MIT ESI Newsletter, Issue 10
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Microfibers and Microplastics: A Brief Summary

CAMBRIDGE, MA - The morning of January 17th marked the start of a workshop organized by ESI and MIT Office of Corporate Relations to dive into the topic of microfibers and microplastics, an emerging area of environmental concern. The diverse group of attendees ranged from a government representative to industry leaders to faculty and graduate students: all connected to the microplastic life cycle at different stages in the process. Read more... | Workshop Agenda

Metro Lab Initiative Course 2018
From 1/8 to 1/19, the MIT Metro Lab and the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI) held a two-week peer-learning course revolving around the creation of the ‘Metropolitan Discipline’ and how it can be used to address issues relating to urban planning and sustainability. The course consisted of two one-week modules; the first week taking place at ESI’s office and emphasizing environmental issues, and the second taking place in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning on MIT’s campus. Read more...



This monthly lunch seminar engages MIT faculty, post-docs, and graduate students in lively conversations about current environmental research and education at MIT. 

Registration is required: location given to registrants

February 15, 12 - 1pm
Solving for carbon neutrality at MIT: 
Timothy Gutowski, MechE and Julie Newman, MIT Office of Sustainability and DUSP

Solving for carbon neutrality requires a deep understanding of technology options and human behaviors, as well as regional, state and municipal energy production and distribution systems, economic frameworks and policy.  Join us for a presentation on a new class in the Environment & Sustainability Minor, which is leveraging the MIT campus as a test bed for understanding climate adaptation and mitigation.

Registration required:


March 15, 12 - 1pm
Achieving Water Affordability in America’s Shrinking Cities: Lawrence Susskind and Gabriella Carolini, DUSP

The aim of this research seed grant is to develop financially sustainable and socially equitable solutions that will help make drinking water affordable for all urban residents, regardless of income, class and race.  Join us for a presentation on this topic, and read more here:

Registration required:

April 12, 12 - 1pm
Decarbonized Energy Systems for the New Volpe Center: Leslie Norford, Architecture; David Hsu, DUSP; Christoph Reinhart, Architecture

MIT’s redevelopment of the Volpe Center demands a vision for energy infrastructure and systems commensurate with the intellectual and social benefits the revitalized center will bring to the Institute and to Cambridge. This close-to-home project will focus attention and discussion within the MIT community about our efforts towards climate change, and how we can better exemplify efforts in the broader city and academic community.

Registration required:


May 17, 12 - 1pm
Genetically Engineered Solutions to Environmental Nitrogen Paradoxes: Andrew Babbin, EAPS

Andrew Babbin is a marine biogeochemist, working on the nitrogen cycle, and especially on the processes that return fixed nitrogen in the ocean back to nitrogen gas. Bioavailable inorganic nitrogen limits the fertility of many environmental systems, from local lakes and rivers to coastal bays to much of the global ocean. Join us to learn more about this research seed grant topic.

Registration required:


Join a screening of the new National Geographic/RadicalMedia/ Bloomberg Philanthropies documentary FROM THE ASHES, on Thursday February 15th, 5:30pm in Bartos Theater (Media Lab, E15-070). 

FROM THE ASHES captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry, and  what its future should be.
Dinner from Area Four and a discussion featuring the film’s producer, Sidney Beaumont, will follow the screening. Register here
Sponsored by: Sloan Sustainability, ESI, & FFMIT
Join J-WAFS for an IAP seminar: Water Management for Future Climate Scenarios on January 31, 3:30-5:00pm. The panel will showcase research by MIT graduate students and postdocs.

Spring 2018 Class:
People and the Planet: Environmental Histories and Engineering

Required class for the Environment & Sustainability Minor – 11.004, STS.033

Undergrads from all majors can join this class to explore the Mystic and Malden Rivers – their past, present, and future – in a hands-on learning laboratory for environmental solutions that leverage technical, historical, and cultural knowledge and skills.

Spring 2018 Reading Seminar: Land, Water, Food, and Climate 
1.74 (6 units, M1-4PM)
A spring reading seminar open to both graduate and undergraduate students from MIT and elsewhere in the Boston area. It addresses timely issues and research at the intersection of food security, land and water resource management, and climate change. Contact Dennis McLaughlin ( for more information.


Each MIT faculty member is invited to nominate one outstanding student to become a member of the Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustainability for 2018-2019. 

 Complete nomination packets are due on Monday, February 26, 2018


Sustainability of Autonomy-enabled Transportation Systems
2017 Seed Grantees Steven Barrett & Sertac Karaman, Associate Professors of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Q&A with the Research Team


MIT conference seeks solutions for reconstruction in devastated Caribbean
 - MIT News

Clean Air Act likely responsible for dramatic decline in atmospheric organic aerosol. - MIT News

Copyright © 2018 MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, All rights reserved.

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