Get to know the MIT Office of Sustainability
Get to know the MIT Office of Sustainability
Our mission is to transform MIT into a powerful model that generates new and proven ways of responding to the unprecedented challenges of a changing planet via operational excellence, education, research and innovation on our campus.
The MIT Office of Sustainability (MITOS) was established in 2013 under the Executive Vice President and Treasurer's Office to integrate sustainability across all levels of our campus by engaging the collective brainpower of our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and partners. We have set out to ensure that sustainability is a critical part of MIT’s standard operating procedures and is fully integrated into the working, research, teaching, social and cultural spheres of our campus.
The MITOS team. Read more about the team here.
Applied Innovation: Pursue new strategies and solutions with tangible, scalable impacts
Collective Intelligence: Work across traditional boundaries and within networks to frame and solve problems
Civic Responsibility: Contribute to the mission of MIT by serving our campus, community, and the world
Systems Thinking: View all stakeholders, resources and challenges as interrelated and mutually dependent
Apply system-thinking to campus design, management, growth and renewal
Redefine the campus as an experimental laboratory for applied innovation and learning
Connect people, ideas and systems in ways that spark transformative and lasting change
Position higher education as a critical partner in delivering scalable impact from the community to the global levels
The challenges of sustainability are both local and global. Creating transformative solutions requires deep collaboration among community leaders and members on campus, city and global scales.
We start with you to find solutions at the campus level to serve both the institution's needs as well as to incubate new and big ideas.
Drawing from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, we work together to connect people, ideas and systems across the MIT community in ways that spark transformative and lasting change.
Julie joined MIT as the Institute’s first Director of Sustainability in the summer of 2013. She has worked in the field of sustainable development and campus sustainability for twenty years. Her research has focused on the intersection between decision-making processes and organizational behavior in institutionalizing sustainability into higher education.
Julie is also a Lecturer in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP).
In 2004, Julie was recruited to be the founding Director of the Office of Sustainability for Yale University. At Yale, Julie held a lecturer appointment with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she taught an undergraduate course entitled – Sustainability: From theory to practice in institutions. Julie came to Yale from the University of New Hampshire, Office of Sustainability Programs (OSP) where she assisted with the development of the program since its inception in 1997. Prior to her work with the OSP she worked for University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF). In 2004 Julie co-founded the Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium, to advance education and action for sustainable development on university campuses in the northeast and maritime region.
Julie lectures and consults for universities both nationally and internationally, participates on a variety of boards and advisory committees and has contributed to a series of edited books and peer reviewed journals. Julie holds a BS in Natural Resource Policy and Management from the University of Michigan; an MS in Environmental Policy and Biology from Tufts University; and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of New Hampshire.
See below for a list of Julie Newman's publications related to campus sustainability.
Weber, S., Newman, J. (2017). Ecoregional analysis applied to campus sustainability performance. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Newman, J. (2012). An organizational change management framework for sustainability. Greener Management International. Galea , C. [Ed.]. pp. 65-75(11).
Newman, J ; Rauch, J. (2009). Institutionalizing a greenhouse gas commitment at Yale. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. Vol. 10 Issue: 4, 390 - 400.
Newman, J. (2009). Education for Sustainability – Designing an educational system for sustainability. Encyclopedia of Sustainability. Great Barrington, Massachusetts: Berkshire Publishing Group, LLC.
Newman, J.; Weber, S.; Bookhart, D. (2009) Institutionalizing campus-wide sustainability: A programmatic approach. Sustainability: Journal of Record. vo.2 no.3.
Newman, J.; Rauch, J. (2009). Defining sustainability metric targets in an institutional setting. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. v. 10. n.2., 107 – 116.
Newman, J.; Rauch, J. (2008). Zeroing in on sustainability. Sustainability: Journal of Record. vo. 1. no.6, 387-390.
Newman, J. (2008). Reconceptualizing a model for service learning in the context of a sustainable campus. Practical approaches to ethics for colleges and universities. New Directions for Higher Education. No. 142. , 17 – 24.
Newman, J. (2010). Sustainability education. Siever, B. (Ed.). The Spirit of Sustainability Encyclopedia [pp.148-150]. Great Barrington, Massachusetts: Berkshire Publishing Group, LLC.
Newman, J. (2007). The impacts of cell phones and laptops in a sustainable world. Kleiman, S. (Ed). Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the 21 st Century. [pp.77-83] New York, New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
Newman, J. (2006). The role of a campus sustainability professional in facilitating institutional reform. 147 Tips for Teaching Sustainability [pp.99-102]. Timpson, W. [Ed]. Madison, Wisconsin: Attwood Publishing.
