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MIT Environment and Sustainability Weekly Roundup, September 11, 2022

Featured This Week

2022 MIT Sustanability Conference
The MIT Sustainability Conference is next week, on Tuesday, September 20 and Wednesday, September 21 at the Boston Marriott Cambridge.

ESI will be represented at two conference sessions. On Tuesday morning, our director John Fernández will share an overview of ESI's activities and role at MIT. Then, on Wednesday morning, MIT researchers and partner companies will participate in a round-table discussion about an ESI and MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium project on designing plastics systems for circularity and end-of-life recovery or disposal.

The conference is free for MIT students, staff and faculty, and steeply discounted for alumni and other affiliates. Register online.


On Monday, September 19 from 12-1 pm, ESI will host a conversation on "Educating Students for Sustainability in the Workforce," open to all MIT students whether or not they plan on a career in climate and sustainability.
The conversation will feature Bill Weihl, former Green Energy Czar at Google and now Executive Director of ClimateVoice; and environmental chemist Desiree Plata, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Concurrent with the MIT Sustainability Midway, and in advance of the MIT Career Fair, this event will discuss the sustainability skills in demand in fields including high tech and manufacturing, how students can use sustainability to advance their future careers, and effective advocacy for sustainable practices in the workplace.

Save the date and stay tuned for additional details.

What We're Reading

Lautoka, Fiji
What the world can learn from Fiji's national climate strategy: Fiji, an island nation at severe risk from sea level rise and cyclones, has had exceptional success at raising funds for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
-  GreenBiz
Jackson, Mississippi
The crisis in Jackson shows how climate change is threatening water supplies: When outdated infrastructure meets historic weather events, the systems that meet people's most basic needs can break down.


This Week
  • Climatetech Career Fair, a Greentown Labs event inviting young professionals to learn about the climate workforce. Tuesday, September 13, 5:30-7:30 pm in Somerville, Mass. Register.
  • Ethics and Sustainability Student Showcase, a poster session featuring the summer work of MIT students at the intersection of science, technology, ethics, and sustainability. Wednesday, September 14, 4-6 pm in La Sala de Puerto Rico (Room W20-202).
  • Funding Climate, Energy and Sustainability Ventures, an online event with MIT Venture Mentoring Service featuring a panel of founders who have raised funding for sustainability projects, followed by a roundtable with funders. Thursday, September 15, 6 pm. Register.
  • Public Hearing on the "Green New Deal for Cambridge," proposed legislation to tax new commercial buildings in Cambridge based on their lifetime carbon emissions and use the proceeds to fund energy efficiency improvements and green job training. Thursday, September 15, 6:30-8:30 pm at 344 Broadway or via Zoom. The MIT Student Sustainability Coalition will provide briefings and suggestions for getting involved: find more information here.
  • Climapalooza, the annual Boston climate action rally and benefit concert. Friday, September 16, 6-9 pm, outdoor location to be announced. Learn more.

Save the Date
  • MIT Sustainability Midway, an opportunity to get to know all MIT's sustainability clubs, organizations and opportunities, organized by the Student Sustainability Coalition. Featuring booths, merch and free food. Monday, September 19, 11 am-2 pm in Lobby 13.
  • 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).
  • Empowerment in Climate Action: Lessons from the Weekender, a virtual presentation with ESI and the Anjunabeats record label on new climate engagement activities at this summer's Weekender music festival. Wednesday, September 21, 11:30 am-1 pm. Register.
  • 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.
  • Sustainability Lunch Series: Fall Kickoff, the return of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative's lunch series, featuring representatives from MIT's many sustainability-oriented clubs. Thursday, September 22, 11:30 am-12:30 pm at MIT. Register free.
  • Sustainability Ecosystem Mixer, a chance for all sustainability-oriented students at MIT to mingle over food and drinks with the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative. Wednesday, September 28, 5-7:30 pm at MIT. Register free.
  • 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.
  • MIT Energy and Climate Career Fair, an opportunity to meet employers in renewable energy, energy storage, transportation, energy finance and consulting, and more. Friday, October 21, 11 am-2 pm in La Sala de Puerto Rico (W20-202).
  • 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.
  • HBS Climate Symposium, the annual student-run climate change conference at Harvard Business School. November 5-6. Get tickets (50% discount for students).
  • Finance and Environmental Sustainability, a seat-limited conference hosted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business to explore how corporations and financial markets can best raise and allocate capital toward meeting sustainability challenges. November 11-12 at Stanford University. Apply for a seat by September 30.
  • 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
  • 2022 MIT Research and Development Conference, featuring tracks on "climate and the environment" and "sustainable solutions," where MIT researchers, startups, and global business leaders present innovations to tackle worldwide challenges. November 15-16 at the Boston Marriott Cambridge. Register (free to MIT students, faculty and staff).

