Posts Tagged ‘Internships’
As part of the Public Outreach Grant SSHRC interns had the opportunity to work with policy partners on profiling some of their current projects. Over the next few weeks CC-RAI will be highlighting that work as part of series of climate change related case studies. The case studies were developed by all of the SSHRC interns in partnership with Knowledge Mobilization and their respective hosts, including the City of Toronto’s Environment Office, Region of Peel, York Region, Durham Region, ACER and the TRCA.
SSHRC intern and CC-RAI graduate assistant Susan Chalmers kicks off the series with her case study, which profiles the work of the TRCA’s The Living City Campus at the Kortright Centre located just north of Toronto.
“The Living City Campus at Kortright is designed to inspire, support and monitor change toward a sustainable Toronto region. The campus will become the heart of sustainability, recognized for designing and implementing powerful transformational programs that achieve measurable results.”
If you are interested to see what we have been up to why don’t you check out our new newsletter. As a new school year begins CC-RAI is looking forward to working with our existing colleagues and new partners. If you are a new student at York University and are interested in the interdisciplinary dimensions of the challenges posed by changing climate we would love to hear from you. CC-RAI aims to build on the successes of the previously year and work towards engaging more students and faculty around these issues. Watch this space for upcoming events and opportunities. There will be lots more news to follow.
SSHRC Internships: Sarah Applebaum developing the business case for climate change adaptation at Toronto Environment Office
As an MBA student specializing in Sustainability at the Schulich School of Business at York University I jumped at the chance to work with the Toronto Environment Office (TEO) for the summer. The initial draw of the position was the opportunity to develop a business case for climate change adaptation activities at the City. As my internship progressed, priorities within the office have shifted and new projects arose.
Through a partnership with The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, we convened a multi-stakeholder meeting involving infrastructure providers, utilities, the private sector, academics, and representatives from the three orders of government. The aim of this meeting was to gauge interest in the formation of a Toronto Region Action Group to discuss resilience to extreme weather. This is an initiative that is moving forward, with the first meeting of the action group scheduled for late September.
It is an extremely interesting time to be working for the municipal government, and Toronto Environment Office. Last week, the Core Service Review, conducted by KPMG, recommended that the City undertake a number of changes and reductions in its environmental protection and improvement activities to help the city realize cost savings and close the deficit gap.
Political leanings and ideology aside, this is a great example of how our government works and the democratic process. On Thursday July 21, the public is invited to provide deputations (in person or written) expressing their opinion about these proposed reductions.
With a focus in both sustainability and organizational change, I am very interested in the outcomes of this process. How will the vision, mission, and activities of the Toronto Environment Office evolve? How will these changes be communicated not only to TEO staff, but within city hall and to the general public? How will the key decision makers obtain buy in from key stakeholders?
About the Graduate Student: Sarah is an MBA Candidate (2012) at the Schulich School of Business with a focus on Sustainability and Organizational Change. She holds a Bachelor degree in Environmental Science and International Development Studies from Dalhousie University. Sarah is an active student leader within the Schulich Community. She is President of the Schulich Chapter of Net Impact (an international organization focused on socially responsible business issues), executive member of the planning committee for the Inaugural Schulich International Case Competition, and is a consultant with the York Sustainable Enterprise Consultants. After completion of the MBA, Sarah plans to work with organizations to embed sustainability principles into their business models and strategic plans.
SSHRC Internships: Rebecca Hall-McGuire building the business case for climate adaptation in York Region
My name is Rebecca Hall-McGuire and I am about to enter my second year at York University as a graduate student. I am currently completing the JD/MES program through Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Environmental Studies. Having studied Commerce at Queen’s University for my undergraduate degree, I am particularly interested in the intersection of environmental and economic issues, and the legal framework that underlies them.
The climate change research internship I currently hold at the York Region was a perfect fit for me because the Region was looking for someone to help build the business case for climate change adaptation. In order to accomplish this I have been dedicating my time to researching what other leading jurisdictions are doing in an effort to become more resilient to climate change. I have also been taking a close look at York Region’s policies and plans to determine what is already being done to adapt. The end product of this research will be an official Climate Change Adaptation Plan, which will be presented to York Regional Council for their approval.
Since learning about the research position and getting involved with York Region I have had the pleasure of attending two workshops: the Ontario Regional Climate Change Consortium’s “Dialogue with Stakeholders” and the York University Climate Change Policy and Research Day. These workshops have given me the opportunity to make invaluable contacts, which has facilitated knowledge-sharing and has greatly helped me in my role as a climate change research intern.
I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work on such an important project within the York Region, and I am looking forward to building on my internship experience as I continue my studies in the Fall.