Newman, J., Abrams, E. (2005). Organizational structure and rational choice: Unveiling the obstacles to integrating sustainability into decision-making in an institution of higher education. Leal Filho, W.(Ed) Handbook of Sustainability Research. Frankfurt, Germany: Peter Lang Scientific Publishing.
Newman, J. (Ed.). (June 2011). Green Education: An A-to-Z Guide. (vol.7). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Newman, J. (Ed). (June, 2011). Green Ethics and Philosophy: An A-to-Z Guide (vol. 8). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Newman, J. Fernandez, L. (2007). Strategies for Institutionalizing Sustainability in Higher Education – Report on the Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium 3rd Annual Conference. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Report n.10. New Haven, CT: FES.
Newman, J. (2009). Reaching Beyond Compliance: The Challenges of Achieving Campus Sustainability. Germany: VDM Publishing.
Conference Proceedings & Professional Reports
Newman, J. (2005, April). Strategies for integrating sustainability into higher education: A case analysis of Yale University. United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development – The role of higher education institutions. Graz, Austria.
Newman, J. (2002, August). What keeps universities from fully embracing sustainability principles?: A presentation of a conceptual framework for research. Conference proceedings of the National Association of Environmental Education.
Newman, J. (2001, October). Consumer choice, sustainability, and a constructivist pedagogy. Conference proceedings of the National Association of Environmental Education.
Informational Articles and Instructional Materials
Newman, J. (2003, November). Is eating a moral act?: An exploration from agrarianism to consumerism. The Center for the Humanities Newsletter. No. 2
Newman, J. ; Diezel, J. (2001, January) Continuing connections through the curriculum and community. Connections Newsletter. Vol.16. No.1
Emma Corbalan recently joined MIT as a Project Manager for Sustainable Design and Construction. Emma will spend her first 18 months with the Office of Sustainability, then move to Campus Planning and then integrate into Campus Construction.
Emma is a licensed architect and project manager with ten years of experience leading projects, primarily in the life science and corporate commercial sectors. Her personal and professional interests are focused on the design and execution of sustainable, high-performance buildings. As a member of her previous firm’s Sustainability Leadership Team, she was responsible for leading sustainable design initiatives, reporting of annual project energy performance as part of the 2030 initiative, supporting project teams seeking LEED certification, and presenting course material on sustainable design strategies and the LEED rating system.
Emma holds a Bachelors of Architecture from Syracuse University and a Masters of Business Administration from Boston University, with a concentration in Energy and Environmental Sustainability. Emma is a member of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Boston Sustainability Networking Group, and is the Vice-Chair of the USGBC MA Chapter Advocacy Committee, which promotes legislation, initiatives and policies that will advance sustainable building practices in Massachusetts.
Rebecca provides administrative support to all staff members in the Office of Sustainability. She joined the office in March 2016 and acts in the role of office manager, human resources administrator, and event planner.
Rebecca has over 5 years of experience as an administrative professional. She recently was named a co-chair for the MIT Working Green Committee, a group that promotes sustainability among staff members. Prior to joining the Office she worked for the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an assistant to three prominent faculty. Rebecca has a M.Sc. In Environmental Social Science from the University of Kent and a B.A. In Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Brian Goldberg, LEED AP BD+C AIPC, is an environmental planner who joined MIT in June 2016 to help advance projects in climate, stormwater, land and waste management.
He brings 15 years experience working with cities, communities, not-for-profits and private developers to optimize environmental and social benefits while mitigating risks. Brian’s perspectives are drawn from urban and rural projects in the U.S., Africa, Asia, Australia and the Caribbean. He comes to MIT after a decade at the global engineering, planning and design firm AECOM and was previously working for the United Nations and James Corner Field Operations. He holds a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science from Union College.
Susy joined MIT to work on campus sustainability in January, 2013. In her role, she works closely with administrative staff, faculty, and students to integrate sustainability into the Institute. She helped to develop the strategic framework, which launched the Office in 2013. She works on a range of projects related to mobility, food systems, materials management, student engagement, and outreach.
Susy has over ten years of experience advancing healthy, sustainable communities. Before her arrival at MIT, she was a Program Manager at Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships in Lexington, Mass., where she worked to advance state and local energy efficiency policies related to schools, public facilities, and building energy codes. Susy began her career in Philadelphia where she worked to increase nutritious, local food options in Philadelphia neighborhoods, managing the city’s nutrition education program in 70 public schools. She currently site on the City of Cambridge's Recycling Advisory Committee. Susy has an M.A. in Urban & Environmental Planning & Policy from Tufts University and a B.A. in English from Bryn Mawr College.
