ECO Newsletter: Week of December 4, 2017

Hi all,

Thanks to everybody who came out on Wednesday to sign the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability pledge! We (the entire planet) appreciate your support to live more sustainably and reduce waste by using a water bottle, reusable mug, used 7-11 Big Gulp vat, etc. instead of buying disposable cups!

And…let the count down begin!! There are 6 days of classes left in the semester. Wowee oh wOw wOw did time fly. But before we bring this semester to a close, remember to take a break from studying (or procrastinating) and attend one of the below events!


Puerto Rico Supply Drive

Date/time: Monday, November 20, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm & Nov. 27 – Dec. 8
Location: IAB 4th floor

We’ll be collecting: cleaning products (antibacterial products); baking soda; dish, hand, and body soap; detergent; trash bags; Ziploc bags; bag clips; personal hygiene products (pads/tampons, deodorant, tooth brushes, tooth paste, mouthwash, floss); bedsheets (any size); mosquito nets; batteries; battery-powered radios/fans; solar power charger; non-perishable foods (powdered milk, cereal, olive/corn oil, rice canned foods, coffee, sugar, spices, pasta).


Climate Change Impacts: Relocation to Safer Ground

Date/time:  Tuesday, December 5, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive, 3rd floor

Around the world, sea-level rise could lead to widespread migration, as people along vulnerable coastlines escape rising water levels. But coastal flooding isn’t the only extreme event that can impact migration patterns. As evidenced just this year in the United States by Hurricanes Maria and Harvey, and the widespread and devastating wildfires in Northern California, there are many types of extreme weather events that require relocation to safer ground.

This panel will discuss the issues of retreat and relocation as they relate to extreme weather events and climate change. The idea of retreating, whether temporary or permanent, is unpopular, controversial and brings a host of challenges. Yet in the United States, extreme weather has displaced people from their homes, causing disruption to communities and lives. This panel will provide an interdisciplinary exploration of the issues and challenges associated with climate-induced migration. What does climate science tell us about who may need to migrate? What are the legal issues surrounding managed retreat? Is relocation a feasible climate adaptation strategy? How can we ensure that people relocate to safe and secure places? Is ‘orderly’ retreat at a large scale even possible? Panelists will explore these questions and more.

Opening remarks: Lisa Goddard, Director, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, The Earth Institute


  • Lisa Dale, Lecturer, Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development
  • Michael Gerrard, Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
  • Marc Levy, Deputy Director, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, The Earth Institute

Moderator: Radley Horton, Lamont Associate Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, The Earth Institute

This event is free and open to the public; RSVP required. Please register here.

The panel will be followed by a reception with wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres.

This panel is hosted by the Earth Institute’s Climate Adaptation Initiative.

Sustainability Practice Network, Bard MBA in Sustainability

Date/Time:  December 6, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Location: LMHQ: 150 Broadway, (Liberty St & Maiden Lane) Tesla Room, 20th floor New York, NY 10038

Moderator: Dr. Eban Goodstein, Director, Graduate Programs in Sustainability, Bard College

Panelists: Andy Fyfe, Community Development Associate, B Lab; Sean Cullen, Community and Sustainability Partner, Uncommon Goods; Kristin Hanczor, Community Outreach and Sustainability Strategist, Lightfoot Market

Topic:  ‘Conscious Consumerism: Current Landscape for Business and Individuals’

We can all do our part in sharing existing resources and limiting new purchases, but the reality is that we are all still consumers. When we need to buy something, we can make an effort to be conscious consumers, taking into account the social and environmental impacts of our purchases.

Part of being a conscious consumer is educating ourselves about the hidden costs behind the things we buy. It also means understanding how our  purchases can help shape more responsible business practices and a more sustainable economy. Every purchase is an opportunity to vote with your dollar for the world you want to see. If we don’t like what a company is doing, we should stop buying their products and ultimately cause them to change.

Join Bard and SPN as our panel of experts explore sustainable development metrics, from ethical production, zero waste practices, responsible sourcing, clean energy use and commitments to social goals, as well as the innovative business models and technologies allowing companies and consumers to improve their social and environmental impacts.

About the Sponsors:

The Sustainability Practice Network (SPN) is a New York based inter-disciplinary community of professionals who seek to learn and share knowledge to advance sustainable development across sectors and disciplines. We mobilize our members to practice sustainability in their lives and work. Our mission is to raise awareness of the importance of individual and corporate sustainability and thereby create a more stable and equitable world.

In 2012, Bard College launched the MBA in Sustainability program in New York City, one of a select few graduate business education programs globally that fully integrates sustainability into a core business curriculum. Bard’s MBA in Sustainability meets one weekend per month in New York City and online two evenings per week. Learn more at

Please register for the event here.

Clean + Go Green – University-Wide Recycling, Shredding, and Donation Event

Date/time:  Dec. 7 & 8, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Low Plaza, 535 West 116th St.

