State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Mixer Brings Students and Faculty Together

Students from the Undergraduate Sustainable Development Program and members of the Earth Institute faculty were able to put aside readings and assignments in exchange for a few hours of socializing and networking during the Fall 2011 Welcome Mixer on Sept. 22nd. The event was held on campus in the beautiful Maison Francaise, where students enjoyed an informal gathering with faculty discussing what they did over the summer and reflecting on the start of the fall semester.

Returning student Patrick Blute (CC ’13) shared stories from his experiences in Queensland, Australia, where he spent last semester helping with relief efforts following the flood in January 2011. My Seppo (CC ’14) talked about what she learned while interning in Sierra Leone for the World Bank on a budget transparency tool.

“It was a pleasure to see the Welcome Mixer so well attended by both faculty and students in the program. These events are important opportunities for informal interactions between students and faculty and help build on the strong community we seek to foster in the interdisciplinary program. I was particularly pleased to see so many new students in attendance, which speaks to the growing interest and excitement surrounding the undergraduate major and special concentration,” said co-director Jason Smerdon when asked about the significance of the event.

The event which brought together faculty and academic advisors in the fields of urban planning; geospatial applications; and environmental sciences, offered an informal setting for student and faculty to explore career decisions, course selections and interesting ideas for additional events, that will complement the program’s academics. “All I can say is that there was a room full of awesome, thoughtful, passionate students,” said co-director Ruth DeFries. The undergraduate program will continue to facilitate opportunities for students and faculty to interact and to build a sense of community in this new inter-disciplinary program.

For information on upcoming events please visit the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development website.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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