Steve helped to establish the Office of Sustainability in 2013. Prior to this, Steve was leading campus sustainability efforts as Deputy Director within the Environment, Health and Safety Headquarters Office at MIT since 2005.
In this new capacity, Steve works to develop, promote, and coordinate MIT-wide policies and programs to advance the Institute’s commitment to sustainable practices, while integrating campus-focused research and learning opportunities with MIT’s faculty, students, and the broader community. Steve serves on a number of advisory and working committees serving the Institute, the Cities of Cambridge and Boston, and his hometown of Winchester. He is an active volunteer with the Cambridge Schools Volunteers where he has mentored 5th and 6th grade students for ten years.
Before joining MIT, Steve worked in a variety of environmental research and planning capacities in management consulting, technical consulting, and non-profit policy research, including the World Resources Institute, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, and Arthur Andersen.
Steve is an environmental planner by training with 20 years experience in environmental policy development and program implementation. He holds a Bachelors degree in international economic development from Brown University, and a Masters degree in environmental policy and planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Derek joined the Office of Sustainability in January 2016. Derek is helping the office build out a dynamic data practice that tracks operational performance and enhances institutional decision-making. He has experience working with a variety of statistical software to clean, transform, and analyze complex datasets.
In addition, Derek has experience developing interactive and user-friendly dashboards to visualize analysis results.
Most recently, Derek worked as a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security analyzing trends in large volumes of international traveler data. He received a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 2014. His academic specializations are in economic development, public finance, and sustainability.
Paul joined the Office of Sustainability in August 2016 as the Living Lab and Strategic Engagement Project Manager. Paul is a life-long “maker,” with experience working in the non-profit, corporate and higher education sectors in a variety of administrative, leadership and academic appointments.
He has applied his knowledge of fine arts, music, architecture and of emerging learning theories to create three-dimensional educational tools such as the I-SMART House, an interactive model of green building best practices that was used as the lynchpin of a multi-state educational outreach program sponsored by National Grid. Other inventions include the Duct Dawgs (dog-shaped mannequins illustrating building science principles), and the How-to-Build Better Exhibit, a large-scale, multi-media art display, commissioned by the Long Island Power Authority.
Paul studied art at the Maryland Institute, earned a Master of Architecture Degree from Harvard University and received a Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Pennsylvania last year. His dissertation explored the similarities and differences of physical and virtual place making, and the extent to which the approach may impact the learning experience for students and/or the shape of learning spaces in the future. He is currently researching the use of alternative forms of scholarship such as comics and graphic novels to create and disseminate academic research.
Paul’s work has received recognition from organizations such as Second Nature, the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, the Kresge Foundation and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. He is affiliated with organizations such as the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA), Maker Faire, Secret Knock and Ecolibrium, a Massachusetts-based cable access TV show.
Our students develop meaningful work to advance a sustainable campus at MIT and to build their professional experience in institutional transformation. We hire both undergraduate and graduate students to help shape the future of sustainability at MIT and beyond.
Dora joined the Office of Sustainability in January 2016 to act as a liaison between MITOS and MIT’s Office of Procurement. She is currently researching sustainable procurement practices across academia and industry, and will be responsible for developing a methodology of incorporating new sustainable practices within the procurement process.
After several years working in industry as an aerospace engineer, Dora returned to MIT to pursue an MBA and an SM in Mechanical Engineering in the Leaders for Global Operations Program. She is also pursuing a sustainability certificate from the Sloan School of Management. Her studies and future career are centered on bringing lasting change to reduce waste in industrial processes.
Zachary Lamb is a doctoral candidate in the City Design and Development group of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. He researches the role of design in the history of urban flood protection with a focus on the Bengal Delta and the Mississippi River Delta. His work bridges design, environmental policy, and the politics of disaster risk.
Before his doctoral studies, Zach lived and worked in New Orleans, managing post-Hurricane Katrina redevelopment projects, teaching at the Tulane School of Architecture, and founding Crookedworks, a design-build practice whose work has been widely recognized and exhibited including at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Zach has a Master of Architecture degree from MIT and a bachelor’s degree in art and architectural history and environmental studies from Williams College. He has taught at MIT and Tulane University. His writing has been published widely including in the Natural Hazards Observer and the Dhaka Tribune as well as in leading academic journals including the Journal of Architectural Education and the Journal of Planning Education and Research.
