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.

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.

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.