Earth Institute Student Research Showcase 2015

Earth Institute Student Research Showcase 2015

The Earth Institute, Columbia University is committed to showcasing student research in the areas of environment and sustainable development. The Earth Institute brings together undergraduate, graduate and PhD students at the annual Earth Institute Student Research Conference. Students discuss their unique research experiences of working to understand and solve pressing environmental and sustainable development issues.

All of the projects are conducted by students who have received support, guidance or funding through an Earth Institute affiliated education or student program including a travel grant, internship, or research assistantship from the Institute.




Natalia A. Rossi, GSAS
M.A (2016)

After obtaining her B.S. in Ecology at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ms. Rossi worked for five years as a field manager on a bi-national sea turtle research and conservation project in Baja California Sur, Mexico. In 2007 Ms. Rossi obtained a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue a Master degree in Conservation Biology at Columbia University. There she continued her research on the impacts of bycatch in the critically endangered North Pacific loggerhead sea turtle population.
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Kaggie Orrick, GSAS
M.A. Conservation Biology (2015)

Kaggie is currently obtaining a master’s degree in the E3B department of GSAS. Her love for the environment stemmed from a long love of the outdoors. Currently, she is very interested in sustainable conservation practices, especially in rural communities.



Amy Wray, GSAS
M.A., Conservation Biology (2015)

Amy is a second-year MA student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology Department’s Conservation Biology program. She completed her bachelor’s degrees at UC Berkeley, where she studied integrative Biology and English. Her current research focuses on characterizing pathogen diversity and feeding behavior in common vampire bats.
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Climate Change


Adrian Ang, SIPA
MPA, (2015)

Adrian is pursuing his MPA degree at SIPA, specializing in environmental science and policy. His academic interests include natural resource management and urban environmental issues. Apart from his research at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Adrian is working on green infrastructure modeling at SEAS.



Sophia Hill, Columbia College
Environmental Science (2017)

Sophia Hill is a sophomore in Columbia College majoring in Environmental Science with a concentration in Sustainable Development. She is interested in the fields of sustainable development, world health, and climate change mitigation and adaptation, which is why she’s incredibly excited to be working with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law this semester on reviewing Environmental Impact Statements for their consideration of climate change.
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Tianjia Liu, Columbia College
Environmental Science (2017)

Tianjia Liu is a sophomore at Columbia University studying Environmental Science and possibly concentrating in Slavic Studies. She is currently conducting paleoclimate research at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.
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Akiko Shimizu, SEAS
Earth and Environmental Engineering (2016)

Akiko is a third year Earth and Environmental Engineering student hailing originally from Orange County, California. She was inspired to study at Columbia and engage in environmental research by Los Angeles smog, which led her to intern with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law during the summer of 2014. Currently, she researches with Professor Robert Farrauto’s Catalysis for a Sustainable Environment Lab with the goal of optimizing automobile catalytic converter designs.
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John Wilding, Columbia College
Earth Science, (2017)

John Wilding, originally from Los Angeles, is a sophomore in Columbia College majoring in Earth Science with a concentration in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. He has worked at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Sidney Hemming’s Argon Geochronology for the Earth Sciences lab studying crustal extension mechanisms in Death Valley. John is interested in geophysics and the practice of science.
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Community Development


Brina Seidel, Columbia College
Economics - Political Science (2015)

Brina Seidel is a senior in Columbia College. She is studying economics and political science and intends science and intends to apply these fields to international development issues.


Earth Science


Faisal Abdel-Qader, Columbia College
Environmental Biology (2016)

Faisal Abdel-Qader is currently a junior majoring in Environmental Biology as well as being on a pre-med track. He worked in a clinical lab, and participated in the Earth Institute’s Research Assistantship, where he got to work on new sustainable ways of purifying wastewater using organic matter. Faisal will be starting his senior year thesis project over the summer and next year, hoping to focus it along the lines of exploring the emergence of infectious diseases from an environmental perspective.



Patrick Carroll, SCE
MS, Sustainability Management (2015)

Patrick Carroll is a student at the School of Continuing Education, class of 2015 earning his Master of Science in Sustainability Management. Pat’s project involved collaborating with design students from Butte, MT to develop the sustainable guidelines under which the City of Butte will relocate and revamp their current asphalt plant and municipal shops.



James Eustace, SCE;
M.S., Sustainability Management (2015)

James Eustace is a graduate student at Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education. He and his project partners are focusing on the resiliency of a community surrounding an old mining site in Butte, Montana.



