Teaching Assistantship Applications Open for Sustainable Development Undergraduate Courses

by |April 1, 2019

By Caroline Berman

The Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development is accepting applications for Fall 2019 teaching assistant positions for the following courses:

  1. SDEV UN1900 Introduction to Sustainable Development Seminar
  2. SDEV UN2050 Environmental Policy and Governance
  3. SDEV UN2320 Economic and Financial Methods for Sustainable Development
  4. SDEV UN3280 Workshop in Sustainable Development (Section 2)
  5. SDEV UN3330 Ecological and Social Systems for Sustainable Development
  6. SDEV UN3360 Disasters and Development
  7. SDEV UN3390 GIS for Sustainable Development
  8. SDEV GU4101 Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainable Development

Applicants must be current full-time Columbia University students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Students should expect to work 10-20 hours per week on average, but this can vary throughout the semester. Applications will only be accepted by graduate students and undergraduate juniors or seniors. Please note Teachers College and Barnard students are not eligible to apply. Be sure to check the description for each position for additional restrictions and information.

The deadline to apply is May 1st 11:55pm.


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN1900 Introduction to Sustainable Development Seminar

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. This also may include developing, distributing and statistically analyzing “peer review” and “self-review” forms.

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 .


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN2050 Environmental Policy and Governance

Sustainability is a powerful framework for thinking about business, economics, politics and environmental impacts. An overview course, Environmental Policy & Governance will focus specifically on the policy elements of sustainability. With an emphasis on the American political system, the course will begin by exploring the way the American bureaucracy addresses environmental challenges. We will then use the foundations established through our understanding of the US system to study sustainable governance at the international level. With both US and international perspectives in place, we will then address a range of specific sustainability issues including land use, climate change, food and agriculture, air quality, water quality, and energy. Over the course of the semester, we will study current events through the lens of sustainability policy to help illustrate course concepts and theories.

Applicants should have a background in political science or policy, and an interest in working closely with undergraduate students.

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 Columbia University students enrolled in a degree granting program. Applications will only be accepted by graduate students and undergraduate juniors or seniors.

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 .


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN2320 Economic and Financial Methods for Sustainable Development

The objective of this course is to introduce students to key analytical concepts, skills and methods necessary to understand and evaluate the economic and financial aspects of sustainable development. Throughout the course, students will compare competing objectives and policies through the prism of economic & financial reasoning. This course is intended to provide students with a flying introduction to key analytical concepts required to understand topics in environmental economics and finance and to introduce them to selected topics within the field.

Applicants should have strong finance and economic skills and an interest 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 will be responsible for maintaining the course materials online, attending classes, directing recitations, discussions, responding to student queries and grading student work. 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 from 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 .


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN3280 Workshop in Sustainable Development (Section 2)

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 & 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. This also may include developing, distributing and statistically analyzing “peer review” and “self-review” forms.

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 .


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN3330 Ecological and Social Systems for Sustainable Development

The course provides an overview of the complex relationships between ecological and social systems. The course focuses on basic principles in understanding these relationships.  After the students are introduced to these basic concepts, the course will focus on three current topics central to Sustainable Development for in-depth study. The emphasis is on the multiple perspectives – environmental, social and economic—required to understand and develop solutions to problems in sustainable development. 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.

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.

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. This also may include developing, distributing and statistically analyzing “peer review” and “self review” forms.

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 .


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN3360 Disasters and Development

This course offers undergraduate students, for the first time, a comprehensive course on the link between natural disaster events and human development at all levels of welfare. It explores the role that natural disasters might have and have had in modulating development prospects. Any student seriously interested in sustainable development, especially in light of climate change, must study the nature of extreme events – their causes, global distribution and likelihood of future change. This course will cover not only the nature of extreme events, including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and droughts but also their transformation into disaster through social processes. It will ultimately help students to understand the link between such extreme events, the economic/social shock they represent and development outcomes. The course will combine careful analysis of the natural and social systems dynamics that give rise to disasters and examine through group learning case studies from the many disasters that have occurred in the first decade of the 21st century.

Applicants should have a basic knowledge of sustainable development, 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 .


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN3390 GIS for Sustainable Development

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 sustainable 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, like grading written coursework. This also may include developing, distributing and statistically analyzing “peer review” and “self-review” forms.

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 .


Teaching Assistant for SDEV GU4101 Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainable Development

Students of sustainable development are faced with an array of global challenges that warrant scholarly inquiry. Social science questions are particularly well suited for qualitative research. This course will provide an overview of social science research methods, with a focus on building a toolkit for undergraduate students. We begin with an overview of the science of knowing. How do we generate scientific hypotheses in the social sciences, and then how can we find out whether those hypotheses are accurate? An exploration of a range of qualitative research methods will occupy the majority of our class time, including interviewing, case studies, questionnaires, surveys, coding, and participant observation. Toward the end of the course we consider how mixed methods allow for the integration of quantitative tools in the social sciences. Throughout, students will both study and practice these research methods, experimenting to better understand the strengths and challenges associated with each approach. The course will end with poster presentations in which students share their own research and justify the methods they have employed.

Applicants should have experience with qualitative research methods and a strong desire to work closely with undergraduate students.

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 Columbia University students enrolled in a degree granting program. Applications will only be accepted by graduate students and undergraduate juniors or seniors.

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.

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