Education News

Twenty New Earth Institute Climate Change Adaptation Intern and Research Assistant Positions Announced

2008-10-03

This year the Earth Institute is offering full-time Columbia students opportunities to work both on campus and throughout the city on climate change adaptation projects focusing on the New York Tri-State Region through the Earth Institute Climate Change Adaptation Initiative. Please see below for twenty (20) research assistant and intern opportunities. The positions pay $15 per hour and are typically 10 hours per week. Most positions have a flexible end date. Only full-time undergraduate and graduate students from Columbia University are welcome to apply.

1. New York City Panel on Climate Change & New York State Adaptation Strategies
2. Carbon Sequestration Potential with Hudson Valley Farmers
3. Assessing and coping with the risk of hurricane landfall in the NYC area
4. GHG and City Environmental Quality Review
5. Economic and Environmental Effects of Proposed Energy Legislation: conversion of No. 6 and No. 4 fuel oil boilers
6. A comprehensive survey of state and federal legislation pertaining to GHG emissions reduction and climate change adaptation
7. Anthropogenic and Natural Carbon in Our Atmosphere: NYC Air Quality in our Changing Climate
8. NYC Columbia University Green Roofs
9. NYC Water Quality
10. NYC Climate Change Adaptation Task Force
11. Health Best Practices for Climate Adaptation in Vulnerable Communities
12. PlaNYC Reforestation, MillionTreesNYC
13. Salt Marsh submergence and sea level rise in NYC coastal wetlands
14. Wetland and stream resources in NYC: monitoring, protection and mgmt priorities in the face of land use and climate change
15. Urban pond and lake management in NYC: monitoring, protection and mgmt needs in a changing climate
16. Assessing Climate Change on Vulnerable Populations, Infrastructure and a Green-Collar Workforce
17. Urban Design Lab Climate Change at the Cross Roads/Congestive Pricing Impact Study
18. Climate Change Adaptation by City and State Health Departments
19. State Greenhouse Gas Legislation Survey
20. Green Jobs Research Survey

******************************************************************************

1. New York City Panel on Climate Change & New York State Adaptation Strategies

Organization:   Center for Climate Systems Research
Office Location:  Armstrong Hall, 2880 Broadway

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
The team at CCSR is currently involved in several city, state, federal and global projects surrounding climate change adaptation.  We research climate change science and impacts, and work to ensure sound adaptation planning using the latest scientific data.  We work closely with other researchers; policymakers; and public, non-profit and private stakeholders.

Currently our work is centered around several city and state level adaptation projects, including facilitating the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), a team of climate change and adaptation experts advising the City’s Climate Change Adaptation Task Force formed around the first climate change initiative of New York City’s PlaNYC; leading a state-wide integrated assessment on the effectiveness of climate change adaptation strategies coordinated by NYSERDA; conducting a sea-level rise impacts and adaptation assessment study with the Long Island Nature Conservancy; and working on other key studies in the region.  We work with all sectors, but focus primarily on coastal zones, infrastructure, and water resources.

A research assistant at CCSR would be integral in improving the coordinating mechanisms between these various projects to ensure consistency in data use and planning across all sectors and at all levels.  Specific research would be on primary and secondary infrastructure impacts and integration of these impacts across sectors, and creating effective mapping tools for these impacts.  In addition, work might also include: providing support to CCSR’s Project Manager; preparing for key meetings; communicating and interacting with key partners, including the City’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, Environmental Research division at NYSERDA, Coastal Program at the Nature Conservancy, other academic institutions, and the private sector. Coordination with an intern at the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability would be essential to facilitate our close work on the NPCC and NYSERDA projects. 

Skills Required:
- Graduate level
- 2-3 years minimum of work experience
- Demonstrated ability with GIS
- Exhibit excellent written and oral communication skills
- Hold a strong knowledge of climate change science, and the current city and state-wide policy environment
- Work effectively in a fast-paced environment 

Type of Student desired:    Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date:   November 1, 2008
Internship/Research Assistant end date:     December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

2. Carbon Sequestration Potential with Hudson Valley Farmers

Organization:   Center for Climate Systems Research
Office Location:  510 Armstrong, 2880 Broadway

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks: Assessing the carbon sequestration potential of Hudson Valley farmers under best practices, using a variety of modeling tools and scenarios. Will also work closely with individual farmers and organizations about entering the carbon market.

