The Hudson River Estuary (HRE) is home to nation’s largest metropolitean area and supports industry of crucial economic importance. The area is a complex mixture of commercial, industrial, agricultural, and residential development. The watershed provides important services for drinking water, wildlife habitat, recreation (swimming, fishing, boating) and transportation
Microorganisms fill essential functional roles in all of Earth’s ecosystems yet our understanding of microbial abundance, distribution, and metabolism remains surprisingly limited. Columbia University’s new Earth Microbiology Initiative (EMI) has brought together a group of scientists and engineers from across the University to begin coordinated research on Earth’s microbial life. The Earth Microbiology Initiative leverages existing disciplinary resources into broad and interdisciplinary analyses of the extent and diversity of microbial life, its role in maintaining Earth’s living system, and its interactions with natural and human-induced variations.
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s Biological Oceanography Group works on a broad range of issues related to life in the ocean. We are interested in large-scale patterns of marine production and how these patterns will respond to climate change as well as influence the course of climate response. We use both laboratory measurements and take part in numerous sea-going studies to determine the factors controlling the production of marine phytoplankton. These primary producers represent almost half of the biological productivity on our planet and support the ocean’s vast food webs. We work in various ecosystems from polar seas to the tropics and study scales of processes ranging from global to individual cells using tools that span from satellites to molecular biology.
Understanding the natural variability of Earth’s climate is complicated enough, but more than ever, human activities are introducing powerful stresses on Earth’s delicately balanced climate system. Changes in Earth’s climate— whether abrupt or gradual, global or regional—have been going on throughout the planet’s long history and will continue.