CUNY CREST’s Monthly Bulletin
CUNY CREST is an internationally recognized research collaborative Institute, approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees, at the City College of the City University of New York, with a mission of advancing Earth System Science and Engineering through State-of-the-art Technologies.
The Monthly Bulletin is an initiative to serve as an information hub for all the current news, events, updates, grant opportunities, job opportunities, and brings much more to our readers, stakeholders, and colleagues.
From the Director’s Desk:
Welcome to the third issue of the CUNY-CREST Institute Monthly Bulletin.
On behalf of the CUNY CREST Institute, I welcome our scientists, faculty, staff, and stakeholders to the New Year. 2021 was a great success as it pushed us to continue to triumph into 2022, despite the challenges. In this issue of the CUNY CREST Institute Monthly Bulletin, we take the opportunity to look back on some of the victories that 2021 bestowed upon us, and update our readers on accomplishments achieved by our CREST Institute members, and share with you and our students, new opportunities to explore.
In 2021, we reenergized the Institute’s mission by strengthening our strategic initiatives to create short-term plans that align with climate issues the nation prioritizes through the addition of the CUNY CREST Institute’s six initiatives: (1) Research, (2) Science Applications, (3) Education and Workforce Development, (4) Stakeholders and Community Engagement, (5) Entrepreneurship and Business Development, and (6) Environmental Justice. In 2022, we were able to expand our leadership team by bringing on board two leaders, Dr. Kaveh Madani and Harry Cikanek. We are proud to introduce Dr. Kaveh Madani as a Research Professor and Harry Cikanek as the Director of Business Development and Entrepreneurship. Dr. Kaveh Madani brings to CUNY CREST, a unique combination of experience in high-level policymaking, prominent practice-relevant research, and high-impact societal interactions. Harry Cikanek’s extensive executive experience in renewing and revitalizing programs and organizations; building teams and partnerships; and developing diverse talent, will be a major asset for the Institute. December was a busy month for many of our scientists, faculty, and staff at the Institute. The resurging of COVID 19 (and its Omicron) brought new challenges to all of us. In spite of all those challenges, I am pleased to note that CUNY CREST researchers submitted many proposals in response to federal funding opportunities as well as City agency. As we begin 2022, it is my sincere wish that the Institute will continue to provide opportunities in this institution in all the ways that work for you. We are dedicated to providing you with the best scientific and educational collaborative environment and service to our faculty, scientists, sponsors, and students.
In December, we hosted our second 2021 Institute retreat as the CUNY-CREST Team will focused on developing a 10-year Strategic Plan with a revised organizational structure to help achieve the CREST Institute’s mission and vision. We were able to introduce Harry Cikanek as one of the CUNY CREST Institute’s valued leaders in developing organizations, programs, technologies, and processes. In January, we congratulate the success of Dr. Indrani Pal, staff member Carolina Perez, and the ‘C3’ Consortium by The City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Indrani Pal’s team was selected to participate in the Gotham Innovation Gambit Program Virtual Regional I-Corps Short Course Winter 2022, offered by The NYC Regional Innovation Node (NYCRIN), CUNY I-Corps, and NYC Innovation Hotspot. One of our newer staff members, Carolina Perez was selected as a 2022 UBS X Luminary Fellow for her non-profit organization STEM Hive, who supports underrepresented students who have an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The CUNY CREST Institute would also like to highlight the Climate Center Consortium ‘C3’, was announced as one of the four finalist teams chosen to compete for the opportunity to build, program, and operate the Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island.
I know this continues to be a difficult time for many of our faculty, scientists, staff, and students. If there is anything that we can do to help anyone please reach out to us at 212-650-8099 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carolina at email@example.com
2022 is off to a great start and we are grateful to our beloved readers for continuing to support the CUNY CREST Institute!
Current News & Events
CUNY CREST Institute welcomes Harry Cikanek, as its Director of Business Development and Entrepreneurship
The CUNY CREST Institute is pleased to welcome Harry Cikanek, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Program Manager and Executive, as its new Director of Business Development and Entrepreneurship. He is an innovative leader in developing organizations, programs, technologies, and processes.
