Trainees enrolled in the Boston University URBAN Program benefit from four workshops that are specifically designed to support the goals of the program.

In the Introductory Workshop trainees, faculty, and staff gather to meet and learn about program logistics and fundamentals in Biogeoscience and Environmental Health. On a trip to one of the first urban atmospheric measurement sites in the country, the top of the Boston University Arts and Sciences Building, students hear urban carbon and nitrogen cycles and their impacts on climate action plans. Following this, trainees form groups and discuss the differences between the carbon cycle in urban and forested systems and how the difference between the built environment and the rural environment impact urban climate.
Read a recap of our the 2018 introductory workshop.

The second workshop, City of Boston: Policy, Governance, and Politics, is a multi-part lecture series. This workshop is organized in collaboration with the Boston University Initiative on Cities and provides a foundational understanding of the governance structure of the City of Boston and its key players. Lectures held by representatives of the City of Boston’s Environment Department and Boston’s City Council, NGOs, and the private sector discuss real-world dynamics of policy development. Trainees learn how to best capitalize on an internship to create constructive collaborations, with careful attention paid to cultural context, communication skills, and goal setting.

The third workshop focuses on Science Communication. It is increasingly important for scientists to engage with stakeholders to understand the data they need to make policy decisions and to communicate their research findings to a variety of audiences, including members of the public, policy makers, and scientists from other disciplines. Trainees gain skills in all of these areas and learn how to write a variety of pieces, including editorials, press releases, short films, interactive web visualizations, editorials, and blog posts for social media.

The fourth workshop focuses on Professional Development. This workshop has a different focus each year, ranging from career panels to networking or making a personal website. Trainees are also encouraged to participate in Professional Development opportunities provided by BU Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs and BU’s BEST.

In the fifth workshop on Responsible Research Conduct trainees learn about ethical questions related to authorship, data acquisition and management, peer review, and research misconduct.