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MIT Environment and Sustainability Weekly Roundup, August 8, 2021

Featured This Week

Bogotá Cómo Vamos

Each year, the organization Bogotá Cómo Vamos issues a "Quality of Life Report" on key urban issues, designed to help the city of Bogotá monitor progress and implement development plans.

This year, members of ESI were invited to participate in a chapter of the Bogotá Cómo Vamos Quality of Life Report focused on public space. Marcela Angel '18, research associate and manager of ESI's Natural Climate Solutions Program, was a lead author on the chapter, working with the local organization PROBOGOTA to capture a depth of local environmental data on the city's green spaces. The team was joined by Manuela Uribe '18, Urban Project Coordinator for PROBOGOTA, and ESI research assistant Benjamin Villa, a graduate student at Harvard.
a public park in Bogota
"What we brought to this chapter different than what it had had in the past were spatial analysis tools, to be able to assess how equitable is the distribution of some of the indicators," says Angel, whose thesis in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning examined the social and biodiversity implications of park planning in Bogotá.
Green spaces and tree cover have a multitude of very local benefits, on the neighborhood and even street level, Angel explains. They help buffer neighborhoods from flooding and heat waves, improve air quality, and raise property values. By understanding at a very granular level which neighborhoods are most exposed to these benefits, cities can better direct investments to improve both quality of life and preparedness for extreme weather events.

The 2020 Bogotá Cómo Vamos Quality of Life Report is now available (in Spanish) online.

What We're Reading

EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC
Biden's climate plans are stunted after dejected experts fled Trump: Hundreds of scientists and policy experts left the government during the Trump administration, leaving vacancies in agencies instrumental to federal climate action.
- New York Times
Portland, Oregon
Luna Abadía turned her climate change fears into action and solutions: GeekWire's Junior Geek of the Month is a Portland, Oregon high school student whose youth-run activist organization promotes climate solutions using the MIT-developed EnROADS climate model.
- GeekWire


This Week
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.  
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

an artist's rendering of one portion of the Malden River Project
Finding common ground in Malden: The Malden River Works, organized by a community steering committee, has a plan to restore public access to the city's river through a climate-resilient waterfront park linked to neighboring cities' greenways.
- MIT News
construction on New York City's High Line
Often overlooked, new building codes could buffer climate change: Building codes have a huge impact on the 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions that come from buildings. The fight to amend them is unfolding in all 50 states.
- 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: Greentown Labs, a climate tech incubator in Somerville, Mass., is hiring an Executive Communications Coordinator to support the CEO. Learn how to apply.
  • Jobs: FORGE, a nonprofit that helps innovators in cleantech and other high-tech, socially beneficial fields grow to large-scale manufacturing, is hiring for two leadership positions at its new location in Lowell, Massachusetts: a Northeast Massachusetts Director and a Director of Partnerships.
  • 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: Nth Cycle, which develops materials solutions for the mining and recycling industries, is hiring a Chemical Engineer. Learn how to apply.
  • Job: Sublime Systems, a low-carbon cement company, is hiring a Director of Engineering to accelerate the launch of a pilot plant. Learn how to 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
  • Accelerator Program: Greentown Labs has launched the Healthy Buildings Challenge, offering networking, mentorship, office space, and $25,000 in grant funding to startups focused on building technologies that optimize for both human health and climate change mitigation. Read the RFP and apply by August 25.
  • 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.
  • 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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