Campus News Brief 4/17/2012

Well folks, it just keeps getting warmer. As the flowers unpack their pollen and students preen on the sunny steps, we bring you yet another list of events and opportunities to keep your hands dirty this week and beyond. Highlights include internships for the summer and many events organized by CU students in celebration of EARTH WEEK 2012.  

As always, if you would like a blurb included in our weekly email, please email

Enjoy the sun and breeze,

Green Umbrella




1.    Travel to the Himalayan foothills for 3 weeks this summer with students to address the pressing issue of climate change and water(Apply by April 17)

2.    Apply to Participate in NY+20: a one-day youth conference for students on the issues of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. (Apply by April 18)

3.     NYC Major’s Office of Sustainability seeking 2 Policy Advisors

4.     City Atlas, a project of the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and Artist As Citizen, seeks interns for the summer. (Apply by April 27)

5.      Earth Institute Research Funding (see attached application due by April 27)

6.    Become a summer garden intern for the Columbia Secondary School Community Garden. (Final application deadline May 15)

7.      Learn about Columbia sustainability

8.      The Best Internship on Earth


1.      What happened with the Gulf Oil Spill? Discussion with the Natural Resources Defense Council senior attorney David Pettit, This Tuesday April 17.

2.     Uncover the Voice: A Ugandan Activist’s Perspective on KONY 2012. This Tuesday April 17.

3.       Green Roof Science Symposium (See Flier Attached). April 17th 9 AM – 5:30 PM  

4.        Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development presents: Defining Sustainability: A Few Questions for an Expanding Discipline. This Thursday April 19th

5.      Climate Finance: Climate Change Policy Loans, a Comparative Perspective: April 19, 6:00 -7:30 pm 

6.      Earth Week High Fashion: Green on the Green. 4/20/2012.  12:30-2PM.

7.    Do It In the Dark at Greenborough! This Saturday April 21 9pm

8.       Dig the Garden on Earth Day. This Sunday, Earth Day, April 22

9.    Sign-up for the Morningside Height’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This Sunday, Earth Day, April 22.

10.  Frackonomics: Debunking the Financial Myths of Shale Gas & Embracing a Green Energy Future. April 24.

11.     CU Earth Summit, next Wednesday April 25

12.   Join the Earth Institute Student Advisory Council (EISAC) for an entertaining evening of short films on environmental issues in celebration of Earth Week!  Next Wednesday April 25.

13.      Save the Date: PowerShift NY April 27-29

14.      Save the Date: NYS DEC and EPA info session on green chemistry. Registration April 13, Webinar on May 10. See attached flier. 

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1. Community Revitalization and Sustainability through Addressing Climate Change and Water Politics in the Himalayan Communities

Plateau Engage at Columbia, student group works on fostering diverse views and deeper understanding on Tibet, is leading a summer environmental community service and research project trip to the Northeastern Himalayan foothills through the support and funding from Columbia’s Office of Civic Action and Engagement’s Alternate Break Program and Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. We will travel to the Himalayan foothills for 3 weeks, May 11-May 31 to work with Himalayan communities to address the pressing issue of climate change and water politics in the region. This project is directly supervised and guided by faculty members from the East Asian Languages and Cultures and Environmental Science Department.  

Please contact Tsechu at for more information and application by 4/17. 

2. We want YOU to include your opinions on Sustainable Development in United Nations negotiations!

Apply today to participate in NY+20 : A one-day youth conference engaging and educating students on the issues of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Work with top ambassadors, negotiators, academics, and young people working in the field to learn about the topics, and then talk to them about what youth want out of NY+20! 


Date: Friday April 27th, 2012

Time: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Location: Ford Foundation, 320 E 43 St., New York, NY 

With the UN Headquarters in New York, we are in a unique position to expose young people to the UN process and to inspire them to take part in sustainable development action. We want the youth of the world to have a strong, organized position at Rio+20, and to be able to deliver a clear message of needs to be in the final outcome document.

*** You do not need to have any prior knowledge about sustainable development, Rio+20, or the United Nations to attend! Come join other young people from around New York City, get inspired, and start the movement for sustainability in your community! 

