Environment

The Big City, Subdivided for Sustainability

Two-thirds of people on the planet will live in cities by 2050. But few cities are prepared for this population boom. An upcoming research project will explore new, localized models for urban infrastructure to make cities cleaner, healthier and more enjoyable places to live.

Geochemist James Ross of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory installs an air-quality monitor in a home neighboring a hydraulic-fracturing drill pad. CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW

Hospitalizations Increase Near Fracking Sites, Study Shows

People living in areas of Pennsylvania where hydraulic fracturing is booming are suffering increasing rates of hospitalization, a new study says. The study is one of a small but growing number suggesting that the practice could be affecting human health.

by |July 16, 2015
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An Algorithm to Investigate Unwelcome Plankton

Computer scientists at Columbia University will work with oceanographers to understand what has caused an unusual plankton-like species to rapidly invade the Arabian Sea food chain, threatening fisheries that sustain more than 100 million people.

by |July 7, 2015
Simpson-H-James crop

H. James Simpson; Tracked Pollutants in the Hudson and Far Beyond

H. James Simpson, a geochemist who pioneered important studies of water pollutants in the Hudson River and abroad, died May 10. He had been affiliated with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for 50 years. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said his family; he was 72.

by |May 26, 2015
Jorling Billings 1970

Preserving the Origins of Environmental Law for a New Generation of Leaders

In fall 2014, Columbia University, through the School of International and Public Affairs, the School of Continuing Education and the Earth Institute, offered a never-before-taught class on “The Origins of Environmental Law.” While many courses teach the fundamentals of environmental law, this course spoke to the people and politics behind the creation of the legislation. The Earth Institute is excited to present a short film providing a glimpse into the importance of this course.

by |May 19, 2015
Beijing, Beijing Week 2015

Beijing Program to Tackle Energy, Environmental Issues

The Earth Institute is taking an extra step to contribute to China’s environmental future by sponsoring the first Beijing Week on Energy and Environment, a week-long program this summer for emerging leaders and professionals in the fields of energy and environment.

by |May 1, 2015
Full panel

Lessons in Sustainability Policy

On April 7, 2015, the Earth Institute hosted a panel event and reception on ‘Sustainability Policy: Progress and Opportunity.’ Over 170 students, faculty, and local professionals gathered in Low Library to hear a panel of experts speak about sustainability and the role of government. Panelists discussed local-level policy, the role of metrics, and what the future of sustainability requires.

by |April 9, 2015
Intern picture

Summer 2015 Internship Openings

Are you a Columbia or Barnard student seeking an internship for summer 2015? Are you interested in topics of sustainability and environmental policy? Apply to be an Administrative and Research intern in the Executive Director’s Office at the Earth Institute. Interns will provide research and editing support for reports, articles, case studies, and presentations, and administrative support as needed. Apply by April 27th!

by |April 6, 2015
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
A small boat sailing up a scenic river in Mizoram.

Geology and Filming 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.

by |March 27, 2015