Spring 2017 Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Positions

by |October 21, 2016

teaching assistant snipThe Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development is currently accepting applications for spring 2017 teaching assistant positions.

Please note: Applicants must be current full-time Columbia University students enrolled in a degree granting program. Applications will only be accepted from graduate students and undergraduate juniors or seniors.

To apply for any of these positions, post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) to https://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form300/index.html. The deadline to apply for all of the positions is 11:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21.

The teaching assistants will support the following courses:

  1. SDEV W1900 Intro to Sustainable Development Seminar
  2. SDEV W3280 Workshop in Sustainable Development (Section 1)
  3. SDEV W3280 Workshop in Sustainable Development (Section 2)
  4. SDEV W3310 Ethics of Sustainable Development
  5. SDEV W3450 Spatial Analysis and Modeling for Sustainable Development
  6. SDEV W2300 Challenges of Sustainable Development
  7. PUBH W3100 Fundamentals of Global Health
  8. SDEV W3390: GIS for Sustainable Development
  1. Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN1900: Introduction to Sustainable Development Seminar

This course will take place on Monday during the spring semester from 11:40 a.m.-12:55 p.m. and will be taught by Jason Smerdon.

The course is designed to be a free flowing discussion of the principals of sustainable development and the scope of this emerging discipline. This course will also serve to introduce the students to the requirements of the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development and the content of the required courses in both the special concentration and the major. The focus will be on the breadth of subject matter, the multidisciplinary nature of the scholarship and familiarity with the other key courses in the program.

Applicants should have knowledge of sustainable development, with previous coursework in the area and be familiar with the structure of the major and the special concentration in the undergraduate program in sustainable development.

Time commitment and responsibilities:

A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, like grading written coursework.

  1. Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN3280 Workshop in Sustainable Development (Section 1)

This course will take place on Tuesday and Thursday from 12:10-2 p.m. during the spring semester and will be taught by Professor Stuart Gaffin.

The upper level undergraduate Sustainable Development Workshop will be modeled on client based graduate-level workshops, but with more time devoted to methods of applied policy analysis and issues in sustainable development. The heart of the course is the group project on an issue of sustainable development with a faculty advisor providing guidance and ultimately grading student performance. Students will receive instruction on methodology, group work, communication and the context of policy analysis. Much of the reading in the course will be project-specific and identified by the student research teams.

Applicants should have strong project management skills and an interest in sustainable development.

Time commitment and responsibilities:

A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, including developing, distributing and statistically analyzing “peer review” and “self review” forms.

  1. Teaching Assistant for SDEV W3280 Workshop in Sustainable Development (Section 2)

This course will take place on Monday and Wednesday from 10:10-12 p.m. during the spring semester and will be taught by Professor Radley Horton.

The upper level undergraduate Sustainable Development Workshop will be modeled on client based graduate-level workshops, but with more time devoted to methods of applied policy analysis and issues in sustainable development. The heart of the course is the group project on an issue of sustainable development with a faculty advisor providing guidance and ultimately grading student performance. Students will receive instruction on methodology, group work, communication and the context of policy analysis. Much of the reading in the course will be project-specific and identified by the student research teams.

Applicants should have strong project management skills and an interest in sustainable development.

Time commitment and responsibilities:

A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, including developing, distributing and statistically analyzing “peer review” and “self review” forms.

Applications for this position will only be accepted by graduate students.

  1. Teaching Assistant for SDEV W3310: Ethics of Sustainable Development

This course will take place on Tuesday and Thursday during the spring semester from 1:10-2:25 p.m. and will be taught by Adela Gondek.

This is an elective course for students in the undergraduate sustainable development program. With the aim of continued improvement of human conditions within many diverse environments, sustainable development seeks to create, increase and perpetuate benefit and to cease, rectify and reverse harm. Sustainable development is consequently inextricable from the fabric of ethics, woven with determinations of benefit and harm to the existence and well-being of both humans and non-humans. Underlying such determinations are those of self- and other-regarding motivation and behavior; and underlying these are still others, of sensitivity and rationality in decision-making, whether individual, social or public. Sustainable development is interlaced with and contingent upon all these determinations, at once prescriptive and judgmental, which can be called the ethics of sustainable development.

This course is divided into four main sections, of which two are intended to show the ethical fallacies of unsustainable development, and two, the ethical pathways of sustainable development. The first section focuses upon ethically problematic basic assumptions, including human (species) hegemony, happy (hedonic) materialism, and selective (data) denial. The second focuses upon ethically problematic ensuing rationalizations, including those pertaining to damages, victims, consequences and situations of climatic, chemical, biological and ecological harm. The third section responds to these rationalizations with ethically vital considerations of earth justice, environmental justice, culturally-based ethics, and sector-based ethics (water, food, place and climate ethics). Finally, the fourth section responds to the initial, longstanding problematic assumptions with a newly emergent ethical paradigm, comprising biotic wholeness, environmental integrity and the deliberative zero-goal.

