The Kullorsuaq waterfront. (Photo M. Turrin)

Reflections of a Changing North

No one ever leaves the field the same way they entered it. Yes there is a new layer of mud on equipment, the expected wear and tear on your gear and your physical being. But also, an intangible shift in perspective.

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Leon G. Billings (left) and Thomas C. Jorling (right) will be teaching the Origins of Environmental Law class in the M.S. in Sustainability Management Program this fall.

Authors of Clean Air Act to Teach New Law Class

In the 1970s, Congress enacted a series of environmental laws that defined the direction and character of environmental policy. This fall, the writers of that legislation will teach a new class at Columbia dedicated to the process that led to these seminal laws.

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Ocean Sediments Tell a Surprising Climate Story

Geochemists Alexander van Geen and Jacob Mey helped coauthor a recent paper in the leading journal Science showing that warming climate in the future may not degrade oxygen supplies in some parts of the oceans as previously thought.

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While Death Valley’s  Mesquite Flat Dunes are popular with tourists, Christie-Blick prefers to take his students to a set of smaller, less-traveled dunes nearby. Here, Meara Hayden (right), Tina Liu and Xin Xu examine variations in sand grain size associated with wind ripples.

The Long Life of Death Valley

Geologist Nicholas Christie-Blick has studied the Death Valley region for more than four decades. Each spring, he leads a group of Columbia University undergraduates there on a fieldtrip. Check out highlights from this year’s trip.

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Bineta Diop, International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice

Conference on Sustainable Development Practice Sept. 17-18

The Global MDP Association and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network are hosting the 2nd Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice at Columbia University.

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Faculty Profile: Robert Cook

by | 8.29.2014 at 11:55am
bob cook

For Robert Cook, an adjunct professor in the MPA in Environmental Science program, teaching allows him to share his unique experiences in veterinary medicine and conservation research with students as they delve into public policy legislation in the Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management.

How Much Arsenic is Too Little?

by | 8.29.2014 at 10:12am
drinking water

Five hundred utilities in the United States currently provide drinking water with unsafe levels of arsenic, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But determining the actual number of people who are getting too much arsenic in their water is much less clear, according to a study conducted in part by the Columbia Water Center and recently published in the American Water Works Association.

Erosion, Then Explosion

by | 8.29.2014 at 10:00am
Illustration: Peters & Gaines, Nature, 2012

When viewing The Great Unconformity,
The result of a vast denudation,
One feels a new sense of enormity …
And above it lie critters crustacean!

Reduce, Reuse and Re-(bi)cycle

by | 8.28.2014 at 3:42pm
Audra Stark, Climate Ride

Audra Stark plans to pedal 300 miles from New York City to Washington, D.C., from Sept. 20-24 to raise money for The Earth Institute and other organizations working on the issues of climate, environment and transportation. “Too often I’ve found myself and others complaining about and debating an issue without taking action in our daily lives,” she said. “Joining Climate Ride is one more way I can act on my lifelong concern about climate change, and take a further step on my personal road to a low carbon footprint.”

Practicum Introduces Students to Earth Institute Research

by | 8.27.2014 at 3:59pm
hurricane

Each fall the Earth Institute offers a broad survey of the applications of frontier research to the practice of sustainable development through contributions from Earth Institute researchers and directors in the Earth Institute Practicum. The practicum provides an opportunity to learn about salient issues in sustainable development, sustainability management and environmental science from world-class faculty and researchers in these areas.

MPA Students Explore Urban Parks

by | 8.25.2014 at 5:00pm
palmer

During the second half of the summer semester for Columbia University’s MPA class in Environmental Science and Policy program, the students extended their classroom learning on urban ecology to outdoor field trips in Brooklyn and the Bronx to focus on how restorations of wetlands, forests, and rivers are changing the city.

The Energy to Fight Injustice

by | 8.25.2014 at 3:04pm
beijing smog

The enormity of these anti-nuclear policy decisions is difficult to exaggerate. Energy consumption is an inescapable requirement of development, and renewable energy sources alone cannot satisfy the energy demands of China and other developing nations. They now have no choice but to burn massive amounts of coal if they wish to raise their living standards.