Spring 2021 Earth Institute Internships

December 16, 2020

The Earth Institute is offering undergraduate, graduate and PhD students opportunities to intern in various departments and research centers in a variety of administration, communications and research roles. Interns work on a variety of sustainability-focused projects across the Earth Institute. These projects provide interns with hands-on workplace experience, allowing them to grow professionally while the Earth Institute centers benefit from their meaningful contributions.

All full-time Columbia and Barnard students are eligible to apply for internships. These internships are funded at a rate of $17 per hour (a maximum of 120 hours during the semester). All positions will take place remotely.

The positions include:

  1. Assessing Emerging Compound Risks of Rainfall and Humid Heat Extremes Under Global Warming
  2. Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Lamont and the Earth Institute
  3. Integrating Multidisciplinary Observations to Understand the Linkages Between Air Quality and Coastal Aquatic Ecology During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  4. Sustainability Education For All
  5. Columbia Climate Conversations at the Earth Institute and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  6. From the Ground to the Crowd: An Inclusive and Innovative Climate Risk Management Approach
  7. Environmental Justice and Climate Just Cities
  8. Protected Area Management and Natural Resource Governance: Exploring Pathways for Environmental Sustainability and Peacebuilding

To apply:

Complete the online application available here by January 14, 2021 at 11:55pm. While you may apply for more than one position, you must submit separate applications for each. Decisions will be made shortly after the deadline.

Students who are awarded internships will be expected to participate in the Earth Institute Student Research Showcase in spring 2021.

Contact Cari Shimkus (cshimkus@ei.columbia.edu) with questions.


1. Assessing Emerging Compound Risks of Rainfall and Humid Heat Extremes Under Global Warming

  • Department: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Student Desired: Undergraduate, Graduate, PhD
  • Anticipated Tasks: The intern will support the project by retrieving and processing rainfall, humidity and temperature data from state-of-the-art climate model simulations (CMIP6), reanalysis and observations. Other tasks will include plotting and mapping data, statistically analyzing time-series, interpreting results, and searching for relevant literature and references.
  • Skills Required:
    • Familiarity with computer programming (e.g. Python, R, or Matlab)
    • Some familiarity with inferential statistics (e.g. regression) is helpful
    • Interest in and knowledge about climate science and impacts and the environment

2. Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Lamont and the Earth Institute

  • Department: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Student Desired: Undergraduate, Graduate
  • Anticipated Tasks: The intern will provide logistical and administrative assistance to the Office of Academic Affairs and Diversity, which is housed in the Lamont Directorate. This assistance is necessary to advance DEI efforts at Lamont, especially as we are currently in the stage of wrapping up the LDEI Task Force, whose charge it is to provide DEI recommendations to the directorate.
  • Skills Required: Administrative support, organized, communication skills, word processing, emotional maturity

3. Integrating Multidisciplinary Observations to Understand the Linkages Between Air Quality and Coastal Aquatic Ecology During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Department: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Student Desired: Undergraduate, Graduate
  • Anticipated Tasks: The research assistant will analyze historical and new datasets to examine how natural and anthropogenic disturbances affect water quality and ecological processes in Long Island Sound and New York coastal waters. The student will have an opportunity to learn new satellite remote sensing tools and integrate field measurements with satellite observations and results from numerical models for improved predictions of the system’s response to future pressures.
  • Skills Required:
    • Experience in programming, field data collection methods, and/or remote-sensing data analysis preferred.
    • Highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students with a strong background and interest in environmental sciences and quantitative skills.
    • Willingness to be part of an interdisciplinary team effort.

