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MIT Environment and Sustainability Weekly Roundup, July 24, 2022

Featured This Week

Biodiversity and Cities

ESI is pleased to publish (in Spanish) a report for the Colombian city of Quidbó, containing recommendations for the sustainable management of biodiversity within and beyond city limits to promote quality of life and ecological health through urban planning and development. The report, "Quidbó, una Ciudad en Armonía con la Selva," was authored by MIT students in direct collaboration with public officials, civil society organizations and research organizations in Quidbó, following the ESI-designed class "Biodiversity and Cities: a Perspective for Colombian Cities" and a subsequent on-site summer fellowship.
Quidbo una ciudad en armonia con la selva
Quibdó has great natural wealth and a strong cultural identity linked to biodiversity. But the translation of this natural wealth into benefits for both citizens and wildlife depends on active work from the local government and community. The MIT report outlines strategies for community engagement (including citizen science and urban gardening programs), urban development (including the establishment of green corridors and sustainable drainage systems), and biodiversity monitoring through key, relevant metrics. It further proposes a "bioprospecting" exchange program to derive economic value from maintaining a healthy forest in the region.
The strategies presented in this report aim to help overcome current obstacles to the efficient, inclusive and resilient management of biodiversity in Quibdó. While the specific recommendations here are responsive to Quidbó's unique design and situation inside tropical rainforest between the Andes and the Pacific coast, we hope this report may also serve as a framework for other cities to design and develop equitable and research-driven biodiversity management strategies.


MIT Water Summit Leadership

The MIT Water Club's signature annual event, the MIT Water Summit, brings together students, researchers, startups, industry representatives and policymakers to discuss challenges and showcase solutions in a critical topic within the theme of water. The club is seeking applications for co-directors of the 2022 event.

Apply online or email co-director Vyshnavi Vennelakanti with questions.
MIT 15.366 Energy & Climate Ventures – Interest Form & Application Request

MIT 15.366 Climate & Energy Ventures is a very selective, multi-disciplinary course that equips students with the knowledge and skillsets to launch new enterprises focused on commercial opportunities in the energy and climate space. This course is open for cross-registration across MIT and Harvard (MIT grad, MIT Sloan, HBS, HKS, Harvard Grad and a very select few seats for MIT/Harvard undergrads).

The 15.366 team is currently launching its application process for Fall 2022. For more information on the course, please read the course information document via this link. If you are interested, fill out this information form by August 5. Please reach out to both Evan Gao ( and Alex Prather at ( for any questions!

What We're Reading

Keeping score on climate: how we measure greenhouse gases: A radio segment digs into the patchwork of technologies and strategies used to measure greenhouse gas emissions from different sources.
- NPR Short Wave
coal miner
Can green hydrogen save a coal town and slow climate change?: Developers in Delta, Utah, facing a coal plant closure, aim to repurpose the plant site and nearby salt caves for hydrogen fuel production and storage.
- US News & World Report


This Week
  • The Future of Energy Storage Webinar Series, presented by the MIT Energy Initiative in support of their recent Future of Energy Storage report. Sessions include:
    • Electrochemical Battery Storage, 10 am, and Materials for Energy Storage, 11 am, Tuesday, July 26. Register.
    • Hydrogen, Thermal, Compressed Air, and Gravity Storage Technologies, 10 am, and Storage in the Electricity System: Key Modeling Results Through 2050, 11 am, Wednesday, July 27. Register.
    • Regulatory Considerations for High VRE Electricity Systems, 11 am, Thursday, July 28. Register.
  • Podcast-Inspired, Solutions-Driven Climate Education, a one-hour webinar for high school and out-of-school-time teachers, introducing ESI's TILclimate podcast and associated Educator Guides as teaching tools to support understanding of climate solutions, data and communication. Wednesday, July 27, 2 pm. Learn more and register.
  • New England Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Climate Justice, a virtual panel discussion with three Indigenous community leaders about climate change impacts and mitigation, hosted by UMass Boston's Sustainable Solutions Lab and Institute for New England Native American Studies. Thursday, July 28, 4 pm. Register.

