Sustainable Development

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When People Must Make Way for Nature

It is the black before dawn at the gate to the Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the highlands of central India. The still air carries a dank, penetrating chill. But it is hardly quiet. A buzzing line of tourists is forming at the ticket booth, peddlers are pouring steaming cups of tea.  Groups of green-uniformed rangers chat… read more

by |July 17, 2017
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Photo Essay: When People Must Make Way for Nature

The forested Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the highlands of central India, is home to an abundance of rare wildlife. It also used to be home to thousands of people—that is, until they were moved out by the government to make way for endangered creatures.

by |July 17, 2017
Research summary, March 2017. Photo: Maria Gonzalez Millan

Internet-in-a-Box: Connectivity for the Rest of the World

For the 60% of people without Internet access across the globe, lack of connectivity can affect every facet of their lives – including healthcare. In the Dominican Republic, a team of MPA-DP students examines how Internet-in-a-box technology could help healthcare providers improve outcomes in the developing world.

by |June 13, 2017
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Cleaning Up New York City’s Waters and Beyond: Q&A with Kartik Chandran

Kartik Chandran, an environmental engineer at Columbia, will discuss some of his urban wastewater treatment projects at a panel discussion Friday following the screening of a new film about Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay.

by |June 7, 2017
Liz measures and describing the sediments that have accumulated over  the base of the wells since they were installed in 2011.

Equipment Repairs in SW Bangladesh

Humayun, Liz and I headed to Khulna in SW Bangladesh a day after Chris and Dan. Along the way, we stopped at our sediment compaction meter for surveying and removing the GPS, and getting feasted by the family that hosts the system.

by |January 31, 2017
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Back to Bangladesh to Date Earthquakes and More

I’m back in Bangladesh with a small team after a year and a half away. One different is a police escort as a result of the attacks last year. We start by successfully sampling river sediments to correct the date of an earthquake that caused a river to shift over 3,500 years ago. We also will be fixing broken equipment, visiting the ever changing rivers and hopefully meeting with the public and government officials about the earthquake hazard.

by |January 27, 2017
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Internships at Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, is accepting applications for internship positions for the spring 2017 semester as well as for summer 2017.

The Animas River between Silverton and Durango in Colorado, USA, within 24 hours of the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill. Photo: Riverhugger/Creative Commons

Why Are Mines Still Polluting? The Money’s Not There

Across the nation, abandoned mine sites continue to pollute the environment for decades as acid mine drainage flows into rivers and streams. A 1980 law was supposed to fix that, but lack of funding and enforcement have left the public stuck with the bill.

by |December 20, 2016
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Students Advise County on Permeable Pavement

The biggest barrier to installation or permeable pavement is funding. But the positive outcomes include reduced flooding, less stormwater runoff, and recharging of aquifers.

by |December 19, 2016
Widespread fires in Indonesia threaten habitat for many animals, including orangutans; here one is being rescued on Kalimantan. Photo: Gerry Ellis/oregonzoo.org

Study Finds Oil Palm Certification Plays Limited Role in Curbing Fires

Oil palm is in everything from food to cosmetics to fuel and is consumed and used by most people without giving it a second thought. Yet oil palm cultivation is a large contributor to environmental and social problems, especially in places like Indonesia, where the business of oil palm cultivation has become the second largest export over the last decade.

by |December 15, 2016