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MIT Environment and Sustainability Weekly Roundup, November 20, 2022

Featured This Week

ESI at COP27

Representatives from almost every nation in the world have been meeting this week for global climate negotiations at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Two members of ESI are also at the conference, in support of community-based projects to protect and restore some of the world's most important carbon-storing ecosystems: Research Program Director Marcela Angel, lead of our Natural Climate Solutions Program, and Angélica Mayolo, former Colombian Minister of Culture and now an ESI Fellow.

At COP27, Marcela and Angélica have helped convene a meeting of the Afro-Interamerican Forum on Climate Change, and met with past and future collaborators including the Open Society Foundations, Development Bank of Latin America CAF, WWF Colombia, renowned Brazilian climate scientist Carlos Nobre, and UN official Emma Torres to discuss collaborative research and engagement opportunities for forest conservation, biodiversity management and urban development. Marcela also joined a BiodiverCities panel to discuss planning for biodiversity in human settlements within ecologically sensitive regions.

ESI will share more about our activities at COP27 in the coming weeks.

ESI Journalism Fellowships

ESI is excited to announce open applications for our 2022-23 Journalism Fellowships! The ESI Journalism Fellowship Program supports freelance or staff journalists associated with U.S. local and regional newsrooms in developing a high-impact news project that connects local perspectives, values and priorities with climate change science and solutions. Fellows receive stipends and expense reimbursements, virtual workshops with climate experts, access to extensive MIT resources, and editorial support both individually and as a cohort to organize the creation of ambitious, often multimedia reporting projects.
2021 Journalism Fellow Nora Hertel (L) conducting an interview at the Hugo Farm in Minnesota
2021 Journalism Fellow Nora Hertel (L) conducting an interview at the Hugo Farm in Minnesota
Learn more about the program and our past Journalism Fellows, or apply by December 14.

What We're Reading

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
COP27: Brazil is back on the world stage, Lula tells climate summit: The UN climate conference is the first international trip for Brazil's new president since taking office. He stressed the importance of protecting the Amazon, working with Indigenous peoples, providing aid to developing countries, and tackling climate change and global poverty hand in hand.
-  BBC
One man's lonely quest to save the world's corals draws a following: For decades, Anuar Abdullah, a Malaysian diving instructor, worked alone restoring coral reefs by hand. Now he has become a sought-after expert in the painstaking care of dying corals, training hundreds of volunteers and traveling at the behest of governments to reefs around the world.
-  Washington Post


Save the Date
  • Sustainability Lunch Series: COP27 Recap and Panel Discussion, a panel of MIT students on their experiences at this year's UN climate change conference, hosted by the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative. Thursday, December 1, 12-1 pm on the MIT campus. Register.
  • From PhD to Climate Venture, a conversation with partners at two climate tech venture funding firms and former startup founders about going from a PhD or postdoc to starting a company to solve climate challenges. Friday, December 2, 6-8 pm on the MIT campus. Register.
  • UP International Symposium on Environmental Management and Climate Change, a symposium hosted by Universidade Positivo of Brazil on natural and community solutions for tropical forest conservation. Prominently featuring members of ESI including Prof. John Fernández. December 4-7 in Curitiba, Brazil and online. Register (or submit an abstract).
  • Nature-Based Adaptation: Getting to Scale, featuring expert discussions on how to use natural systems to combat flooding, storm surges, sea level rise and extreme heat. Part of UMass Boston's Climate Adaptation Forum series. Friday, December 9, 9 am-12 pm online or in downtown Boston. Get tickets.
  • Advancing Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Systems, a space-limited conference hosted by Stanford Graduate School of Business on building decarbonized and climate-resilient cities. February 24-25 on the Stanford University campus. Register.
  • Transforming Engineering Education 2023, an international research symposium on how engineering education can impart students with skills in systems thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration to address global challenges. Hosted by MIT, Harvard, and Aalborg University. June 21-23 at venues in Boston and Cambridge. Submit an abstract or workshop proposal by December 5.

