featured story Archives - State of the Planet

child with measles

A Case Against Vaccine Religious Exemptions

It is time for states to change their laws so that fringe religious objections do not get in the way of protecting the safety of children and people with compromised immune systems.

by |April 10, 2019
Fulβe man tending a cow

Mixing Science With Tradition Among Burkina Faso’s Migratory Herders

Anthropologists are working with Fulani community leaders to promote knowledge-sharing between herders and climate scientists.

by |April 5, 2019
map of lead samples in cerro de pasco peru

High School Students in Peru Discover Lead Contamination Hotspots

Equipped with a field testing kit originally developed within Columbia’s Earth Institute, the “Lead-Free Kids Peru” project has tested hundreds of soil samples for the toxic metal — and dug up some startling results in the process.

by |March 29, 2019

Midwestern Floods, Climate Resiliency, and the Green New Deal

Midwestern floods, Western forest fires, and coastal hurricanes are creating a call for climate resilient infrastructure. The Green New Deal is a way to respond to that demand.

by |March 25, 2019

Data Visualization: World Happiness Trends

Could the number of women in a nation’s government have an impact on its happiness? Can air quality effect the mood of a population? Do trains make people happier? Explore World Happiness Report data and trends that might also contribute to a country’s overall well-being.

Mining pollution turns river red

Mining Pollution Limits Access to Clean Water in Papua New Guinea

A new report documents the social, environmental, economic, and health impacts of gold mining in Porgera, Papua New Guinea.

janet babin in greenland

The High Stakes, High Risk Work of Covering Climate

From polar bears to budget cuts, a climate reporter’s job is never easy. But for some, it’s worth the struggle.

by |March 12, 2019

Scientists Track Deep History of Planets’ Motions, and Effects on Earth’s Climate

Scientists are developing a geologic record of how other planets have influenced the orbit of Earth, and thus its climate, over the last 200 million-plus years.

by |March 4, 2019
walmart checkout line Guilford banning plastic bags

Banning Plastic Bags, Town by Town: a Guide

If you’re already doing your part to reduce, reuse and recycle, what more can you do? Start by thinking bigger, but not too big — one community at a time.

by |February 20, 2019
A puffin sits on a grassy hill.

Contest Highlights Stunning Photos of Nature and Fieldwork

The contest, hosted Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology celebrates the beauty of their work.

by |February 15, 2019