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MIT Environment and Sustainability Weekly Roundup, October 9, 2022

Letter from the Director

Hello friends of the ESI,

I have reserved my privilege to address you through this newsletter primarily, and often narrowly, on topics of the environment and sustainability. Today, I write on a subject that is central to our work here at the ESI, but also extends well beyond our mandate.

The free expression of ideas is why I became a professor. I welcome controversial perspectives and uncomfortable discourse. I welcome disagreement and challenge. Free and open expression is essential to learning and therefore to the academy. I applaud the current effort to articulate and adopt a set of principles for free expression. Thank you to all at MIT who are engaged in this effort and I look forward to recommitting to this essential element of academic life.

Read the full letter on our website.


Climate and Sustainability Education from MIT at NAAEE 2022
This Wednesday to Friday, ESI's Climate Education Specialist Sylvia Scharf will be participating in the annual conference of the North American Association for Environmental Education, giving a presentation on resources from MIT for teaching about climate and sustainability with a focus on solutions. (Including ESI's companion educator guides for our TILclimate podcast.)

Sylvia's presentation will be available online and on-demand to all conference goers. You can learn more and register for the conference here.
John Fernandez and Scott Odell
And, members of ESI will be in Santiago, Chile next Tuesday, October 18 to headline a workshop on "Mining & Energy: Resource challenges for the energy transition."

The workshop, hosted by the MIT Sloan Latin America Office, will highlight practices, policies and technologies for a more sustainable approach to mining in an era of growing demand for clean energy materials. ESI Director John Fernández and Visiting Scientist Scott Odell of our Mining, Environment, and Society Program will present. Learn more.

What We're Reading

a solar farm
The climate economy is about to explode: A Credit Suisse research report on the climate legislation recently signed by President Biden concludes it “will have a profound effect across industries in the next decade and beyond,” leaving the U.S. “poised to become the world’s leading energy provider.”
-  The Atlantic
palm tree
This 100% solar community endured Hurricane Ian with no loss of power and minimal damage: Just 12 miles northeast of the devastated Fort Myers, Babcock Ranch has invested in flood-controlling streets, native landscaping to absorb storm water, buried power lines, and on-site energy generation and storage.
-  CNN


This Week
  • ClimateTech, the inaugural conference on technology solutions for climate change hosted by the MIT Technology Review. October 12-13 at the MIT Media Lab. Get tickets for in-person or online access. (Discounts available for MIT community and group purchases.)
  • Road to COP27: African Priorities and Goals in Global Climate Negotiations, a presentation by Alice Ruhweza, Africa Region Director of the World Wide Fund for Nature, hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School. Wednesday, October 12, 1:30-2:30 pm online or on the HKS campus in Rubenstein 414-AB. Register.
  • Promoting Sustainable Development for Africa, a UMRP workshop in which 5 MIT faculty and their Moroccan colleagues will launch their new 5-year projects from solar desalination to climate-responsive seed technologies. Friday, October 14, 9 am-12 pm at the MIT Samberg Conference Center 6th Floor. Email to register.
  • J-WAFS World Food Day Student Video Festival, an online video presentation on food and agriculture research from the MIT community hosted by the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab. Friday, October 14, 12 pm. Register.

