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

Young_Nicolas LDEO Blatnik Award snip

A Prize-Winner Explains His Work

Nicolás Young studies glaciers and ice sheets, and how they’ve changed in the past. His work earned him the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists last fall, which came with a $30,000 prize. You can hear him talk about his research in this new video, produced by the Blavatnik Family Foundation.

by |January 28, 2016
1 carrots

Students Help an Urban Farm Rethink Its Future

In the Fair Haven section of New Haven, Conn., rates of obesity and diabetes are high, and access to healthy fresh food can be limited. For some residents, the New Haven Farms wellness program is just the prescription, but the organization is struggling to grow. Now, students studying sustainability management through the Earth Institute have devised a plan for the program to expand.

by |January 25, 2016
elninoclip

What Does El Niño Mean, in 3.4 Seconds

Scientists at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society took a moment from their work (a very brief moment) to answer the question, “What does El Niño mean?”

by |January 15, 2016
Sea mounts near the Hawaiian Islands, from the Marine Geoscience Data System. Images of the mountains and light blue areas are derived from sonar readings; the darker blue areas are from satellite readings.

The Floor of the Ocean Comes into Better Focus

The bottom of the ocean just keeps getting better. Or at least more interesting to look at.

by |January 7, 2016
Mira Modi

Need a Good Password? Here’s Help from a Sixth-Grader

It’s cheaper than a couple of subway rides, more powerful than almost any hacker (except maybe the NSA). And, if you think about it, not so hard to remember.

by |December 28, 2015
Kiribati faces the prospect of eventual inundation from sea level rise. Photo: Eskinder Debebe/UN

Optimism, But Also a Hard Bottom Line for Island States

“Reaching an agreement would firstly mean an increase in awareness for the particular situation faced by small island developing states. States such as Kiribati are on the front line of climate change since they are already experiencing its effects, and an agreement would enhance recognition of [their] vulnerability.”

by |December 10, 2015
Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Somayya Ali Ibrahim

Cities Face Up to the Climate Challenge

Millions of people living in cities around the world already feel the impacts of climate change: Heat waves, flooded streets, landslides and storms. All of these affect important infrastructure such as transportation and water supplies, ports and commerce, public health and people’s daily lives. And it is cities that are at the forefront of the response.

by |December 4, 2015
Potential sea level rise in Guilford, CT. Source: Climate Central

In 2015: Hot, Wet and Opinionated

This year is shaping up to be the warmest year on record since 1880, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And, perhaps not so coincidentally, a new poll says more people in the United States are coming around to the view that climate change is happening.

by |October 23, 2015
Langseth CUPA video snip

Come Aboard: A Look at the R/V Marcus Langseth

A new video produced by Columbia University tells the story of what the research vessel Marcus G. Langseth is all about.

by |October 15, 2015
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. Photo: NASA

Internships: Work with NASA Scientists on Climate Change

An internship program at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York is offering graduate students a chance to work with NASA scientists on climate change research.

by |September 2, 2015