The world’s largest scientific society—the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS)—has elected five Columbia faculty to its 2021 class of AAAS Fellows.
Among them is Nicholas Christie-Blick, a professor of earth and environmental sciences and research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who is being recognized for his research in sedimentary geology, tectonics, and sea level change, and for his undergraduate teaching. On the field trips he leads annually to Death Valley, Christie-Blick asks students to actively explore the places they visit, even sketching the structures they observe. “Their drawings are not necessarily very good—that’s not the point,” he says. “It’s the whole exercise of looking that contributes to their understanding.”
The other new AAAS Fellows from Columbia include: neuroscientist Gary W. Miller, chemist Gerard Parkin, evolutionary biologist Dustin Rubenstein, and geneticist Michael M. Shen.
The Columbia researchers are among 564 scientists, engineers, and innovators to receive the honor for 2021. “AAAS is proud to bestow the honor of AAAS Fellow to some of today’s brightest minds who are integral to forging our path into the future,” said Sudip Parikh, the society’s chief executive officer. “We celebrate these distinguished individuals for their invaluable contributions to the scientific enterprise.”