundation
Co-sponsored by SIPA Environmental Coalition and the Sustainability Committee
Tuesday, December 3, 1-2 pm
Room 324 IAB
More information: The GRACE Communications Foundation builds partnerships and develops innovative media strategies that increase public awareness of the relationships among food, water and energy systems. The Foundation aims for both individual and policy-level changes to build a greener, cleaner and healthier society. Chris Hunt, Senior Policy Advisor, will share his experience as an environmental advocate and give advice for creating change in organizations.


People Building Better Cities New York

Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Location: AIA Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012
Speakers: Lance J. Brown, American Institute of Architects New York 2014 President; Michael Sorkin, Director, Graduate Urban Design Program, City College of New York; Anna Rubbo, PBBC Project Director; Adjunct Senior Scholar, Center for Sustainable Urban Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University


Soaring Flood Insurance Rates: Should Congress Step In?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Location: Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall (435 W. 116th Street), Room 106

Speakers: Howard Kunreuther, James G. Dinan Professor and Co-Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Sergej Mahnovski, Director, New York City Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability; Joshua Saks, Legislative Director, National Advocacy Center, National Wildlife Federation;Steve Ellis, Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense Moderator: Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and Director, Center for Climate Change Law


Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development Brown Bag: Columbia University’s Sustainability Initiatives

Friday, December 6, 2013, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Location: Alumni Center – King’s Room
Speakers: Allie Madison Schwartz, Assistant Manager of Data and Communications and Jessica Prata, Assistant Vice President, Columbia Environmental Stewardship


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


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.




Short on Space, Taiwan Embraces a Boom in Recycling


Why Climate Skeptics and Evolution Deniers Joined Forces


Flying Jellyfish Robot Uses Jellyfish Movements to Fly Through the Air


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

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