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MIT Environment and Sustainability Weekly Roundup, September 12, 2021

Featured This Week

People, Prosperity & the Planet
ESI is pleased to announce the latest event in our People, Prosperity & the Planet series. On Wednesday, September 29, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm Eastern, join us for "Educating for a Sustainable Future: Mobilizing Higher Ed for the Climate Century."
Educating for a Sustainable Future
In this event, ESI's Education Program Manager Sarah Meyers will join representatives from Stanford, Arizona State University, and Carnegie Mellon to discuss innovative ways they are changing their institutions' curricula and practices to provide a quality sustainability education. How can we meet the needs of both those students who are most dedicated to sustainability, and those who would never think to take a class with an environmental theme? How do we recognize and scale up successes? And how can educational institutions learn from each other, while still catering to the unique needs of their student bodies and communities?

This is a free, hybrid event, open to members of the MIT community to attend in person, and for anyone and everyone to attend via webinar. Register now!

Featured Classes

4.376/CMS.374 Transmedia Art, Extraction, and Environment. Explores today’s extractive economies and the role that artists, media-makers, and transmedia producers play in shaping public perception, individual choices, and movement-building towards sustainability. Workshops with artists and media producers support students’ production of creative documentary and other media projects.

SP.257 MISTI Career Connections: Energy. Provides students with an opportunity to network and think strategically about their global career in the energy sector. Content is international, drawing from MISTI's global network of companies and institutions, and professional, with attention to energy research and skills necessary to work in the energy field. Through weekly discussion-based sessions, students learn from MISTI hosts, the MIT Energy Initiative, alumni, and more.

What We're Reading

an offshore oil rig
Big oil's delay tactics are the new climate science denial: Corporate messaging from the fossil fuel industry has shifted to new strategies, like laying responsibility for emissions on consumers and promoting solutions that fall short of preventing the worst impacts of climate change.
- The Guardian
a copper mine
The role of critical minerals in clean energy transitions: A new IEA report zeroes in on the rapidly growing demand for minerals like copper and lithium that are critical for clean energy technologies, and how the world can responsibly meet that demand.
- International Energy Agency


This Week
Save the Date
  • New Impacts En-ROADS Workshop, an opportunity to learn about new climate impacts introduced to Climate Interactive's En-ROADS climate solutions simulator, including crop yield, heat waves, and arctic sea ice melt. This is a virtual event. Thursday, September 23, 11 am-12 pm. Register.
  • MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative Lunch Series: Fall Kick Off, an introduction to professional sustainability opportunities available to students at MIT. Thursday, September 23, 11:45 am-12:45 pm. This will be a hybrid in-person/virtual lunch session. Register.
  • Climate and the Housing Crisis: A Research Agenda for Urban Communities, a briefing webinar on a new joint working paper from the UMass Boston Sustainable Solutions Lab and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Thursday, September 23, 12 pm. Register.
  • MIT Sustainability Ecosystem Mixer, an outdoor event at MIT to celebrate the return to campus with the numerous MIT sustainability groups. Hosted by the Sloan Sustainability Initiative. Thursday, September 23, 4:45-6:45 pm. Register.
  • Climate Preparedness Week 2021. Save the date for this week of virtual and Boston-area events on extreme weather adaptation, or apply to host an event of your own. September 24-30.
  • Fall Showcase on Experiential Ethics and Sustainability, a poster session showcasing a wide variety of student projects that apply an ethics and sustainability lens to summer work experiences. The date and location of this event have changed to Tuesday, September 28, 4-6 pm, in La Sala de Puerto Rico in the Stratton Student Center.
  • Educating for a Sustainable Future, the latest event in ESI's People, Prosperity & the Planet speaker series. Representatives from four leading universities will discuss sustainability education at the university level and how educational institutions can learn from each other. This is a hybrid event open to anyone via webinar or to the MIT community in-person. Wednesday, September 29, 12-1 pm. Register.
  • Sustainability Career and Internship Info Session, part of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative's Lunch Series. Get tips on how to find internships and careers in sustainability. Thursday, September 30, 11:45 am-12:45 pm. This will be a hybrid in-person/virtual lunch session. Register.
  • Living with Heat, a climate change webinar hosted by the Environmental Business Council of New England to discuss solutions to the urban heat island effect and increasing heat waves in Boston. Thursday, September 30, 1-4 pm. Register.
  • Financial Policy and the Environment, the 8th annual conference of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy, this year themed around the finance policy implications of climate impacts and solutions. This conference will be held virtually. October 20-21. Registration coming soon.
  • VERGE 21, a virtual event for climate tech across energy, mobility, carbon removal, agriculture and more. With dozens of breakout sessions and keynote speakers including Gov. Gavin Newsom, Gina McCarthy and Bill McKibben. October 25-28. Browse the program and get tickets (registration for the keynotes is free).
  • C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium & Awards, a virtual showcase and celebration of extraordinary women advancing a low-carbon energy future. November 3-4. Register.
  • Climatetech Summit 2021, Greentown Labs' annual climate technology entrepreneurship conference. Thursday, November 4, 9 am-8 pm. This year's conference will be a hybrid of in-person sessions at the Greentown Labs facilities in Somerville, Mass. and Houston, Texas with virtual livestreams. Get tickets.