Skills Required: Developing the skills on the job (modeling and GIS)

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate   

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  ASAP
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

3. Assessing and coping with the risk of hurricane landfall in the NYC area

Organization:   Departments of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Office Location:  217 Mudd (Morningside), 204 Oceanography (LDEO)

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
1. Performing analysis of historical and synthetic data sets to evaluate the risk of hurricane strike on the NYC area, under present and future climate.
2. Researching the city’s (and surrounding regions’) emergency planning for hurricane strike, to assess whether opportunities exist for greater use of recent scientific advances.
The relative amount of effort placed into these two areas will depend on the student’s interests and background.

Skills Required:
Knowledge of basic college-level mathematics (at least a year of calculus) and some physical science.  Understanding of basic statistics and some ability to work with data on computers.  Interest in atmospheric science and/or the impacts of climate and weather on society.

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  ASAP
Internship/Research Assistant end date:   December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

4. Economic and Environmental Effects of Proposed Energy Legislation: Conversion of No.6 and No.4 fuel oil boilers

Organization:   Air and Noise Review and Planning, NYC Department of Environmental Protection    
Office Location:  59-17 Junction Blvd, 11th fl., Elmhurst, NY 11373

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
The candidate will assist in determining the economic and environmental effects by continuing research on the projection of fuel costs, and installation of boilers utilizing different fuels.  The candidate will also be quantifying the benefits of converting boilers to use cleaner fuels.  The quantification would include the emission reductions for various pollutants, reduced health costs, etc.  In addition, the candidate will help finalizing an environmental assessment for the legislation. 

Skills Required:
Excellent computer/internet skills, well organized, motivated, work well under pressure, excellent social skills to coordinate with different offices

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date:   October 15, 2008 
Internship/Research Assistant end date:    December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

5. GHG and City Environmental Quality Review

Organization:   Air and Noise Review and Planning, NYC Department of Environmental Protection       
Office Location:  59-17 Junction Blvd, 11th fl., Elmhurst, NY 11373

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
The candidate will assist in conducting research on GHG.  This would include reviewing various GHG policies and emission software.  The candidate will be working as part of a team to examine the various types of projects under CEQR review.  The team will provide options on the approaches to address GHG issues, and recommend a policy to address GHG in CEQR.

Skills Required:
Excellent computer/internet skills, well organized, motivated, work well under pressure, excellent social skills to coordinate with different offices

Type of Student desired:   Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date:   October 15, 2008 
Internship/Research Assistant end date:    December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

6. A Comprehensive Survey of State and Federal Legislation pertaining to GHG Emissions Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation

Organization:   Climate Change Program Implementation, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Environmental Planning & Analysis
Office Location:  59-17 Junction Blvd, Flushing, NY 11373

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
Selected candidate will develop an exhaustive summation document of all current and (to the extent possible) pending legislation both in Congress and in the state legislatures that relates to greenhouse gas emissions reductions, cap-and-trade and climate change adaptation

Skills Required: Deep familiarity with federal legislative process; exemplary writing skills

Type of Student desired: Undergraduate or Graduate

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  As soon as possible
Internship/Research Assistant end date: December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

7. NYC Air Quality

Organization:  Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Office:  401 Comer, Palisades, NY 10964/905E Mudd

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
The Earth Institute at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has a research Program to make Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Observation. This is a research project on atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) using climate monitoring stations. The network provides real time and archived CO2 and meteorological data for researchers, students, the general public, and policy makers. The present climate is used to understand how CO2 levels in New York City and the surrounding suburbs and rural areas are controlled by three major factors: trees, people, and the weather. This project would look at the effects of climate change, human behavior and the natural ecosystem on sources, sinks and fate of air quality and greenhouse gasses in NYC and its surrounding regions. This knowledge will help develop our understanding on changes in the health of our environment in the future. Instrument use, field work and data collection would be a component of this project.

Skills Required: Data Entry & Processing, Report Writing

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  As available
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

8. NYC Columbia University Green Roofs

Organization:  Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Office:  401 Comer, Palisades, NY 10964/905E Mudd

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
Green Roofs are an emerging environmental engineering technology that has had increasing global interest in the urban infrastructure for sustainable development.  It is generally accepted that green roofs help with retaining rainwater as to mitigate CSO events. Research has also been aimed at the green roof and its abilities to reduce building energy consumption and capture anthropogenic carbon dioxide. This project would involve helping maintain the research observing systems on Columbia University's nascent green roof systems. The project would also explore the behavior and benefits of Green Roofs for adaptation of NYC.  Instrument use, field work and data collection would be a component of this project.