Click here to Apply- applications are due Wednesday April 18!


Facebook Event! –

Please pass this message on to any interested groups or individuals.


3. 2 Policy Advisors, NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

Attached are job descriptions for two grant-funded vacancies to assist with the ongoing update to the city’s FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps and support our climate resilience initiatives.

Please circulate these to your networks and/or forward any interested candidates to

Hannah S. Lee

cell: (408) 206.0871


Linked in | Twitter | Skype: hannah.s.lee 

4. City Atlas, a project of The CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and Artist As Citizen, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, is a user’s guide to a sustainable New York.

We are looking for five (5) interns for our content development team for Summer 2012. You will learn the New York City sustainability scene from top to bottom, including ideas about the science, culture, policy and practice of the future New York City. Help us bring that work to a larger audience via City Atlas. Interns will curate content on an assigned speci­fic theme within the Lifestyle section of the Atlas but will also have an opportunity to bring their own ideas and contributions to the project. You will also help us enlarge the database of organizations we cover and identify new organizations and developing initiatives. (A mobile app is also in development, and curating the app will fall within the scope of work as well.) 

In sum, you will help us cover the best events, resources, and ideas that are going on in the world of sustainability in New York City.

You are interested in: Working hard; meeting deadlines; doing important work, and learning. Your skills: Excellent writing is a must. Experience with research, or journalism, and with social media are pluses. You are: A self-starter, willing to work with minimal supervision, extremely organized, eager to learn. This is an entry-level internship. The basic internship is unpaid, but we can help arrange for you to receive course credit. There is potential room for growth pending your performance and project developments. Special projects may include stipends. 


Please submit a cover letter and resume to no later than 5PM on Friday, April 27. If you have an absolutely-must-be-answered question, you can call Richard at 212.674.5423.

We look forward to hearing from you! 

5.        Funding opportunities are available through the Earth Institute for 12 undergraduate research assistantships for the fall 2012 semester. These research assistantships are exclusively for undergraduates to conduct hands-on research with Columbia University faculty. This is a chance for faculty to start new projects without current funding, or fund supplements to ongoing projects. Research topics should be relevant to themes of the Earth Institute. These would include, but are not limited to, topics in Sustainability; Development Economics; Earth Sciences, Ecology, and Atmospheric research; or Environmental Policy among others. Students will work part-time with faculty on current research projects, aiming to give them a valuable chance to collaborate on substantive matters of inquiry. Students will be paid $15 per hour, for up to 10 hours of work per week, through Earth Institute funds for a total of 120 hours for the fall semester. Applications for funding will be reviewed by a committee and decisions will be sent out by June 8th. Upon selection, research assistantships will be advertised to undergraduate students. All resumes received will be forwarded to you for your review and selection of a suitable research assistant. To apply for funding for a research assistant, please complete the attached form. Submissions should be sent to me no later than 5PM on April 27th.

 6. Hey, CU Gardeners and Garden fans!

We’re looking for summer garden interns for the Columbia Secondary School Community Garden, a GreenThumb / Grow to Learn garden located on the corner of 119th Street and Amsterdam Ave.  
Now in our second growing season, the Columbia Secondary School Community Garden is focused on exposing our students and community to a deep understanding of their environment through hands-on gardening activities and the integration of fresh local produce into our school lunches.   During the school year, the garden is run by a dedicated team of teachers and students.  During the summer, the garden is primarily run by CU undergrad or graduate student garden interns overseen by our teacher-coordinators, with frequent participation from our diverse population of awesome students and families – and we’re looking for CU volunteers for this summer’s work!  
Intern Responsibilities: Summer garden intern responsibilities include: scheduling and maintaining open garden hours on a weekly basis, communicating with our garden listserve and community about garden hours, designing and hosting workshops, and maintaining the garden through watering, planting, composting, and harvesting (and yup, eating delicious veggies!).  Teams of interns work together, creating a fun working community and allowing for the sharing of responsibilities.  
Experience: Gardening experience is a plus, but not required to apply (enthusiasm for gardening, children, and being outdoors, however, is a must!). This internship is great for students interested in exploring science education, sustainability education, community gardening, environmental science – or those who just want to get their hands dirty in the world of urban agriculture!
Hours/Commitment: This is an unpaid internship opportunity, but some interns in the past have applied for funding through Columbia/Barnard, and we’re happy to help you with recommendations or references if you are applying for pay or housing.  As the position hours are flexible, (5-10 hrs per week), this position can work well in conjunction with other internships or work.  Ideally, interns will start training with us in May, with regular internship hours June-August.
If you are interested in applying for this position, send a brief letter of interest and resume to Meredith Hill at with “Summer Garden Internship” in the subject line.  Garden interns are accepted on a rolling basis, with the final deadline to apply
May 15th.

