Spring 2018 Teaching Assistant Opportunities

by |October 31, 2017

By Cari Shimkus

Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development Teaching Assistant Positions

The Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development is currently accepting applications for spring 2018 Teaching Assistant positions for the following courses:

  1. SDEV UN1900 Introduction to Sustainable Development Seminar
  2. SDEV UN2300 Challenges of Sustainable Development
  3. SDEV UN3310 Ethics of Sustainable Development
  4. SDEV UN3390 GIS for Sustainable Development
  5. SDEV UN3450 Spatial Analysis and Modeling for Sustainable Development
  6. SDEV GU4050 US Water and Energy Policy
  7. SDEV GU4350 Public Lands in the American West

Applicants must be current full-time Columbia University students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Additional restrictions may apply. Be sure to check the description for each position for more information. Application is available here: https://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form336/index.html

The deadline to apply is November 26th at 11:55pm.

Please direct questions to Cari Shimkus at cshimkus@ei.columbia.edu.


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN1900 Introduction to Sustainable Development Seminar

T 11:40-12:55

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 & 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.

Applicants must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted by undergraduate juniors or seniors and graduate students.

To Apply

Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) to https://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form336/index.html

The deadline to apply is November 26th at 11:55pm.


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN2300 Challenges of Sustainable Development

TR 10:10-11:25

This course provides an introduction to the field of sustainable development, drawing primarily from social science and policy studies. It offers a critical examination of the concept of sustainable development, showing how factors like economics, population, culture, politics and inequality complicate its goals. Students will learn how different social science disciplines (political science, demography, economics, geography, history, law, and sociology) approach challenges of sustainable development across a variety of topics (fisheries, climate change, air pollution, consumption, energy, conservation, and water management). The course provides students with some of the fundamental concepts, vocabulary, and analytical tools to pursue and think critically about sustainable development.

Time Commitment & 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 CU graduate students enrolled in a degree-granting program.

To Apply

Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) to https://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form336/index.html

The deadline to apply is November 26th at 11:55pm.


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN3310 Ethics of Sustainable Development

TR 1:10-2:25

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 nonhumans. 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 & 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.

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

To Apply

Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) to https://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form336/index.html

The deadline to apply is November 26th at 11:55pm.


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN3390 GIS for Sustainable Development

M 2:40-3:55, W 2:40-5:00

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.

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

Time Commitment & 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 must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted by undergraduate juniors or seniors and graduate students.

To Apply

Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) to https://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form336/index.html

The deadline to apply is November 26th at 11:55pm.


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN3450 Spatial Analysis and Modeling for Sustainable Development

T 4:10-5:25, R 4:10-7:25

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.

Participants will also learn how to develop and publish online maps, spatial applications, metadata, and mobile Apps in a geodatabase environment to support fieldwork research and geospatial data gathering and analysis. Course registration includes online mapping user license and credits to store, analyze, and serve geospatial data and apps.

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 & 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.

Applicants must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted by undergraduate juniors or seniors and graduate students.

To Apply

Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) to https://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form336/index.html

The deadline to apply is November 26th at 11:55pm.


Teaching Assistant for SDEV GU4050 US Water & Energy Policy

M 6:10-8:00

Essential Connections examines the development of America’s water and energy policies over the past century and how such policies helped to shape present-day environmental law and regulation. The focus of the course then turns to the current state of US water and energy resources and policy, covering issues such as oil and gas exploration, nuclear energy, hydroelectric power and renewables, with a third and final section addressing the prospects for establishing water and energy policies that can withstand climate disruption, scarcity, etc.

Time Commitment & 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, etc.  They will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, like grading written coursework.

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

To Apply

Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) to https://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form336/index.html

The deadline to apply is November 26th at 11:55pm.


Teaching Assistant for SDEV GU4350 Public Lands in the American West

TR 4:10-5:25

Land use and environmental challenges in the American West are different from the rest of the country due in large part to the prevalence of public lands. Most western states have a land base that is at least 35% public, and competing interests vie for limited resources and navigate a complex bureaucracy. This course will focus on the federal agencies authorized to make management decisions across those lands: the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Park Service, and others. We will explore the legal and regulatory framework that guides land use decisions, and study enduring resource access conflicts. Pulling from both academic scholarship and the gray literature in political science, environmental sciences, law, and organizational behavior, this course provides an interdisciplinary overview of governance challenges in the American West.

Applicants should have a background in political science or policy, and some experience living in and/or studying the West.

Time Commitment and Responsibilities

The Teaching Assistant (TA) is expected to attend all classes and be available to meet regularly with Professor Dale as well as with students. In addition to grading written work, the TA will help Professor Dale craft meaningful assessment activities and develop lecture content. The TA will also have primary responsibility for building and maintaining the course website on CourseWorks. There may be opportunities for the TA to teach certain topic areas, based on interest and ability. Other duties as assigned. Estimated weekly time commitment 8-10 hours.

Applicants must be current full-time CU students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Applications will only be accepted by graduate students.

To Apply

Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) to https://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form336/index.html

The deadline to apply is November 26th at 11:55pm.


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