Sustainability at Tufts

sustainability.tufts.edu

Tag: massachusetts (page 1 of 2)

Sustainability Intern, Office of the Mayor (Newton, MA)

Newton, Massachusetts is developing a sustainability program in order to improve environmental, social and economic outcomes throughout the city. The Sustainability Department, which is in the Mayor’s Office, is offering several internships – this summer and throughout the year – to qualified graduate students who are enrolled in sustainability or environmental programs. This is an opportunity to help design and implement sustainability strategies that will have measurable results, and to get “hands- on” experience with the interplay of policy and politics at the local level.

Duties will include:

  • Identification, research, and analysis of environmental, social and economic data in order to establish key performance indicators and baselines
  • Developing data bases, information sets and other methods of storing, sorting, retrieving and analyzing relevant information
  • Creating reports, presentations, graphics and other means of conveying information to, and working with, city officials, residents, businesses, advocates and other important constituencies
  • Planning and logistics for, and participation in, workshops and meetings
  • Developing social media and other methods for communicating and engaging with stakeholders

The City seeks highly motivated candidates who have distinguished themselves by their educational achievements and experience through outstanding academic performance and leadership in a variety of extracurricular and/or community service activities.  Candidates must possess a good work ethic, be able to think creatively, solve problems as they arise, work collaboratively, take initiative, attend to details, and take responsibility for task completion. Good written and oral communication skills are essential.

The internships are unpaid, however the Director will sign off on course credit or other requests of that nature.

Application Deadline:  n/a

How to apply:  Email a cover letter, resume, and contact information to Andrew Savitz, Director of Sustainability, at asavitz[at]newtonma.gov. Please also include: any experience you have had related to the list of duties, as described above; the skills experience you are interested in developing during the internship with the City of Newton; the dates and times that you are available.

Sustainability Planner, VHB (Watertown, MA)

Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. is seeking a Sustainability Planner to join their Watertown, MA office to support their Environmental Planning team and conduct sustainability and climate change adaptation planning. VHB assists public and private sector clients in identifying and meeting their sustainability and environmental goals. VHB’s environmental services team provides strategic support and environmental analysis, develops and evaluates sustainability initiatives, develops screening and reporting tools, engages stakeholders and prepares technical reports and documents.

Application Deadline: N/A

Apply Online

Lunch and Learn Recap: Alicia Hunt

This week’s Lunch and Learn, an initiative of the Environmental Studies Department, featured Alicia Hunt, director of Energy and the Environment for the city of Medford.  Ms. Hunt spoke to a packed room of students, professors, community members, representatives of the Tufts Institute for the Environment and the Office of Sustainability, and President Monaco himself!

aliciahuntMs. Hunt began with an overview of city demographics and background. Medford was actually the fourth English settlement in North America! Today, the city is home to 56,000 residents, but it is also 1/3 green space, including The Fells.

Medford has also long been a trendsetter in environmental and sustainability innovation. Its Go Green Medford initiative has placed the city at the vanguard nationally. In 2002, Medford switched all its traffic lights over to LED – revolutionary at the time, but now the standard of efficiency. In 2004, its city hall was the first in Massachusetts to receive the Energy Star Plaque, and in 2009 Medford built the first municipal-scale wind turbine at a school in Massachusetts. “We love to be first” with everything green, said Hunt.

In fact, Medford has gotten so good at setting the standard for sustainability that when the Department of Energy launched its Better Buildings Challenge, they specifically recruited Medford to participate,  knowing the prestige and expertise which Medford would bring to the program.

Hunt was also quick to point out how helpful the state’s grants and other incentives are in driving sustainability.

Just last year, Medford developed a local energy action plan, an updated version of its 2001 climate action plan. Other recent initiatives and accomplishments include an Idle-Free Medford education outreach campaign and participation in SolarizeMass. Tufts’s planned installation of solar panels on the roof of Dowling Hall will be part of Medford’s Solarize Medford initiative. Hunt emphasized that the work that the city had done in vetting potential solar companies and determining which would work best in the community made the process and decision immeasurably easier for residents looking into solar installations.

