Archive for sustainable development

Columbia University unveils new campus sustainability plan

Just in time for Earth Day last week, Columbia University pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent in the next three years through a mix of energy conservation and efficiency measures under its first campus sustainability plan.

The three-year plan, released a day before Earth Day, represents a practical fulfillment of the sustainability principles that university President Lee C. Bollinger announced at the beginning of the academic year. It sets clear targets for shrinking Columbia’s carbon footprint and reducing waste by improving efficiencies in campus operations, boosting composting, recycling and public transit-use, and investing in energy-saving technology.

“At Columbia, we have long understood the profound threat climate change poses to the future of our planet and the role our community should play in confronting it,” Bollinger said. “Through our actions, policies, and behavior, we provide a model for the kind of global response we seek. Most significant in this effort is the basic research conducted by Columbia’s faculty and actively engaged student body working in schools and departments across the University.”

More than a year in the making, the plan was produced with extensive input from students, administrators and faculty scientists—many of them world leaders in the sustainability field. The plan’s overarching goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by zeroing in on energy use and conservation, transportation and waste management.

“Columbia has led pioneering research on the environment, and how our actions will affect future generations,” said Executive Vice President for University Facilities and Operations David Greenberg. “With this plan, Columbia is taking concrete steps to limit our own contribution to climate change. Setting measurable goals and actionable strategies will allow us to track our progress.”

Read more about Columbia’s sustainability goals and stakeholder involvement here.

Economic and Political Development (EPD) concentration 101

The Economic and Political Development (EPD) concentration attracts diverse students from around the world who are committed to fighting inequality between and within countries, eradicating poverty and its causes, and promoting inclusive growth and human development by expanding people’s civil and political as well as economic and social rights and freedoms. To take on these global challenges, EPD curriculum equips students with a variety of skills in policy analysis, program planning, monitoring and evaluation, and advocacy. Through an interdisciplinary package of courses, workshop projects, and practical internships, students acquire both a broader understanding of the processes of economic, political and social change in the developing world as well as a more focused competence in specific fields such as microfinance, small business and social enterprise development, corporate social responsibility, gender and development, education policy, public health, sustainable development, post-conflict reconstruction and governance.

One of the most exciting opportunities within the EPD concentration is the Workshop in Development Practice, through which students gain practical experience by engaging in on-going cutting-edge development projects, often involving country fieldwork. Working in teams with a faculty supervisor, students assist a variety of clients on a wide array of assignments in international development. Students take a multidisciplinary approach to their work and learn extensively from each other as well as from the hands-on tasks of the workshop itself. A list of past workshop projects can be viewed at the following link: http://new.sipa.columbia.edu/academics/capstone-workshops/epd#top_info.

The EPD concentration is dedicated to enhancing students’ overall experience at SIPA. We sponsor a number of events throughout each academic year. This includes social events, such as the annual EPD retreat, happy hours, cultural trips around the city or off-campus parties; brown bag talks and evening lectures with practitioners and academics; and career events such as internship and alumni panels. We regularly collaborate with other concentrations, student groups and regional institutes to address the wide array of interests among our EPD students.

EPD graduates are uniquely prepared for careers in international development. They seek leadership positions in the nonprofit, public and private sectors and pursue opportunities in development consulting, microfinance, small business and social enterprise development, corporate social responsibility, gender and development, education policy, public health, sustainable development, post-conflict reconstruction, governance and/or capacity development. EPD works very closely with SIPA’s Office of Career Services to provide a comprehensive support to our students. A sample of employers who hired EPD graduates is available here http://new.sipa.columbia.edu/careers/employment-statistics/career-paths-by-concentration.

 

What’s going on at SIPA this week?

 

Just like before, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Just an example of one event per day that interests me on our campus!

 

Thursday

Title: Starting and Running Your Own Business

Sponsored by: Urban and Social Policy Concentration and Management Specialization

What is it? In this dynamic new workshop a successful entrepreneur shows what it takes to plan, establish and run your own business.  Key areas of discussion include: Deciding what business to start; Moving from an idea to launch; Finding seed money; Structuring your business; Finding and keeping customers

About the Presenter: Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart career coaching; co-founder of FBC Films independent film production; founding member of Comic Diversity stand-up comedy; and partner of Redseeds Consulting executive search.

 

Friday

Title: SIPA Gala!!!!

Sponsored by: SIPA Student Association

What is it?: Basically prom for grad school! Dancing, drinks, hors d’ouevres and fancy dress. Held at Capitale NY.

 

Saturday

Title: Workshop on Sustainable Development

Sponsored by:  The Sustainable Development Doctoral Society (SDDS)

What is it? The workshop is hosting graduate students from around the world who will present their cutting edge research on sustainability across a range of topics such as: water conservation, urban planning, agriculture, biodiversity, disasters, health, climate change, forests and energy.

Click here for more details.

 

Sunday

Title: Spring Into Yoga

Sponsored by: Columbia Art of Living

What: Guided yoga session led by a professional Yoga instructor. Breath, stretch, and sweat. Open to all levels.

 

Monday

Title: Gender, Rio+20, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Sponsored by: Economic and Political Development concentration, Gender Policy Working Group and SIPA Environmental Coalition.

What is it?: Talk with Eleanor Blomstrom of Women’s Environment and Development Organization.