During the 2010-11 school year, I helped CC-RAI craft the vision and assemble materials for its online, interactive, multimedia Climate Solutions Primer. I proposed a vision, researched successful strategies for communicating climate change in Canada, and drafted a concept paper that outlined how CC-RAI could incorporate these strategies into its primer. I was especially interested in creating synergies with CC-RAI’s Climate Literacy working group in order for the site to support its work. Finally, I began sorting through a vast library of climate-related resources for the tool.
Through my experience with CC-RAI, I learned about a summer internship with the Region of Durham. Currently, I am working with the Interim Advisor on Climate Change to help the Durham Roundtable Committee on Climate Change (DRCCC) complete the second phase of developing its Local Action Plan on climate change. Thus far, I have surveyed 21 jurisdictions’ climate action plans and summarized the best programs from each plan (62 in total), drafted 2-page Action Plan Concepts (APCs) to pitch to the DRCCC for approval, and facilitated Stakeholder Consultation workshops and a Design Charette. In July, I will sort through the stakeholders’ contributions for inclusion as Action Plan Concepts and analyze our proposed APCs for their environmental, economic and social impacts on the region.
About the Graduate Student: Erica Stahl graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.A. in International Relations as well as English Literature in 2009. In September, Erica moved from her hometown of Vancouver to Toronto to pursue both a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies and a Juris Doctor Degree from Osgoode Law School. For her thesis, she intends to link her interests in climate literacy, climate justice, cultural narratives and law. In particular, Erica wishes to study Western and First Nations stories, especially those that form the basis for treaty boundaries, and understand how they interact with Canadian law.
As a Brazilian-American, international relations and Third World poverty and development issues have always been personal research interests for me. This past semester I wrote an article on climate justice that was published in Entre Voc(ze)es, a York University Portuguese and Spanish literary magazine. The piece discusses the human rights and social justice aspects of climate change.
As part of my Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies, I am interning at the Ecoar Institute for Citizenship in Sao Paulo, Brazil this summer. I will be working on environmental education, climate change and waste reduction projects with the non-governmental organization. For more information, check out: www.letterstomittens.wordpress.com.
Prior to this internship, I worked for CC-RAI. In the position, I provided logistical and secretarial support to the Ad Hoc Committe for Regional Climate Modelling and conducted a qualitative research study on end user climate information needs for the Ontario Regional Climate Change Consortium (ORCCC).
About the Graduate Assistant: Ana Leary is originally from Boston, MA. She completed her B.A. in Political Science and International Development Studies from McGill University in 2008. Last year she moved to Toronto to pursue her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies at York University. Her current research focuses on climate change policy-making and climate justice both in Canada and Brazil. Following graduation, she plans to help develop effective and preventative climate policy, whether in her local community or at the global level.
Between September 2010 and April 2011, I had the pleasure of working for the Climate Consortium for Research Action and Integration. In my position, I researched what mitigation and adaptation measures that Ontario municipalities are implementing to address climate change, identified the gaps, and recommended what roles CC-RAI could play in meeting their needs in the future. At the same time, I reviewed what other organizations are doing to support municipalities in their climate efforts to determine how CC-RAI could differentiate its support from other institutions. Later on, I wrote case studies on successful GTA municipal climate change initiatives in order to inform other Ontario communities about best practices and help them adopt similar programs.
Through this work experience with CC-RAI and its work with Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) learned about SSHRC funded summer internship opportunities with GTA regional municipalities pertaining to climate change policy making. My work experience with CC-RAI gave me the knowledge and practical skills to be seriously considered for two of the five positions and be offered an internship with Toronto and Region Conservation.
As a Climate Change Research intern, I am helping to organize the Ontario Regional Climate Change Consortium’s “Dialogue with Stakeholders” workshop and move this consortium forward, researching and writing a compendium of adaptation tools and frameworks for municipalities and the public sector with two colleagues, helping to coordinate the Climate Literacy and Interdisciplinary Collaboration Working Groups at CC-RAI, and writing blogs and case studies on climate change initiatives and research.
About the Graduate Student: Susan Chalmers is originally from Vancouver. She completed her BA in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria in December 2008. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies at York University. Her research interests relate to climate change policy-making and climate justice generally. For her thesis, Susan will compare the adaptation measures being implemented by a coastal community in Canada to one in the Caribbean.
On March 1st, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit and the Climate Consortium for Research Action Integration (CC-RAI) co-hosted the York University Climate Change Policy & Research Day. This was the biggest event held so far as part of the Knowledge Mobilization for Climate Change project. The event brought together policy partners from across the Greater Toronto Area, as well as faculty and students for a dialogue on research issues around climate change.
The event provided an excellent opportunity for students to speak with policy makers, planners and other practitioners focused on addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation issues in the Greater Toronto Area. Recognizing the need to develop the next generation of ‘climate savvy’ professionals the afternoon session allowed students to meet policy partners to discuss opportunities for summer internships.
