View the Spring 2015 Capstone Presentations on our YouTube channel here, or subscribe to our account, NYU Environmental Studies, for more videos.
Developing Solar Projects Across the U.S.
Instructor: Brendan Noakes
With several years of international solar experience, and as a senior business developer for Safari Energy in NYC, Professor Noakes welcomes the opportunity for students to spend one semester working as a solar developer. Professor Noakes will guide them through various companies’ pipeline of commercial solar projects, leverage his intellectual property to maximize student learning in developing, financing, constructing, and maintaining solar systems for large property portfolios across the U.S. After the semester students will understand the main drivers behind solar PV investments, as you have to sell clients on financial returns before promoting its sustainability outcomes. Some areas however speak for themselves, like the largest outdoor mall in the world, with great sunshine exposure and high electricity prices in Hawaii.
Intended client: Safari Energy, other solar developers and existing/prospective solar
Building New Conservation Markets Through Sustainable Financing and Investments - A Case Study from Vietnam
Instructor: Jim Tolisano
Sustainable finance measures offer a highly promising opportunity to reduce or avoid adverse impacts from public and private land development projects. Banks and other financial institutions are now adopting safeguards to ensure that all development actions include essential conservation measures. Banks and other impact investors are also incentivizing environmentally certified natural resource uses; conservation banking; offsets and compensation plans; and emerging ecosystem service markets. Benefits for landowners could include direct payments for products or services, tax deductions or deferrals, or other compensation or property improvement measures. The WCS Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) responds to all of these challenges through a multi-phased effort that engages banks, impact investors, and corporations in the use of safeguards and sustainable principles in the financing and development of emerging environmental markets. Our work in the ES capstone class specifically examined opportunities for WCS to test these principles in the rapidly emerging economy of Vietnam.
Social Resilience in Coastal Cities
Instructor: Maryam Hariri
The purpose of this capstone project is to highlight the deep relationship between the social and physical city in the context of climate hazard resiliency. It aims to determine the role social infrastructure - cultural and community-driven components, such as, community organizations, neighborhood identity and cohesion, informal networks, collective imaginary, risk perception, or access to resources - plays in determining a city’s capacity to respond extreme weather disasters. It draws on a variety of disciplines, including urban planning and design, sociology, public policy and environmental and climate science studies and builds off of a growing body of work that point to the need for both social connections and physical resources for communities to survive and thrive in the context of uncertain environmental conditions today and in the future. The objective of the capstone project is to develop a set of tools and frameworks that help measure, visualize and evaluate the social infrastructure of a city to help policy makers better identify, prioritize and support social resiliency measures.