7.        Learn more about sustainability on Columbia’s campus from the University’s Environmental Stewardship winter newsletter, including an update about composting on campus – Thank You OES!

8.     The Best Internship on Earth is the opportunity to travel around the country with Sierra Club’s Mission Outdoors programs, and document these adventures for the Sierra Club (while enjoying $2,000 worth of merchandise from The North Face!).  The Outdoor Youth Ambassador is a paid position, uniting young adults with a passion for the environment with community outreach programs that focus on outdoor experiences  Sierra Club is seeking students (over the age of 18) who are passionate about the outdoors and looking for an adventure this summer.  Please visit:



1.     Ever wonder what happened with the Gulf oil spill?  Did BP get sued, was the oil all really “cleaned up,” were communities compensated?  Find out next Tuesday the 17th at a brownbag discussion with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) senior attorney David Pettit, who has been helping to lead NRDC’s efforts in response to the spill.  

Two years ago this month, Deepwater Horizon was the largest oil spill to occur in US history.  Although media attention has dwindled, the work is far from over. 

Some of the questions that will be covered are:

How much progress has been made in two years?

What is the status of the federal lawsuit?

What are the economic and environmental consequences?

What have been the federal and local responses?

How have Gulf communities endured?

How does this relate to the North Sea, Cuba, and China?

When: Tuesday, April 17th 1-2pm

Where: International Affairs Building Room 902

Read David Pettit’s bio here: and blog here:


2.   Uncover the Voice: A Ugandan Activist’s Perspective on KONY 2012

Date: Tuesday, April 17th

Time: 8:00-9:00 pm

Location: 602 Hamilton Hall

We have seen the video.
We have followed the controversy.
We have seen the stickers and posters of Joseph Kony that will plaster the city on April 20th.

But before you cover the night for KONY 2012, come uncover the voice with Ugandan human rights activist, Pamela Angwech. 

Pamela worked on the ground in Northern Uganda with the World Food Programme during the war with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of GlobeMed at Columbia’s partner organization, Gulu Women’s Economic Development and Globalization (GWED-G). She lived through the war, worked through the war, and persevered through the war to become a force of social change. Her experiences will shed light on the current grassroots efforts led by Ugandans to restore peace to their communities.  

Pamela will give voice to these solutions and provide her perspective on Invisible Children’s social media campaign to “make Kony famous.” 

link to facebook event when sending out to listservs

Visit to learn more about GWED-G’s initiatives and to learn more about GlobeMed at Columbia’s partnership with GWED-G.

3.      Green Roof Science Symposium (See Flyer Attached). Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 9 AM – 5:30 PM  Diana Center Event Oval, Barnard College of Columbia University 

4.    Defining Sustainability: A Few Questions for an Expanding Discipline

Please join Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development for our final dialogue series event of the year with David Smiley, Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies at Columbia University. Thursday, April 19 at 6:30 pm in Lerner 568. The event will feature a presentation followed by a discussion. Light refreshments will be served.

Sustainable development is a broad, interdisciplinary topic of study and can be defined in various ways. But what do the terms “sustainability” and “development” actually mean, both as individual words and as a combined term? Who gets to define these terms, much less conjoin them? What should be included in a project of sustainable development? Professor Smiley will discuss his take on defining such terms and how these terms are applied in today’s society. 


