For Andrew Cummings, the MPA ESP program is providing him the opportunity to marry science and policy with the experience he gained as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso. Cummings credits his experience as a volunteer for giving him the skills he needs to succeed in a fast-paced environment.
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As part of their Urban Ecology course, students in the MPA-ESP program take part in a series of field trips, applying classroom learning to real-world issues. From hiking to the top of a landfill reclamation site, to paddling the murky waters of the Bronx River, students were immersed in the challenges and complexities associated with urban restoration projects.
On Monday, June 22, the newest Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science & Policy (MPA-ESP) candidates spent a beautiful, sunny day touring Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, just a short bus ride away in Palisades, NY. Led by Environmental Chemistry professor Benjamin Bostick and Climatology professor Jason Smerdon, the students were exposed to many different areas of groundbreaking research that the world-class facility has to offer.
Inspired by his childhood fascination with the outdoors, current Sustainability Management student Zach Bogoshian joined the program to implement lessons from nature to our current environmental challenges. In the program, this hopeful notion has manifested itself as a passion for creating innovative networks to connect people with sustainable solutions that don’t discount financial return. As Zach says, “If sustainability doesn’t make economic sense, the intrinsic motivation generated by pursuing sound environmental outcomes simply is not enough to effect change on the scale we need.”
The MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program is proud to congratulate the 59 members of the Class of 2015 who graduated from the School of International and Public Affairs on May 21 and welcomed 52 new students only five days later on May 26.
After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua, current Sustainability Management student Michele Aquino was drawn to the program because he saw the need for sustainable programming in development interventions. Since starting the program, Michele has gotten involved with various projects on campus, including working with his fellow MS students to submit a prospectus for the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge that would propose a land restoration and sustainable palm oil production program for smallholder farmers. Upon graduating in May, Michele hopes to pursue a career in the food processing and consumer packaged goods space or exploring the field of clean energy.
For Adrian Ang, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program presents a unique blend of skills that he hopes to apply to a future career in environmental policy and leadership.
“I was a little nervous coming into the MSSM program, as my educational and professional background seemed atypical,” says student Laura Tajima. “However, I found that there is no ‘typical’ background. I’ve collaborated with people from finance and architecture; those who have worked in the oil industry and fashion industry; people from all over the world and those who grew up in the city.”
For Carolina Rosero, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program will provide the tools she needs to bridge the gap between scientists and decision-makers. She hopes to combine the skills she gained through her job in Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment with her coursework at Columbia to make an impact in developing nations.
As part of the Workshop in applied Earth Systems Policy Analysis, students in the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program are partnering with the Raritan Headwaters Association (RHA) to help address emerging water quality and watershed resiliency issues related to climate change.