Save the Date
  • MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium Annual Symposium, featuring sessions on climate implications of computing and communications, investment in climate startups, and opportunities for finance to accelerate adoption of climate solutions. Tuesday, October 18, 9 am-6:30 pm in the MIT Media Lab. Register.
  • Sustainability Lunch Series: ESG vs. Impact, a lunch event hosted by the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative where alum Drew Morales will discuss his work in ESG and impact investment funds and why the distinction matters. Thursday, October 20, 11:45 am-12:30 pm on the MIT campus. Register.
  • Climate Change Meet Up, an open house event with ESI, the PKG Center, the MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium, and the MIT Office of Sustainability sponsored by the MIT Libraries. Thursday, October 20, 5-7 pm in the Libraries DEN, Building 3-108. Learn more.
  • The Ocean's Natural Way to Stop Climate Change, a lecture presented by the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences with Caltech Prof. Jess Adkins about a prospective technology for large-scale carbon removal. Thursday, October 20, 6:30 pm at the New England Aquarium. Register.
  • MIT Energy and Climate Career Fair, an opportunity to meet employers in renewable energy, energy storage, transportation, energy finance and consulting, and more. Friday, October 21, 11 am-2 pm in La Sala de Puerto Rico (W20-202). Register.
  • MIT Energy Night, an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge energy research from MIT and beyond. Free and open to the public. Friday, October 21, at the MIT Museum. More details to come.
  • Environmental, Energy, and Engineering Career Fair, hosted by the Environmental Business Council of New England to introduce students and job seekers to job opportunities and paid internships in government, nonprofits and the private sector. Monday, October 24, 4:30-6:30 pm at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Register.
  • Lunch Break: Fall Treats and Campus Climate Action, a hands-on social event hosted the MIT Office of Sustainability to treat the MIT community to food, music, and information about MIT's growing actions toward climate adaptation and carbon neutrality. Tuesday, October 25, 12:15-1 pm at the Kendall/MIT Open Space outside 292 Main Street. Register.
  • National Adaptation Forum, a conference for professionals in the public and private sectors dedicated to planning for and adapting to climate change-related hazards. October 25-27 in Baltimore. Learn more and get tickets.
  • The City Science Summit, a conference and series of workshops hosted by the MIT City Science Network on policy, technology and planning tools to drastically reduce the carbon emissions of urban areas while improving livability and economic potential. October 27-28 at the MIT Media Lab. Email the City Science Network to inquire about invitations.
  • Greentown Labs Climatetech Summit 2022, the annual showcase, conference and networking event from climate technology incubator Greentown Labs. Wednesday, November 2 in Houston and Thursday, November 3 in Somerville, Mass., with free livestream of keynotes and sessions both days. Get tickets.
  • HBS Climate Symposium, the annual student-run climate change conference at Harvard Business School. November 5-6. Get tickets (50% discount for students).
  • MIT Energy Hackathon, a hybrid in-person and virtual challenge to create team solutions with the theme "decarbonizing the built environment," with cash prizes available to the winners. November 11-13 at MIT and online. Sign up to compete.
  • 4th International Conference on Renewable Energy, Resources and Sustainable Technologies (Energytech 2022), a two day in-person conference hosted by Coalesce Research Group that includes keynote speakers, presentations, oral talks, poster presentations, networking events and an exhibition. The theme is "Generation of Energy Evolution for Sustainable Future" and will cover a broad range of Renewable Energy topics. Monday, November 14 - Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at Mercure Roma West, Rome, Italy. Learn more and register
  • 2022 MIT Research and Development Conference, featuring tracks on "climate and the environment" and "sustainable solutions," where MIT researchers, startups, and global business leaders present innovations to tackle worldwide challenges. November 15-16 at the Boston Marriott Cambridge. Register (free to MIT students, faculty and staff).

News & Media from MIT

Tapping the land for climate solutions: A workshop co-hosted by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change explored how Africa can take advantage of feasible climate solutions through forestry, agriculture and other land use.
- MIT Joint Program
an electric Chevy Volt being charged
Inside a battery recycling facility: Battery materials for critical clean energy technologies like electric vehicles will soon be in short supply. Recycling facilities, like one Redwood Materials is building for $3.5 billion in Nevada, could help fill in the gaps.
- MIT Technology Review