5.       Climate Finance: Climate Change Policy Loans, a Comparative Perspective  Thursday, April 19, 2012 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm  Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103  The Earth Institute, Columbia University, The Alliance Program and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in Paris present “Climate Change Policy Loans, a Comparative Perspective,” with Dov Michel Zerah, the CEO of the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD), since June 2nd, 2010.

Mr. Zerah began his career at the French Treasury where he spent thirteen years. He then became the permanent secretary of Michel Roussin, the Minister of Cooperation, in 1993.  From July 1993 to November 1995, he was Deputy General Director of the Caisse Française de Développement (CFD), which would later become AFD. Dov Zerah became Corinne Lepage’s permanent secretary within the Ministry of the Environment, where he stayed from 1995 to 1997. He then headed the cabinet of Edith Cresson, the European Commissioner, from 1997 to 1999. From 1999 to 2002, he was the CEO of DAGRIS (Développement des agro-industries du Sud), the former French Company for the Development of Textile Fibers, as well as of the Compagnie Cotonnière (COPACO). Mr. Zerah then became the Director of the Département des Monnaies, Médailles et Antiques de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France, between 2002 and 2007, before holding the post of senior counselor at the French Court of Financial Auditors until his nomination as the General Director of AFD. RSVP required for this event.  To RSVP, please click ZERAH.    PHOTO ID WILL BE REQUIRED FOR TO ENTER THE BUILDING. 

6.      Interested in fashion?  What about TRASHION?  Barnard’s Earth Week Committee is putting on: Earth Week High Fashion: Green on the Green. 4/20/2012.  12:30-2PM. Be There. Watch students strut their stuff in plastic bags, newspapers, cans, bottles, and whatever else, on Lehman lawn.

To enter the trashion show, competitors must follow the below rules:

1. Use anything that has been used before, that you would consider “trash”.
2. Should be sturdy enough to have been worn at least 3 times.
3. Participant has to find another person to model [or choose to model themselves]
4. Anyone from Barnard or Columbia can participate!
5. While clothing can be creative, the choice must be tasteful enough. The outfit will be approved by the participant coordinator the night before. 
6. Footwear does not have to be part of the outfit, but heels are not allowed.  We encourage you to go barefoot!
7. Notice of submissions (whether complete or not) must be given by Friday the 13th.

8. BE CREATIVE!!! :]

The winner of the Earth Week Trashion Show will receive a prize!
PLEASE contact Lizzie [] or Caroline [] by April 13 for notice of submission. Unfortunately, if it rains, the event will be cancelled, so hope for sunshine!


 7.    Do It In the Dark at Greenborough! April 21 9pm

Greenborough, 604 W. 114th St. (btw Bway and Riverside

Come celebrate the end of Earth Week with Barnard EcoReps and Greenborough!
We’re turning off all the lights in our house! Glowsticks, shiny things, and other kinds of entertainment will be present, as will you. 
Where: The house with the gold rock, i.e. the first brownstone (604) on the south side of W 114th St between Broadway and Riverside Dr.
When: Saturday the 21st at 9pm
BYOCup, please – we’ll supply the food and drinks. (fb:

8.    Dig the Garden on Earth Day!

 In association with Harlem Park to Park, Green Umbrella, and SEEJ, Columbia Food Sustainability Project (CUFSP) is hosting an afternoon of food, fun, and community in Pupin Plaza. Come support local agriculture and celebrate planet earth amidst Columbia’s own campus garden. 

The Columbia Community Garden is located at 120th St and Broadway, on Columbia’s Campus, in Pupin Plaza. We will be there from 10-3, with the morning (10-12) focusing on teaching and working with children to plant seeds in the garden and learn about sustainable gardening. Then we’ll take a break to eat (food provided by Columbia’s local sustainable student run catering service, 4Local) and listen to live a cappella from 12-1. From 1-3 we’ll open it up to an open-mic, and listen to awesome acoustic music as we continue to work in the garden and celebrate the Earth!

