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.
The MITOS Strategy is organized into four areas of responsibility. While our work is based on campus, we are connected to the larger mission of MIT – to serve the nation and world. We have set out to have an an impact across scales, from the individual to the globe.
Sustainable Campus Systems: Reimagining systems on campus to advance the well-being and resilience of people and the environment
Campus as an Urban Living Laboratory: Utilizing the campus and its urban surroundings as a test-bed for innovation and knowledge generation through research and education
Collaborative Partnerships: Harnessing the collective intelligence of networks and communities to solve shared problems
Leadership and Capacity Building: Engaging and empowering faculty, students, and staff in shaping, applying, and continuously improving the sustainability of MIT and beyond
Read about our Scales of Impact framework.
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 individual to the global level
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.
Washington-Ottombre, C., Washington, G., Newman, J. (2018) Campus sustainability in the US: Environmental management and social change since 1970. Journal of Cleaner Production. v. 196, 564-575.
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
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 AICP, 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, students, and community members to integrate sustainability into the Institute. She worked alongside leaders at the Institute to help develop the strategic framework for the Office during its launch in 2013. She currently works on a range of projects related to mobility, food systems, materials management, student engagement, and outreach.
Susy has fifteen years of experience building networks to advance 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 regional, 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 landmark nutrition education program in 70 public schools. She currently sits 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.
Emma Corbalan joined MIT as a Project Manager for Sustainable Design and Construction - in a new role that is meant to bridge the offices of sustainability, campus planning, and facilities. Emma spent her first year with the Office of Sustainability and then moved to Campus Planning, where she is currently at work. Her final destination will be on the Campus Construction team.
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.
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.
Emma is a recent graduate of Tufts' master’s program in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. She will be spending the summer working on sustainable procurement standards for MIT.
Her thesis was titled "Data Driven Policy: Principles for the Smart City" and focused on the potential impacts of big data on public policy in urban planning. Her other academic interests include mapping and visual storytelling, building community capacity in geospatial studies, and the intersection of data and policy making. Since working at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) Recycling Program as an undergrad, she has had an interest in institutional waste management and is excited to continue learning as a fellow at MIT.
Kashaf joined the Office of Sustainability as a Summer Fellow to advance a sustainable campus food system. In this role, she is designing an educational campaign to reduce food waste in the dining halls and identifying standards for sustainable food procurement.
Kashaf recently graduated from Georgetown University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biology of Global Health and a minor in Economics. Currently, her interests lie in circular economies as they relate to various sectors, including the food and fashion industries. She is interested in understanding how businesses can move towards achieving a triple bottom line. Previously, she interned at the Environmental Law Institute, working on projects on a range of topics, including bioenergy production, climate resilience financing, corporate ocean responsibility, and environmental justice.
Yael is an urban planner and designer, joining MITOS this summer to support climate resilience efforts. Yael recently graduated from the MIT Master in City Planning program, where she co-founded a climate group and received several awards for contributions to the community and student life
Prior to joining MITOS, Yael’s education and professional work in the past ten years was focused on sustainable and equitable development. She is experienced with leading urban revitalization projects, working closely with diverse urban stakeholders including community partners, architects, engineers, politicians, economists, developers, and government agencies. She brings in both design and communication skills to simultaneously conduct data analysis, draft policy and design documents, while also directly interacting with the larger team and facilitating stakeholder meetings. . Her passion for developing innovative solutions to climate and social challenges led her to MITOS, where she is excited to collaborate with the professional and scientific team on cutting edge climate resilience planning.
Joseph is a PhD candidate in the MIT Microbiology Program studying the bacterial community in coastal oceans. At the Office of Sustainability, he applies techniques he learned studying DNA sequencing data to understand the commuting patterns of the MIT community. Working with MITOS' Senior Data Analyst Derek Wietsma and fellow Tianyu Su, Joseph is using historical daily commuting and geospatial data to identify areas of future intervention to make MIT's commuting less impactful to the environment.
Tianyu joined the Office of Sustainability in May 2019, working as an Analytics and Visualization Fellow. He is helping conduct data analysis on transportation and commuting preference of MIT community. Tianyu performs cluster analysis of individual behaviors and geospatial analysis on census block level based on data of parking permits, MBTA transits, Blue Bike, etc, in order to identify the potential opportunities and prepare suggestions for campus decision-making and management.
As a Master in City Planning student at MIT with a background in urban design and analytics, Tianyu is well equipped with insights and methods to study the human activities in buildings, open space, and cities. As a researcher with the City Science Group at MIT Media Lab, Tianyu applied his skills of data analytics, user experience design, and augmented reality into designing, prototyping, and implementing the Shanghai LivingLine Project. Also, Tianyu has been working side by side with Prof. Anne Whiston Spirn on the WPLP project at Department of Urban Studies and Planning in MIT and Prof. Andres Sevtsuk on the Innovation Field Lab project at Harvard GSD to test possibilities to apply data analysis into better support decision-making process, at different scales.
Effie (re)joined the Office of Sustainability in the summer of 2019, having served as an academic year fellow in 2017. In her role, she is exploring a new program area for MITOS centering on the art and sustainability and creating place-based educational strategies for campus landscapes. She continues to write and edit articles on sustainability issues for print and web-based media. She also creates visual and written communication material for MITOS as part of its design and digital strategy. Effie is working toward her Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Art and Design at MIT.
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.
The MIT Office of Sustainability seeks strong candidates for the position of Sustainability Data Analyst. The Office was established in 2013 and has set out to transform the campus into a powerful model that generates new and proven ways of responding to the unprecedented challenges of a changing planet.