Skills Required: Data Entry & Processing, Report Writing

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  As available
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

9. NYC Water Quality

Organization:  Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Office:  401 Comer, Palisades, NY 10964/905E Mudd

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
A real time observation network of water quality in the Hudson River and NYC tributaries was built and is operated by Columbia University. This project would look at the effects of climate change, human behavior and the natural ecosystem on oxygen levels, contaminants and general health and water quality in NYC water bodies. Instrument use, field work and data collection would be a component of this project.

Skills Required: Data Entry & Processing, Report Writing

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  As available
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

10. New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force

Organization:   Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability
Office Location:  253 Broadway

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
In August 2008, Mayor Bloomberg launched the New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which is working to identify critical infrastructure that could be at-risk from the effects of climate change and develop coordinated adaptation strategies to secure these assets. This Task Force is the first effort of its kind to bring together stakeholders from local and state government, private infrastructure companies, members of academia, private sector practitioners, and the non-profit sector to develop coordinated adaptation strategies to secure a municipality’s critical infrastructure from the effects of climate change.

Intern responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:
• Support for the Climate Adaptation team
• Project management and implementation – in coordination with City and non-City agencies and private entities, responsibilities include data acquisition from a variety of sources, management of large, complex datasets
• Analysis and advice – perform and make recommendations on qualitative and quantitative assessments of proposals and projects in order to understand a variety of impacts, including feasibility
• Overall support and management – research, writing, meeting planning and management, resident outreach, data compilation and analysis, and legislative analysis

Skills Required:
Although not required, the successful applicant will likely have one or more of the following academic or professional experiences: economics, environmental policy, environmental science, finance, public policy and/or administration, urban studies or urban planning, political science, transportation policy and/or engineering, New York City’s government and policy context.

Applicants must have a proven record demonstrating management, analytical, and leadership skills. Compelling examples of these skills could include managing complex projects; analytical work balancing bold ideas with attention to detail; successfully gaining the support of independent stakeholders; and examples of leadership in the applicant’s current field of work. Applicants must be able to balance the pursuit of ambitious, large-scale projects with simple, targeted changes that offer the potential for significant impact. Proven written, verbal, and presentation communication skills are critical. Knowledge of PowerPoint, GIS, and InDesign would be helpful, but not required. 

The City of New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Type of Student desired:   Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  ASAP
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

11. Health Best Practices for Climate Adaptation in Vulnerable Communities

Organization:    Global Warming & Health, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Office Location:  40 West 20th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10011

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
The student intern will assist NRDC’s Global Warming and Health Project in analyzing existing climate adaptation plans and actual adaptation activities already underway elsewhere in the United States and internationally, with two goals:
• Develop a list of Health Best Practices for climate change adaptation, tailored to current and projected health impacts of climate change in the New York City Tri-State Region. These would include recommendations of appropriate local public health practices to (1) identify communities and neighborhoods where the greatest levels of climate-health vulnerability exists; (2) design monitoring plans to provide early detection of adverse health impacts of climate changes; (3) propose climate-smart infrastructure changes that can help reduce local air temperatures, improve air and water quality, and provide new opportunities for local employment; and (4) provide up to date information to local communities on current projections of regional climate-health impacts, to aid in prioritizing local adaptation steps.
• Target the Health Best Practices to address impacts faced by local communities-of-color, low-income, and elder groups who are among those most vulnerable to climate change.
Skills Required: Strong research and written communication skills; familiarity with the range of health impacts associated with global warming, and with the climate adaptation issues and planning. Experience working with community organizations on health disparity and/or environmental justice issues would be a plus.

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate   -Prefer grad student but undergrad with experience in climate-health impacts and adaptation issues would be considered.

