Map of hazards data points

Mapping Tool Lets Users Pinpoint Hazards Data

The SEDAC Hazards Mapper is designed for disaster risk managers, humanitarian response organizations, public health professionals, journalists and others needing a quick assessment of the potential dangers posed by a major hazardous event or developing emergency.

Overhanging rooks and slumps reveal the much larger amount of erosion and land loss in the Indian Sundarban

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.

by |March 30, 2015
The M/V Katundu in port in Nkhata Bay, Malawi.

Mapping Faults Hidden below Lake Malawi

Marine seismic studies like ours are routinely done in the oceans using scientific equipment and research vessels outfitted specially for these purposes. Collecting comparable data in a great lake in Africa requires creative repurposing of available vessels and adaption of scientific equipment.

by |March 26, 2015

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork, 2015 and Beyond

On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers study the dynamics of climate, geology, ecology, human history and more. Here is a list of expeditions going on this year, and beyond.

by |March 10, 2015

Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate Kick-Off

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.

by |February 25, 2015

Sounds of Seismology

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientist Ben Holtzman grew up discovering science through interactive exhibits in San Francisco’s Exploratorium and now provides a similar experience for others. Holtzman designs immersive shows that allow people to experience what earthquakes and seismic waves look and sound like as they move through and around the Earth. On Monday, November 17th at the American Museum of Natural History Hayden Planetarium, Holtzman and his collaborators will present one of these shows, the second installment of SeismoDome: Sights and Sounds of Global Seismology.

by |November 17, 2014
Aerial view of the Jonah natural gas field in Wyoming. Photo: Peter Aengst

The Fracking Facts

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural gas, has become a hot button issue across the U.S. But let’s try to look objectively at its benefits and risks.

by |June 6, 2014
One of the myriad brick factories in Bangladesh.  The lack of rocks means bricks are widely used for construction.

Bricks, an Archeological Site and Home

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.

by |March 7, 2014
Standing in India by the Dauki River and Shillong Plateau at Jaflong..

Field School: Sylhet Tectonics

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.

by |March 7, 2014
Sunset over the  Brahmaputra River as we prepare to depart the region for NE Bangladesh.

Field School: The Brahmaputra River

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.

by |March 4, 2014