ECO Newsletter – Week of September 22nd


September 22nd, 2014

Happy Monday ECO members and Happy Climate Week!

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.

Stay tuned for information on our first general meeting of the semester – scheduled for September 24th!


Climate photos, climate talkScientist Peter deMenocal from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory will speak about “What is Climate Science?” on Sept. 22, 3-4:30 p.m., at the International Center for Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas (at 43rd Street). Admission is free. The talk comes in conjunction with an exhibit of photographs by Sebastião Salgado, who spent eight years traveling the globe to document the last pristine areas of the planet.


Are humans running out of luck? Professor Ruth DeFries (right) will talk about her new book, “The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis,” at the Italian Academy, Columbia University, on Sept. 23 from, 6-7 p.m., with Earth InstituteExecutive Director Steven Cohen. A reception will follow. Check this link to RSVP for this event.


Using insurance against weather risks to help farmers and fight poverty: On Sept. 24, from 9am to 12:30pm, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society’s Daniel Osgood will join a panel to explore building innovative and sustainable index-insurance markets for weather-related risks in developing countries. The World Bank’s Global Index Insurance Facility and the IRI are sponsoring the event, which will include speakers from Swiss Re, AXA Insurance, Oxfam, the World Food Programme and other organizations. The event is open and free, but you must register.


A Colloquium on Forests and Climate will be held Sept. 24 at Columbia. Cheryl Palm of the Agriculture and Food Security Center will join Lisa Goddard, director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, White House science adviser John Holdren and others, who will offer their ideas on “how to change the future by challenging the present.” The afternoon event is open and free, but you must register.


An E&E Global Collaboratory – China Trek Info Session will be held Thursday 25 Sept at 1-2pm in Room IAB 411.
The E&E Global Collaboratory is a curricular enhancement to further develop world-class students’ readiness for your post-Masters Degree professional development in the global energy and environment (E&E) field.  E&E is sponsoring a group of students to lead a research trip to China to investigate an E&E-related question that interests the group.

The Rockefeller Center presents: Innovative Strategies for Living with Climate Change

A discussion of creative, context-sensitive solutions for coping with changing weather across Africa and Asia on Thursday, September 25 at 10:00am – 12pm at The Rockefeller Foundation, 420 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

Space is limited, an RSVP to Aoife Allen is required.


This is the sixth year of Climate Week NYC, which is convened by The Climate Group and CDP. For a full list of events, visit the Climate Week NYC site. And you can connect on social media through the #CWNYC hashtag.


SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant Program
The grant program, which is part of the Columbia Venture Competition, invites students to design cutting-edge projects and, if appropriate, prototypes that use ICT and/or data analytics to solve urban problems. SIPA provides workshops, mentors, and other support for teams to refine and test their ideas. In addition, SIPA students are invited to participate in Columbia Venture Competition events. A total of $50,000 in prizes will be awarded to the winning team or teams in this round. Current Columbia students are encouraged to form cross-disciplinary teams that unite students in public policy and other fields at the University such as computer science, engineering, and others. Teams must include at least one SIPA student in a substantive role. The program seeks to support endeavors with high potential to be implemented, to produce a meaningful impact in a relatively short timeframe, and to be sustainable. For complete details on the Challenge Grant, please visit


NYSERDA – Part-Time Graduate Student Internship
Part-time paid internship position in the NYSERDA New York City office for the Fall Semester (extension to Spring Semester is possible). Assist in the development of Community Solar NY, a new component of the NY-Sun Initiative ( Responsibilities include research and analysis of relevant regulations, policies, and practices; assisting program staff with project coordination; and communication with potential program participants. Applicants must be currently enrolled graduate students.
Please apply by visiting and clicking the link under Paid Internships at the bottom on the page. Please note your interest in the Community Solar NY internship in the New York City office in the Notes section.


The Earth Institute Travel Grant Program – Fall 2014The Earth Institute Travel Grant Program makes it possible for Columbia University students to work on a variety of sustainable development and environmental projects nationally and internationally.  Travel grant funding is meant to support students’ continued learning, by helping to facilitate research in the areas of sustainable development and the environment.  Students may apply for up to $750 and groups may apply for up to $2,000 in funding.  For more information about the program and the application process, please click here.  The deadline to apply is October 18.


Earth Institute Student Support GrantIn an effort to better support students in their efforts to raise awareness about sustainability on campus, theEarth Institute is making available funding for the new Student Initiatives Support Program. We are now offering grants of up to $250 each semester to support students who wish to host conferences, panels and other events at Columbia University that relate to the work of the Earth Institute.  For more information about the program and the application, please click here.  The deadline to apply is October 18.


  •  Research Officer – Green Growth, Overseas Development Institute
  •  Sustainability Engagement Associate, Carbon Disclosure Project



Will governments keep their promises on the human right to water?

new york climate

Taking the call for climate action to the streets: NYC and beyond

power plants

America’s dirtiest power plants report released


Lia Cairone
SIPA Environmental Coalition (ECO) Communications Director
MIA Candidate (2016), School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

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