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MIT Environment and Sustainability Weekly Roundup, September 18, 2022

Featured This Week

AI for Biodiversity

ESI has received a seed grant from the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium for the ECO-LENS project, a framework using AI to produce accurate maps of urban biodiversity.
members of ESI and MIT students in the La Esmeralda neighborhood of Quidbo, Colombia
With ECO-LENS, ESI plans to develop a system that can quickly and automatically interpret biodiversity data from satellite imaging and unmanned aerial vehicles. In partnership with city governments and local community groups—beginning in the Colombian cities of Quidbó and Leticia—this data will contribute to urban planning and local biodiversity conservation.

Read more.

Featured ESI Events

Educating Students for Sustainability in the Workforce
This Monday, September 19, ESI will host Prof. Desiree Plata and Bill Weihl, former Green Energy Czar at Google, for a conversation on "Educating Students for Sustainability in the Workforce." Come by the Bush Room, 10-105, at 12:00 to learn what skills, strategies and perspectives students can pursue to advance sustainability and their careers regardless of the industry they plan to work in.
Empowerment in Climate Action: Lessons from the Weekender
This Wednesday, September 21, ESI's Norhan Bayomi will participate in a webinar with the Anjunabeats electronic record label about a recent collaboration bringing climate engagement to the Weekender music festival. Register for "Empowerment in Climate Action: Lessons from the Weekender" at 11:30 to learn how these partners are lowering the threshold for concertgoers to take renewed action on climate change.

What We're Reading

scooters and other traffic in Hanoi
Scooters and 3-wheelers are really what's driving an electric vehicle revolution: While electric cars get far more attention in the U.S., in much of Asia electric vehicles are already mainstream—in the form of smaller, cheaper vehicles that are over 15 times more numerous worldwide than electric cars.
-  Rest of World
wetlands in the Atchafalaya Basin of Louisiana
Divert or die: Louisiana's controversial plan to save coastal communities and ecosystems: An audacious plan is nearing approval to rebuild land on the vanishing Lousiana coast by re-channeling the Mississippi River. But it's not without its own risks to locals and the already vulnerable ecosystem.
- The Revelator


This Week
  • MIT Sustainability Midway, an opportunity to get to know all MIT's sustainability clubs, organizations and opportunities, organized by the Student Sustainability Coalition. Featuring booths, merch and free food. Monday, September 19, 11 am-2 pm in Lobby 13.
  • Educating Students for Sustainability in the Workforce, a conversation with Prof. Desiree Plata of MIT CEE and Bill Weihl, former Green Energy Czar at Google and now Executive Director of ClimateVoice, about preparing to bring a sustainability lens to your future career—whether to get ahead in your field or push for change in your workplace. Monday, September 19, 12-1 pm in the Bush Room, 10-105. Concurrent with the MIT Sustainability Midway, so stop by while you're exploring MIT's sustainability opportunities!
  • Leave No One Behind: What Is the Connection Between Inequality and Climate Change?, a conversation with Esther Duflo, Co-Director of the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, presented both in-person and virtually as part of the New York Times' slate of New York Climate Week events. Tuesday, September 20, 11:30 am-12:10 pm. Get tickets.
  • 2022 MIT Sustainability Conference, a showcase for MIT research programs and startups engaged in decarbonization of industry and climate forecasting and resilience in corporate enterprises. Featuring workshops for deep engagement with leading MIT centers. September 20-21 in Cambridge, Mass. Get tickets (free for MIT faculty, students and staff).
  • Climate Change and Affordable Housing, a webinar presented by the MIT Center for Real Estate bringing together government, developers, advocates and academics to discuss climate impacts on the real estate industry and opportunities to reduce emissions while providing housing for all. Wednesday, September 21, 11 am. Register.
  • Empowerment in Climate Action: Lessons from the Weekender, a virtual presentation with ESI and the Anjunabeats record label on new climate engagement activities at this summer's Weekender music festival. Wednesday, September 21, 11:30 am-1 pm. Register.

