CUNY is providing $142,000 to fund a new CUNY Climate Scholars fellowship for students from four schools: Baruch College, Bronx Community College, Brooklyn College, and Hunter College. The initiative will prepare students for careers in green energy, climate change mitigation, and climate resilience efforts.

Students can apply for the program here. The application deadline is May 13 and the program starts Aug. 22. Participants must commit to 20 hours a week for six months, with half the time spent on research and half on an internship. Students will receive a stipend of up to $8,400.

“CUNY students are New York’s future leaders,” said Baruch Psychology Professor Mindy Engle-Friedman, who is spearheading the project. “This program will prepare our students to take leadership roles in green energy. They will help protect our city from the impacts of climate change.”

The green energy effort builds on Baruch’s Climate Scholars program, which launched two years ago and is already sending students to internships, jobs, and graduate school in fields related to climate policy.

Sun shines on field with solar panels
Sun shines on field with solar panels

The new CUNY Climate Scholars fellowship will place students in CUNY research labs for three months and in external internships for three months. They’ll meet with experts on topics including offshore wind, solar and geothermal energy; green energy financing and its impact on the economy, and how green energy affects habitats and ecosystems. They will present their research to fellow CUNY students and at professional conferences.

At least two students from each of the four schools will be chosen, and they’ll receive stipends so they can focus on schoolwork, internships, and research. Applicants can major in any subject. “We look forward to welcoming students across the CUNY majors including arts and sciences, business and public affairs,” she said. “We need students with a wide variety of interests, strengths and skills.”

The current crop of Climate Scholars at Baruch, for example, includes Julie Margolin, a Macaulay-Baruch honors student who interned at InsideClimate News. Margolin is majoring in statistics and quantitative modeling. Another Climate Scholar, Chelsea Wepy, is a Baruch business administration major. She’s done research on climate-induced migration and geographic information systems and interned at the Environmental Defense Fund and the United Nations Association.

“Students across CUNY are greatly concerned about climate change and how it will impact their lives,” said Engle-Friedman. “This program will give them the education and experience they need to make a difference.”

Engle-Friedman’s counterparts from the other three schools taking part in the fellowship are Bronx Community College Professor Neal Phillip (Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and Environmental Sciences), Brooklyn College Professor Brett Branco (Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Hunter College Professor William Solecki (Geography).

Engle-Friedman also leads the Baruch Climate Action Collaborative, which includes faculty from Weissman, Marxe, and Zicklin. The group has presented research, hosted speakers, written grants, and collaborated on interdisciplinary courses. ​