News & Media from MIT

a coal plant
The US agency in charge of developing fossil fuels has a new job: cleaning them up: The newly renamed "Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management" has new mandates—and funding—to pursue carbon capture, direct air capture, green hydrogen, methane management, and mineral extraction for renewable energy.
- MIT Technology Review
trees in the Headwaters Forest Reserve of California
What is an old-growth tree actually worth?: Efforts to fight tree poaching have been hampered by the low fines levied on poachers even when they're caught. Some experts want to start valuing the stolen timber on the basis of more than how much money it will fetch on the open market.
- Undark


Internships, Fellowships and Work Opportunities
  • Student Jobs: The MIT Office of Sustainability is hiring MIT students for paid, part-time positions in both research and climate communications. 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 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.
  • Job: The MIT Energy Initiative is seeking a Development Officer to help fund its mission of advancing clean energy development. Apply.
  • Job: The MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative is hiring a Program Assistant to contribute to event management, accounting, administrative support, and course support. 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: Conservation International is hiring a Social Inclusion Fellow to strengthen engagement with Afro-descendant communities in the Americas around conservation and climate solutions. Apply.
  • Fellowship: The Activate Fellowships, providing a generous two-year stipend along with $100,000 in startup funding and access to additional capital, are seeking applications for their 2023 cohort. Applicants should have early-stage tech ideas to address climate change and other urgent sustainability challenges. Apply by October 31.
  • Job: The Boston University URBAN Graduate Program is seeking a Program Manager to advance the program’s work training graduate students to tackle urban environmental challenges in partnership with governments, NGOs and the private sector. Apply.
  • 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 an Air Quality Project Manager. Apply.
  • Job: The Bezos Earth Fund is hiring a Director of Technology Acceleration to identify high-leverage opportunities to accelerate commercialization of technologies the world needs to combat climate change and protect the natural world. 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, Legislative Coordinator and Climate Justice Organizer 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.
  • 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
  • Contests: The Enel Foundation will award up to €30,000 for innovative solutions for: long-term contracts for renewable electricity; grid resilience to extreme weather events; and improved operation and maintenance of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Submit your solution by September 25.
  • Contest: The Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab invites MIT students, post-docs and recent alumni to submit to the World Food Day Video Competition, awarding up to $1500 for videos showcasing exciting food and agriculture research. Apply by September 27.
  • 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.
  • Grants: MassVentures and MassCEC will provide grants up to $75,000 for researchers and early-stage companies to demonstrate initial prototypes of novel clean energy technologies. A percentage of grants are earmarked for women- and minority-owned companies. Apply by October 11.
  • Contest: Global Partners is seeking applications for their Fuel the Future student design competition, awarding up to $10,000 for designs for novel fueling stations. Apply by October 14.
  • Contest: NASA's Gateways to Blue Skies competition challenges student teams to conceptualize future clean energy sources for aviation. Learn how to compete by October 17.
  • 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.

Workshops and Education
  • Workshop: The Wade Institute for Science Education will offer Our Climate, Our Communities: Science, Systems, and Solutions this September 23-December 11. This workshop for educators connects registrants with scientists, engineers, and new tools and resources while promoting best practices in bringing climate change concepts to the classroom. Sessions will be held both virtually and in-person in Salem, Massachusetts. PDPs and graduate credits available. Register.
Got news? Contact us!
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