Sustainable Development Program Seeks Teaching Assistants for Fall 2020

by |March 27, 2020

The Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development is accepting applications for Fall 2020 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 UN3280.001 Workshop in Sustainable Development
  5. SDEV UN3280.002 Workshop in Sustainable Development
  6. SDEV UN3360 Disasters and Development
  7. SDEV UN3390 GIS for Sustainable Development
  8. SDEV UN3400 Demography of Human Populations
  9. SDEV GU4240 Science Communication
man writing on chalkboard

Photo: Pexels

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 from 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.

Applicants are welcome to apply to multiple positions provided they submit a separate application for each. Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) here.

DEADLINE TO APPLY IS APRIL 26 AT 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) here


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 U.S. system to study sustainable governance at the international level. With both U.S. 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 will be responsible for meeting and coordinating with the instructor regularly and performing other course-related duties as assigned, including grading written coursework. Supporting students is the primary task for the TA, including holding office hours and arranging review sessions ahead of tests.

Applicants must be current full-time Columbia University 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) here


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 and 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) here


Teaching Assistants for SDEV UN3280.001 & UN3280.002 Workshop in Sustainable Development (2 positions)

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 from graduate students.

To Apply: Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) here


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 from graduate students.

To Apply: Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) here


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. Students 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 from graduate students.

To Apply: Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) here


Teaching Assistant for SDEV UN3400 Human Populations & SDEV

Population processes and their outcomes in terms of population size, distribution and characteristics have a fundamental role in sustainable development and also broad policy implications. This course will introduce students to the scientific study of human populations as a contribution toward understanding social structure, relations and dynamics, as well as society-nature interactions. The aim is to offer a basic introduction to the main theories, concepts, measures and uses of demography. The course will cover the issues of population size, distribution and composition, and consumption, at different scales from global to regional to local, as well as the implications for population-environment relationships.

Applicants should have strong knowledge of, and an interest in, the topics studied throughout the course of the semester.

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 from graduate students.

To Apply: Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) here


Teaching Assistant For SDEV GU4240 Science Communication

Communicating scientific research and thinking to a lay audience is a pervasive challenge with significant societal implications. Students focusing on sustainable development will have to confront this challenge in a wide array of circumstances, including translating their own scientific findings to people outside their field and to the public, evaluating the scientific communication they encounter in mainstream
media, and providing scientific information across cultural divides. This course will adopt an interdisciplinary approach, weaving together content from communications, journalism, psychology, and political science to provide students with the skills they need to address these challenges. The course is practice-based, giving students the opportunity to try using new communication tools and techniques.

Time Commitment & Responsibilities This course will be co-taught, and the teaching assistant will work with both supervising instructors to assist with delivery of the content. Additionally, the TA will be responsible for meeting with students regularly and supporting them as they complete written assignments. The TA will perform other course-related duties as assigned, including grading written coursework and keeping track of both attendance and grades.

Applicants must be current full-time CU graduate students enrolled in a degree granting program. Eligible applicants must have exceptionally strong writing skills, some background in the sciences, and enthusiasm for working closely with undergraduate students.

To Apply: Please post your cover letter stating your interest in the position and a resume (both in PDF format) here

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