Earth Institute Launches Student Sustainability Solutions Website
A new Earth Institute website – Student Sustainability Solutions – showcases more than 200 projects that students have completed for some of the most notable governmental and non-profit organizations in the world. The website is also a repository of analysis and innovation across nearly every major sustainability issue, including biodiversity, climate change, and environmental justice.
The students involved include both undergraduates and graduates, for whom the projects are integral component of their education at Columbia University. In undertaking these so-called capstone workshop projects, students integrate their sustainability knowledge and apply management and analytical skills to solve problems for real-world clients. At the same time, the students gain experience in managing and making their way through the complexity involved in solving such problems outside the classroom. Some 200 students worked on these projects as they completed the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development, the Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy, or the Master of Science in Sustainability Management.
Students in the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development are required to take the capstone course during their senior year and have worked on projects that include: collecting data on rainfall runoff to explore options for property owners to decrease the volume of storm water run-off with the Natural Resources Defense Council; creating an course curriculum on climate change for the Urban Park Rangers to promote the Natural Classroom program in New York City; and helping the Population Council to expand their research scope to include events related to climate change flooding.
For the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy, the Workshops in Applied Earth Systems Management and in applied Earth Systems Policy Analysis teach students how to integrate knowledge and organize an effort to solve an environmental policy problem. The summer and fall semester workshops emphasize management issues. Students explore a piece of proposed, but not yet enacted, state, federal, or local environmental law (or a treaty or U.N. resolution), and develop a plan to implement and manage the new program. In the summer, the workshop focuses on the science aspects of the management problem, while in the fall students work to complete the operational plan for implementing the program. In the spring semester, new groups are formed and students work on projects for real world governmental or nonprofit clients.
The Integrative Capstone Workshop in the MS in Sustainability Management program serves as the students’ culminating educational experience, designed to integrate the distinct fields of the program’s sustainability management curriculum. Students must draw on both the practical skills and the analytical knowledge they have gained in order to address crucial sustainability management issues as consultants for a real-world client.
Please visit the Student Sustainability Solutions website to learn more.