There’s no better time than the present to…clean! Cleaning your office or living space creates more space and can also help the environment. Columbia University Facilities and Operations and our partners across campus want to help. As part of our award-winning “Clean+Go Green” program, we will make large bins available across campus, at no cost to you, for the recycling, reuse or proper disposal of large unwanted items. Best of all, Facilities and Operations will separate and recycle your items. That way, when you clean, you “go green.”

Details and Locations: Drop-off hours at all locations are between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. only. During this time, Facilities and Operations staff will be on hand to help with unloading and recycling.

See link for additional details about items, locations, and more:

Columbia University Energy Symposium

Date/time: Friday, February 2
Location: Columbia University Faculty House

Columbia University’s 13th Energy Symposium on February 1-2, 2018 will convene thought-leaders and practitioners from across the energy sector, representing industry, government, civil society, and the broader Columbia and New York community to explore key challenges and drivers impacting the energy system.

The CU Energy Symposium is proud to announce an exciting line-up of keynote and panelist speakers at the main conference on February 2, 2018. Get your tickets today to secure your spot at the event and meet our speakers:

  • Jingdong Hua, Vice President & Treasurer, International Finance Corporation
  • Richard Kauffmman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, New York State
  • Bob Perciasepe, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES); Former Deputy Administrator, EPA
  • Diane Regas, Executive Director, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Miranda Ballentine, Managing Director, Business Renewables Center, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Harry Singh, Vice President, US Power Trading Group, Goldman Sachs & Co.
  • Jacob Susman, VP – Head of Origination, EDF Renewable Energy
  • Jeff Schub, Executive Director, Coalition for Green Capital
  • John MacWilliams, Former Associate Deputy Secretary of DOE
  • Zach Khan, Director, Government Affairs for North America, BYD
  • Lars Lysdahl, Senior Project Manager at Rystad Energy
  • and many more.

Other student participation opportunities include:

  • Case Competition (Thursday, February 1, 2018): Teams of top energy students from across the country will work to solve an integrated energy challenge. Visit our website for registration information.
  • Career Fair (Thursday, February 1, 2018): Interact with leading energy-sector companies and discuss future career options. Students must register for the Symposium to obtain entrance to the Career Fair and to include your resume in the resume book.

All Ivy Career Fair 2018

Date/time: February 9, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Location: Alfred Lerner Hall, 2920 Broadway, New York, NY

This year will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the All Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair. This is the premier event for recruiters and top talent to connect and discuss career opportunities associated with sustainability. Each year, the eight Ivy League schools come together to produce a unique and inspiring career fair that provides companies unparalleled access to undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D level students who have the skills and knowledge to address the complex sustainability challenges of our global economy.

More information can be found here.


The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Cities Engagement Fellowship (#73215)

Purpose and background
CDP North America is seeking a group of engaging individuals for a fast-paced fellowship program in its New York City office on its Cities Program.

These fellows will be integral in forming and implementing the engagement strategy for cities to disclose their environmental data. They will be responsible for building relationships with city staff, and should be comfortable discussing a variety of sustainability topics including greenhouse gas accounting, emissions targets, and the value of using data to improve environmental performance and build resilience.

About CDP
CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 with offices in 12 countries and partners in more than 30 countries. CDP runs the global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts. Our network of investors and purchasers, representing over $100 trillion, along with policy makers around the globe, use our data and insights to make better-informed decisions. We work with over 500 cities measuring and disclosing environmental data each year to manage emissions, build resilience, protect themselves from climate impacts and create better places for people to live and work. We believe that cities, states, companies, investors, in addition to governments, can play a key role in facilitating this transition to a low-carbon economy.

Who you are
A highly-driven, meticulous, passionate individual with a strong capacity for relationship building. You are interested in receiving exposure to the fields of sustainability, environmental sciences, and/or urban planning. You can effectively frame and communicate complex ideas, and perform well under pressure. You bring a sense of purpose and excitement to the work that you do, and are eager to parlay your passion into actionable results.

Key responsibilities

  • Research and identify target cities to report to CDP Cities annual disclosure
  • Securing participation in CDP Cities annual disclosure through phone calls and email support to 500+ city governments in U.S. and Canada
  • Ensuring new participants complete and submit the questionnaire by the deadline
  • Supporting all engagement-related initiatives
  • Possibility of delivering web-based trainings, content related to GHG reduction activities, risks/hazards and strategies to improve climate action and resiliency
  • Preparation of outreach materials
  • Documenting all activity, including tracking engagement outreach
  • Maintaining and updating an internal database for all U.S. and Canada cities contacts

Compensation and expectations

  • The fellowship is paid/$13.00 an hour.
  • Duration is mid-January through mid-June.
  • Hourly commitment is 28 hours per week. Hours can be flexible to accommodate the fellow’s schedule.