“With the introduction of our new CUNY CREST Strategic Initiatives, Mr. Harry Cikanek will be an outstanding addition to building a foundation of entrepreneurship and business development for the entire team“, said Dr. Reza Khanbilvardi, the Executive Director of CUNY-CREST Institute and Professor of Civil Engineering at Grove School of Engineering in City College of CUNY.
Dr. Indrani Pal selected to participate in the Gotham Innovation Gambit Program – Virtual Regional I-Corps Short Course Winter 2022
Recently, Dr. Indrani Pal’s team was accepted into the Gotham Innovation Gambit Program Virtual Regional I-Corps Short Course Winter 2022, offered by The NYC Regional Innovation Node (NYCRIN), CUNY I-Corps, and NYC Innovation Hotspot. The Gotham Innovation Gambit trains teams to learn how to begin their customer discovery journey. Teams who undergo the virtual courses will learn to transform their technical ideas into sustainable products and services, and eventually into business models.
Dr. Indrani Pal’s team, comprising herself as the Technical Lead, Lauren Enright as Entrepreneurial Lead and Mary Conley Eggert as their Industry Mentor is aiming to develop a Digital Water Risk solutions catalog which incorporates water risk solutions for different types of environments. Lauren Kenyon Enright, founder of Axiom Climate, an organization that evaluates water risks and regulations, strategizes water goals, and implements innovative water technologies. In addition, part of the team is Mary Conley Eggert, founder of Global Water Works, an online community that combines technology, science, and networks to help with water issues facing the world.
‘C3’ Consortium proposed by The City University of New York (CUNY) and The New School announced as one of the Finalists to develop the Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island
New York City Office of the Mayor and The Trust for Governors Island have announced four finalist teams for the City of New York’s initiative to develop a global Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island. The Center for Climate Solutions will concentrate on interdisciplinary research and innovation, testing and development, and education and public engagement. The center will serve as a hub for researchers, professionals, students, organizations and the community to combat the crisis surrounding climate change.
The four finalists who were chosen to compete for an opportunity to build, program, and operate the Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island include teams from the following institutions:
CUNY CREST Institute Staff, Carolina Perez, selected as a 2022 UBS X Luminary Fellow
Carolina Perez is the Administrative Associate of the CUNY CREST Institute. She was first introduced to CUNY CREST through her work with the High School Initiative in Remote Sensing of the Earth Systems Engineering and Science (HIRES). In the summer of 2020, Carolina first began by hosting professional development workshops for the HIRES interns. In 2021, she became part of the staff and was able to serve as one of the coordinators for the program.
In 2019, Carolina and co-founders began their own organization, STEM Hive. STEM Hive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization originally founded in New York City. The organization supports underrepresented students who have an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by providing them hands-on workshops, near peer mentoring, and are currently developing an online reward gaming system to engage young student’s interests. The community of students in STEM Hive learn skills in the different areas of STEM (such as Ecology, Cybersecurity, Coding, Statistics, Programing, Physics etc.), each workshop exposes students to different career opportunities in STEM. STEM Hive was one of the winning startup teams for the Zahn Innovation Center’s Startup Incubator Competition in 2019 at the City College of New York for the “Women + Tech 4NYC” track, sponsored by Standard Chartered.
CUNY-CREST Institute Retreat
The second CUNY-CREST Retreat in 2021 was held on December 7th. Many of faculty, scientists, and staff were able to attend in-person, and many virtually. The retreat was a great gathering, being able to meet a number of colleagues in person after almost two years of Pandemic. This was a great opportunity to have a very good and fruitful discussion in defining the Institute strategic plan, getting involved in shaping the path forward, and being active in the management of it. At the end of the meeting, there were requests to collect individual thoughts in summarizing the areas of interest for each one, on the new strategy, getting everyone’s thoughts on different part of this new strategy, and how each members would like to be involved in it (and/or nominate different individuals for each elements of it). To that end, a simple short form was created that need to be completed by all of institute members.
CUNY CREST Institute Needs You!
