Category: Water

Subsurface Discovery Sprouts a New Branch on the Tree of Life

by | 6.22.2015 at 9:27am
This schematic of the tree of life details the novel phylogenetic placement of newly discovered bacterial groups.

Last week a study published in Nature pulled the veil on a branch of the bacterial tree of life that has evaded detection for nearly a century and a half. The study used cutting edge genome sequencing and savvy bioinformatics techniques to make this remarkable discovery.

Viewing Melting Glaciers, Via Microscope and Moving Images

by | 6.11.2015 at 9:55am
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Two women investigating climate change from different perspectives—Christine McCarthy, a geophysicist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and Denise Iris, a multimedia artist from Brooklyn—had a chance to spend several days together recently. In the Rock Mechanics Lab at Lamont, where McCarthy works, and a nearby “cold room” chilled to the climate of an industrial freezer, they exchanged notes on two ways of looking at ice.

From the Nile to the Sundarbans: the Undergraduate Capstones

by | 6.8.2015 at 3:46pm
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This spring, students in the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development presented innovative solutions to sustainability issues as part of their Capstone Workshop. Their clients ranged from the United States Military Academy at West Point to the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

U.S. Drought Risk Wider than Previously Thought

by | 5.4.2015 at 9:10am | 1 Comment
The Normalized Deficit Cumulated (NDC) shows cumulative, multi-year water deficits.

New research from the Columbia Water Center suggests that many more places in the United States are at risk of drought-induced water stress than is commonly thought, including dense metropolitan regions such as New York City and Washington, D.C.

Indian Sundarban

by | 3.30.2015 at 1:34pm
Overhanging rooks and slumps reveal the much larger amount of erosion and land loss in the Indian Sundarban

We arrived in Kolkata, and filmed by the Hooghly River. While it is no longer the main channel of the Ganges, it is still the Holy Ganges and we saw a funeral procession spreading ashes of a loved one while filming there. Then a 5 hour trip by car, ferry, rickshaw and boat to the Indian Sundarbans. The mangrove forest here is undergoing more erosion and land loss than in Bangladesh, where more river sediments can replenish it. The water here is more saline and the trees are small. A tiger was spotted by another boat, but was gone when we got there.

Geology and Filming in Mizoram

by | 3.27.2015 at 2:08pm
A small boat sailing up a scenic river in Mizoram.

In the small town of Kolasib, we stayed in Hotel Cloud 9. I had been told since I was a child that I was always off on Cloud 9 and now I was actually here. However, the electricity wasn’t for the first few hours, so showers were cold, but the dinner was hot.

Tiger Footprints and Dhaka

by | 3.24.2015 at 9:42am | 1 Comment
Tiger pugmarks (footprints) in the tidal channel.  Our guide estimated 5-6 hours old.

We finished our time in the Sundarbans with a silent boat ride in a tidal creek. The highlight was sets of fresh tiger footprints. We then had a long sail back to Dhaka with only one stop at a village. We then had a whirlwind tour of Old Dhaka with enough shopping to send the students back happy.

Salt Kilns and Landscape Change in the Sundarbans

by | 3.21.2015 at 6:58am | 1 Comment
As the sun sets, we climb into the launch to leave the island and return to the Kokilmoni

Leaving Hiron Point, we headed east through the Sundarbans to Kotka. At Kotka the students had walks through the forest seeing deer, wild boar and monkeys, while a smaller group also sampled near a set of 300 year old salt making kilns for OSL dating. We managed to finish while the tide inundated the site. We ended our day with a visit to an island that has recently emerged from the slain which the succession from bare sand to mangrove is visible.

Polder 32 and Hiron Point

by | 3.20.2015 at 12:48pm
Group photo at Hiron Point in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest - a world heritage site.

We visited Polder 32, an embanked island in the delta that was flooded for almost two years when the embankment failed in several places during Cyclone Aila. In addition to the problem of increased subsidence due to the embankment, the area struggles for fresh water. Then we sailed to Hiron Point, a forest station in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest. We serviced equipment we have here while our armed guards watch for tigers.

Working in the Bangladeshi Countryside

by | 3.20.2015 at 6:08am
Tanner and Yassamin in a discussion at sunset.

After traveling by boat for two days, including crossing the Sundarban Mangrove Forest, we finally arrived in Khulna. We drove to the site of our compaction meter and separated into teams servicing the instruments, investigating agricultural practices, measuring arsenic in the well water and taking sediment samples for dating. We had finally started our work in rural Bangladesh.