News & Media from MIT

TIL about carbon offsets: What if you could pay someone else to cancel out your carbon emissions? ESI's TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate) podcast talks to Dr. Barbara Haya of UC Berkeley about carbon offsets, how they work, and—as it turns out—how they don't.
- TILclimate
Christoph Meinel (left), professor and managing director at the Hasso Plattner Institute, and Hashim Sarkis, dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning
New research collaboration aims to tackle global societal challenges through design: The new Hasso Plattner Institute-MIT Research Program on Designing for Sustainability will focus on sustainable design, innovation, and digital technologies.
- MIT News


Internships, Fellowships and Work Opportunities
  • Fellowship: The ESI Journalism Fellowships are open for applications. This program supports freelance or staff journalists associated with U.S. local/regional newsrooms in developing a high-impact news project that connects local perspectives, values and priorities with climate change science and solutions. Apply by December 14.
  • Job: ESI is hiring a Postdoctoral Associate in Climate Communications and Engagement to deepen the scholarship of our climate change journalism activities and facilitate our climate journalism fellowship. Apply.
  • Student Job: ESI is hiring a graduate student Climate Science Researcher/Writer to review and update the MIT Climate Primer with citations and the latest climate research. Apply.
  • Student Jobs: The MIT Office of Sustainability is hiring MIT students for paid, part-time research positions over the IAP period. 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 is seeking a Development Officer to help fund its mission of advancing clean energy development. Apply.
  • Job: Kyanite Partners is hiring an Analyst to join their urban planning consultancy firm focused on economic development, climate resilience, and infrastructure. 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: Applications are open for the CivicSpark Fellowships, a 7.5 month AmeriCorps work experience with public and nonprofit community organizations in California, Washington and Colorado focused on climate change, water management, and affordable housing. Apply by November 28.
  • Job: The Human Impacts Institute is hiring a 20-hour-a-week Program Coordinator to facilitate exhibits, workshops, events and communications. Apply.
  • Job: Covering Climate Now is hiring a Managing Director to oversee day-to-day operations and help set strategic direction in support of journalists and newsroom coverage of climate change. Apply.
  • Jobs: The City of Boston is hiring for positions including an Air Quality Project Manager, a BERDO Review Board Manager overseeing building emissions reductions, an Energy Analyst, a Retrofit Resource Hub Manager to assist with energy efficiency retrofits, and an Energy Advocate to promote energy efficiency programs to Bostonians who would benefit from them.
Grants, Scholarships, Contests and Funding Opportunities
  • 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.
  • Grants: The MISTI Global Seed Funds are open for applications. Grants are available to all MIT faculty and principal investigators pursuing joint research collaborations with colleagues in foreign universities or research institutes. Learn more and apply by December 13.
  • Grant: The MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab has opened applications for the J-WAFS Water and Food Seed Grants, providing $150,000 over two years for MIT research with the potential for significant impact on water and food supply challenges. Apply by December 16.
  • Startup Incubator: Greentown Labs has opened applications for ACCEL, a one-year startup incubation program offering desk space, grant funding and mentorship for new companies in climatetech. Apply by December 23.
  • Contest: Net Impact has launched its Circular Plastics Challenge, for teams of students and/or professionals to offer upstream solutions to keep plastics out of the economy and the environment. The first-place team will receive $10,000. Apply by February 13.
  • Contest: NASA's Gateways to Blue Skies Competition challenges teams of students to produce a study and proposal for an alternative energy source for clean aviation. Finalists receive cash prizes, invitations to a forum at NASA Center in June, and possible internship opportunities. Apply on a rolling basis by February 28.

Student and Volunteer Opportunities
  • Summer Program: The Caltech Resnick Sustainability Institute is offering a three-week intensive summer workshop on "Computer Vision Methods for Ecology," empowering ecologists to analyze large datasets. Apply by December 15.
  • Summer Program: The Swiss Climate Summer School will bring early stage researchers in touch with established scientists from different disciplines to bridge the topic of climate change with sustainable development goals, with the theme of "the climate-water-energy-food nexus." Apply by February 17.
Got news? Contact us!
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