Internships, Fellowships and Work Opportunities
  • Student Jobs: The MIT Office of Sustainability is hiring MIT students for paid, part-time research positions. Apply.
  • Job: The MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium is hiring a Program Coordinator to support their finance and administrative needs. Apply.
  • Job: The MIT Energy Initiative and Commonwealth Fusion Systems are hiring a Program Manager to organize, coordinate, and streamline the project management of a broad portfolio of concurrently running fusion research projects at MIT. Apply.
  • Job: The MIT Energy Initiative is seeking a Development Officer to help fund its mission of advancing clean energy development. Apply.
  • Job: The MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative is hiring a Program Assistant to contribute to event management, accounting, administrative support, and course support. Apply.
  • Job: Transaera, an MIT spinoff designing affordable, low-carbon air conditioning, is hiring a chemical engineer. Apply.
  • Job: Climate Interactive is seeking a Director of Modeling and Technology to oversee modeling and software development for the real-time climate policy model at the heart of the company's climate engagement mission. Apply.
  • Fellowship: Conservation International is hiring a Social Inclusion Fellow to strengthen engagement with Afro-descendant communities in the Americas around conservation and climate solutions. Apply.
  • Fellowship: The Activate Fellowships, providing a generous two-year stipend along with $100,000 in startup funding and access to additional capital, are seeking applications for their 2023 cohort. Applicants should have early-stage tech ideas to address climate change and other urgent sustainability challenges. Apply by October 31.
  • Jobs: The City of Boston is hiring for positions including an Air Quality Project Manager, a BERDO Review Board Manager overseeing building emissions reductions, an Energy Analyst, a Retrofit Resource Hub Manager to assist with energy efficiency retrofits, and an Energy Advocate to promote energy efficiency programs to Bostonians who would benefit from them.
  • Job: The Boston University URBAN Graduate Program is seeking a Program Manager to advance the program’s work training graduate students to tackle urban environmental challenges in partnership with governments, NGOs and the private sector. Apply.
  • Job: The Engine, an early-stage technology venture fund in Cambridge, Mass., is hiring a Policy & Climate Strategist. Apply.
  • Job: The Bezos Earth Fund is hiring a Director of Technology Acceleration to identify high-leverage opportunities to accelerate commercialization of technologies the world needs to combat climate change and protect the natural world. Apply.
  • Jobs: The Environmental League of Massachusetts is hiring a Campaign Manager to support all electoral and advocacy efforts of the Action Fund, among other open positions. Apply.
  • Jobs: The Better Future Project is hiring a Development Manager, Legislative Coordinator and Climate Justice Organizer to support a variety of climate advocacy projects in Massachusetts. Apply.
  • Job: Spark Climate Solutions is seeking a Climate Solution Scientist to engage in strategic scientific research road-mapping, investigating where high-leverage climate solution opportunities may be gathering dust in researchers’ backlogs of unfunded proposals, and getting them moving. Apply.
  • Internship: The City of Miami Beach is seeking an Aspen Climate Institute Intern to support the development of a climate festival. MIT students can apply through Handshake by October 31.
  • Internships: The World Wildlife Fund is seeking a Food Waste Data Innovation Intern and a Farm Food Loss Tool Intern. MIT students can apply through Handshake by November 1.
  • Internship: The Beth Israel Lahey Health System is seeking a Sustainability Program Assistant to prioritize hospital sustainability goals. MIT students can apply through Handshake by November 13.
Grants, Scholarships, Contests and Funding Opportunities
  • Grants: MassVentures and MassCEC will provide grants up to $75,000 for researchers and early-stage companies to demonstrate initial prototypes of novel clean energy technologies. A percentage of grants are earmarked for women- and minority-owned companies. Apply by October 11.
  • Contest: Global Partners is seeking applications for their Fuel the Future student design competition, awarding up to $10,000 for designs for novel fueling stations. Apply by October 14.
  • Contest: NASA's Gateways to Blue Skies competition challenges student teams to conceptualize future clean energy sources for aviation. Learn how to compete by October 17.
  • Grant: The MIT Sloan Latin America Office is offering seed funds up to $20,000 to MIT faculty and researchers undertaking research, courses, workshops or conferences with a strong tie to Latin America. Apply by October 29.
  • Awards: Eni will award their Eni Awards for energy science innovations in the categories of "energy frontiers," "advanced environmental solutions" and "energy transition," with additional awards for young researchers and research debuts from Africa. Learn more and apply by November 25.
  • Grants: The MISTI Global Seed Funds are open for applications. Grants are available to all MIT faculty and principal investigators pursuing joint research collaborations with colleagues in foreign universities or research institutes. Learn more and apply by December 13.

Students and Volunteer Opportunities
  • Hackathon: The MIT Energy Hackathon is this November 11-13. Sign up to compete.
  • Winter Program Abroad: InterExchange has opened applications for Sustainable Action Costa Rica, an 8-day January program traveling the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica to tour local sustainable development initiatives. Learn more.
Got news? Contact us!
Copyright © 2022 MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, All rights reserved.

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