Ingunn Gunnarsdottir,Teacher’s College
International Education (2014)

Ingunn is an Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) MPA student at SIPA (School of International and Public Affairs), set to graduate May 2015. Her aspiration is to become the step between science and application through policy and thereby address some of the increasingly pressing environmental issues we are currently facing. She assisted Dr. Frank Nitsche in analyzing data on sediment redistribution in the Hudson River to further understanding on storm‐related impacts on sediments in estuaries.
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Isabelle Holt, Barnard College
Biology (2017)

Isabelle Holt is currently a sophomore at Barnard College, studying biology. She has been working in Professor Krista McGuire’s Lab since her first year at Barnard and was thrilled by the opportunity to do work with Professor McGuire in Puerto Rico.
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Eric Isaacs, GSAS
Applied Physics (2016)

Eric Isaacs is a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, class of 2016 student earning his PhD in Applied Physics. His research focuses on understanding the physical properties of materials used for renewable energy generation and storage. His presentation, using quantum mechanics to design better batteries for renewable energy storage, investigates the fundamental limitations to the stability of electrode materials in rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
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Saloni Jain, Columbia College
Sustainable Development (2017)

Currently a sophomore in Columbia College, I am majoring in Sustainable Development with particular interest in global health, international development, and sustainable demography. Outside of the classroom, I am an editor for Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development, a member of Sustainability Media Lab and the undergraduate representative of the Sustainability Advisory Council through the Environmental Stewardship Office.



Franziska Landes, GSAS
Earth and Environmental Science (2018)

Franziska Landes is a graduate (MA & PhD) student in Earth and Environmental Science. She spends most of her time Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory where she conducts research in environmental geochemistry. Franziska is particularly interested in the fate and transport of contaminants and how this impacts public health and the environment



Mallory McKeon, Columbia College
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (2016)

Mallory McKeon is in her junior year at Columbia University. She is majoring in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology with a specialty in Pre-Health. For her senior thesis, Mallory will be researching the effects of shark ecotourism on surrounding coral reef ecosystems in Fiji.
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Dana McManamon, SCE
M.S., Sustainability Management (2015)

Dana McManamon is a second year Sustainability Management student, class of 2015. Her program studies have taken a water and energy focus. She is the Project Manager for her final semester Capstone Project in Butte, Montana, which ties together a combination of superfund site sensitivity, water and air pollution risk assessment, stakeholder management, and a critical collaboration with environmentally friendly place.
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Kelunni Menon, SCE
Sustainability Management (2016)

Kelunni Menon is a student at the School of Continuing Education, Class of 2016, obtaining a Master of Science Degree in Sustainability Management. For his project, “Integrated Redesign of Municipal Shop and Roadwork Facilities in Butte, Montana”, he is analyzing the environmental, social and infrastructural impacts that this initiative will have on various stakeholders as well as evaluating solutions to ameliorate foreseeable issues that they may encounter.



Channing Prend, Columbia College
Environmental Science (2017)

Channing is a New Hampshire native majoring in Environmental Science at Columbia College. His project looks at Enterococcus levels in the Hudson River in relation to a variety of factors such as recent rainfall, water/air temperature, salinity, the state of the tides/currents, and time of year. The project also considers the public health implications of our findings.
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Eitan Reich, SCE
M.Sc., Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (2015)

Eitan Reich is a graduate of the M.Sc program for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in Columbia University. Based on his experiences with the intractable conflict in the Middle East, through the diverse perspectives of many organizations, his current interest in his studies is focused on the applications of Dynamic Systems Theory (DST) to dealing with intractable conflicts and complex global and local problems.
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Maxim Semyonov, SCE
M.S., Sustainability Management (2015)

Maxim is currently in his last semester at SUMA. His final project will focus on a community surrounding an old mining site in Butte, Montana. Having worked in Butte before, he is acquainted with the ongoing transformation that the region is experiencing. He finds the possibility of a meaningful contribution to that transformation appealing.



Christa Shen, Columbia College
Environmental Biology (2016)

Christa is an Environmental Biology major at Columbia University. She is currently working on her senior thesis project in Professor Kevin Griffin’s Plant Ecophysiology Lab.




