Category: General Earth Institute

The Most Astonishing Thing

by | 2.27.2015 at 10:00am
A super-massive black hole, roughly 12 billion times as massive as our sun, has been discovered at the center of a bright quasar. The light reaching us now from that distant location has been traveling for billions of years, and thus offers a glimpse into the earliest stages of the universe.

The most astonishing thing about the universe, in my eyes,
Is not merely its gargantuan, unfathomable size,
But the way its vastness ferries gorgeous, primordial light,
So that as we look up into the night,
The farther afield our gaze penetrates, the higher we climb,
The farther we can see back in time.

Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate Kick-Off

by | 2.25.2015 at 10:33am
Extremes event

This week marks the launch of the new Columbia Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, a cross-disciplinary collaboration between a variety of centers, research groups and individuals from across Columbia University. The Initiative, led by Adam Sobel, kicked off on Monday evening with a World Leaders Forum panel event in Low Library. Panelists discussed a wide range of science and policy topics related to extreme weather, showing the interdisciplinary nature of the new Initiative.

MPA Faculty Member Selected as Sloan Research Fellow

by | 2.23.2015 at 1:21pm
suresh-naidu

SIPA professor Suresh Naidu has been selected as a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Economics, an honor that recognizes young scholars for “distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.” The prize includes $50,000 to support Naidu’s research over the next two years.

Mysterious Demise of an Australian Thunder Bird

by | 2.20.2015 at 9:00am
Genyornis newtoni, one of the great "thunder birds" of Australia, went extinct about 50 thousand years ago, for reasons that are still not clear. Image: Ann Musser @ Australian Museum.

Here, mankind and death coincide,
But everyone’s still mystified …

MPA Alum Focuses on Solar Energy

by | 2.19.2015 at 1:11pm
erica helson

In her role as a New York State Solar Ombudsman for the City University of New York at Sustainable CUNY , Erica Helson (MPA-ESP ’14) is applying skills she learned in the program to further her career in advancing solar energy in the city of New York. Prior to joining the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, Erica served as an Americorps Volunteer as well as a Preparedness Education Manager for the American Red Cross. Erica hopes to apply her degree toward a future in environmental policy implementation, working alongside her MPA-ESP colleagues.

Bonjour de Nouméa!

by | 2.18.2015 at 11:46am
The research vessel L'Atalante in port in New Caledonia.

Scientists from research institutions around the world are participating in a research expedition aboard the R/V L ‘Atalante to study how microorganisms in the South Pacific Ocean influence the carbon cycle. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory graduate student Kyle Frischkorn is among them; this is the first in a series of posts in which Kyle shares what it’s like to do research at sea.

Report Forecasts Worsening Climate Hazards for Region

by | 2.17.2015 at 2:54pm
NPCC's updated flood risk map

A new report gives a worrisome picture of climate-related problems the New York region will likely face this century. Temperatures are projected to rise, extreme precipitation and heat waves will be more frequent, and sea level could rise as much as 6 feet.

Earth Institute Launches Student Sustainability Solutions Website

by | 2.11.2015 at 11:54am | 1 Comment
Sustainable Solutions Website HP

A new Earth Institute website – Student Sustainability Solutions – showcases more than 200 projects that students have completed for some of the most notable governmental and non-profit organizations in the world. The website is also a repository of analysis and innovation across nearly every major sustainability issue, including biodiversity, climate change, and environmental justice.

Training Prepares Sustainability Students for LEED Exam

by | 2.10.2015 at 5:24pm
Students take part in LEED v4 training at Columbia

Some 50 Columbia students and alumni participated in a training on the LEED v4 accreditation exam, the newest version of the LEED green building program. Participants were students and graduates from across the Earth Institute’s education programs, who were interested in taking the Green Associate exam and adding LEED accreditation to their repertoire of professional skills.

Alumna Finds Good Fit for Communication Skills

by | 2.9.2015 at 2:32pm
Kathy Zhang 300

Kathy Zhang CC ’13, is a graduate of the undergraduate sustainable development major program. She’s applying her skills in communications and other areas now at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.