David Funkhouser

I'm a writer and content manager for the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Before coming to Columbia, I spent 35 years writing, editing and managing at various newspapers around New England, most recently serving as environmental reporter for The Hartford Courant.

Recent Posts

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Jeffrey Shaman: What Makes the Flu Spread?

The onset of flu season each year comes as no surprise. But what is surprising is that we don’t know exactly how the flu spreads. Jeffrey Shaman is working on that.

by |July 10, 2017
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Christine McCarthy: A Cheerleader for the Physics of Ice

Christine McCarthy, a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, scrunches blocks of ice between hunks of rock to study how ice behaves under pressure. Her work provides an important piece of the puzzle of how glaciers move, what makes them speed up, and how they are contributing to sea level rise as the climate warms.

by |June 26, 2017
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Adam Sobel: Preparing for the Next Big Storm

Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call for a lot of people in New York City, including Adam Sobel, who’s spent more than two decades studying the physics of weather and climate.

by |June 12, 2017
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Richard Seager Sees Hand of Climate Change in Drought

California’s wet and snowy winter brings welcome relief from a years-long drought that has challenged the state’s water supply and agricultural system. But climate scientist Richard Seager of Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory offers words of caution: Remember what happened, because it will happen again.

by |May 29, 2017
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Leymah Gbowee: Out of War, a Legacy of Building Peace

Leymah Gbowee was 17 when war broke out in Liberia. Her experiences drove her onto a path of suffering, discovery and service that led to work rehabilitating child soldiers and helping build peace, village by village, in Liberia and eventually neighboring Sierra Leone.

by |May 15, 2017
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Michelle Ho: In a Land of Plenty, Big Water Problems

Michelle Ho grew up in Australia, the driest inhabited continent, with an appreciation for the value of having a clean glass of water to drink. Now, she conducts research for the Columbia Water Center on America’s water systems.

by |May 1, 2017
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Pratigya Polissar Sees Landscapes Changing Through a Microscope

The word fossils typically conjures images of T-Rexes and trilobites. Pratigya Polissar thinks micro: A paleoclimatologist, he digs into old sediments and studies molecular fossils—the microscopic remains of plants and animals that can tell us a lot about what was living in a particular time period.

by |April 17, 2017
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Colin Kelley: Food and Water Vulnerability in a Changing Climate

Colin Kelley, an associate research scientist with the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, studies regional climate in vulnerable areas like the Middle East in order to improve our ability to make forecasts, plan ahead and become more resilient to drought and other climate shifts.

by |April 10, 2017
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Kirsty Tinto: Mapping on and under Antarctica’s Ice

Kirsty Tinto flies aboard a specially equipped airplane in very cold places to study ice sheets and ice shelves. She’s an associate research scientist in the polar geophysics group at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

by |April 3, 2017
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Park Williams Discovers History and Science in a Tree Ring

Park Williams studies trees and climate, in particular the causes of drought and the effects of climate change on forests. In this latest in a series of Earth Institute videos, we spoke to him about what he does, what’s important about it, and how his interest in history and environmental science blended into a career.

by |March 24, 2017