Africa

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Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork: 2017 and Beyond

On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers are studying the dynamics of climate, geology, natural hazards, ecology and other subjects with direct applications to the challenges facing humanity.

by |March 6, 2017
18334609 - african savanna landscape, namibia, south africa

Green Sahara’s Ancient Rainfall Regime Revealed

Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the six-thousand-year “Green Sahara” period have been revealed by analyzing marine sediments, according to new research.

by |January 18, 2017
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Linking Climate Forecasts, Soil Testing for Smarter Farming

A new project combines cutting edge climate science and mobile soil labs for African farmers and service providers.

by |July 12, 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
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Seeking Humanity’s Roots

Who were our earliest ancestors? How and when did they evolve into modern humans? And how do we define “human,” anyway? Scientists are exploring Kenya’s Lake Turkana basin to help answer these questions.

by |June 8, 2016
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Global Philanthropy and Inequality

Recent trends now point towards global philanthropy becoming the new norm. Global philanthropy aims to reduce inequality in developing countries through many forms. But inequities persist, and different manifestations of global philanthropy will be challenged to increase impact and achieve a demonstrable shift in areas such as poverty, health, access to opportunity, and beyond.

by |May 17, 2016
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Connecting the Dots with a Summer Placement in Lesotho

The Masters of Public Administration in Development Practice “offered a program that allowed me to explore potential paths in a career of development by having the flexibility to connect the dots with my previous experience.”

by |May 16, 2016
Swetha Ramaswamy

Taking Flight (Remotely) over East Africa

“Despite an early love affair with technology encouraged by my computer scientist, Silicon Valley-based parents, even I had a hard time envisioning a world in which I would spend a summer flying fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over pastoral East Africa.”

by |May 2, 2016
This chart shows the number of operational weather stations in Rwanda.

Filling a Climate Gap and Helping Rwandan Farmers

Agriculture makes up a major portion of Rwanda’s economy, and employs eight in 10 Rwandans. Of course, farmers are hugely dependent on the climate, and a new project hopes to ensure they get timely information so they can plan for both good times and bad.

by |March 24, 2016
Expedition 361’s nannofossil experts with their specialties: Top, left to right: Margit Simon, Thiago Pereira dos Santos, Luna Brentegani and Deborah Tangunan. Bottom left to right: Dick Norris and Jason Coenen. All associated with a fossil of their speciality (not quite to scale…). Illustration by Deborah Tangunan

Finding Microfossils off Southern Africa

Expedition 361’s newest sediment cores brought up spectacular foraminifera—translucent, glassy and “very pretty” throughout the ocean sediment.

by |March 19, 2016