Category: Earth Sciences

Lords of the Past

by | 4.11.2014 at 10:21am
Paraceraurus trilobite, Ordovician, from the Volchow River, Russia. Photo: Vassil/Alias Collections.

With life, legged and finned, Earth had been teeming,
Slitherers, predators, graceful trees tall …
Now, of these species, we are only dreaming:
Glossopteris, trilobites, eurypterids, all.

From Theory to Reality: Closing the Carbon Loop

by | 4.8.2014 at 3:20pm
artificial trees, carbon capture

Carbon capture, storage and reuse has the potential to help us reduce CO2 emissions and combat global warming. The Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy is bringing together experts from an array of fields to assess the state of the technology April 14-16.

Student Research Showcase 2014

by | 4.7.2014 at 1:55pm
Students discuss research outcomes after video presentation.

The Earth Institute, Columbia University is proud to support student research in the areas of environment and sustainable development at the annual Student Research Showcase on April 25, 2014. Student interns, research assistants and travel grant recipients, and their Faculty and Research Advisors, will be honored for their research contributions that ranged in topics from biodiversity, urban planning, earth sciences to international development.

The Isthmus of Panama: Out of the Deep Earth

by | 3.31.2014 at 3:53pm
Geologists are investigating igneous rocks from the deep earth that helped build the land bridge that joins North and South America. These are most visible along the windswept western coast of Panama. CLICK TO SEE A SLIDESHOW OF THE WORK

The creation of the narrow isthmus that joins North and South America changed not just the world map, but the circulation of oceans, the course of biologic evolution, and probably global climate. Scientists try to decipher the story behind its formation.

Photo Essay: Exploring the Rocks That Join the Americas

by | 3.31.2014 at 3:49pm

The formation of the slender land bridge that joins South America and North America was a pivotal event in earth’s history. At its narrowest along the isthmus of Panama, it changed not just the world map, but the circulation of oceans, the course of biologic evolution, and global climate. Cornelia Class, a geochemist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and Esteban Gazel, a Lamont adjunct researcher now based at Virginia Tech, are looking into a key factor: the Galápagos Plume.

Keys to Success

by | 3.28.2014 at 9:00am
bacteria Jed Fuhrman

Humans hate to catch the flu,
But here’s a fact that’s less well-known:
Bacteria get infections too
As many cultures have now shown.

Sea Change

by | 3.21.2014 at 10:06am

Gliders and buoys and robots — oh my!
Over and through the ocean they fly.
Oodles of data from sensors galore,
Studied by many, far from the sea’s roar.

The Dawn of Plate Tectonics

by | 3.14.2014 at 12:30pm
Image: Dr. Mark Reagan, Science Now

An ancient grain of zircon found
In Jack Hill sandstone north of Perth,
Inside its crystal lattice bound:
Secrets of our planet’s birth.

Did New Zealand Dust Influence the Last Ice Age?

by | 3.13.2014 at 10:57am
Mineral dust plays an important role in regulating earth’s climate.  Some of this dust comes from mountain glaciers grinding up rocks over long periods of time. (Bess Koffman)

Bess Koffman, a postdoctoral researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, recently traveled to New Zealand to collect dust ground-up by glaciers during the last ice age. In this photo essay, she explains how she collected the dust, what analysis looks like in the lab and what she hopes to learn.

Certificate Program: Black Rock Forest Case Study

by | 3.12.2014 at 2:03pm

Forests are a vitally important habitat for much of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. During this class you will learn key issues in forest ecology and management through an all-day field trip to Black Rock Forest, and study how pathogens and other invasive species affect forest structure and function.