Global Food Security, Global Oceans, and Local Climates ^


^Sustainable Food Systems Track course

Instructor: Dr. Indrani Pal
Course number: ENVB 0411 N

Fulfills requirement: Food, Environment, and Ecology (FEE) OR Case Study (CS)
Day: Wednesday
Dates: September 4, 11, 18, 25 (Module 1, 4 longer sessions)
Time: 6:10 – 8:40 PM

Course Description

Global food security is crucial as food production, quality, and accessibility are all challenged by a changing environment and growing human demand. A substantial proportion of global food production depends on climate variability and many climes are influenced by the global oceans. This course will introduce the multi-disciplinary science needed to understand the relationships between climate and food security. Relying largely on peer-reviewed evidence, this course will cover a range of crucial topics, including the linkages between regional climates to global oceans, and local to global food networks. Using this knowledge, each student will perform a case study to gain in-depth knowledge that can be used to guide risk management decisions for a region of her/his interest. As the world warms and extreme weather events become more common, this course in its entirety will provide an interesting platform to learn about how the world oceans are important for global food security, which has major socio-economic and commercial importance at scales, underscoring the urgency of options in managing climate risk.

About the Instructor

Dr. Indrani Pal is a Research Assistant Professor and scientist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization (NOAA) Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies at City University of New York. She holds an Adjunct Scientist position at Columbia Water Center, and a Lecturer position at the School of Professional Studies (SPS) at Columbia University where she teaches a number of graduate and undergraduate level courses such as Water Resources and Climate, Introduction to Statistics for Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology. Previously, Dr. Pal held an Assistant Professor position at University of Colorado, Denver. Her research focuses on investigating water resources risk, climate variability, and food system instability.

Dr. Pal comes from India with a background in Civil Engineering (India), M. Tech degree in Water Resources Engineering (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and University of Stuttgart, Germany), an M. Phil in Environmental Engineering Sciences and Sustainability (University of Cambridge, UK) and a PhD in Environmental Engineering Sciences and Sustainability (University of Cambridge, UK). She has received a number of prestigious national and international scholarships throughout in her career from sources such as the Indian Ministry of Human Resources, DAAD from Germany, UK Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, and an Overseas Research Scholarship from the UK. Dr. Pal received her postdoctoral training from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at The Earth Institute, Columbia University.