Key requirements:

  • Interest in cities and sustainability—particularly in greenhouse gas accounting and climate risk and adaptation strategies
  • Outgoing and personable attitude—superior interpersonal skills, including the ability to engage and follow up via phone and email.
  • Excellent English verbal and written competencies; and
  • Native or professional working proficiency in Spanish and/or French highly desirable
  • The ability to come up to speed quickly and independently with technical information (such as emissions targets or Covenant of Mayors badge requirements)
  • Strong writing skills: must be able to accurately communicate technical information in a concise, yet comprehensive manner
  • The drive to take ownership and responsibility for particular areas of work
  • The ability to spot trends and opportunities as well as focus on details
  • The desire and ability to improve and streamline processes to better and more efficiently achieve program goals, rather than follow the status quo
  • The ability to meet deadlines under pressure

Application Details: 

  • Interested candidates should email, attaching a resume and a cover letter expressing your interest and suitability. Please use the following subject line: 2018 Cities Engagement Fellow Application – [First Name Last Name]. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.
  • Applications will be considered on a rolling basis through December 15, 2017 or longer if the position is not yet filled. Early applications encouraged.
  • Phone interviews and in-person interviews will start the week of December 18th and continue until early January 2018.

The Union Square Partnership, Policy & Planning Intern

The Union Square Partnership (USP) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization comprised of a local development corporation and Manhattan’s first business improvement district. The organization was founded over 40 years ago to promote the economic, residential, and cultural vitality of the Union Square-14th Street neighborhood. USP provides sanitation, public safety, economic development and marketing services, hosts a wide-range of community events, and invests in the beautification and maintenance of Union Square Park. The organization is overseen by our Board of Directors comprised of prominent Union Square leaders from its corporate sector, academic institutions and cultural community.

Position Summary

The Policy & Planning Intern will have a unique opportunity to gain on-the-ground experience in the design and implementation of neighborhood-scale economic development, public realm, mobility, and sustainability policies and programs. One core responsibility for this position will be to support USP in engaging the greater Union Square community around key neighborhood projects and government initiatives, such as the “L” line closure and the NYCEDC Union Square Tech Hub. The Policy Intern will also be deeply involved in USP’s efforts to identify and prioritize capital projects, investments, and partnerships that catalyze longer-term economic growth, sustainability, and resiliency in the Union Square district. The Policy Intern will report to the Director of Economic Development and will have the opportunity to work closely with the Executive Director, Deputy Director, and other USP staff members as appropriate.

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Undertake primary and secondary research to assess potential capital projects for the Union Square district, such as streetscape enhancements, pedestrian amenities, sanitation equipment, green infrastructure, and more. Responsibilities may include:
    • Conducting stakeholder interviews to inform USP’s capital plan;
    • Analyzing budget, funding, and organizational implications for proposed projects;
    • Assessing potential community, environmental, economic, safety, and quality of-life benefits; and/or
    • Developing internal and external presentation materials.
  • Support USP’s outreach to key stakeholders (e.g., anchor institutions, small businesses, property owners) around significant neighborhood projects and government initiatives taking place in the Union Square district. Activities could include:
    • Aggregating and analyzing data on the community impacts of specific projects;
    • Developing tailored briefing materials for different community stakeholders;
    • Organizing stakeholder roundtables on specific implementation considerations; and/or
    • Participating in community workshops.
  • Track and analyze quality-of-life issues and neighborhood trends within the district, including new business openings, commercial vacancies, real estate transactions, and government-sponsored programs.
  • Conduct economic development research and draft policy memos for various projects as assigned.
  • Provide administrative support for the USP team, including managing public and internal meeting minutes, generating content for USP’s website, responding to inbound inquires, and representing USP at occasional community and City agency meetings.


  • Current candidate in a Public Policy, Urban Planning, Architecture, Sustainability and/or other relevant graduate program.
  • At least 2-3 years of work experience focusing on economic development, urban planning, transit systems, and/or sustainability issues in the public, non-profit, or private sector environments.
  • An action-oriented, entrepreneurial person who is a self-starter and can work independently, as well as in teams.
  • Ability to research, synthesize and integrate disparate pieces of data, analysis, and information.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a diverse array of projects in a fast-paced environment and dynamically set work priorities among competing needs.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and an ability to break-down and convey complex information.
  • High level of professionalism and comfort interacting with Union Square Partnership Board members, executives within city government and local institutions, and business owners.
  • Exceptional commitment to accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite, especially Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Duration
  • January – June 2018 with the possibility of an extension through the summer.
  • Maximum of 24 hours over 3-5 business days per week.

Compensation: This is a paid internship position.

To Apply

USP is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. Please submit resume and cover letter via email to with the subject line “Policy & Planning Intern Application.” Only those whose applications are being considered will be contacted. No phone calls please.


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