Joseph Ross, SIPA
MPA, Developmental Practice (2015)

Joseph Ross is a first year graduate student studying sustainable development policy at Columbia University’s Master of Public Administration in Development Practice program at the School of International and Public Affairs. His studies are complimented through an internship at the Earth Institute where Joseph advises the Deputy Director of the One Million Community Health Workers Campaign to develop the operationalization strategy for the Ghana Ministry of Health’s National Community Health Worker Program.
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International Development


Sarayu Adeni, SIPA
MPA, Development Practice (2015)

Sarayu Adeni will complete her MPA in Development Practice at the School of International and Public Affairs in May 2015. Her collaboration with The Earth Institute involved supporting the education sector of Millennium Village Project sites in Ghana, particularly on a study of the impact of intensive teacher training on rural primary school students’ literacy learning. She believes youth engagement and education are crucial aspects of sustainable development, and has worked on related projects with organizations including the Peace Corps, Human Rights Watch and America Reads.
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Kim Baskin, SIPA
MPA, Development Practice (2015)

Kim is a 2nd year MPA in Development Practice graduate student at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, focusing on the design, management, and evaluation of formal and informal education programs. Most recently, Kim worked as Project Manager for a Millennium Villages Project local language literacy pilot in Mwandama, Malawi. In her role at MVP, she designed and led trainings for Community Education Workers and created supplementary reading resources in partnership with local government primary education advisors.
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Adero Davis, SIPA
International Security Policy (2015)

Adero Davis is a Masters of International Affairs candidate (May 2015) at the School of International and Public Affairs – Columbia University. Her interests are in International Affairs; more specifically international security policy and economic development in Africa.



Nadine Fattaleh, Columbia College
Sustainable Development (2017)

Nadine Fattaleh is an undergraduate sophomore studying sustainable development and economics at Columbia. She is originally from Amman, Jordan, and is interested in the intersection between sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, and environmental preservation, particularly in the context of the Middle East.



Lindsee Gregory, Teacher’s College
International and Transcultural Studies (2014)

Lindsee Gregory received her Master’s degree in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University with a concentration on International Humanitarian Issues. In 2014, she spent the summer working with the education sector of the Millennium Villages Project in Ruhiira, Uganda.
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Annel Hernandez, SIPA
MPA, Environmental Policy and Management (2015)

Annel Hernandez attends Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs pursuing a MPA with a concentration in Energy and Environment. Her project is titled Nickel Mine or National Park: Assessing the Loma Miranda Land-Use Debate in the Dominican Republic.



Jillian Husman, SIPA
MPA, Economic and Political Development, (2015)

Jillian Husman is a second-year MPA candidate at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Jillian is concentrating her studies at SIPA in Economic and Political Development with a specialization in Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis. At SIPA, Jillian serves as the Department Research Assistant for the Institute of African Studies and is active in the SIPA Pan-African Network and the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Group.
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Ishita Kapur, GSAS
M.A. Climate and Society (2015)

Ishita will be graduating in summer 2015 from Columbia University where she is pursuing a Masters in Climate and Society. She received the Earth Institute Travel Grant for field work for the research project Groundwater depletion in Northern India: Individual, Group or Neighborly incentives?



Angeline Kong, SCE
M.S., Sustainability Management (2015)

Angie Kong is a recent graduate of the M.S in Sustainability Management program. Her passion is in finding sustainable solutions to water issues, and the capstone she worked on with her team focuses on sustainable operations to prevent the cattle market in Buenos Aires from polluting one of the most contaminated rivers in the world.



Elizabeth Moyer, SIPA
Public Administration in Development Practice (2015)

Elizabeth Moyer will be graduating from the MPA-Development Practice program in May 2015 with a specialization in advanced management techniques and social policy. She entered the development field because of her passion for social justice and deep appreciation for people.
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Quentin O’Brien, Mailman School of Public Health
MPH, Environmental Health Science (2015)

Quentin is a current Master of Public Health (MPH) candidate in the Environmental Health Sciences department at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. She is also concurrently pursuing a certificate in Health and Human Rights. Currently, her master’s thesis work is focused on designing a nutrition education curriculum that can be administered via mobile phone text and voice messages in rural Senegal. The goal of this work is to give women in smallholder farming communities the tools to improve their own nutrition outcomes, as well as that of their children.
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Akriti Rana, SIPA
MPA, Developmental Practice (2015)

Akriti is currently a second year Masters in Public Administration in Development Practice (MPA-DP) candidate at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). This summer Akriti was in Rwanda, where she provided on-site technical support to the M&E coordinator and the Agri-Business team as the Outcome Monitoring Agriculture, Business and Environment (OM ABE) system Intern in the Millennium Village of Mayange.
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Jessica Srun, SCE
M.S. Sustainability Management (2015)

Jessica is an M.S. Candidate in Sustainability Management for 2015 at Columbia University. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Environmental Health from the University of Maryland. Jessica shows a strong commitment and enthusiasm towards international and sustainable development.
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Denis Tan, SIPA
Environmental Science & Policy (2015)

I am an aspiring public policymaker specializing in environmental, energy, and sustainability issues, with a unique focus on data visualization, analysis, and management. As an engineer and economist by training, my ability to conduct technoeconometric analysis makes me an ideal candidate in problem solving disciplines.
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