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MIT Environment and Sustainability Weekly Roundup, August 29, 2021

Featured This Week

Climate and Sustainability Classes at MIT

Sarah Meyers, ESI's Education Program Manager, has worked hard to document undergraduate classes across the whole Institute that contribute to an understanding of climate and sustainability—a catalogue that now includes over 120 classes in 23 departments and growing.
Ready for the Climate Century?
“I’ve often had conversations with students who were surprised to learn there are so many classes available,” says Meyers in a new story on sustainability education at MIT published in MIT News. “We do need to do a better job communicating about them, and making it as easy as possible to enroll.”

That's why ESI has created a new web page and marketing campaign, "Ready for the Climate Century," to help undergraduates at MIT find sustainability classes that fit their schedules and plans for graduation.
The campaign lets students search the full catalogue of classes by department, semester, topics and other filters. It also highlights climate and sustainability classes that help with particular graduation or professional goals—like classes that fulfill MIT's General Institute Requirements, or those that bring sustainability principles to careers in business, engineering, or policymaking.

Visit to find your sustainability class today!
SimPlanet: A Back-to-Campus Event September 7
The En-ROADS climate change model developed at MIT has been used by the United Nations, the White House and the U.S. Congress to game out how different policies and technologies can help the world avert catastrophic climate change. This September 7, we are welcoming all MIT students, staff and faculty back to campus with SimPlanet: The Climate Diplomacy Game, in which you use the En-ROADS model in real time to solve the world's climate challenge.

All members of the MIT community are invited to register for SimPlanet now.

Featured Classes

12.387/15.874/IDS.063 People and the Planet: Environmental Science and Governance. Environmental challenges involve complex interactions of natural and social systems. By examining case studies that involve people, technologies, the environment, institutions, and knowledge, this class will provide methodological tools to solve problems and advance transitions towards sustainability. A core class for the Environment & Sustainability Minor with instructor Noelle Selin.

5.S00 Fifty Years of Energy Policy—Lessons for the Future
. This special subject with instructor John Deutch reviews energy issues and U.S. policy responses from the Nixon administration to the present. What lessons can be learned from this experience and how should they shape the country’s climate change policy? Both domestic and international policy aspects will be addressed. Learn more.

What We're Reading

The bill that could truly, actually bring back U.S. manufacturing: From solar panels to advanced energy storage, the U.S. has repeatedly provided the basic R&D for the low-carbon technologies of the future—and then seen the actual manufacturing and commercialization go overseas.
- The Atlantic
the Pirris hydroelectric dam in Tarrazú, Costa Rica
Denmark, Costa Rica seek alliance to speed up the end of oil and gas: Denmark and Costa Rica are among the very first nations to set a date for a permanent end to fossil fuel exploration. Now they're trying to recruit other countries to make the same pledge.
- Reuters


Save the Date
  • SimPlanet: The Climate Diplomacy Game, a welcome event for all MIT students returning to campus. With teams of your fellow students, use the En-ROADS climate change model to game out how different policies and technologies can help the world avert catastrophic climate change, then negotiate with other teams representing activist groups, nations, and industries. Tuesday, September 7, 12-3 pm, in the Stratton Student Center. Register.  
  • Investor Speaker Series: The IPCC Report's Call to Action, a webinar hosted by Greentown Labs. Thursday, September 9, 1-2 pm. Register.
  • 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. Monday, September 13, 4-6 pm, in the Vest Student Street on the first floor of the Stata Center.
  • Picture Yourself in a Greener Career, part of the virtual Fierce Urgency of Now! Festival with Browning the Green Space. Learn about career opportunities in the Boston-area clean energy economy with experts of color. Thursday, September 16, 1-2:30 pm. Register.
  • MIT Solve Challenge Finals, an opportunity to see the final awards of over $2 million in prize funding for the 2021 MIT Solve Global Challenges, including solutions for resilient ecosystems. Friday, September 17, 8 am-2 pm. Register.
  • Climapalooza, Boston's annual climate action rally and benefit concert. Friday, September 17, 7-9 pm at the Herter Park Amphitheater. Save the date.
  • 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.
  • People, Prosperity & the Planet. The next event in ESI's People, Prosperity & the Planet speaker series will address sustainability education at the university level, featuring luminaries from leading institutions around the U.S. Wednesday, September 29, 12-1 pm. Save the date.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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

Prof. John Sterman leads an En-ROADS workshop at MIT
Why care about climate change?: The En-ROADS climate simulation game provides a hands-on experience of the consequences of unchecked climate change, and how to avert them. ESI will host an En-ROADS game for MIT students, faculty and staff this Sept. 7.
- MIT Spectrum
a Kodiak brown bear
Reimagining humanity's obligation to wild animals: A new book, Wild Souls by Emma Marris, explores the ethical questions of why we should care about individual animals, about whole species, and what the implications are for our actions.
- Undark


Internships, Fellowships and Work Opportunities
  • Job: ESI is hiring a postdoctoral associate to undertake research related to environmental justice, with a primary focus on hydrocarbon-producing regions of the United States. Learn more and 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: Greentown Labs, a climate tech incubator in Somerville, Mass., is hiring an Executive Communications Coordinator to support the CEO. Learn how to apply.
  • 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 International Living Future Institute is hiring an Ambassador Program Manager to recruit and train a network of volunteers, driving adoption of ILFI Certifications for the highest standards of sustainability in the built environment. 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.
  • Job: The Sequoia Climate Fund is hiring a Climate Policy Data Scientist to support the fund's grantmaking with credible data analyses and methodologies to assess the emissions abatement potential of a wide variety of project types. Apply.

Grants, Scholarships, Contests and Funding Opportunities
  • 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: 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.
  • 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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