Thursday, April 23, 4:30  -  The Annual Senior Thesis Poster Session

Barnard Seniors in Environmental Science, Environmental Biology, Environmental Policy, and Columbia Seniors in Earth Sciences Sustainability will each give a one-minute summary of their research, followed by a reception during which they'll discusses their findings with Faculty mentors at Barnard, Columbia, Lamont and outside researchers, friends and family. These innovative presentations mark the culmination of the cutting-edge work Barnard and Columbia students have done with local scientists, and are a fantastic way to learn about the important topics with which they’ve been engaged. Join us in the Event Oval, Diana Center in this academic investigation and joyful celebration of the student's accomplishments. Read here about the topics they will present.

Rhea Suh '92 majored in Environmental Science, now President of the NRDC

Reah Suh, Env Sci '92, had an interensting career trajectory and began this year as the President of the National Resources Defense Council.  Read about how her love of the outdoors, a move to New York, a major in Environmental Science and minor in Education, a Fulbright Fellowship to teach, a masters in educational policy and administration prepared her for foundation work and serving as Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Interior, managing national parks, wildlife refuges, public lands and offshore resources along the Outer Continental Shelf.
 

Read the New York Times article on the Carbon Sequestration Project Co-Chair Martin Stute is working on

The story discusses how the CarbFix, which Lamont Doherty is a partner headed by Martin Stute, along with a global team of academic, governmental, industry, and technical consultants, has demonstrated efficient mineralization of CO2 injected into a basalt hosted reservoir near Hellisheidi geothermal Power Plant in Iceland and provides a special focus on the core well that was drilled into the storage formation late 2014. Mineral carbonation can occur in many kinds of rock, but often it is extremely slow. The CarbFix approach accelerates the process by injecting into basalt and because basalt is so reactive, after a relatively short time — a matter of years, not centuries— most of the CO2 should be mineralized. “Basically we’re using a natural process and engineering it for climate-change mitigation,” said Juerg Matter, one of the Lamont geochemists (now at Univ of Southampton) who works with Martin.  A comparison of the developed CarbFix method to the more conventional supercritical storage of CO2 is furthermore discussed.

 

Bogged Down in Alaska--Arctic Peat Bogs soak up Atmoshperic Carbon

EESC BC3025, Hydrology, Co-instructor, Jonathan Nichols, Lamont Assistant Research Professor, teams up with John Karavias as part of LDEO's Visiting Science Teacher Program to study the effect of Climate Change on Arctic bogs' retention and release of carbon into the atmosphere.  Will Arctic peat bogs carbon absorption over the last thousands of years continue as the poles heat up? Warmer temperatures could cause bogs to decay, sending billions of tons of carbon back into the air. But a warmer climate might also improve growing conditions, allowing the bogs to take up more carbon than before. Nichols work in Alaska's remote North Slope to collect peat bog samples might help us understand how climate and carbon uptake have varied over the past 15,000 years and what the future may bring. Watch this video by Climate Science TV and read about the project where the two take cores in Imnavait Creak Peatland.


NEW Course from this spring to be offered again Fall 2015:  EESC BC3050y, Big Data with Python: Python for Environmental Analysis and Visualization with Professor Brian Mailloux, Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:10-11:25am
Students will learn to use Python programming to analyze and visualize large environmental and earth’s systems data sets in ways that Excel is not equipped to do.  This will include both time series and spatial analyses with programming occurring interactively during class and assignments designed to strengthen methods and results.  Students will write code in Python, plot, map, sub-select, clean, organize, and perform statistical analyses on large global scale data sets, using the data in analysis and analyze and visualize it in order to test hypotheses.  Case analysis will include climate data from Central Park comparing it to other global cities, bacterial transport distances, 50,000 aresentic measurements from Bangladesh.

Tsechu Dolma BC'14, was awarded the Brower Youth Award

Tsechu Dolma, Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures major who studied in the Environmental Science Dept and is now at SIPA, received a Brower Youth Award in October 2014. These awards have been given since 2010 to young environmental leaders from Across North America in recognition of “sustainable projects, innovative ideas, and informed analyses” that benefit the environment. Brava!

Meeting for Juniors on Summer Research Internships--open to sophomores and First-Years

Barnard and Columbia are hosting joint meetings for Juniors and interested Sophomores to discuss summer researchship and internship options, particularly in respect to Senior Thesis Research for Environmental majors.  We will be holding two meetings: One general meeting, another meeting, specifically about opportunities at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. Pizza and salad from Che Bella will be served.

Tuesday, February 10, 7:15pm: 403 Altschul Hall (Barnard)
General Meeting – Martin Stute will discuss Summer Research programming, REU’s (Research Experiences for Undergraduates—funded through NSF—National Science Foundation),  the application process, goals for a solid research internship, and the place an internship holds in the Senior Research Thesis requirement.

Wednesday, February 11, 7:15pm: 555 Schermerhorn Extension (Columbia)
Dallas Abbot, Director of the Lamont Summer Internship Program discusses both the Lamont (REU) and Earth Intern Program Summer Research Internships at Lamont, and go over the list of research internships.  Martin Stute and other Lamont researchers will also attend.
This meeting is open to prospective majors, Sophomores and First-Years as well (though note that the Lamont REU internships are for Juniors only).

 

Welcome and welcome back, new, visiting and returning students!