Join the facebook event: 

ATTN GREEN GROUPS:  if you are interested in co-sponsoring or participating this Earth Day Celebration, please  

9.   Sign-up for the Morningside Height’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)!
Pupin Plaza: Sunday, April 22nd, 10am-3pm
Want cheap, healthy, sustainable produce for the entire fall season?
Want to learn how to cook new and exciting veggies?
Want to support a local farm?
…then get a Fall 2012 Farm Share from the Morningside Height’s CSA!

Farm Share Details:
– $200 each, for 10-weeks of produce to feed 4 people (that’s $5 per person, per week!)
– Optional egg share: 1 dozen eggs, bi-weekly, for an extra $22.50 total
**Pay in cash or check only**
– Please have money ready at sign-up

Check out the facebook event or email us at:

Happy Spring

10. United for Action and several co-sponsors (see list below) will be holding a panel discussion with Financial Analyst Deborah Rogers, Economist Jannette Barth, and former DEP Commissioner Al Appleton to discuss the downsides of shale gas development from an economic and financial standpoint and will additionally be exploring the potential for green energy for New York State.

You may have seen Deborah Rogers mentioned in the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine and also read Rolling Stone’s response to Chesapeake Energy debunking some of the myths being touted by the Oil and Gas Industry. 

This presentation promises to further that discussion and will undoubtedly bring new things to light.

What: Frackonomics: Debunking the Financial Myths of Shale Gas & Embracing a Green Energy Future 
When: April 24th 
Time: 6:45 (doors open at 6) 
Where: Ethical Culture Society, 2 West 64th Street @ Central Park West, NYC 
Cost: $10 donation

We hope you can make it. Please share with your friends, far and wide. This is an 800 seat space, so there’s room for everyone. Please see attached flyer.

Thanks so much! 

David, Ling, Owen, Charlie, Beth, Dave, and the rest of the Team

Event Cosponsors:, Act Now, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Democracy for NYC, Downtown East for Obama, Food and Water Watch, Frack Action, Greater NYC for Change, Hells Kitchen for Change, New York Ethical Culture Society, NRDC, NYC Friends of Clearwater, NYH2O, Petal Power NYC, ReNEW New York, Riverkeeper, Sane Energy Project, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Three Parks Independent Democrats, Tribeca for Change, Water Defense, Working Families Party, and others


11.   The CU Earth Summit on April 25 from 1-6:


12. Celebrate Earth Week! “EISAC’S Shorts”

Join the Earth Institute Student Advisory Council (EISAC) for an entertaining evening of short films on environmental issues in celebration of Earth Week! 

Films will be screened outdoors on Pupin Plaza on Wednesday, April 25th* beginning at 8pm, and will include a UNICEF Talk on Digital Mapping of Environmental Risks in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, a TED talk: The Mannahatta Project, and Second Nature: The Biomimicry Evolution. Take a study break and come for as long as you’d like.  Enjoy free treats from our sponsors including popcorn and Odwalla drinks and snacks!

*Note: In the event of bad weather, screening will be postponed until Wednesday, May 2nd

Never heard of EISAC? EISAC is a group of Earth Institute student representatives from a diverse array of disciplines across Columbia’s schools who share a common interest in the field of sustainability. Attend the film screening to learn more about EISAC’s expanding role in the Columbia community.  If you have any questions about the event or the council, shoot an email to

13.      Save the Date: PowerShift NY April 27-29 2012 -Thank You Caroline


14.       Please join us on May 10, 2012, as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Beyond Benign (a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization), and EPA Region 2 share information on the best chemical management practices, principles of green chemistry, and other lessons learned from work under way in New York schools. The New York State Education Department will also be present to reflect upon statewide opportunities to advance green chemistry. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A session. 

Registration will open on April 13. Keep your eye out for an electronic invitation with registration instructions; Webinar information, including speaker biographies and presentations; and links to other green chemistry and engineering information, programs, and videos. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Donna Jackson at

Green chemistry is the science and practice of designing chemicals, products, and processes that result in the reduction or elimination of hazardous substances; pollutants, such as greenhouse gas emissions; and waste. Green chemistry applies across the life cycle of a chemical product, including its design, manufacture, and use.ImageeeImage


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