State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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MSSM Student Goes the Extra Mile for Earth Institute Programs

As most people were heading out to visit nearby parks, beaches and museums to take advantage of the nice weather last week, MSSM student Scott Miller was embarking on a different kind of trip. Miller, long an advocate of sustainability, set out on a trip to ride his bike over 300 miles from New York to Washington, D.C., in an effort to raise money and awareness for Earth Institute programs through the non-profit organization Climate Ride.

Working to promote sustainability is nothing new to Miller. Throughout his career in finance, Miller has worked to promote green practices through advocacy and team building. Through the MSSM program, Miller has been able to expand on those skills through program workshops and courses in Life Cycle Analysis, sustainability metrics, climate change adaptation, LEED Green Associate certification, to name a few. All of these courses have given Miller tangible tools and skills that will help position him as an effective sustainability professional. In addition to his contributions to the MSSM program, Miller has also raised over $3,000 for the Earth Institute as a Climate Rider.

Miller talks about his reasons for doing Climate Ride.

After starting in New York City on Saturday, Miller and 200 other riders began their trip via ferry to Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, and continued through the Garden State and then on  through Pennsylvania. After passing through several small towns and villages in Pennsylvania featuring quaint shops and riverside cafes, riders made their way through Amish country and camped at a traditional Mennonite summer camp at the end of day three. On day four, riders crossed the Susquehanna River and continued on through Maryland on their way to the capitol.

Climate Riders nearing the Capitol. Photo courtesy of

And on the last day of his ride, Miller is still going strong, and is also still raising funds and awareness for the Earth Institute and related sustainability issues. But, more importantly, Miller is pursuing is pursuing his passion. “The ride has been indicative of my journey toward pursuing a career in sustainability,” said Miller, “a challenging road yet one I cannot turn back from.  I have met many of the nearly 200 amazing Climate Riders, and am amazed by the diverse cultural, professional and geographic backgrounds they possess.  Even with our varying perspectives we are unflinchingly unified by an unwavering dedication to bicycle advocacy and protecting and repairing our environment.”

At the end of the tour, Miller and others will convene near the Capitol to make a publicized statement about the need to move the nation towards a more sustainable future through policies and practices promoting renewable energy. After the public statement, Miller will meet with representatives from the offices of two congresswomen. In the meantime, you can support Miller and the Earth Institute through tax-deductible donation in to benefit the Earth Institute at:

If you’d like to follow Miller on his journey to Washington, D.C., you can follow him on Twitter at:!/Scott_R_Miller

About Climate Ride:

Climate Ride is a non-profit organization that organizes fully supported, charitable bike rides to support sustainable energy solutions, bike advocacy and environmental causes. By participating, Climate Riders help to provide financial support, raise awareness, engage other riders and help to build a national network of supporters.  For information, visit:

About the MS in Sustainability Management:

The MS in Sustainability Management, co-sponsored by the Earth Institute and Columbia’s School of Continuing Education, trains students to tackle complex and pressing environmental and managerial challenges. The program requires the successful completion of 36 credit points spanning the areas of integrative sustainability management, economics and quantitative analysis, the physical dimensions of sustainability, the public policy environment of sustainability management, and general and financial management. For information, visit:

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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