The candidate must be able to position MIT on the cutting edge of sustainability analytics - from data access and collection to interpretation and application. This position will be managed by the Director of the Office of Sustainability and work collaboratively with the administrative and academic units across the institute. The position will also work in partnership with the Project Management team of the Office of Sustainability.
The Sustainability Data Analyst is responsible for providing analytical and tactical support for all sustainability projects with data-related needs and for setting an overall strategy for the collection, analysis, management, and communication of data and metrics. This individual will synthesize complex data from multiple sources into compelling stories. Primary responsibilities include:
Principal Duties and Responsibilities
Reporting & Communications
REQUIRED: bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) in computer science/engineering/business/math/policy or related field; five years’ related work experience with an open-source data science programming language (R preferred); at least three years’ experience with geo-spatial data management, analysis, and visualization; at least three years’ experience with Tableau or other data visualization software; strong geo-spatial data visualization skills; experience with interactive mapping tools (e.g., Leaflet, CARTO, Mapbox, ArcGIS online app, etc.); and strong project management skills. Must be able lead a project team, manage student fellows, and provide mentoring; manage and prioritize multiple tasks/projects, promptly raising any obstacles; work with individuals at various levels; collaborate and work effectively as part of a team. PREFERRED: big data experience (Spark, Hive, Hadoop), Experience working with energy and/or sustainability metrics, experience working in higher education, and experience with website design.
Apply online through MIT here.
The MIT Office of Sustainability (MITOS) is currently seeking student applicants for part-time, hourly paid Sustainability Fellowships for Academic year, 2019-2020. Join a dynamic, collaborative office that is developing MIT’s next generation vision of campus sustainability. Read below for descriptions of each position and an overview of the details and qualifications.
Hours and eligibility:
Part time, 8-10 hour/week, September through May, open to all current students from MIT only.
Pay Range: $17-$20/hour
Open to: Upper-level undergraduate and graduate students
Strong interest and demonstrated experience in sustainability 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.
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 Sustainable Procurement Fellow will work with the MIT Office of Sustainability (MITOS) and partner offices to help launch MIT’s pilot implementation phase promoting sustainable consumption and waste reduction. This Fellowship will directly drive MIT’s leveraging of procurement and waste management activities to 1) design out waste; 2) promote sustainable material choices; and 3) drive local and circular economies.
Building upon MIT’s materials management initiative, emerging tools, and its work with the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), this position will collaborate with select MIT departments, labs and centers as well as preferred vendors as they pilot test actionable strategies and tools (i.e. MIT Sustainable Purchasing Guidance, MIT Sustainable Event Guidance, Rheaply, etc.). Key outcomes of the Fellow’s efforts will be to 1) refine MIT tools and strategies for optimizing impacts; and, 2) to extract key findings and lessons learned that can inform campus-wide scale-ability of sustainable procurement and waste reduction strategies.
Duties will include:
Develop and refine the Draft MIT Sustainable Purchasing Guidance
Develop and refine the pilot MIT Sustainable Event Guidance to Design Out Waste
Grow engagement and impact of MIT’s beta test of Rheaply, a surplus material match-making platform
Engage with MIT preferred vendors to explore and prioritize feasible strategies that utilize procurement to design out waste;
Create synthesized presentations of findings and guidance for the MIT community
Strong interest and demonstrated experience in sustainability, materials management procurement and waste 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 for MIT students, staff and faculty
Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
Demonstrated coursework in environmental policy, business, materials, waste, procurement and/or related topics.
MIT’s Office of Sustainability (MITOS) is seeking a student Data Analytics and Visualization Fellow to grow baseline analytics for MIT’s Material Matters Project which launched in 2018. This project aims to develop a data-driven understanding of campus consumption of material and service flows (i.e. purchased goods, business travel, etc.) and their impacts—from procurement through disposal. The augmented data, analytics and visualizations produced by the Fellow will support campus-wide efforts to prioritize and develop strategies that promote sustainable behaviors and systems throughout MIT’s supply chain. This Fellow will work directly with MIT research scientists and operational staff in testing leading edge methodologies for processing and analyzing impacts of campus material procurement and disposal.
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 communications and 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 purchased goods, waste, scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions, business travel and transportation.
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 administrative tasks as necessary, such as spreadsheet work, presentation development, and website maintenance
An ideal candidate has many of the following skills/traits:
An eagerness to learn and self-motivated
Experience with data analytics programs; R and/or Spark preferred
Experience developing graphics, dashboards, and interactive visualizations; Tableau preferred
Strong communications skills and comfortable working with diverse stakeholders
Comfortable asking clarifying questions and seeking help when needed
Interest in improving campus sustainability
Willingness to take ownership of work
Ability to independently problem solve analytics tasks
Experience working with website development, design, or content management is a plus
The MIT Office of Sustainability is seeking a student fellow to work collaboratively over the academic year to advance a sustainable food system at MIT and support the newly built Saxon Sustainability Garden at MIT.
Work collaboratively with MITOS and its campus food and dining partners. Tasks may include:
Assist in developing data collection and tracking methods for sustainable food purchases
Outreach related to food waste reduction efforts
Research on planetary health diet strategies
Development of outreach and education materials (website updates, news stories);
Assist in implementing other sustainability-related food priorities
Assist in the administration of the newly built Saxon Sustainability Garden, a collaboration between the MIT Office of Sustainability, UA Sustain, the Environmental Solutions Initiative, and MIT Grounds. Tasks may include:
Development of education and outreach materials
Assistance with volunteer coordination and maintenance tasks
Other related garden priorities
Must have prior experience working with large amounts of data
Passion for food systems, agriculture, and urban pollinator gardens and an understanding of current issues, including fair trade, organic, humane, local, and sustainable seafood principals
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