Time commitment and responsibilities:

A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, including developing, distributing and statistically analyzing “peer review” and “self review” forms.

Applications for this position will only be accepted by graduate students.

  1. Teaching Assistant for SDEV W3450: Spatial Analysis and Modeling for Sustainable Development

This course will take place on Tuesday and Thursday during the spring semester from 6:10-7:25 p.m. with a lab section following the class once a week during the spring semester. The course will be taught by Professor Malanding Jaiteh.

This is an intermediate course in spatial modeling developed specifically for students in the undergraduate sustainable development program. This course will provide a foundation for understanding a variety of issues related to spatial analysis and modeling. Students will explore the concepts, tools, and techniques of GIS modeling and review and critique modeling applications used for environmental planning and policy development. The course will also offer students the opportunity to design, build and evaluate their own spatial analysis models. The course will cover both vector and raster based methods of analysis with a strong focus on raster-based modeling. We will draw examples from a wide range of applications in such areas as modeling land use and land cover for biodiversity and conservation, hydrological modeling, and site suitability modeling. The course will consist of lectures, reading assignments, lab assignments and a final project.

Applicants should have advanced knowledge of geographic information systems software, with previous coursework in the area.

Time commitment and responsibilities:

A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, like grading written coursework.

  1. Teaching Assistant for SDEV W2300 Challenges of Sustainable Development

This course will take place on Tuesday and Thursday during the spring semester from 10:10-11:25 a.m. and will be taught by several faculty, including Joel E. Cohen.

This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development, drawing on the recent developments in social and natural sciences. The course describes the interactions among the demography of the human population (population size, spatial distribution, age structure, fertility, mortality, migration), the environment (physical, chemical and biological), economics (measures of wealth, well-being, sustainability, and their distribution within and among countries; trade; energy use), and culture (education, law, religion, language, politics, technologies and human values), and stresses the ways in which each affects all the others. Ecological constraints (climate, disease ecology, physical resources such as soils and energy sources, topography and transport conditions) significantly shape economic development, demography, wealth and poverty. Human activities (farming, resource use, demographic change, and energy production and consumption) change the environment. The course offers an introductory, broad survey of the field and aims to provide students with some of the fundamental concepts, vocabulary, and analytical tools that will enable them to pursue further understanding of the conjoined problems of population, economics, environment, and culture, all of which are fundamental to understanding the challenges of sustainable development.

Time commitment and responsibilities:

Teaching assistants must fulfill the responsibilities identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant(s) may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to offerings by principal course faculty. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor(s) regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned. Good quantitative skills (mathematical as well as computational), good skills in explaining scientific and social-scientific information to undergraduates, and a sympathetic encouraging approach to students are all highly desirable.

Applicants must be current full-time Columbia graduate students enrolled in a degree program.

  1. PUBH W3100: Fundamentals of Global Health

This course will take place on Monday and Wednesday during the spring semester from 4:10-5:25 p.m. and will be taught by Marni Sommer.

Many of the greatest challenges in public health are global. This course uses a multidisciplinary approach to discuss the major underlying determinants of poor health and the relationship between health and political, social and economic development. Drawing upon the sciences, social sciences and humanities, students will be introduced to the evolution of modern approaches to the setting of global health priorities, the functions and roles of health systems, an overview of current global health practices, and the major institutional players in global health.

Applicants should have strong interest in public health with a social or natural science background.

Time commitment and responsibilities:

A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, like grading written coursework.

  1. Teaching Assistant for SDEV W3390: GIS for Sustainable Development

This course will take place on Mondays on 1:10-2:25 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1:10-3:30 p.m. during the spring semester. The course will be taught by Professor Dara Mendeloff.

This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying GIS systems and to give students a strong set of practical skills to use GIS for stainable development research. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain knowledge of the principles behind raster and vector based spatial analysis, and learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Student will also learn to use newly emerging web based mapping tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics.

Time commitment and responsibilities:

A teaching assistant must fulfill the responsibilities as identified by the assigned supervising instructor while maintaining conduct of the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. The teaching assistant may be responsible for directing drills, recitations, discussions or laboratory sessions related to courses offered by an officer of higher rank. They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned.

Applicants should have advanced knowledge of geographic information systems software, with previous coursework in the area.

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