Louis Liss is a first-year Master’s student in City Planning in Housing, Community and Economic Development in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Prior to MIT, he worked in municipal government in New York City and San Francisco. At the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, he worked in an external affairs capacity on street redesign projects; at New York City Economic Development Corporation, he was a project manager for maritime transportation and freight initiatives.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Louis grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and loves going on road trips.
Rachel joined the Office of Sustainability in September 2016. In her role, she is helping identify opportunities for MIT to reduce its environmental impact via reducing its materials footprint. Rachel is a PhD student within the MIT's Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. Her dissertation closely aligns with her work in the office; the project is being carried out as a collaboration between the Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI) and the Office of Sustainability. For the project, she is studying material flows at MIT as a case study to understand better the fundamentals of material consumption and waste management of universities situated in a larger urban context. Rachel is dedicated to applying her work directly to decision-making to improve the material efficiency on campus.
Her research interests fall in the areas of sustainable waste management, industrial ecology, and urban sustainability. She completed her master’s degree in Technology and Policy (MIT) in 2015. She conducted her master’s research with Dr. Randolph Kirchain in the Materials Systems Lab. Her master’s thesis focused on the environmental, economic, and social implications of organic waste management systems in India. As a Fellow within the Tata Center for Technology and Design, she traveled to India several times to collaborate with a waste-picker cooperative and to collect primary data.
Before MIT she worked for a year assessing the life cycle emissions of computers with a start-up company called Life Cycle Analytics. She received her B.S. in Science of Natural and Environmental Systems from Cornell University in 2012. At Cornell, she worked as the sustainability coordinator for Cornell Dining Services, leading efforts to increase composting rate, source food locally, prevent front-of-house food waste, and train staff on sustainable practices. She also worked as a research assistant studying water quality, soil contaminants, and urban stormwater pollutants (the topic of her honor's thesis).
Elizabeth joined the Office of Sustainability in February 2017. In her role as Analytics and Visualization Fellow, she is responsible for coding open source programs to analyze and automate campus sustainability data flows. Additionally, she develops metrics, graphics, and web-based visualizations, and works with stakeholders to compile datasets to aid decision-making.
Elizabeth is a senior undergraduate in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences. Her research interests include atmospheric chemistry, urban air quality, and sustainable environmental policy.
Frankie joined the Office of Sustainability in October 2016. In her role, she reports on a range of sustainability topics at MIT, from climate action to sustainable mobility, and conducts in-depth interviews with staff, faculty, and student researchers. She writes and edits articles on sustainability issues for print and web-based media. Frankie also creates written and visual content to support MITOS’ official website, and helps to manage the Office’s social media strategy.
Before joining the Office, Frankie worked as an undergraduate researcher in MIT’s Device Research Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She also spent a year as a Communications Assistant at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she reported on the intersection of technology and governance.
Frankie is a senior at MIT pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Science Writing. Upon graduating, she plans to pursue a Master’s of Science in the same field, with the goal of working professionally as a science journalist. Her undergraduate work has focused on leveraging multimedia and online media for more immersive and effective reporting on topics in science and technology.
Join our team of creative individuals working towards a more sustainable MIT. As our role on campus continues to grow and evolve, we'll post both full-time and student fellowship positions to meet our goals.
There are currently no full-time positions open at MITOS. Be sure to check back soon!
The MIT Office of Sustainability (MITOS) is currently seeking student applicants for five full-time paid Sustainability Fellowships for summer 2017. Join a dynamic, collaborative office that is developing MIT’s next generation vision of campus sustainability.
Hours: Full time, 35 hours/week (May-August)
Pay Range: $15-$18
Open to: Upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. MIT students preferred, but students from all colleges and universities are welcome to apply.
Qualifications (for all positions):
Strong interest and demonstrated experience in sustainability and materials management issues as they relate to urban and/or campus sustainability as well as a desire to impact the future of MIT and sustainability in higher education and beyond;
Excellent written, visual and oral communication skills, including presentation of complex data
Strong quantitative data collection, management, and analysis, including proficiency in Excel;
Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
Demonstrated coursework in water, land, energy, materials, food systems, and/or building-related topics within the Departments of Architecture, Urban Studies and Planning, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or similar.
To apply: Send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the position in the subject line.
See below for descriptions of each positions and associated qualifications.
The Communications, Design, and Outreach Fellow will develop dynamic written and visual materials that empower the MIT community to learn and take action on a range of important sustainability issues at MIT, from climate change to sustainable mobility. This position requires a creative communicator who is passionate about social, scientific, and environmental change as well as values the importance of using digital platforms for communication, storytelling, and learning. The ideal candidate will have experience with Drupal, graphic design, video, social media, and strong written and interpersonal skills.
