Eco Matters

Copy Cat!: Fighting the Global Water Scarcity Issue

October 29, 2014

A_child_drinks_waterAccording to the World Water Management Institute, over one-third of the human population is affected by water scarcity. Advances in physical understanding, its applications, and the study of our environment and bio-mimicry help us develop more effective ways to fight freshwater scarcity around the world.

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Warming Streams Have Cascading Impacts in the Amazon

October 13, 2014

Aerial view of a changing landscape. Photo: Marcia MacedoTo protect a river, you must preserve its headwaters. Agricultural development is warming streams at the headwaters of the Xingu River, in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Rising temperatures have local impacts that could cascade into regional changes, highlighting the importance of responsible land use outside of protected areas.

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A Business Case for Restoring and Protecting Ecosystems

September 4, 2014 | 1 Comment

ExecutiveJeffery Potent writes about how corporations are thinking about their impact on ecosystems in terms of economic quantification in order to achieve more sustainable practices. His upcoming EICES certificate course will also explore how leading corporations are innovating to address environmental and social issues from a business perspective.

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Fall Courses in Sustainability & Conservation

September 2, 2014

ExecutiveThe Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University invites you to enroll in courses this Fall via our Certificate Program in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability.

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Studies Find Climate Change to Disrupt Antarctic and Tropical Ecosystems

August 14, 2014

Krill shortages will impact Adélie penguins’ foraging and reproductive abilities.A recent study finds that West Antarctica’s ecosystem is highly correlated to its climate. As a result, climate change will have a negative impact on its ecological relationships, from plankton to penguins. Antarctica isn’t alone - climate change will also affect tropical ocean ecosystems by causing mass coral bleaching.

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Exploring Ecology and History in Bermuda

July 30, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI learned about the coral reef ecology course in Bermuda offered through the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University after developing an interest in marine science over the past year. My background is in newspaper journalism, but I’m now a communications professional at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), devoted to promoting the great work of our scientists around the globe, including those in marine conservation. My supervisors and peers encouraged me to seize the opportunity to take the class since continuing education is something that's valued at WCS.

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An Overview of President Obama’s Climate Proposal

June 25, 2014

President Barack Obama on the phone.On June 2, President Obama announced the most significant climate plan in history. The plan, if enacted as stands, seeks to cut carbon emissions on a state-by-state basis, while giving the states almost limitless freedom on how to do so, as long as they adhere to EPA guidelines. Historic it may be, but is it enough to have a real impact on our rapidly changing climate?

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Driverless Cars: A Viable Solution to Sustainable Mobility?

June 13, 2014

googleGoogle has introduced a brand new type of driverless car that runs on electricity: one without a steering wheel, brake, or accelerator pedal.

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Seeger’s Legacy Lives on Aboard Sloop Clearwater

May 14, 2014 | 1 Comment

DSC_1665In the summer of 1969, legendary folk musician and activist Pete Seeger headed a grassroots campaign to clean up the polluted Hudson River. At the heart of that campaign was a replica of a 200-year-old sailing ship– the sloop Clearwater. Nearly 50 years later, Clearwater remains an emblem of environmental reform. But with Seeger’s death at age 94 this past January, what will become of his cause?

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A Renewing Interest in Energy

May 13, 2014

Ozgur SahinShould Ozgur Sahin, associate professor of biological sciences and physics of Columbia University, continue expanding upon his work in researching how the tiny movements of microbes can be harnessed to create electrical and mechanical energy, it may pave the way for a world fueled by bacterial spores.

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