Save the Date
  • Global Clean Energy Action Forum, a three-day event featuring roundtables with energy and science ministers from 31 countries, technology demonstrations, and participants from international organizations, the private sector, academia and more. Wednesday, September 21 - Friday, September 23 in Pittsburgh. Register.
  • Sustainability Lunch Series: Fall Kickoff, the return of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative's lunch series, featuring representatives from MIT's many sustainability-oriented clubs. Thursday, September 22, 11:30 am-12:30 pm at MIT. Register free.
  • Sustainability Ecosystem Mixer, a chance for all sustainability-oriented students at MIT to mingle over food and drinks with the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative. Wednesday, September 28, 5-7:30 pm at MIT. Register free.
  • The Road to COP27: Shifting Behaviors to Address Climate Change in Egypt, a webinar on Egypt's climate priorities broadcast from New Cairo ahead of the UN climate change conference. Hosted by the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. Thursday, September 29, 8-10 am. Register.
  • Risks and Opportunity Markets: Climate Change and the Housing Crisis, a Climate Adaptation Forum conversation about the need for affordable, climate-resilient housing across the U.S. Presented virtually and in-person at the Brandeis Conference Center in Boston. Friday, September 30, 9 am-12 pm. Get tickets.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Finance and Environmental Sustainability, a seat-limited conference hosted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business to explore how corporations and financial markets can best raise and allocate capital toward meeting sustainability challenges. November 11-12 at Stanford University. Apply for a seat by September 30.
  • 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 prompt 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

MIT campus
MIT accelerates efforts on path to carbon reduction goals: MIT's “Fast Forward” climate action plan laid out ambitious commitments to reduce the Institute's greenhouse gas emissions. Through building and vehicle electrification, upgrades to campus energy infrastructure, and other innovations, the real work to meet those goals is now beginning.
- MIT News
TILclimate logo
Today I learned about everyday travel: Roughly ten percent of the world’s CO2 emissions come from passenger vehicles. The newest episode of our TILclimate podcast talks to Dr. Joanna Moody of the World Bank about options for reducing those everyday travel emissions in all kinds of different social, national and urban environments.
- TILclimate


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.
  • 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 City of Boston is hiring an Air Quality Project Manager. 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.
  • Fellowship: The Sorbonne University – Paris Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has open applications for their Chair on “Major Changes” that offers 5 and 10-month fellowships at the Paris IAS in the academic year 2023-2024 to work on a project on the societal or ethical dimension and impacts of digitization and artificial intelligence and/or the environmental transition. Learn more and apply by October 4.
Grants, Scholarships, Contests and Funding Opportunities
  • Contest: The Museum of Science in Boston is seeking applications for the Go Carbon Neutral! Challenge, in which undergraduates will develop and showcase strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in Boston. Register to compete by September 23.
  • Contests: The Enel Foundation will award up to €30,000 for innovative solutions for: long-term contracts for renewable electricity; grid resilience to extreme weather events; and improved operation and maintenance of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Submit your solution by September 25.
  • Contest: The Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab invites MIT students, post-docs and recent alumni to submit to the World Food Day Video Competition, awarding up to $1500 for videos showcasing exciting food and agriculture research. Apply by September 27.
  • Startup Program: Greentown Labs, with BASF and Magna, has opened applications for Go Move 2022, awarding $25,000, work space, networking and mentorship to startups working to decarbonize the lifecycle impact of the automotive industry. Learn more and apply by September 30.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Workshops and Education
  • Workshop: The Wade Institute for Science Education will offer Our Climate, Our Communities: Science, Systems, and Solutions this September 23-December 11. This workshop for educators connects registrants with scientists, engineers, and new tools and resources while promoting best practices in bringing climate change concepts to the classroom. Sessions will be held both virtually and in-person in Salem, Massachusetts. PDPs and graduate credits available. Register.
Got news? Contact us!
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