Save the Date
  • MIT Conference on Mining, Environment, and Society, a virtual conference hosted by ESI to examine environmental and social challenges around mining in a renewable energy-powered future, and what stakeholders from industry, academia, NGOs, communities and governments can do to address them. Wednesday, September 7 - Friday, September 9. Learn more and register.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

News & Media from MIT

silk-coated microcapsules
Silk offers an alternative to some microplastics: Researchers from MIT and BASF have developed a low-cost, biodegradable system based on silk to replace microplastics added to agricultural products, paints, and cosmetics.
- MIT News
Joshua Tree at night
For creatures of the night, a growing threat in artificial light: In habitat restoration, the need for darkness is largely overlooked. But for some species, it is necessary for maintaining intact habitats and even for survival.
- Undark


Internships, Fellowships and Work Opportunities
  • Jobs: The MIT Office of Sustainability is hiring a Sustainability Project Manager to oversee their Climate and Sustainability Action Planning efforts, as well as a Sustainability Data Engineer.
  • 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.
  • Fellowship: Columbia Climate School is hiring two Fellows for Adapting the Existing Built Environment to pursue decarbonizing and adapting existing buildings. Apply by July 31.
  • Student Jobs: The MIT Office of Experiential Learning (OEL) is hiring 7-9 undergraduate students to promote experiential learning to their peers and share student perspectives and advice with OEL leadership. Learn more and apply by August 1.
  • PhD Candidate: The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences is seeking a four-year PhD candidate in rural development to research sustainability in iron ore extraction. Apply by August 14.
  • Post-Doc: The Center for Social Transformation at USC is seeking a postdoctoral research associate for one-year position beginning fall 2022, to contribute to and lead the design of new research projects related to individual judgment and decision-making in situations where environmental, social, and economic priorities intersect. To apply, email Joe Árvai with your CV, letter of interest, official graduate transcripts, refereed journal articles or other research examples, and three references.
  • Jobs: Climate Interactive, which uses an interactive real-time climate model for climate policy education, is hiring two system dynamics modelers to be their Director of Technology and Senior Modeler. Contact Drew Jones for information or to apply.
  • Jobs: Ebb Carbon, which is developing an electrochemical process to sequester carbon in the ocean while fighting ocean acidification, is advertising multiple positions in chemical and mechanical engineering, modeling, and oceanography. Browse jobs.
  • Jobs: Phoenix Tailings, which reclaims mining waste as a more sustainable source of metal ore, is advertising multiple positions in chemical and materials engineering and research and development. Browse jobs.
  • Jobs: RISE Robotics, which develops fully electric systems for heavy machinery, is advertising multiple positions in electrical and mechanical engineering. Browse jobs.
  • Jobs: Keystone Tower Systems, a manufacturer in wind power, is advertising multiple positions in electrical, mechanical and software engineering for its Denver and Pampa, Texas locations. Browse jobs.
  • 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 a cabinet-level Senior Advisor to advance a Boston Green New Deal. 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/Director and Operations Manager/Director 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 Human Impacts Institute has an open call for various internships. Learn more
  • 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
  • Prizes: The Story Exchange is seeking submissions for its Women In Science Incentive Prize, awarding $5,000 gifts and media coverage to each of five female scientists working the areas of air quality and climate change. Apply by July 31.
  • Startup Program: The Engine, a "tough tech" accelerator spun out of MIT, has opened calls for Blueprint, a one-month nonresident program to help graduate students, postdocs, research scientists, faculty members and their teams explore the commercial opportunities of their startup projects. Learn how to apply by August 12.
  • Reporting Fellowship: The Association of Health Care Journalists is seeking Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellows, providing seminars, workshops, mentoring opportunities and a small stipend to early career journalists in science, health and environment reporting. Apply by September 1.
  • 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.
Student and Volunteer Opportunities
  • MIT Water Club: The MIT Water Club is seeking co-directors to organize its signature annual event, the MIT Water Summit. Apply.
  • Student Council: The MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium is seeking MIT students (undergraduate or graduate) to join its Student Council. Members give around two hours a month to advising the MCSC on all aspects of its mission. To apply, email with your name, major, one paragraph on why you want to join the Student Council, and one paragraph on your background in climate and sustainability by August 1.
Got news? Contact us!
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