Baruch Graduate Student Wins a Climate Corps Fellowship
October 25, 2023
Baruch College graduate student Andrew Rubenbauer (’23), who is pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree with an emphasis in policy analysis and evaluation from the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, won a Climate Corps Fellowship with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
Climate Corps fellows work with companies, public institutions, and nonprofit organizations to meet climate commitments by identifying opportunities to reduce emissions in their operations and supply chains.
Rubenbauer completed the 12-week fellowship this summer with the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) in Kansas City. In this Q&A, Rubenbauer shares how he learned about the fellowship and how the experience will help him professionally.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I currently live in Brooklyn, but I am from Marshalltown, Iowa. I was raised on a family farm and moved to New York City to work in the arts.
Why were you interested in applying for the Climate Corps Fellowship with the Environmental Defense Fund?
Aside from my childhood chores, I had no professional agricultural experience. I was hoping to transition from my work in arts administration to sustainable agriculture, but I was struggling with navigating the transition. EDF’s Climate Corps Fellowship places graduate students at companies, nonprofits, and government institutions to work on sustainability projects, and I felt like a guided summer fellowship would be an opportunity for me to safely learn about and experience sustainability as a career. EDF was also launching its first animal agriculture cohort in 2023. I hoped for one of these placements, as I had little knowledge of animal agriculture; my family only grew corn and soybeans.
How did you learn about the Climate Corps Fellowship?
I met with Samantha Bruno in the Marxe School’s Career Services to talk through my career transition and all the available resources and services provided to students by Baruch. After this meeting, I noticed the fellowship in the weekly Marxe Career Connect Job Highlights email newsletter and applied.
What were your responsibilities at the Dairy Farmers of America in Kansas City?
I was able to call on my arts administration experience to assist DFA’s sustainability team with project management and communications for their projects. I also worked on projects that aim to increase farmer revenue while helping the planet, climate, and public health.
DFA was awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture Climate-Smart Commodities Grant to support farmers through a project that connects on-farm emissions reductions with a climate-smart commodity. I helped with communications and recruitment materials and a competitive analysis of farmer incentives. I conducted research to inform different options for getting farmers involved in the carbon market. I also helped with project modeling, budgeting, and grant writing for a National Resources Conservation Service grant for a potential enteric methane reduction project.
What would you like to do professionally, and how will this fellowship help you reach these career goals?
I am still at DFA moving my summer work into its next phases. As global temperatures keep rising, I would like to continue working on projects that help farmers, the planet and climate, and the public. Reducing methane emissions can help slow the overall warming curve, so I hope to continue focusing on this when it is most critical. There is also a transition to regenerative agriculture practices in the food system, as agriculture is tasked with growing food for an increasing population on a warming planet with lower emissions, that this work fits within. Whether it is in the public or private realm, I hope to work on projects that have high impact.
The fellowship helped build my network, including my DFA colleagues, fellowship cohort, and climate-smart agriculture EDF employees. The fellowship provided training to learn about essential sustainability-wide protocols and frameworks while I also gained sustainable agriculture experience. I feel like I will also be a part of the EDF ecosystem, which will be crucial to my work moving forward.
Info Session: Climate Corps Fellowship
Learn more about the 2024 Climate Corps cohort with the Environmental Defense Fund by attending a November 2 information session hosted by Marxe Career Services. Register for the free event.
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