Kevin Krajick

Kevin Krajick, senior editor for science news at The Earth Institute, has worked as a journalist for 40 years. Reporting from dozens of countries and all 50 states, he has covered crime and justice, international affairs and many other areas. For much of his career, he has focused on science and nature. His articles have appeared in National Geographic, The New Yorker, Newsweek, Science, Smithsonian and many other publications. He was a 1981 finalist for the National Magazine Award for Public Service for his reporting on organized crime in the waste-disposal industry, and is two-time winner of the American Geophysical Union's Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism. His 2001 book "Barren Lands" is a true account of mineral prospectors who found a diamond mine in the far north. He lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters.

Recent Posts

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AGU 2016: Key Events From the Earth Institute

Scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute will present important findings at this year’s meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists.

by |November 29, 2016
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Photo Essay: Where the Trees Meet the Tundra

Due to warming climate and increasing human exploitation, far northern forests and the tundra beyond are undergoing rapid changes. In northern Alaska, scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other institutions are studying the responses of trees at the very edge of their range.

by |November 16, 2016
Near the arctic circle in northern Alaska, forests begin giving way to tundra. as cold air, frozen soils and lack of sunlight squeeze out trees. Researchers are investigating how warming climate may affect the ecology of this boundary. (All photos: Kevin Krajick) CLICK TO VIEW A SLIDESHOW

Where Trees Meet Tundra, Decoding Signals of Climate Change

In northern Alaska’s Brooks Range, the earth as most of us know it comes to an end. The northern tree line-a boundary that circles all of earth’s northern landmasses for more than 8,300 miles, and forms the planet’s biggest ecological transition zone–runs through here. Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying how climate may change it, and the tundra beyond.

by |November 16, 2016
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The Coming Great Quakes in India and Bangladesh?

A new film takes viewers from the eastern highlands of India to the booming lowland metropolis of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh–and explores an ever-more detailed picture of catastrophic earthquake threat that scientists are discovering under the region.

by |October 18, 2016
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Hurricane Experts: Earth Institute Resources for Journalists

With the approach of Hurricane Matthew, here are a few of the many scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute who can help journalists cover the story.

by |October 6, 2016
Sea  ice near the east coast of Greenland. All forms of ice in the Arctic are in rapid decline. (Margie Turrin/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

Red Flags Over the Arctic’s Future

A new white paper reviews climate impacts already underway in the Arctic, and examines further changes expected to take place even if the world meets the goals of the Paris Agreement. It will be presented today at a meeting at the White House of national-level science ministers and advisors from around the world.

by |September 28, 2016
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2015 Indonesia Fires Killed 100,000 People, Says Study

In fall 2015, smoke from agricultural fires in Indonesia blanketed much of equatorial Asia. Schools and businesses closed, planes were grounded and tens of thousands of people sought treatment for respiratory illnesses. In a new study, researchers estimate that the smoke caused upward of 100,000 deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

by |September 19, 2016
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, two jets streaked through the clear blue sky over lower Manhattan into the towers of the World Trade Center. This photo was taken near the site on the morning of Aug. 11, 2016. At right, the new Freedom Tower. (Kevin Krajick)

A Morning That Shook the World

Seismologist Won-Young Kim heard the first reports of the World Trade Center attacks in his car as he drove to Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, on the west bank of the Hudson River 21 miles north of the attacks. Soon, he was inundated by calls from government officials and reporters. In the initial chaos, it was unclear exactly what had hit, and when; had the seismographs picked up anything?

by |September 6, 2016
Change in footprint 1993-2009. Hotter colors indicate more change. Greens indicate decrease. (Venter et al., 2016)

The (Somewhat Less Fast) Growing Human Footprint

The human footprint continues to expand, with three quarters of earth’s land surface now experiencing measurable pressures from buildings, roads, crops, pastures and other human structures and activities, according to a new report. But the report also finds an encouraging trend: In recent years, growth in the footprint has lagged far behind population and economic growth.

by |August 23, 2016
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Photo Essay: Seeking Humanity’s Roots

East Africa’s rift valley is considered by many to be the cradle of humanity. In the Turkana region of northwest Kenya, researchers Christopher Lepre and Tanzhuo Liu of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are cooperating with colleagues to study questions of human evolution, from the creation of the earliest stone tools to climate swings that have affected developing civilizations.

by |June 8, 2016