4. Sustainability Education For All

  • Department: New York City Partnership for Sustainability Education, Teachers College
  • Student Desired: Graduate, PhD
  • Anticipated Tasks: The intern will support the principle investigator with tasks related to data management, data analysis, and communication. More specifically, they will lead efforts to merge datasets collected between 2016 and 2020 (9 in total) and harmonize these datasets with publicly available datasets on NYC schools. The intern will contribute to the creation of a data codebook and manual. Together with the research team, they will take part in the analysis of the newly created database. The analysis will include descriptive statistics, associations/correlations, and multivariate statistics. Finally, the intern will prepare charts, graphs, and tables; they will also be responsible for drafting research memos for publication. The principle investigator will invite the intern to contribute to reports and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Skills Required:
    • Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel (e.g. lookup function, charts)
    • Working knowledge of statistics (descriptive, inferential, multivariate)
    • Working knowledge of Stata (experience with loops and coding is preferred)
    • Excellent writing skills
    • Ability to work independently and in teams
    • Familiarity with visualization tools is preferred

5. Columbia Climate Conversations at the Earth Institute and LDEO

  • Department: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Student Desired: Undergraduate
  • Anticipated Tasks: The intern will provide logistical support for the Columbia Climate Conversations from the earliest planning stages through execution and evaluation. The intern will be a liaison between the EI/LDEO communities and undergraduate groups that are driving conversations about climate change, environmental justice, and related topics within their communities but are not regularly highlighted or engaged in events or discussions at EI/LDEO.
  • Skills Required:
    • Strong organizational skills to be able to write and respond to emails in a timely manner.
    • Strong communication skills to perform outreach to undergraduate-facing communities and organizations and promote events via university listservs and social media.
    • Ability to think creatively — the intern will come up with proposals and assets for events to host as part of the Columbia Climate Conversation initiative, based on where they have identified gaps in programming.

6. From the Ground to the Crowd: An Inclusive and Innovative Climate Risk Management Approach

  • Department: International Research Institute for Climate and Society
  • Student Desired: Undergraduate, Graduate, PhD
  • Anticipated Tasks: The research assistant will provide critical thinking, support, and feedback in two ways. First, they will compare the project’s current approach with alternative crowdsourcing strategies reported in the literature. Second, they will collaborate in the design, implementation, and reporting of testing pilots of the SMS and WhatsApp versions of the game in different settings. The student will ensure that the development process considers users’ incentives, reactions, suggestions, and frontier literature findings.
  • Skills Required:
    • Strong writing, quantitative and communication skills.
    • Background in economics, psychology, math, or related areas.
    • Expertise with remote sensing and facilitating access to new technologies in rural areas preferred.
    • Applicants should be highly motivated, creative, and able to work remotely and in teams.

7. Environmental Justice and Climate Just Cities

  • Department: Center for Sustainable Urban Development
  • Student Desired: Undergraduate
  • Anticipated Tasks: The intern would help gather resources on environmental justice within the university and in the broader NYC community; develop an online directory and provide ideas for a site for the network; organize and attend all network meetings designed to work on new projects and research agendas with environmental justice communities; develop ways to involve undergraduate students in the network; and support the initial development of a book proposal for a Climate Just Cities Primer.
  • Skills Required:
    • Strong interest in and knowledge of environmental justice, climate and cities.
    • Good research, writing, and communication skills.
    • Ability to work in a team.
    • Website development and graphic design.
    • Ability to speak Spanish preferred.

8. Protected Area Management and Natural Resource Governance: Exploring Pathways for Environmental Sustainability and Peacebuilding

  • Department: AC4
  • Student Desired: Graduate, PhD
  • Anticipated Tasks: The intern will assist in literature review, survey administration, and qualitative analysis for 5-10 hours a week. This will require subject familiarity around protected areas and environmental governance to inform survey and semi-structured interview guides. The intern will be needed to help with project management for the qualitative process of understanding the gathered data.
  • Skills Required:
    • Interest in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.
    • Qualitative research experience, database management, NVivo or other qualitative software, and transcription.
    • Fluency in one or more non-English languages preferred.
Media Inquiries: 
Marie DeNoia Aronsohn
marieda@ldeo.columbia.edu
845-365-8151