Fall Practicum on Environment and Sustainable Development

Fall Practicum on Environment and Sustainable Development

Students are invited to learn about the work being conducted in the centers and programs at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, by taking the Practicum on Environment and Sustainable Development (SUMA K4140) this fall semester. The course can be taken for one or three credits for Pass/Fail or a letter grade. Students interested in the intersection of environmental and sustainable development research and its applications are encouraged to enroll.

“The practicum gives students the chance to discuss the groundbreaking research of the Earth Institute with the directors and researchers of the Institute’s many centers and programs,” says course instructor Louise Rosen. “This course is an exciting opportunity for students to hear firsthand from researchers working on issues of environment and sustainable development and learn about the applications of their research in addressing pressing global issues, from water to mobility and from food to climate change.” Each practicum session will feature a different guest speaker or speakers.

The practicum underscores the Earth Institute’s mission to advance nine interconnected global issues: water; climate and society; energy; urbanization; hazards and risk; global health; poverty; ecosystem health and monitoring; and food, ecology and nutrition. With hundreds of scientists, postdoctoral fellows and students working in and across more than 30 Columbia University research centers and programs, the Earth Institute uses science, technology and policy to greatly improve conditions for the world’s poor while preserving the natural systems that support life on Earth.

Throughout the course, Earth Institute experts in environmental and sustainable development issues will present their research and discuss the implications of their findings in an applied setting. Topics and speakers this fall include:

Cities and Climate: The Impact of Climate Change in New York City—Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)

Oil Disaster in the Gulf: Perspectives—Anjit Subramian, Doherty Associate Research Scientist; Andrew Juhl, Doherty Associate Research Scientist; Professor Kathleen Callahan, Associate Professor of Professional Practice, SIPA

Environmental Management—Steve Cohen, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, The Earth Institute

Promoting Open Access to Environmental Data: Development of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) and the Polar Information Commons (PIC)—Robert Chen, Director and Senior Research Scientist, Center for International Earth Science Information Network

Restoring Ecosystem Services in Haiti—Marc Levy, Deputy Director, and Alex Fischer, Program Coordinator, Center for International Earth Science Information Network

Tropical Agriculture—Pedro Sanchez, Director, Tropical Agriculture and Rural Environment Program

Disasters and Development—John Mutter, Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University

Environmental Stewardship—Nilda Mesa, Assistant Vice President, Environmental Stewardship, Columbia University

Sustainable Mobility—Lawrence Burns, Director, Sustainable Mobility

Climate Change Research and Its Application—Yochanan Kushnir, Director, Cooperative Institute for Climate Applications and Research

Water—Upmanu Lall, Director, Columbia Water Center

The practicum will run weekly on Tuesday afternoons from 4:20 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Room 102 of Jerome L. Greene Hall. All interested students are encouraged to enroll.

For more information, please contact Louise Rosen at