Sustainable Development

Sorghum is a vital crop for some 500 million people in Africa and Asia, but may be vulnerable to climate change. (Courtesy Jesse Lasky)

How Genomics Can Help Famine-Prone Nations Weather Climate Change

A team of biologists and agronomists has identified genomic signatures in plants indicating they are resilient to stresses such as drought or toxic soils. The multi-year study, expected to help developing-world farmers, was done with sorghum, one of the world’s most common crops.

by |July 8, 2015
sus dev snip

New 5-Year Program in Sustainable Development & Sustainability Management

Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Continuing Education, in collaboration with Columbia College and General Studies, are pleased to announce the launch of an Accelerated Program in Sustainable Development and Sustainability Management. Through this new program, majors and special concentrators in sustainable development can earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in just five years, saving time and money.

by |June 14, 2015
SDSN, International Conference on Sustainable Development

Getting Started with Sustainable Development

Later this year, the member states of the United Nations will launch an ambitious set of goals for sustainable development. But how will we get there? The International Conference on Sustainable Development will tackle that question.

by |May 7, 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
MPuma

Unforeseen Dangers in a Global Food System

Michael Puma considers what can happen when events such as long-lasting droughts or volcanic explosions interrupt production of these crops. He has begun to assess the fragility of the intricate network of trade relationships that move important basic food items across national borders.

by |April 29, 2015
Amazon River Delta Courtesy NASA, Johnson Space Center

A Climate Battle Cry for Earth Day

A group of 17 renowned scientists from around the world are appealing for dramatic action to forestall the worst effects of climate change, issuing an “Earth Statement” that calls for a world powered with zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

by |April 22, 2015
The liberal use of water for irrigation by farmers cultivating rice is contributing to a rapid drop in groundwater levels In the northern Indian state of Haryana.

Overuse of Water by Indian Farmers Threatens Supply

Convincing farmers that it’s worth it to reduce their water consumption will rest on our ability to help develop local groups to manage aquifers at the community-level.

by |April 14, 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
Tiger pugmarks (footprints) in the tidal channel.  Our guide estimated 5-6 hours old.

Tiger Footprints and Dhaka

We finished our time in the Sundarbans with a silent boat ride in a tidal creek. The highlight was sets of fresh tiger footprints. We then had a long sail back to Dhaka with only one stop at a village. We then had a whirlwind tour of Old Dhaka with enough shopping to send the students back happy.

by |March 24, 2015