The end of our fiscal year is just one week away and we need your support more than ever. This year, the generosity of Earth Institute supporters allowed our award-winning scientists and researchers to pursue groundbreaking initiatives in the fields of earth and environmental sciences, ecology, engineering and architecture, law, medicine and public health, economics, political science, public policy, ethics and management, and more to advance global sustainable development.
Among the key findings of the WGII AR5 Report chapter on human security, a topic highlighted in the Report for the first time, is that societies in conflict are more vulnerable to climate change.
It was time to pack up and leave. Shofiq, who is from Sylhet, was dropped off near his home and the fellowship of the rocks was broken. We settled in for another long drive. We made an impromptu stop at one of the numerous brick factories scattered across Bangladesh. Here, the workers immediately started snapping pictures of us with their phones.
Most field trips have a “death march” hiking a long way through forest, swamps, hills or deserts to get to a remote outcrop. We have a “death bus ride” instead.
The first day was very light for the jet-lagged students, just a short introduction to the field school and some background, and then introductions all around as we started to get to know each other. The final group of nine students finally arrived around 9 p.m. They were the most worn-out, bedraggled bunch of travelers I have ever seen.
Feb. 21 is Language Day in Bangladesh. It is a holiday, now adopted by the UN as International Mother Language Day. It commemorates a day in 1952 when a crowd of Bengali students protesting Pakistan’s adoption of “Urdu and only Urdu as the official language of Pakistan” were fired upon by the police. It marks the beginning of the move towards the independence of East Pakistan.
Rushing around SW Bangladesh by boat and car, we managed to install or repair four GPS sites in record time. We caught up our lost day and managed to get to the ruins of the Shakher Temple in the Sundarban mangrove forest.
Back to Bangladesh for some fieldwork and then a two-week Field School. However, this time we had problems starting before we even left NY. Working in Bangladesh you have to be flexible. Nothing goes as planned, but usually everything works out in the end.
The Earth Institute is grateful to its many partners for their important role in the effort to develop the science and solutions necessary for sustainable development. Please visit the interactive digital 2013 Annual Report to read more about how we are forging partnerships across disciplines and sectors to advance the global effort to guide our planet onto a path toward sustainability.
A massive landslide in Alaska’s snowy Wrangell-St. Elias mountain range in July may have been caused by a summer heat wave making some slopes more vulnerable to collapse, says the Lamont-Doherty scientist who first discovered the avalanche.