About the Speaker: Eleanor worked on climate change projects ranging from green roofs to waste management to adaptation with the Earth Institute, the Clinton Foundation and the World Bank. She has community development experience in the areas of agriculture and women’s empowerment with organizations in Nicaragua and Nigeria. Her current work is informed by a professional background in bilingual elementary education with a focus on race and gender equity in public schools. Eleanor holds a Master of International Affairs in Urban and Environmental Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences.

 

Tuesday

Title: Eurasian Pipelines: Roads to Peace, Development and Interdependencies?

Sponsored by: The Harriman Institute for Eastern European Studies

What is it?: A talk as a part of the 7th Annual  Harriman Institute Colloqium “Geo-Eco Politics, Eurasian Energy and (elusive) Transparency.”

About the Speakers: Confirmed speakers for the event include Jalil Jumriany, Director General, Ministry of Mines, Afghanistan; Andrey Konoplyanik, Adviser, Gazprom Export; Steve LeVine, author of “Oil and Glory”; Ekpen Omonbude, Commonwealth Secretariat and author of “Cross-border Oil and Gas Pipelines and the Role of the Transit Country”; David Onoprishvili, Chairman, Budget and Finance Committee, Parliament, Georgia

 

Wednesday

Title: A Strategy for Sustainable Development in the United States

Sponsored by: The Earth Institute

What is it?: Annual University-wide talk by sustainability expert and SIPA Professor, Jeffrey Sachs

About the the Speaker:  Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of the Columbia University Earth Institute; Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development; Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University and Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon on the Millennium Development Goals.

 

MPA in Environmental Science and Policy

In total SIPA offers 7 degrees.  A full listing of our degrees can be found by clicking here.  Applicants are welcome to apply to multiple degree programs at SIPA.  There is only one thing SIPA does not allow – we do not allow applicants to apply to the two-year full-time MIA program and the two-year full-time MPA program.  Other than this, there are no restrictions.  If an applicant does want to apply to more than one degree program it does require a different application for each program and each application requires the application fee.

All of our programs use the same application system except for the PhD program.  PhD applicants must use a different application site (details available here).  If applying to more than one program at SIPA please make sure to create a different PIN for each application.  Applicants may not use the same PIN for multiple applications to SIPA.

One SIPA program, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy, has three different deadlines.  The first deadline, November 1st, is quickly approaching.   There are many opportunities to speak with representatives of the program and details are below.

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Campus Recruiting Across the U.S.

by Earth Institute | 9.21.2011 at 10:00am

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Environmental Science and Policy program will be traveling across the country this fall to talk to prospective students at graduate fairs and college campuses.

The program was jointly developed by Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Earth Institute, and it trains sophisticated managers and policymakers to apply innovative, interdisciplinary and sustainable solutions to environmental issues. Our approach reflects the system-level thinking that is needed to understand ecological interactions and maintain the health of Earth’s interconnected systems.

Graduates are working in diverse organizations domestically and globally as consultants, environmental protection and restoration specialists, project managers, policy analysts, directors of environmental services, environmental and public health advisors, teachers, researchers, and environmental biologists and engineers.

Please come visit us at one of the following information sessions to learn more about our program. If we will not be in your area and you would like to set up a session, or if you have any questions, please contact Sarah Tweedie at st2745@columbia.edu or by phone at (212) 854-3142.

October 7, 2011, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Princeton University Graduate School Fair, Princeton, NJ
Princeton University Dillon Gym

October 10, 2011, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Chicago, IL Idealist Fair
University of Illinois, Chicago
UIC Forum, Hall A and B
725 W Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL, 60608

October 11, 2011, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Michigan State University Graduate School Fair, East Lansing, MI
MSU Union, 2nd Floor

October 18, 2011, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus
Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive (between West 116th St. and West 118th St.)
New York, New York 10027

October 21, 2011, 11:15 am
Pitzer College Information Session, Claremont, CA
McConnell Center – Dining Hall

October 24, 2011, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
University of California Irvine Graduate School Fair, Irvine, CA
Location: TBD

October 24, 2011, 7:00pm
Pomona College Information Session, Claremont, CA
Smith Campus Center, Room 208

October 25, 2011, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
UC Santa Barbara Graduate School Fair, Santa Barbara, CA
UCSB’s Arbor Mall

October 25, 2011, 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Colby College Graduate School Fair, Waterville, ME
Location: TBD

October 26, 2011, 11:00 am – 1:30 pm
Bates College Graduate School Fair, Lewiston, ME
Location: TBD

October 26, 2011, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Bowdoin College Graduate School Fair, Brunswick, ME
Location: TBD

October 27, 2011, 6:00pm
UC Davis Information Session, Davis, CA
Location: TBD

December 8, 2011, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus
Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive (between West 116th St. and West 118th St.)
New York, New York 10027

Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity

One of the great things about being a student at SIPA is the vast number of activities and resources that are part of Columbia University.  One great example is the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (or AC4) housed at the Earth Institute.  AC4 is a consortium of existing programs, centers, institutes, and faculty at Columbia.

AC4 brings together faculty, students, scholars, researchers, and practitioners to stimulate innovative and interdisciplinary research in conflict resolution, violence, peace-building, and sustainable development.   There are many tangible benefits for SIPA students, including the funding of projects.  Each fall as many as 12 projects are funded by AC4.   Below is a flyer for an upcoming event and for more information please visit their web site.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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