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  November 1, 2008
Internship/Research Assistant end date: December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

12. PlaNYC Reforestation, MillionTreesNYC

Organization:   Natural Resources Group, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation
Office Location:  Arsenal North, 1234 5th Ave (at 104th Street), NY, NY, 10029

PlaNYC Reforestation is one of 127 initiatives launched by Mayor Bloomberg on Earth Day 2007 to make New York City greener and greater by 2030.  The reforestation initiative builds on the forest restoration work that NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation Natural Resources Group (NRG) has been conducting since 1984.  PlaNYC Reforestation has increased the scale and scope of forest restoration in New York City, committing the City to forest 2,000 acres of public land by 2017.  Expanding forested areas within New York City will help to improve environmental quality within the city today, and help us adapt to climate change in the future. Some of the expected benefits of reforestation include reduction of the urban heat island effect, improvement of air quality, reduction of stormwater surges, and improvement of species diversity and habitat quality within the City.   

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
The Earth Institute intern would assist with setting up a long term study on urban forest ecosystem restoration by setting up permanent geocoded research plots in some of the newly planted forest restoration sites across the city.  The intern would also collect baseline data on species diversity and environmental quality in and around the forest restoration areas.  If the intern would be able to commit to a longer period of study, he or she could participate in collecting several seasons of data to measure changes in ecosystem quality over time.  The responsibilities of the intern would also include:
• Conduct a literature review of urban forest restoration projects and corresponding research in cities around the world;
• Assist with reviewing GIS data collected on 2,000 acres with potential for reforestation;
• Assist with evaluating data collected by NRG on several reforestation projects planted in the 1990s;
• Contribute to the MillionTreesNYC research and evaluation subcommittee; and
• Assist NRG in developing a research strategy to accompany the PlaNYC Reforestation initiative.

Skills Required:
• Undergraduate studies in ecology, forestry, botany, conservation biology, or a related subject
• Knowledge and experience working with ESRI ArcInfo GIS
• Coursework or work experience in field data collection, study design, or monitoring
• Strong interest in urban ecology and forest restoration
• Excellent writing skills
• Ability to work independently
 
Type of Student desired:   Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  October 15, 2008
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

13. Salt marsh submergence and sea level rise in New York City coastal wetlands

Organization:   Natural Resources Group, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation
Office Location:  Arsenal North, 1234 5th Ave (at 104th Street), NY, NY, 10029
  
Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
New York City is among the major world urban centers situated along the coast.  The City contains extensive salt marshes in its outer boroughs, now restricted.  Documented large scale decreases in tidal marsh extent in Jamaica Bay, New York City was a surprise almost a decade ago through work conducted at the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University NASA/GISS. At the time, analysis of historic aerial photographs indicated that significant losses of the Bay’s island salt marshes had occurred within recent decades and that they were rapidly becoming submerged. The anticipated intern/research assistant would conduct further aerial photo analysis at other of the City’s marshes that are showing similar losses. 

Noted stressors include channelization, armoring of the shoreline, landfill effluent, excess nitrogen from sewage treatment plants, herbivory, and historic sea-level rise (SLR, 2.77 mm per year, The Battery, NYC).  Future sea level rise impacts have been projected using global climate models (GCMs).  The GISS E model and three IPCC SRES scenarios suggest a local SLR of another 35 to 48 cm by the 2080s. 

Objectives are to: assess future impacts based on best available data; expand monitoring using a variety of tools including historical aerial photo interpretation, installation and analysis of Surface Elevation Tables (SETs) to track marsh accretion rates in collaboration with the USGS, NYSDEC and others, use of GCMs; and, assess Parks' current management, protection and restoration design plans for salt marsh ecosystems.

Tasks of student
• Conduct aerial photo analysis
• Accompany DPR (Parks) staff for quarterly data collection of SETs at two city parks
• Map changes using GIS
• Report writing
• Assess current policy and design plans with DPR team

Skills Required:
• undergraduate studies in wetlands, vegetation, soils or hydrology
• familiarity with ESRI ArcInfo GIS (preferred)
• coursework or work experience in field data collection, study design, or monitoring
• strong interest in coastal urban wetlands
• strong analytic and organizational skills
• ability to work independently
• excellent writing skills
 
Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  October 15, 2008
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

14. Wetland and Stream Resources in NYC: monitoring, protection and management priorities in the face of land use and climate change.

Organization:   Natural Resources Group, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation
Office Location:  Arsenal North, 1234 5th Ave (at 104th Street), NY, NY, 10029

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
The Natural Resources Group’s (NRG) mission is to conserve New York City's natural resources for the benefit of ecosystem and public health through acquisition, management, restoration, and advocacy using scientifically supported and sustainable research.  NRG is currently developing a riparian and freshwater wetlands monitoring and assessment program with funding from the U.S. EPA. The goals of this project include: characterizing the functions, conditions of and threats to freshwater wetland resources, prioritizing wetlands for protection, identifying management and protection strategies that consider adjacent land use, and determining the need and the methods for establishing baseline monitoring in these wetlands.

