The Earth Institute is expanding its professional development program with the addition of mini-career workshops that focus on particular areas of sustainability. The first of these workshops took place on April 17, 2014, and it focused on energy efficiency. The purpose of the workshops is to provide opportunities to students to learn from faculty and alumni, who are practitioners in various sustainability fields. Offering these workshops was one of the recommendations of the Professional Development Task Force, which comprised students, faculty and staff in the M.S. in Sustainability Management program.
Current Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) student Maureen Loman is no newcomer to the science world. Her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland included research into subjects such as plant genetics, forest fragmentation, and bat acoustics, and for the past three years she has worked at the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell University studying whale and fish acoustics. This interest in oceans and ocean management led her to apply to Columbia, where she hopes to acquire a deeper knowledge of policy in the environmental world to complement her hard science background.
On March 5, students in the Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy presented their initial findings for the Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Policy Analysis to fellow students, staff, and invited guests at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.
After three years working with the Peace Corps in Madagascar, Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy student Jonathan Mason came to Columbia with a strong background in research and writing, but limited experience in quantitative analysis. As he begins his final semester, he reflects that the quantitative and project management skills he has acquired through the program have prepared him to become a more incisive contributor to policy planning.
MPA in Environmental Science and Policy alum Maham Ahmed (’13) is combining her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science with her new MPA degree while serving as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington D.C. Maham hopes to bring change to disaster response and recovery for future generations.
You could be dancing a Dollu Kunitha in Karnataka, or a Kpanlogo in Ghana, or a samba in Rio. Dance is integral to most cultures, and it’s also a social and fun way to improve physical fitness. It can help prevent cardiovascular disease and control weight, among other health benefits. And that is the point that a group of Earth Institute students are hoping will win them a million dollars to finance their project, named “Health for All.”
MPA in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) alumnus Todd Miner (’10) has always been heavily involved in work at post-conflict and disaster areas, both abroad and in the United States. He puts the management and planning skills he acquired from the MPA-ESP program to good use in his current role as director of Friends of Rockaway, an organization working to restore the Rockaway Peninsula in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Having worked at the Assistant Editor of Sanctuary Asia, an Indian wildlife magazine, co-founded the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme, and volunteered with the Indian Youth Climate Network, current MPA in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) student Swati Hingorani (’14) has always had a passion for environmental issues. As she looks forward to her graduation from the program, Swati anticipates that her experiences as an ESP student will help her return to these positions with a new perspective.
This year, in order to draw top applicants, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program has developed a partnership with Americorps and AmeriCorps Alums to help their alumni achieve success in graduate school. Each year, more than 80,000 Americorps volunteers engage in in service at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country.
MPA in Environmental Science and Policy alumnus James Vener (‘07) entered the program with the intention of transitioning his career from environmental engineering to environmental policy, but was surprised to discover an interest in clean energy.