Hope you all have had a rested and enjoyable Winter break and are gearing up for a productive Spring 2015 semester. Check out course offerings if your schedule changes:

RETURNING Spring Course:  EESC BC3025y, Hydrology with Professor Martin Stute with Jon Nichols, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:10am-12pm
EESC BC3025y, Hydrology, a popular course which has hasn't been offered in 3 years--now's your chanceHands-on study and discussion of the basic physical principles of the water cycle (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, runoff, and subsurface flow), interaction with the biosphere (evapotranspiration, hydrological/ecological feedbacks), as well as environmentally relevant applications based on case studies. Special focus on the Northeast, the arid Southwest, and the developing world. Coverage of contemporary global water quantity and quality issues, sustainable development, and climate change.  Classes will be split between lectures and hands-on investigations. Includes one day-long fieldtrip in April.

NEW Spring Course:  EESC BC3050y, Big Data with Python: Python for Environmental Analysis and Visualization with Professor Brian Mailloux, Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:40-3:55pm
Students will learn to use Python programming to analyze and visualize large environmental and earth’s systems data sets in ways that Excel is not equipped to do.  This will include both time series and spatial analyses with programming occurring interactively during class and assignments designed to strengthen methods and results.  Students will write code in Python, plot, map, sub-select, clean, organize, and perform statistical analyses on large global scale data sets, using the data in analysis and analyze and visualize it in order to test hypotheses.  Case analysis will include climate data from Central Park comparing it to other global cities, bacterial transport distances, 50,000 aresentic measurements from Bangladesh.

Departmental Brown Bag Lunch with topics will resume the second week of classes on Thursdays. 12-1 pm 404 Altschul Hall

We will resume Brown Bag lunches in the Department on Thursdays, 12-1.  So stop by with your lunch and have an extra greenmarket treat from us beginning January 29th.  So far we will have discussed getting good letters of recommendation for graduate school or employment--Stephanie shared some great ideas, Martin showed pictures from Iceland and spoke about carbon sequestration research work there and Leslie led a discussion on intersectionality of Environmental Science and Sustainability.

Announcements:

We are very pleased to announce the great news that Brian Mailloux has been awarded tenure at the College and University and is now Associate Professor. We are all so pleased.  Stephanie Pfirman, Co-Chair has returned from her Spring Leave and Frank Nitsche has once again joined us to teach Data Analysis.  See below for upcoming and recent events, such as weekly Coffee Hour and an upcoming Environmental Science Open House.


PAST EVENTS:

Summer Research Institute Poster Session--Friday August 1, 10am-12pm, James Room

Come join Barnard Students who are doing summer research in the sciences as they present their work in poster format.  There will be Environmental Science projects as well as the other sciences.


 

2014 Senior Thesis Poster Session

Thursday, April 24, 4:30 – 6:30 pm:  One-Minute Presentations from 4:30-5:00pm were followed by poster presentations and a reception in the Lower Level Event Oval (LL100), Diana Center Barnard College.  Pictures to come!

Many came to see the best student research in the areas of the Environmental, as Barnard and Columbia majors in Environmental Science, Environmental Biology, Environmental Policy, Earth and Environmental Science, Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, and Sustainability when Seniors presented their thesis projects in this annual Poster Session. The event marks the culmination of the cutting-edge research Barnard and Columbia students have done with local scientists and is a great way to learn about the fascinating topics with which they’ve been engaged. It has always been attended by friends, students, faculty, mentors, research scientists in the area, and family members and co-sponsored by the Earth Institute at Columbia.  A Reception and Poster Session followed each student's One-Minute Presentation of their thesis.  Congratulations to all participants and all the best with your thesis conclusions!

Visit the Barnard Environmental Science Department web page for a detailed list of thesis topics.  A video of the event will be available soon!

Hughes Pipeline Project Student Research Symposium

Wednesday, April 23, fifteen Barnard undergraduates gave oral presentations about the year-long research projects they have undertaken under the guidance of  Barnard science faculty mentors.  Please see Schedule of Speakers and Abstracts of the students research projects.  Posters of the students' research are currently on display in the Tunnel gallery in Altschul Hall.  Environmental Majors, Carol Kim, Coleen Mulvihill and Lissa Soares were among those presenting their work!  Congrats all!

Looking to find Summer Reasearch Internships?

Meetings for Juniors and others interested in finding summer research internships have already taken place.  If you are looking for assistance with this, please speak to your adviser and make an appointment to see Martin Stute as well as be sure to read your emails about opportunities.  Deadlines to apply are fast coming up and some have already closed.

Summer Internships at Lamont

Interested in either the Lamont Summer Internship or and Earth Internship?  You can apply to both.  Projects are already posted in the Program Brochures and listed more fully in Project Descriptions for both on the Lamont Summer Internship Site by clicking on either Lamont or Earth Intern Programs.

Dallas Abbott, who runs the program will be at Barnard to hold an informational lunch meeting about the two programs with students on Thursday, February 20th, in 403 Altschul at 12pm.  If you are interested in either program or are still unsure about finding a summer research project, don't miss it!  Salad and Che Bella Pizza will be available, so please RSVP as soon as you can.
 

STUDENT RESEARCHERS @ WORK LAST SUMMER

The Keck Lab was in high gear this past summer, as research students mentored by Brian Mailloux worked on projects detecting anything from arsenic to enterococci levels.  Other students were in the Field at Black Rock Forest and in laboratories at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.  Still others were doing projects at laboratories and field stations across the country.  There are more projects in the offing for the summer, so check in with the department to find out what you might do, and be sure to attend the February 20th meeting with Dallas Abbott above.  And be sure if you are not already on our departmental student email list, you get on it--see below!