The Earth Institute intern would assist with this project by evaluating the methodology, data collection, and GIS layers developed to date and by identifying the need and opportunities to adapt the project to address future land development and climate changes stresses on wetlands.  The responsibilities of the intern would include helping to:
• evaluate the methodology and the data collected from a rapid assessment at 37 wetlands on Staten Island in 2007
• collect information and coordinate reviews from wetland experts at non-profit organizations, other government agencies, and academic institutions
• revise the rapid assessment protocol and test these proposed modifications in the field
• quality control the existing wetland GIS data layers for the projects and develop the hydrologic data layers for wetland and streams
• generate GIS data layers and maps reflecting rapid assessment outcomes
• develop the further GIS analysis opportunities for identifying land development threats and potential impacts associated with climate change

Skills Required:
• undergraduate studies in wetland or landscape ecology, forestry, botany, conservation biology, and hydrology, geology soils or related subjects
• strong knowledge of and experience working with ESRI ArcInfo GIS
• coursework or work experience in field data collection, study design, or monitoring
• strong interest in urban wetland and stream conservation
• strong analytic and organizational skills
• ability to work independently
• excellent writing skills
 
Type of Student desired:   Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  October 15, 2008
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

15. Urban pond and lake management in NYC: monitoring, protection and management needs in a changing climate.

Organization:   Natural Resources Group, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation
Office Location:  Arsenal North, 1234 5th Ave (at 104th Street), NY, NY, 10029

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
The Natural Resources Group’s (NRG) mission is to conserve New York City's natural resources for the benefit of ecosystem and public health through acquisition, management, restoration, and advocacy using scientifically supported and sustainable research.  NRG works with NYC Parks managers from all five boroughs to recommend appropriate management and protection of ponds and lakes both in wildland settings and in highly developed parks.  Lake management is extremely challenging in highly urban environments due to the high pollution loads from impervious watersheds and disturbed landscapes, the stresses of exotic species, and the lack of natural vegetation buffers. Increased storm intensity and frequency and rising temperatures will put even more stress on these already degraded systems. Improved pond and lake management under climate change is critical both to maintain and protect these aquatic resources for their ecological function and for the important recreational and aesthetic values they offer the community.

The Earth Institute intern would assist with the development of a pond and lake management strategy for parks by evaluating the wetlands rapid assessment field methodology and data collection results to date and expanding the GIS data layers and analysis for the project.  The responsibilities of the intern would include helping to:
• Assemble information currently available on pond and lake management at the NYC DEP and NYC Parks, including the types of data collected, monitoring conducted, recreational uses, lake operations and management, and landscape settings
• Develop a database of the number and categories of ponds and lakes for which management based on the information collected
• Identify potential threats to pond and lakes and surrounding land and property owners posed by changes in the intensity or frequency of storm events and increased temperature.
• Write a final report that identifies opportunities and needs for management responses to climate change and provides recommendations for next steps.
• Use GIS to develop map of pond and lake resources.

Skills Required:
• undergraduate studies in wetland or landscape ecology, limnology, environmental engineering, aquatic chemistry, and hydrology, geology or related subjects
• familiarity with ESRI ArcInfo GIS
• coursework or work experience in field data collection, study design, or monitoring
• interest in aquatic resource management
• strong analytic skills
• ability to work independently
• excellent writing skills
 
Type of Student desired:   Senior undergraduate or Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  October 15, 2008
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

16. Assessing Climate Change on Vulnerable Populations, Infrastructure and a Green-Collar Workforce

Organization:   Sustainable South Bronx
Office Location:  890 Garrison Ave., 4th Ave, Bronx, NY 10474

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
Interns will assist in identifying and mapping existing health indicators in the South Bronx and how these will become impacted by climate change.  Interns will identify and assess (and map) the impacts of climate change to the economic development projects in the South Bronx, including, but not limited to, Yankee Stadium, Gateway Center, Food Distribution Center, Sewage Treatment Facility, and South Bronx Greenway.  This assessment will be contextualized and mapped out to illustrate potential impact to these critical components of NYC infrastructure.  Lastly interns will assess the climate change impact to existing jobs in the horticultural fields and the potential job opportunity/impacts that may result from climate change.

