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Mission

Mission

Columbia’s Earth Institute blends research in the physical and social sciences, education and practical solutions to help guide the world onto a path toward sustainability.

Science + Collaboration + Education = Sustainability

The world's population is expected to increase to nine billion by 2050. Human activity and the desire for economic improvement are straining the planet's resources, threatening the health of our environment and ability to thrive. Managing those pressures will require the best understanding of the Earth’s ecological and environmental systems, and an ongoing effort to bring that knowledge to bear on public and private policymaking.

Who We Are

The people who make up the Earth Institute are earth scientists, economists, business and policy experts, specialists in public health and law, researchers, teachers and students. The institute comprises more than two dozen research centers and several hundred people who collaborate across many disciplines and schools at the university.

What We Do

At our largest research unit, the renowned Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, some of the world's leading scientists study geology, oceans, freshwater systems, climate and atmosphere to better understand the Earth’s systems. By bringing those physical scientists together with experts in economics, law, public health and policy, the institute creates collaborations that help us learn how to best address issues of global sustainability.

We use that knowledge to develop policy and engineer practical solutions to our many challenges: climate change and environmental degradation, rapid urbanization, infectious diseases, natural hazards, the need for clean and accessible energy, water and sanitation, and the sustainable use of resources.

And we are educating the next generation of leaders in earth sciences and sustainable development.

A welcome message from Executive Director Steven Cohen

Examples of Earth Institute Initiatives

Water   Water
Climate and Society   Climate
Energy   Energy
Urbanization   Urbanization
Hazards   Hazards and Risk Reduction
Global Health   Global Health
Food, Ecology and Nutrition   Agriculture
Ecosystems Health and Monitoring   Ecosystems