Author: 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.

Orogenous Zones: How Rock Flows

by | 10.13.2014 at 11:00am
Zagros mountains folded_mountain CC

The architects of Columbia’s modern Northwest Tower, at the corner of Broadway and 120th Street, made good use of some beautiful stones. In their polished and swirling surfaces, they tell a story of the clash of continents and the processes by which mountains are made.

Seeing Red: The Great Oxygenation Event

by | 10.6.2014 at 11:00am
David Walker leads students and colleagues on a geology tour of Columbia University.

In Part 4 of the Columbia Geology Tour, David Walker of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory explores the source of the red sandstone of Russell Hall at the Columbia Teachers College on 120th Street.

Millennium Promise Team to Join Battle Against Ebola

by | 9.29.2014 at 5:30pm | 1 Comment
The use of smartphones by community health workers will be a key component of tracking Ebola cases. Photo: One Million Community Health Workers Campaign.

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.

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.

8 Ways We Can Strengthen Development and Increase Climate Resilience

by | 9.25.2014 at 3:55pm
President Obama addresses the 2014 UN Climate Summit.

President Obama this week announced a set of actions designed to help populations here and abroad develop better resilience against drought, sea level rise and other consequences of a changing climate. At The Earth Institute, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society has been working on these issues for years — making regular climate forecasts, insuring farmers against bad weather, and using data to better anticipate outbreaks of disease, manage water resources and improve forest management, among other programs.

Join the Crowd: Scenes from the Climate March

by | 9.25.2014 at 1:49pm
People's Climate March, New York City, Jane Rebecca Marchant

Student Jane Rebecca Marchant was one among the hundreds of thousands who joined the People’s Climate March Sunday, and she took a lot of photos. You can see her photo essay on the march on the website of the Morningside Post, the student-run newspaper at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.

Building Blocks from the Mississippian Sea

by | 9.22.2014 at 9:00am
Ind limestone cutters at work Ind HS pic

The Columbia Geology Tour, Part 2: Take a trip back 350 million years to the shallow seas of the Mississippian that covered what is now the U.S. Midwest — source of the finely crafted limestone columns and facade details of St. Paul’s Chapel.

What Everyone Should Know About Climate Change

by | 9.17.2014 at 11:34am
Kroeker_Kristy UC Davis

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.

Is the Highest Climb Sustainable, and Who Pays the Price?

by | 9.16.2014 at 1:52pm
Khumbu Icefall, Everest, Photo: Mahatma4711

The Khumbu Icefall on Mount Everest is perhaps the most well-known and notoriously dangerous glacial feature on the planet. In a fresh post on the Glacier Hub blog, the Earth Institute’s Ben Orlove, writing with anthropologist Pasang Yangjee Sherpa of Penn State, recounts a recent workshop held in Kathmandu to address the issues raised by the tragic deaths last spring of 16 Nepalese guides who were preparing the trail for this year’s climbing expeditions.

Join the Earth Institute for Climate Week NYC

by | 9.15.2014 at 1:24pm
STATUE IN WATER SIMPLIFIED

From heads of state to ordinary citizens, thousands of people will gather for more than 100 events during Climate Week NYC. The Earth Institute and its centers will be engaged in several events; read on to find out how you can participate.