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.

Talking Climate: a New Guide to More Effective Communication

by | 12.11.2014 at 3:30pm
CRED guide image 2

What motivates people to accept or reject climate change? What do personal and political values have to do with it? How can you best get your message across? A new guide to climate change communication offers some of the answers.

Ice Loss in West Antarctic is Speeding Up

by | 12.5.2014 at 2:19pm
West Antarctica NASA Michael Studinger

Glaciers in one part of West Antarctica are melting at triple the rate of a decade ago and have become the most significant contributor to sea level rise in that region, a new study says. The study found that the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica have shrunk by an average of 83 gigatons a year for two decades—the equivalent of the weight of Mount Everest every two years.

Will Africa Finally Achieve a Green Revolution?

by | 11.6.2014 at 2:46pm
Africa, agriculture

Earth Institute agricultural scientist Pedro A. Sanchez argues in a new essay that new developments in both science and politics give him hope that sub-Saharan Africa will be able to feed itself by 2050, even with a projected population by then of about 2 billion people.

Money, Power and the Media in the Ebola Crisis

by | 11.5.2014 at 2:09pm
Ebola worker Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: Caroline Van Nespen/Medecins Sans Frontieres

The Ebola crisis has serious implications for governments, the private sector, and public messengers. To address these issues, and to assess the state of the science behind the Ebola crisis, The Earth Institute has sponsored two discussions recently.

Study: NASA Sites Vulnerable to Climate Change

by | 11.3.2014 at 6:49pm
Kennedy Space Center. Photo: NASA

NASA has been at the forefront of climate science, launching satellites that take the pulse of Earth’s land, oceans and atmospheric systems. But the agency is increasingly vulnerable itself to the effects of a changing climate.

Agreement with NY State Protects Black Rock Forest

by | 10.30.2014 at 12:00pm
Black Rock Forest

New York State will acquire a conservation easement for the Black Rock Forest, protecting the 3,800-acre preserve 50 miles north of New York City for both public use and scientific research.

Alma Mater’s Other Secret: a Way Forward on Climate

by | 10.27.2014 at 12:00pm
keleman oman rock closeup KK

Sitting on the iconic front steps of Low Library, Alma Mater rests on a plinth that offers a clue to a possible method of carbon sequestration, a vital technology for addressing our problem of too much CO2.

The Ebola Crisis: What It Means for West Africa and the World

by | 10.23.2014 at 12:40pm
A patient attempts to rehydrate himself under the watchful eye of a nurse. Photo: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos for Médecins Sans Frontières

“The Ebola epidemic … should be viewed akin to a world war whose outcome matters crucially for all of us,” said Dr. Ranu Dhillon; he and other health experts will speak at a forum on Ebola at Columbia University Monday.

Cohen: China’s Pollution Problems Mirroring U.S. Experience

by | 10.20.2014 at 5:50pm
Cohen Steven CCTV 101814

China’s problems with air pollution mirror what the United States went through during the rapid economic growth following World War II, and the solutions will likely be the same, Earth Institute Executive Director Steven Cohen said Saturday on an English-language news program on China Central Television.

Watch Your Step: the Alpha Predator of the Ordovician

by | 10.20.2014 at 12:00pm
Squid-like cephalopods ruled the oceans in the Ordovician. Image: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Frozen into the stone floor of a stairway landing, several flights up in Columbia’s Lewisohn Hall, sits a stark reminder of how life has evolved in the sea. Part 6 of the Columbia Geology Tour.