State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Highlights From the 2022 Lamont Open House

On Saturday, October 8, more than 1,500 visitors of all ages came out to Open House at Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. There, they played with glacial goo, watched trash cans erupt with water and ping pong balls, and performed hands-on science experiments — all while learning about how Lamont researchers help us to better understand our planet, from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the atmosphere. Below are a few highlights from the 2022 Open House.

Hands-on learning about microplastics in water. Photo: Kyu Lee
child in gumby suit
A child tests out an important type of survival equipment, commonly called the “Gumby” suit for its resemblance to the children’s toy. Photo: Olga Rukovets

New York State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick was in attendance. Here he is with Maureen Raymo, director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and co-founding dean of the Columbia Climate School. Photo: Janice Savage
Senator Reichlin-Melnick learns about ice with Christine McCarthy. Photo: Janice Savage
Gooey “oobleck” helps to demonstrate how glaciers flow. Photo: Sarah Fecht
cinder cone volcano
A model of a cinder cone volcano, the most common type of volcano in the world. Photo: Tara Spinelli

Above: Volcanologist Einat Lev and her colleagues shared this incredible high-resolution drone footage of the Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption of 2021.

painting of a young astronaut of asian descent
PhD student Caroline Juang shared some of her artwork, which is aimed at promoting diversity and inclusivity in the STEM fields. Read more about her work. Photo: Olga Ruskovets
woman standing next to two paintings
The artist and scientist Caroline Juang poses with a few of her pieces that were on exhibit. Photo: Sarah Fecht
A balloon popping underwater shows how hydrophones record sounds under water. (Watch the computer screen to see the sound levels spike.) By emitting sound waves toward the ocean floor, and measuring how they get reflected, scientists at Lamont are able to explore what the seafloor looks like, and peer at the rock layers beneath.

full lecture hall
It was a full house for Martin Stute’s lecture about turning CO2 to stone. Photo: Caroline Adelman
ice-penetrating radar and solar equipment
Glaciologist Indrani Das and her team showed off real equipment that’s used to study the structure of glaciers all the way down to their underlying bedrock. Photo: Sarah Fecht
An installation demonstrating earth-based construction techniques, from the Farm to Building Project Design at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Stencils help to teach kids about different types of leaves. Photo: Tara Spinelli
Visitors brought soil and paint samples from their homes and neighborhoods for lead testing by Lex van Geen and his students. Photo: Tara Spinelli
A poster shows how surface temperatures have been increasing since the 1850s. Photo: Suzana Camargo
In a new exhibit, the Tempestry Project shared how they translate climate data into impactful knitted visualizations. Photo: Elisabeth Sydor
A loooong tapestry shows global temperatures starting in the year 1 AD (left) all the way up to modern times. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Each line in this piece, created by the Tempestry Project, represents one year of temperature data starting in the year 1 AD. Notice how rapidly things heat up as we get closer to modern times. Beads near the bottom mark every 50 years. Video: Sarah Fecht
Selecting strings of different colors, visitors made their own temperature reconstructions (see below). Photo: Sarah Fecht
Photo: Elisabeth Sydor
Photo: Sarah Fecht
An Open House favorite: a trash can volcano demonstrating the most violent type of volcanic eruption, also known as a Plinian eruption. Photo: Olga Ruskovets


Columbia campus skyline with text Columbia Climate School Class Day 2024 - Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

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