Creation and management of strategic communications materials, including news stories, videos, audio stories, and various web content;
Assist in reporting and analysis of web and social media performance;
Provide additional support to Office of Sustainability projects as needed
The Urban Living Lab Fellow will help to document campus-based research through the creation of Learning Adventure Cards, Lablets and Mini-Videos that tell the story of campus-based research and summarize problems, solutions and challenges of current and previous work utilizing the MIT campus as a test bed for innovation. The information collected about campus based research will provide the basis for the creation of a new database that will function as a platform for understanding the unique phenomena of place-based research at MIT and its outcomes.
This position requires an interest in campus-based research, a passion for storytelling, excellent writing and people skills, familiarity with working in front of and behind the camera, and experience with fine arts, graphic design, public art installation, museum exhibit design and/or video production.
Creation of materials associated with Learning Adventure Cards (strategic awareness platform)
Creation of mini-videos associated with campus-based research
Management of the Living Lab database of campus-based research assets
Cultivation of Lablets (prototypes for new campus-based research)
Provide additional support to Office of Sustainability projects as needed
The Sustainable Procurement Fellow will work with the MIT Office of Sustainability (MITOS) and the MIT Procurement Operations and Strategic Sourcing and Contracts business units as a key resource to assist in analyzing how the Institute consumes resources, identifying opportunities for improvement and promoting practices to increase sustainability across the Institute.
Understand MIT procurement processes, trends and potential points of leverage;
Research best-in-class sustainable procurement practices from comparable institutions;
Identify opportunities in which to integrate best-in-class sustainability practices into MIT procurement policies, processes and procedures including;
Draft language for RFPs and contracting to support the integration process;
Develop sustainable behavior components for MIT’s e-catalogs;
Engage existing vendors to identify and develop vendor-driven opportunities
Research, identify and recommend best-in-class practice for reporting and tracking of sustainable procurement performance;
Identify and recommend best practices for evaluating, screening and promoting vendors according to sustainability criteria that satisfies sustainability aspirations across MIT office of sustainability focal areas (i.e. food, waste, climate resiliency, etc.).
The Analytics and Visualization fellow will work to scale MITOS’ analytics and visualization practice. The fellow will use open source data science programs, such as R and Spark, and visualization programs, such as tableau, to process MIT campus sustainability data into information that can support administrative decision-making.
MITOS works closely with MIT operations departments across the Institute to enhance and accelerate campus sustainability. Analytics are fundamental to MITOS’ approach. The fellow will work across several sustainability topic areas, which may include energy, waste, water, transportation, buildings, and more.
Code open source programs to analyze and automate campus sustainability data flows
Develop metrics, graphics, and web-based visualizations designed for particular stakeholders, the MIT community, or the public
Work with stakeholders to understand the scope and complexity of campus datasets
Support ad hoc tasks as necessary, such as spreadsheet tasks or presentation preparations
An ideal candidate has many of the following skills:
Experience with data analytics programs; R and/or Spark preferred
Experience developing graphics, dashboards, and interactive visualizations; Tableau preferred
Experience working with website construction, design, or administration is a plus
Strong communications skills and comfortable working with diverse stakeholders
Willingness to take ownership of work
Ability to independently problem solve analytics tasks
The MIT Office of Sustainability and the Office of Emergency Management & Business Continuity is seeking to hire a student Climate Change Resiliency Fellow to support the research and planning needs of MIT’s campus-based climate preparedness and adaptation efforts. The Fellow will assist in synthesizing and launching climate activities primarily through research, writing, graphic support and implementation planning about climate vulnerability, risk assessment and preparedness planning.
Research best practices for climate vulnerability assessment and climate preparedness, as applied to urban institutions;
Assist in developing emergency management plans and procedures that integrate climate change risks;
Prepare maps, info graphics and other compelling visuals that can translate climate science into awareness-raising about future climate risks to the MIT campus, operations and community;
Inform alignment of MIT’s resiliency planning priorities and activities with resiliency studies from the region including the Climate Vulnerability Assessment for the City of Cambridge and Climate Ready Boston;
Strong interest and demonstrated experience in climate change risk, climate change adaptation, climate change vulnerability, and emergency preparedness in urban and institutional contexts;
Graphic design skill set to convey ideas visually;
Desire to impact the future of MIT
We look forward to hearing from you. Send us your comments, questions, and ideas for creating a more sustainable MIT.
Phone: (617) 715-4060
Building NE-49, 3rd Floor, Suite 3161
600 Technology Square
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139
Office of Sustainability
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, NE49-3161
Cambridge, MA 02139