Green Neighborhood/Eco District Graduate Research Assistant Position(s) for Spring 2012 Semester Only

The Metropolitan Institute has the immediate need for a graduate research assistant (GRA) to inventory, classify, and compare emerging neighborhood or district level sustainability initiatives. The US Green Building Council has its LEED-ND (neighborhood development) system that establishes a series of performance measures and standards for the certification of neighborhood scale projects. These standards go beyond building energy efficiency to include a wide range of smart growth/sustainability planning standards.
Using LEED-ND as a baseline (or case study), the GRA would conduct a program inventory that classifies other neighborhood or district scale sustainability policy and planning frameworks and compare not only the performance metrics and standards among the different systems, but the overall planning process and program. For example, Portland State University is working with the city of Portland to pilot test five eco districts and the National Capital Planning Commission and District of Columbia’s planning department is seeking to do the same in Washington, DC, neighborhoods (link). The GRA would track down similar initiatives in the US and abroad and speak with planners, researchers, and citizens involved with these pilot initiatives. The deliverable would be a 25+ page report that synthesizes these different eco district frameworks along with relevant matrices, appendices, references, and interview summaries.
In addition to comparing these neighborhood/eco district models, the GRA would research innovative uses of technology that are supporting (or could support) the monitoring and measurement of these neighborhood base systems, such as mobile phone applications or other hand held PDA, with a special emphasis on processes that engage neighborhood residents in the inventory and tracking of various sustainability performance measures at the neighborhood scale. The deliverable would be an annotated inventory of technology examples with links to web sites and news/journal articles and a memorandum summarizing the findings for practitioners (about 20 pages).
A full-time GRA position is a 10 or 20 hours per week position. Qualified students must be enrolled for 12 credits for the spring semester. We will entertain interest from students who can work either 10 or 20 hours. We are also open to the idea of having two students at 10 hours per week or one student at 20 hours. Students with previous experience with green buildings, especially those that are LEED certified are preferred.
Please send an e-mail to [email protected] expressing your interest by Tuesday, February 7th. Please attach a writing sample and a current resume. Let us know your interest and availability for either the 10 or 20 hour assistantship.

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