Summer Research in Environmental Science

Please go to our Summer Research page if you will be doing or are seeking a Summer Research project. We are asking that
all students interested in environmental science (majors and prospective majors) fill out this survey, even if you do not plan to do research this summer.  You will also find links to potential projects in the department. We want to help you get to where you want to go.

Upcoming Dates:

Prospective Majors and Minors Meeting: Thursday, February 26, 12-1 403 Altschul Hall
with follow-up meeting 1-2pm in 404 Altschul (for those who cannot make it by 1pm). Meet Majors and those interested in Majoring or Minoring in an Environmental field and find out what the department has to offer. A welcome meeting open to all students interested in coursework in Environmental Science, Environmental Biology, Environmental Policy, or related fields.  This is a lunch meeting with food provided from Roti Roll. Feel free to stop by after class if you can’t make it right at noon. Contact Catherine for more info.

Program Planning Meeting for Majors, Minors, and Prospective Majors: Thursday, March 26, 12-1 403 Altschul Hall
with follow-up meeting 1-2pm in 404 Altschul (for those who cannot make it by 1pm).  Find out about courses offered in the fall, those that fulfill major requirements or electives that interest you.  Faculty and peers will talk about research opportunities and experiences, study abroad options. This is a lunchtime meeting.

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!