About - State of the Planet

What is State of the Planet?

State of the Planet is the news site of the Columbia Climate School, which includes the Earth Institute, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and all of their affiliated research centers and educational programs. The climate crisis is one of the greatest threats facing humanity. The challenges are immense and urgent. In response, Columbia University created the Climate School to develop innovative education, support groundbreaking research, and foster essential solutions, from the community to the planetary scale.

As a communications tool of the Columbia Climate School, State of the Planet’s purpose is to report new research coming out of the School’s centers and programs, and to cover issues in earth science, environmental science, and sustainability while utilizing and highlighting Columbia University’s expertise.

With an extensive collection of scientists, researchers, students and staff representing the Climate School on every ocean and every continent, the full scope of our work is practically impossible to grasp in any single medium. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try. From expeditions through the Southern Ocean to labs in Manhattan, something new is being discovered each day. State of the Planet tries to capture these stories, as well as opinions and reflections on how the Earth works and how we can sustainably make our lives here better. We do it by tapping Columbia University experts in climate, geology, oceanography, ecology, sustainable development, global health, energy, food and water, and more.

While State of the Planet serves as a communications hub for the Climate School community, our content is intended to reach a broader audience of readers who are interested in, but not necessarily trained in, science and sustainability.

Who can write for State of the Planet?

Many of our stories are written by our communications team, but Columbia University faculty, staff, and students are invited to contribute. If you are a member of the Columbia community and you’d like to write about your research, opinions, or reflections, please see our blogging guidelines and contact us via this form. We publish stories in a variety of formats, including news articles, op-eds, photo essays, Q&As, and even poetry, on occasion.

Currently we are not taking on new freelance writers, and we do not publish pieces whose sole intent is to promote other businesses or brands.

All stories on State of the Planet should have some connection to the Columbia Climate School, be it via the author’s affiliation or by incorporating Climate School research and expertise within the post.

 Who reads State of the Planet?

Since State of the Planet got its start in 2008 as a collection of blogs, our audience has grown tremendously. We currently garner more than 2.7 million unique pageviews per year. And just as the Climate School’s research spans the entire planet, our readers come from all over the globe and from all walks of life. We are excited to continue growing our audience and finding new ways to make science and sustainability understandable, accessible, and inclusive for everyone.