Spring is on it's way...

Environmental Program Planning Meeting and dinner:  Thursday, April 6, 5:30-7pm

Please save the date in your calendars for the Spring Program Planning Meeting and Departmental dinner.  More information to come!

Those of you considering Summer Research...

might use some down time over the winter break to scope out Summer Research opportunities.  You might start out by looking at the NSF Research for Undergraduates (REU) website and see if there is something near home, NYC or somewhere else you may plan to be for the summer.  There will also be some opportunities around campus.

Summer Research Planning Meeting: Tuesday, January 24, 12pm, in 404 Altschul

A required meeting for Junior Majors and certainly open to Prospective Sophomores and First-Years, this is an opportunity to meet with Brian Mailloux, hear about what is expected and how to search out, apply and utilize summer research opportunities to help you achieve your goals.

Other Future Events:  Thursday, April 20: The Annual Senior Thesis Poster Session

The Annual Senior Thesis Poster Session is a celebration of the best student research in the areas of environmental science, environmental biology, environmental policy, and sustainability at Barnard and Columbia! Students give one-minute presentations and share their research.  More information, including project titles to come...

In the News:


Professor Martin Stute, is co-author of a Lamont Earth Observatory study in Iceland, sequestering carbon dioxide below ground, and it's receiving quite a bit of well-deserved attention. This is the first time, harmful CO2 emissions from a power plant have been captured, pumped underground, and turned into stone, a major step in the fight against global warming and climate change. The team of researchers from several European countries, the US, included Barnard students, and we hope we will see more students on the project and ensuing publications as they evolve.


"This opens another door for getting rid of carbon dioxide or storing carbon dioxide in the subsurface that really wasn’t seen as a serious alternative in the past,”  Stute said in Scientific American.

The study, orginally published by the journal Science, has been hailed as a breakthrough in top media outlets including The Associated PressThe New York Times, The Washington Post and BBC News.  Stute also published a column in The Conversation about his role in and the importance of the project.

Hear from Martin in the Lamont Earth Observatory video below and in a video on his involvement in the Summer Research Institute.


Black Rock Forest, our affiliate in which many of our students and faculty do research, has received designation as a new "Important Bird Area" (IBA) by Audubon New York, covering the areas from Sterling Forest to Harriman State Park, Black Rock Forest  and Storm King Mountain.  This will help protect threatened bird species, including five on Audubon's watch list. BRF Executive Director, Bill Schuster, gave "huge kudos to Terryanne for doing so much of the work that finally made this happen!" Check out this article in the Times Herald Record, announcing the IBA or a follow-up article interviewing our own Senior Lecturer, Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch who was instrumental in the application for the new IBA,  about the Cerulean Warbler's safe home.


Thursday, April 21, 2016
The Annual Senior Thesis Poster Session

The Annual Senior Thesis Poster Session, a celebration of the best student research in the areas of environmental science, environmental biology, environmental policy, and sustainability was a great success! Students gave thier one-minute presentations and shared their research during the reception with mentors, researchers within the University and outside, friends and family!  Click here for a detailed list of thesis topics, and recognize our students’ accomplishments.

Co-Chair, Stephanie Pfirman's Climate Game, EcoChains: Arctic Crisis, receives attention

You may have had the opportunity to play EcoChains at the Fall Field Trip to Black Rock or the Winter Campus Study Break, and if you're curious you may want to check out the Livescience article which reports on Stephanie Pfirman's game changing game on Climate Change. Read about why hands on learning is not only fun, but works to educate, perhaps better than an article.  

Ruth DeFries, Distinguished Women in Science Lecture, presented by the Hughes Pipeline Project: Tuesday April 12.

The Tenuous Balance Between Conserving Nature and Advancing Human Welfare: Can Science Make a Difference? by Ruth DeFries, Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University

Student Lunch with Annie Leonard '86, Executive Director of Greenpeace

Have Lunch with Annie Leonard, one of our most famous alumnae! Annie is creator and narrator of The Story of Stuff, an animated documentary on consumerism and sustainability.  She also wrote a book with the same title available to borrow in the department. She is now the executive director of Greenpeace, and is coming to Barnard, so be sure to join her for an interesting conversation.

Barnard Alumna, Sally M. Benson '77 visited campus and gave this years' Rosalyn Silver '27 Lecture:

An Energy Plan for the 21st Century
Tuesday, November 17, 6:30 pm

Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd floor Barnard Hall

Sally M. Benson, BC '77 is a professor of energy resources engineering, Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project and Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, the hub of energy research and education at Stanford University. She is an internationally recognized groundwater hydrologist and reservoir engineer, and is widely regarded as a leading authority on carbon capture and storage, energy systems for a low-carbon future, and emerging energy technologies. 

Professor Benson has served as a convening lead author of the Global Energy Assessment, a multinational project which was the first fully integrated assessment that analyzed energy challenges, opportunities and strategies for developing, industrialized and emerging economies. She was also coordinating lead author of a special report on CO2 capture and storage published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Benson met with a group of Environmental Majors for a lunch in the department earlier that day.  We were so pleased to have her here!

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.

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!

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Join our E-Mail List

Interested in receiving e-mails about course announcements and updates, Environmental events, job opportunities, internships? Those not on our student e-mail list should send an e-mail to Catherine Cook, the Departmental Assistant, with your name, year, major (if chosen, or if not, your interest) and we'll add you to the list.

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Useful Links

Google Earth is an interesting site to check out photos the world over! (You'll need to download the software to use it if you want to.)


New York Weather