Understanding the Middle East conflict is not an easy task, and adding an environmental component to the puzzle doesn’t make it any easier. Students in the Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East program, having gone through 16 days of an 18-day trip to the region, now see clearly how complex the issues actually are. Having visited Jordan, Israel and parts of the West Bank, and met with local people who deal with environmental issues and the conflict on a daily basis, students have come to realize that sometimes the more you know and experience, the less things makes sense.
After a late arrival in Amman, Jordan on Sunday night, students in the Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East program hit the ground running on Monday morning. An orientation at the Columbia University Middle East Center was followed by presentations at the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature office.
By Melissa von Mayrhauser Jordan is the third most water scarce country in the world, while its population is rising at approximately 3% annually. Columbia’s SEE-U Jordan program is investigating the reasons behind the country’s lack of water security while also considering possible solutions. We dove into our studies by swimming in the Red and [...]
“If you coordinate action by means of developing mutual trust- not only interpersonal but also between organizations- then the linkages between those that design the policy and those that implement policy are much more effective”. – André Corrêa d’Almeida, Coordinator of Executive Education at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development (CGSD) What is the [...]
A golf-ball-sized rhinoceros beetle flies through the open-air pavilion and lands on my table. I look up from my notes, an attempt at reworking my African wild dog study methods, and realize I haven’t seen one of these mighty beasts since my junior year in South Africa. The beetle is a welcome companion on this quiet, star-studded night in Jordan’s Ajloun Forest Reserve. Creature comforts: another perspective shift made possible by the Columbia Global Centers.
Summer 2012 applications for the Student Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduate program are now being accepted. Undergraduate students of all majors can apply for the opportunity to conduct field work and study unique ecosystems abroad.
The citizens of Jordan, and elsewhere in the Middle East, must confront challenges of rapid population growth, climate change, poverty, inequality and environmental degradation. A new program run jointly by the Earth Institute and the Institute of Sustainable Development Practice in Amman is helping policymakers and others involved learn the techniques of sustainable development to address some of these issues.
The Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates (SEE-U) program provides undergraduate students of all majors from all accredited colleges or universities with a global understanding of ecology and environmental sustainability. It provides students with the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in unique natural settings in addition to participation in a combination of classroom lectures and lab work.