News & Media from MIT

Ipek Bensu Manav (right) with Hessam AzariJafair, both of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub
Mitigating hazards with vulnerability in mind: A profile of PhD candidate Ipek Bensu Manav's work with the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub showcases how climate-resilient infrastructure is as much a social and political problem as an engineering one.
- MIT News
a wastewater treatment plant
There's one surefire way to end big sewage spills: Massive, centrally located wastewater treatment plants have been a huge gain for public health—but as extreme weather overwhelms the places where these facilities are located, they're also becoming a severe risk.
- Undark


Internships, Fellowships and Work Opportunities
  • Student Fellowships: The MIT Office of Sustainability is hiring two upper-level undergraduate or graduate students for paid, part-time fellowships, in Sustainability Data Analytics and Scope 3 Emissions Evaluation. Apply.
  • UROPs: Prof. Dava Newman's Human Systems Laboratory is seeking two MIT undergraduates for fall UROPs connecting climate change and AI. One will work on lightweight climate models with physics-informed deep learning, and the other on visualizing Antarctic sea ice with generative vision models. Contact Björn Lütjens by September 17 to apply.
  • Job: The MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative is seeking a part-time Sustainability Research Projects Coordinator to support research and engagement efforts with a focus on ESG measurement in capital markets. Apply.
  • Job: The MIT Energy Initiative is hiring a postdoctoral associate for a techno-economic study of low-carbon electrolytic hydrogen production. Apply.
  • Jobs: MIT Solve is hiring for a wide variety of positions, from entry-level to leadership, as it expands its operations to offer seed funding and support to high-impact innovations on major social and environmental problems around the world. Learn more.
  • Job: Raptor Maps, which builds software to manage solar energy deployments, is seeking an Engineering Manager to oversee software development teams. Apply.
  • Job: Via Separations is hiring a Senior Scientist to conduct R&D in energy-efficient industrial filtration processes. Apply.
  • Job: The Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Global Ecology is hiring a postdoctoral fellow to conduct research on net-zero-emission energy technologies and systems. Learn more and apply.
  • Job: GreenInfo, a public interest data visualization and communication group with a focus on environmental policy and analysis, is seeking a new Associate Director in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn how to apply.

Grants, Scholarships, Contests and Funding Opportunities
  • Contest: MIT students are invited to participate in IBM's Call for Code Research Challenge for Climate Change, developing climate solutions in sustainable water use, resilient agriculture, responsible production, or climate risk and impact using IBM technologies and the IBM cloud. Learn more and register as an individual or team by September 13.
  • Award: The Ramboll Group will award €65,000 to an early-career researcher contributing to a green transition in the energy sector. Learn more and apply by September 20.
  • Contest: The X Prize has opened registrations for the $100 million X Prize for Carbon Removal. In phase 1, up to 15 projects to remove CO2 from the atmosphere (through technology, natural solutions, or hybrid concepts) will receive $1 million each for early demonstrations and advancements. A total of $5 million will also be given to student teams working on relevant solutions. Learn how to apply by October 1 for student teams or by December 1 for all others.
  • Contest: The Global Change Award is accepting applications from teams with ideas for creating a sustainable fashion future. Winners will share in a €1 million grant and join a one-year GCA Impact Accelerator to scale up their ideas. Learn more and apply by October 20.
  • Contest: Conservation X Lab has opened its Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: The Amazon, offering a total of $1 million in prizes to teams developing solutions to address the environmental and social costs of small-scale gold mining in the Amazon. Apply by November 1.
  • Contest: The Department of Energy has opened the 2022 Geothermal Collegiate Competition, inviting student teams to develop innovative solutions for geothermal energy deployment, with prizes of up to $10,000. Learn more and submit your solution by November 4.
  • Grant: MISTI-Spain is calling for proposals for its INDITEX Circularity Seed Fund, a $30,000 grant for collaborations between MIT groups and research institutions in Spain that advance sustainability in the textiles industry. Apply by December 13.

Volunteer and Student Group Opportunities
Got news? Contact us!
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