In addition, while Medford has long had a focus on residential sustainability, Hunt said they are adding a focus on encouraging green business practices.

Of course, we were glad to hear that Hunt and her department are always looking for Tufts students and faculty to contribute to the efforts, whether through work-study, volunteering, internships, stenciling by storm drains, investigating the feasibility of a compost program, etc. Tufts is so fortunate to be situated in such a sustainable city!

The Candidates and the Climate

While no candidate is perfect on climate change (and indeed, they all seem to be woefully inadequate), there are some differences:
 
PRESIDENT
Mitt Romney: despite his surprisingly good record on climate change while he was governor, Romney’s energy plan focuses almost entirely on pumping more fossil fuels into the atmosphere, a situation that would almost certainly ensure the world’s inability to reign in climate change (Rolling Stone has a pretty fierce write up of it, but you can read it yourself and see). Just one example: in his quotes about N. American energy independence, he uses a Manhattan Institute report that says, “In collaboration with Canada and Mexico, the United States could—and should—forge a broad pro-development, pro-export policy to realize the benefits of our hydrocarbon resources. Such a policy could lead to North America becoming the largest supplier of fuel to the world by 2030.” (what no-one seems to have told him, however, is that oil and gas companies that drill in N. America aren’t restricted to selling that fuel only to Canada, Mexico and the US – they’ll sell it to whomever gives the best price – as any good, non-government-run institution would do).
 
But anyhow, Obama’s no great climate champion these days either but at least he doesn’t blatantly ignore climate change or pledge to dig up and sell all the fossil fuels in North America. As an aside, Romney attacks Obama for ‘targeting old coal power plants’ – when, really, we wish he were targeting them, since those plants are some of the worst carbon emissions offenders.
 
Here is a summary of what the 2 candidates have said about energy and climate on the campaign trail.
 
US SENATE
Elizabeth Warren seems to support action on climate change – at least in words – but I doubt it’ll be a priority for her. Scott Brown, however, in June 2012 voted to ‘disapprove’ the EPAs endangerment findings on greenhouse gases and in March 2012 voted against ending tax deductions for major oil companies and extending incentives for energy efficient homes, plug-in vehicles and alternative fuels. They are considered one of 4 senate races with noticably different opinions on climate.
 
US HOUSE 
Jon Golnik doesn’t list ‘environment’ as an issue on his website, but under ‘energy’ he indicates he supports the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and drilling in ANWR. OK, I guess that says it all. Climate doesn’t seem to be a priority for Niki Tsongas, but she states that she help[ed] to pass tougher fuel efficiency standards and incentives for renewable energy, so there’s hope there.
 
Don’t forget to vote!

Oct 22: Public Perceptions of Wind Energy Projects in Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts has plans for increasing its cumulative wind energy supply to 2,000 MW by 2020; currently it is at 61 MW (10/11/2012). To be able to achieve this goal, it is important to have a coherent understanding of the factors that make wind energy projects accepted at the local level.

Fletcher’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) is conducting a study of the factors that lead to community acceptance of wind energy projects. The leader of this study, CIERP postdoctoral research fellow Maria Petrova, recently conducted a survey  and will  present her  results.   From  April  to June, 2012, surveys were mailed to randomly selected residents from the towns of Hull, Kingston, and Falmouth in Massachusetts, where wind projects have been sited with various levels of success. The differences in responses will be analyzed, and the factors that influence public acceptance and lead to the adoption of wind projects at the local level will be discussed.

 

Dr. Petrova came to CIERP from Oregon State University, where she completed her PhD in Environmental Science in 2010. Her doctoral dissertation focused on public acceptability of wave energy technology in Oregon. Her main interests are in public opinion and acceptability of renewable energy technologies (RETs), as well as the policies that need to be in place to advance RET development and deployment. She is also interested in comparative RET policy studies, mainly between the U.S. and countries in the EU.

 

Event will be held on Monday, October 22, 2012 from 12:30-1:45
(a light lunch will be served – no RSVP, first-come first-served)
Cabot 702, The Fletcher School
160 Packard Avenue, Medford

Older posts