Take a Look at these Upcoming Grants!
Featured grants come from agencies such as NASA, EPA, and more!
Columbia River Basin Restoration Funding Assistance Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing this Request for Applications (RFA) for projects from eligible entities to improve water quality in the Middle and Upper Columbia River Basin, through specific actions to reduce toxics, increase monitoring, and/or increase public education and outreach. The Columbia River Basin Restoration Program (CRBRP) will assist tribal, state, and local governments; nongovernmental entities, and others as they implement the Columbia River Basin Toxics Reduction Action Plan and the Lower Columbia River Estuary Plan - Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and conduct activities to support EPA national goals for the Columbia River Basin.
Application Deadline: February 8th, 2022
Improving equity and inclusion is critical to advancing STEM faculty, educating America’s future STEM workforce, fostering individual opportunity and contributing to a thriving U.S. economy. The NSF AGEP program, therefore, seeks to fund grants that advance and enhance the systemic factors that support equity and inclusion and, consequently, mitigate the systemic inequities in the academic profession and workplace. The AGEP program goal to increase the number of historically underrepresented minority faculty is bolstered by the National Science Board’s Vision 2030: Vision for the Future.
Preliminary Proposal Deadline: Feb. 8, 2022
The ONES Program is specifically targeted to Early Stage Investigators and program goals include career promotion as well as the scientific project proposed. Applications for the ONES program differ from standard R01 applications in that applicants must describe plans for the active participation of an external advisory committee to provide consultation and feedback on the research and career guidance, commitment by the institution to actively support the research program development of the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI), and a plan for career enhancement which will provide a strong foundation for future research endeavors.
Application Deadline: February 24th, 2022
This solicitation requests proposals that fall within one of three tracks: NNA Incubator Grants, dedicated to developing convergent teams to carry out research projects of larger scope in the future; NNA Research Grants, aimed to support creative projects on fundamental research that address convergent scientific and engineering challenges related to the rapidly changing Arctic; and NNA Collaboratory Grants, designed to support collaborative teams undertaking research and training initiatives addressing grand challenges related to the rapidly changing New Arctic.
Application Deadline: February 16th, 2022
Below are opportunities that can be shared with students you may know who are interested!
Academic Level: Undergraduates
SURF students from across the country have had the opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience, working with cutting edge technology in one of the world's leading research organizations and home to three Nobel Prize winners. The mission of the SURF Program is to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through a unique research experience that supports the NIST mission.
Application Deadline: February 15, 2022
Academic Level: Undergraduate Sophomore or Junior
Research projects span diverse fields of comparative biology including paleontology, genomics, population biology, conservation biology, and phylogenetics and taxonomy. Students have access to the Museum's immense natural history collections as well as state-of-the-art equipment for advanced imaging (CT scanner, SEM, TEM) and genomics (Sanger and pyrosequencing platforms).
Application Deadline: May 24, 2021
Academic Level: Graduate Students (Masters)
EDF Climate Corps selects and trains graduate students from a wide range of programs, and places them inside leading companies and organizations around the world for 10-12 weeks during the summer to identify customized energy management solutions. Past host organizations include Yahoo, Dow Chemical, City of Boston, General Motors, PG&E, and the Chicago Housing Authority.
Climate Corps fellows are graduate students who work with companies, public institutions and cities to identify opportunities to reduce emissions in their operations and supply chains and meet climate commitments.
About the CUNY CREST Institute
The CUNY Remote Sensing Earth System Institute, headquartered at the City College of New York, was officially approved by CUNY Board of Trustees in June 2010. The Institute serves as a CUNY-wide Institute of Excellence in Advancement of Earth System Sciences and application of Remote Sensing Technology as well as other emerging technologies. The Institute serves as a major hub of outstanding interdisciplinary research across CUNY colleges. It is designed as a collaborative environment from faculty and scientists from different CUNY campuses to be able to work together in a variety of topics related to earth system sciences including climate change and its impacts on communities. Our collaborative environment enhances the advancement of science at CUNY and will create opportunity to attract external support.
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