The exterior of Seeley W. Mudd Hall is a stop on David Walkers geology tour of Columbia.

At the Corner of Mudd Hall, the Secret of Blue Quartz

How did big crystals of blue quartz get locked into the pink granite of Mudd Hall? David Walker of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory continues his Columbia Geology Tour.

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Farmers in Tanzania. Photo: Gates Foundation

Revitalizing Africa’s Soils

To feed our burgeoning global population, the world has to at least double crop yields by 2050, by improving seeds of high yielding crops and cultivating healthy fertile soils. A new on-the-spot soil testing kit will help meet this challenge.

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Photo Essay: Open House at Lamont-Doherty

Bend a rock. Channel your historic ‘birthquake.’ Check out rocks, fossils, sediment cores and more at Lamont’s Open House on Saturday, October 11.

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Kroeker_Kristy UC Davis

What Everyone Should Know About Climate Change

Climate scientist William D’Andrea of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory asked young scientists attending a symposium last October, “What do you wish everyone knew about climate change?” He turned the responses into this video, which covers the topic pretty well.

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Traffic jams like this one in Monrovia, Liberia, are one challenge for sustainable urban development, one of the topics of the Earth Institute Practicum series this fall. Photo: UN/Christopher Herwig

Practicum Introduces Students to Earth Institute Research

Each fall, the Earth Institute Practicum offers a broad survey of the applications of frontier research to the practice of sustainable development, taught by top faculty and researchers. The practicum meets weekly on Tuesdays.

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The Art and Science of Climate Change

by | 9.30.2014 at 3:34pm
Sebastião Salgado, Iceberg between Paulet Island and the South Shetland Islands on the Antarctic Channel. At sea level, earlier flotation levels are clearly visible where the ice has been polished by the ocean’s constant movement. High above, a shape resembling a castle tower has been carved by wind erosion and detached pieces of ice. The Antarctic Peninsula, 2005. © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas images—Contact Press Images.

This fall, the photographs of Sebastião Salgado provide the springboard for an ambitious program of panel discussions, lectures and film screenings addressing the urgent issue of climate change. A new partnership involving Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and New York City’s International Center of Photography (ICP) will present a variety of panel discussions and gallery walk-throughs at the ICP with climate experts.

A Drone’s Eye View of Another Active Japanese Volcano

by | 9.30.2014 at 11:01am | 1 Comment
Japan Volcano

The day before Japan’s Ontake volcano blew its top, Lamont volcanologist Einat Lev visited Shinmoedake, another active volcano in Japan, to film the aftermath of a recent eruption there. Three years after Shinmoe came to life with a steam explosion similar to Ontake’s, the volcano continues to spew poisonous sulfur dioxide gas.

Photo Essay: Sculpting Tropical Peaks

by | 9.30.2014 at 8:21am
With a hammer, chisel and bandanna to protect his face from shattering rock, Cunningham chipped away at a boulder left by a receding glacier. Beryllium isotopes in the rock can reveal when the ice withdrew, exposing the rock’s surface to cosmogenic rays from space. (Michael Kaplan)

Max Cunningham, a graduate student at Lamont-Doherty, traveled to Costa Rica’s Mount Chirripó this past summer to test the idea that mountain glaciers carved the summit we see today. He and his colleagues hope to eventually pin down when Chirripó’s high-elevation valleys eroded into their current form. Check out a recap of their 2014 field season.

Millennium Promise Team to Join Battle Against Ebola in Guinea

by | 9.29.2014 at 5:30pm | 1 Comment
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Locally based community health workers, who bring vital primary health care to underserved populations across sub-Saharan Africa, will join the battle against the deadly Ebola virus through a partnership between the government of Guinea and The Earth Institute.

Taking Undergraduate Research on the Road

by | 9.29.2014 at 2:58pm
Erica Bower

This experience taught us not only about climate modeling, quantitative research and analysis, but also about the dynamic process of working with a client and with a team. After months of hard work, our team presented our findings to fellow students and faculty at Columbia and to our clients at West Point. The project has blossomed into continued collaboration between Columbia and West Point—including additional capstone projects in the spring semester.

At the Corner of Mudd Hall, the Secret of Blue Quartz

by | 9.29.2014 at 11:00am
The exterior of Seeley W. Mudd Hall is a stop on David Walkers geology tour of Columbia.

How did big crystals of blue quartz get locked into the pink granite of Mudd Hall? David Walker of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory continues his Columbia Geology Tour.

MPA Alum Focuses on Marine Conservation

by | 9.26.2014 at 1:02pm
olivia kemp

Olivia Kemp, a 2013 alumna of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, is using the skills she developed in the program to develop her career focusing on conservation, food security and sustainable development. Now with Blue Ventures, Kemp is working with local communities in Madagascar to create a focus on community-led marine conservation.