Watch this space for to learn more about those internships and students currently involved.
Ultimately, the event demonstrated the value of seeking far greater research collaboration between researchers and policy makers to tackle climate change with the urgency it deserves. But, don’t take my word for, why don’t you hear what our participants had to say.
CC-RAI would like to thank the Knowledge Mobilization Unit and SSHRC for supporting this important program.
On March 1st, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit and the Climate Consortium for Research Action Integration (CC-RAI) co-hosted the York University Climate Change Policy & Research Day. This was the biggest event held so far as part of the Knowledge Mobilization for Climate Change project. The event demonstrated the value of seeking far greater research collaboration between researchers and policy makers to tackle climate change with the urgency it deserves.
We were fortunate to have as our chair Karen Kraft Sloan, Special Advisor on the Environment to the Vice President Research and Innovation, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies and Canada’s former Ambassador on the Environment.
This event brought together 3 distinct groups:
- policy staff from local and regional governments and community organizations from City of Toronto, the Region of Durham, the Region of Peel, Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the Association for Canadian Education Resources (ACER); and York Region;
- researchers from York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) Peter Victor, Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LAPS) Ali Asgary, Richard Bello, David Etkin, as well as Science & Engineering (FSE) Huaiping Zhu;
- graduate students from across various academic disciplines
In the morning, an audience of York graduate students and faculty as well as other invited policy staff observed an open forum between policy staff and researchers. The policy makers presented on climate change issues they face, shared adaptation strategies, and identified areas where they need expert opinions and more research. York’s professors responded with their ideas and presented their latest research on climate change impacts and adaptation.
Researchers and policy makers came together to address research gaps and explore potential research collaborations. For instance, the City of Toronto sought opinions on the best way to build a business case for adaptation to climate change while the Region of Peel was interested in working with York’s professors to develop a regional database of environmental statistics and economic data to help them in their decision making. The researchers, many of whom advise national governments on best practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change, were excited by the prospect of working with local policy makers towards home-grown solutions.
“It was really good for me personally to know the people who are working in this area and [I] would welcome any opportunity to collaborate with them in this very important line of research” said Ali Asgary, who is the Graduate Program Director of the York MA program in Disaster & Emergency Management.
Collaborations like this are key to getting Canada as a whole to achieve fair, ambitious, and binding carbon emissions reductions. “I enjoyed the panel discussions … the interaction between the academic/research perspective and the policy participants’ viewpoint was very interesting” said Nancy Rutherford who is the Principal Planner in the Policy Planning Branch at the Region of Durham.
York graduate students greatly enjoyed the lively panel. “I very much enjoyed the presentation. I gained a lot of valuable information” said Maryum Sherazi, a Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) student at York University. “I also enjoyed getting insights on the relationship between the policy makers and the researchers”.
Students and policy makers mingled in the afternoon session, which emphasized career pathing. “It was a valuable chance to meet senior policy makers who are doing such important work on climate change,” said Erica Stahl, a candidate in the joint MES/JD program at York University studying climate change and social justice. “Sometimes you forget that you can turn your passion into a career, and that your job can help make the world a better place. This event got me inspired again.” Everyone involved expressed their desire to build on the relationships forged at this event. “[It was] inspiring to meet [a] group working together towards greatest impact [on this issue]” wrote one participant in their evaluation form for the event.
The Knowledge Mobilization Unit worked with the organizations represented on the panel to profile a competition for five paid summer internships at the City of Toronto, the Region of Durham, Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the Association for Canadian Education Resources (ACER); and York Region.
CC-RAI would like to thanks our policy partners for taking part as well as York faculty.
In the fall of 2011, the Knowledge Mobilization for Climate Change Project will host its Research Forum. This event will build on the successes of the Policy and Research Day and profile the student interns who will have completed their placements with our policy partners. March 1st was just the beginning.
This event also had a social media presence. It was live tweeted by a number of our participants with the hashtag #KMbCC. For a full transcript of the tweets, please see here. Gary Myers, Digital Researcher at York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit also wrote about the event on his blog, KMbeing. You may read Gary’s post by clicking here.
While it might be freezing outside at the moment, it doesn’t hurt to start looking early for summer employment and internship opportunities. CC-RAI is very pleased to highlight some interesting internship opportunities available with one of our partners.
There are 5 internships available with the City of Toronto, the Regions of York, Durham, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, and the Water Weather Gateway project. While each project will center around climate change, the individual opportunities available will be unique to individual project partners.
The York Region placement deadline is Monday, February 28th at 4:30pm. The deadline for the four other summer placements is Friday, March 4th at 4:30pm.
A full list of placement details and internship requirements can be found at Mobilize This!