By examining climate change, earthquakes, volcanoes, nonrenewable resources, environmental hazards and beyond, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory provides society with a scientific basis to make difficult choices in the stewardship of this dynamic planet. 
However, research is only one – albeit a very important – facet of our mission.
Of equal importance are our educational and outreach efforts, including our partnership with Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (which is responsible for directing our Masters and Ph.D. programs).
For more than 50 years, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has opened its campus to the community for an entire Saturday in early October in an attempt to show the public what our researchers and educators do, and why it is so important to the future of our planet Earth. Close to 4,000 “students of all ages” tour Open House and its many exhibits aimed at different ages and educational levels, from elementary school age children to those well versed in the earth sciences. In total, approximately 200 Lamont scientists – many world leaders in their field – open laboratories, staff exhibits, and offer first-rate lectures designed for the general public.

Spring Public Lecture Series

The Spring Public Lectures series began in 1999 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Lamont-Doherty. Each spring since then, four or five different Lamont researchers have given presentations on their current research. Topics have ranged from “New York City Underwater? Storm Surge Risks in the Face of Rising Sea Levels” and "How Old is the Earth and How Do We Know?” to “Plumbing the Depths: Volcanoes as Windows into the Deep Earth.” After the lectures and question and answer periods, receptions are held so that attendees can discuss the topics at greater length.