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From the Director’s Desk:

Current News & Events

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.

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.

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:

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.

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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.