Skills Required:
Strong analytical skills.  GIS experience.  Urban-planning background preferred.  Understanding of sustainability and environmental justice.

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate

Internship/Research Assistant start date:   October 27, 2008
Internship/Research Assistant end date:   December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

17. Urban Design Lab Climate Change at the Cross Roads/Congestive Pricing Impact Study

Organization:   Urban Design Lab
Office Location:  2910 Broadway, Hogan Hall
 
Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks: The Urban Design Lab is the organization within the Earth Institute that connects the University’s experts in a number of fields with dedicated students and communities in New York City and elsewhere; to conduct projects for community-based and other stakeholder organizations attempting to shape development in their home neighborhoods. The intern will work on several projects in the preliminary stages of development. The intern will conduct research and coordinate with the Lab’s partners to move these projects forward. One project entails study of urban redevelopment in Upper Manhattan; another climate and health-related issues in East Harlem. The project, Urban Securities, is investigating ways in which urban areas in general must respond to challenges of growth and globalization. Through a series of multidisciplinary forums and publications Urban Securities will outline practical solutions at the policy and community levels. The first publication relates to the effects of climate change on cities. Apart from web- and library-based research skills, the applicant should be able to manage English-language editing and copy-editing tasks related to project work.

Skills Required: The intern should possess excellent analytical and writing skills and be PC-proficient

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date:  ASAP
Internship/Research Assistant end date:  December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

18. Climate Change Adaptation by City and State Health Departments

Organization:   WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Office Location:  271 W. 125th Street, Suite 308, New York, NY 10027

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
A comprehensive survey of what actions city and state health departments are taking on climate change adaptation and what policies have been implemented by the departments. The survey will include documentation of these actions and policies as well as analysis of what policies/actions were effective and why they were effective. The final portion of the project will create a set of recommendations for city health departments on effective policies/actions for climate change adaptation, based on the results of the national survey.

Skills Required:
Some understanding of regulatory structures and agencies
Solid research skills
Clear, effective writer
Knowledge of climate change
Interest in public health would be helpful

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date: flexible
Internship/Research Assistant end date: December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

19. State Greenhouse Gas Legislation Survey

Organization:   WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Office Location:  271 W. 125th Street, Suite 308, New York, NY 10027

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
A comprehensive survey of state legislation that has been suggested on greenhouse gas mitigation and uses for revenue generated by greenhouse gas auctions.  Survey should also include city legislation and policies developed to address greenhouse gases. Once survey is completed, analysis will be done to examine what are the most effective policies and the most environmentally just. From these, the New York State Environmental Justice Braintrust will create policy recommendations for the New York State Legislature.

Skills Required:
Good understanding of government structure and interaction between state/city governments and regulatory agencies
Solid research skills
Clear, effective writer
Knowledge of climate change and climate science
Interest in public health would be helpful
Good public speaking skills or interest in developing those skills

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date: flexible
Internship/Research Assistant end date: December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.

 

20. Green Jobs Research Survey

Organization:   WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Office Location:  271 W. 125th Street, Suite 308, New York, NY 10027

Brief description of anticipated intern/research assistant tasks:
A comprehensive survey of efforts that are being advanced nationwide around green jobs. Cataloguing what organizations are engaged in the green jobs dialogue through creating programs or advocating for policy; what legislation is being crafted at the state and national level of green jobs. Survey definitions for green jobs through analyzing what workforces are engaged in the dialogue on green jobs and what jobs have been included in green job advocacy efforts and draft legislation. Identify and analyze gaps in green job training and infrastructure mapping.

Skills Required:
Good understanding of government structure and interaction between state/city governments and regulatory agencies
Knowledge of economics and workforce development
Solid research skills
Clear, effective writer
Knowledge of climate change and climate science
Interest in public health would be helpful
Good public speaking skills or interest in developing those skills

Type of Student desired:   Undergraduate or Graduate     

Internship/Research Assistant start date: flexible
Internship/Research Assistant end date: December 19, 2008

To apply, students must provide a cover letter stating their interests and abilities, a writing sample and a resume. Only full-time students of Columbia University are eligible for this program. 

Please submit application materials to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu by noon on Wednesday, October 15th.