Columbia’s Earth Networks Offer Collaborative and Innovative Opportunities to Address Climate Change

Columbia’s Earth Networks Provide Collaborative and Revolutionary Alternatives to Tackle Local weather Change

Sandra Goldmark
|August 29, 2023

What do plastic air pollution, storytelling, and psychological well being have in frequent?

These are all pathways Columbia students and college students are taking to deal with the local weather disaster, from completely different areas of experience, by means of the Earth Networks program.

Local weather change and associated environmental challenges are a messy, “depraved” drawback that touches on many features of the way in which we dwell right this moment: vitality, consumption, biodiversity, water, inequality, expertise and far more. These intersecting challenges demand numerous and multifaceted approaches, with students and practitioners from throughout Columbia College — and exterior companions — working collectively on completely different items of the puzzle.

A classroom activity with masked and unmasked participants sitting and standing, looking at a board and presenter

Earth Community members construct their teamwork muscle groups in a “Radical Collaboration” workshop led by Kirya Traber and the Workplace of Interdisciplinary Engagement.

The Local weather College’s Earth Networks program helps to construct such a cross-cutting partnership by encouraging interdisciplinary groups to use for 3 years of funding round a subject of their selecting. Networks promote novel approaches to analysis, schooling, and impression in alignment with the Local weather College’s mission to “additional information and educate leaders to equitably and justly deal with the altering local weather and different sustainability challenges.”

In spring of 2023, the primary cohort of Earth Networks accomplished the three-year program. These 4 networks pursued subjects as wide-ranging because the soil that grows our meals to distant planets, and have launched a rare vary of initiatives:

Spring 2023 additionally marked the launch of three new networks.

The Sustainability, Vitality, and Leisure Community Smiling man in suit jacket and tie

(“SEEN”) community, led by M.S. in Sustainability Administration alum Shaun Hoyte, goals to create a coalition throughout leisure industries to advertise information sharing on greatest practices for decreasing their environmental footprint. The Community will focus preliminary efforts on the sports activities business, and consists of members from Columbia Sports activities Administration, Columbia Alumni Affairs and a number of other exterior teams.

The Local weather Schooling for a Resilient Future Community will discover local weather schooling within the Ok-12 sector, with management from Dannie Dinh, Radhika Iyengar, and Laurel Zaima-Sheehy. In the USA, college students spend a mean of simply two hours per yr studyingThree women's headshots in regards to the local weather disaster; community members estimate that figures in lots of different international locations aren’t significantly better. Given this want for stronger local weather schooling for youthful learners, this community goals to establish, map, and set up a database of ongoing and lively applications, collaborators, and greatest practices, in addition to develop merchandise, assets, and instruments to assist local weather learners and educators world wide.

The third new community, Foundations for the Social Local weather,Black and white headshot of smiling man seeks to speed up understanding of local weather psychological well being as a group phenomenon, create higher social resilience in impacted communities, and produce psychological well being and social resilience into broader resilience planning. Led by Gary Belkin, this community will join with the BillionMinds challenge and the United Nations Framework Conference on Local weather Change Race to Resilience, bringing Columbia researchers and students from public well being, psychology, threat administration, and resilience into collaborations round psychological well being, social resilience, and climate change.

Every of those networks — whether or not mature or model new — have one factor in frequent. They unite numerous, interdisciplinary groups from throughout the Columbia group to work collectively on a shared matter. The Earth Networks program as a complete gives an entry level to the Local weather College for collaborators from throughout the College; every workforce is supplied assist from the Local weather College Workplace of Interdisciplinary Engagement, together with tailor-made workshops to develop key expertise and to advance initiatives.

For instance, in 2023 the Wholesome and Sustainable Food Programs Community participated in an Workplace of Interdisciplinary Engagement workshop collection led by professional facilitator Kirya Traber. The group recognized their core values and objectives. They hung out discussing energy dynamics and figuring out motion areas in a workshop on “Centering Justice.” They’d a number of “Radical Collaboration” working periods to maneuver their challenge ahead, they usually honed their skill to share their work with non-expert audiences in a “Storytelling” workshop.

For extra info, please go to the Earth Networks web page right here. Networks are all the time actively recruiting and rising their contact lists! If you happen to’re , please contact the respective community director, or contact earthnetworks@local