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.
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.
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.
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.
Earth Institute field researchers study the planet on every continent and ocean. Projects are aimed at understanding the fundamental dynamics of climate, geology, ecology, human history and more. Here is a partial list of upcoming expeditions.
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.