Smerdon holds teaching and administrative appointments at Columbia University as an Earth Institute Faculty Member, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of International and Public Affairs, and as Co-Director of the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development. He teaches courses on climate, environmental change and sustainable development to undergraduates and masters students.  Smerdon lectures widely in public and private settings on the subject of climate variability and change, and on the social dimensions of such work.  He also is regularly interviewed for print and broadcast media.  The sections below provide a list of Smerdon's classes and highlights of some recent outreach efforts (see the News and Events page for a regularly updated list of media-related content).  Smerdon can be contacted directly for speaking and media inquiries, or through the EI and Lamont press offices and Climate Voices.

Teaching and Outreach


Filmed Interviews and Lectures

Radio and Podast Interviews

Panels and General Audience Lectures

SDEV W1900

Introduction to Sustainable Development is a required course for all concentrators and majors in the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development.  Weekly discussions explore the breadth of subject matter and the multidisciplinary nature of sustainability scholarship.  A course blog is used to discuss reading and ideas in preparation of each class session.  I have taught this course in one or both semesters since the fall of 2011.

EESC V2100

One of the three core courses in the undergraduate curriculum in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is Earth’s Environmental Systems: Climate.  I have worked on this course in various capacities, including instructor (2010), lab developer and guest lecturer.

ENVP U6155

Since the summer of 2008, I have taught Climatology to students in the Environmental Science and Policy Masters Program in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.  The course seeks to explain the complexities of the climate system and contemporary climate change to many future policy makers in the United States and abroad.


Student Companion to Climate Change: The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future by Edmond Mathez, Columbia University Press, 2009.  

A jointly-authored second edition of this book by Mathez and Smerdon is expected to be avialable in 2016.

The 2014 Climate Models Calendar was an outreach project featuring 13 Columbia climate scientists.  The project received significant news coverage including: OnEarth, Scientific

Everything You Need To Know About Climate Change

An interview about climate change by comedian Ben Kissel

July 1st, 2015

What is Attribution (And Why it Matters)?

An interview by Green TV

November 5th, 2015

Science and society facing climate change, do we understand each other?

A short lecture on climate modeling and the future.  This event was part of the Madrid Science Week programme and a PAGES-funded workshop.

November 5th, 2013

Are Decades-Long Megadroughts on the Horizon?

Science Friday, NPR

February 13th, 2015

Your Call: How bad is California’s drought?

KALW, San Fancisco Local Public Radio

March 16th, 2015

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

The Kathleen Dunn Show, Wisconsin Public Radio

May 14th, 2013

Talk-Back Guest, Rap Guide to Climate Chaos by Baba Brinkman, Soho Playhouse, April 17, 2016

Our Hot and Dry Future: American Megadroughts and 21st-Century Climate Change, Environmental Business International, EBI Fall Strategy Summit 2015, October 2, 2015

Post Show Discussion Panel Moderator, 3 Short Films about the People Impacted by Climate Change, FACES Event at Climate Week NYC, Tzu Chi USA, September 21, 2015

Climate Change: The Warming Earth and How We are Causing It, Climate Science Assembly for Fifth Graders, Cottage Lane Elementary School, April 30, 2015

Climate, Climate Change and Our Future, New York State Common Retirement Fund, Office of the State Comptroller, February 24, 2014

The New Normal: Changing Climate Extremes in a Warming World, Andrew Davison and Company, 21st Annual Conference Managing Financial Climate Change, June 6, 2013

2012 In Context: Climate extremes and our March into a Warmer World, New York Power Authority, Earth Day, April 22, 2013

The Arctic as a Canary in the Coal Mine: Circumpolar Change in a Warming World, Global Insight Program, Gustavus Adolphus College, March 15, 2012

Post-Show Discussion Panel for Orange, Hat and Grace by Greg Moss, Soho Repertory Theater, October 6, 2010

Clearing the Air: Explaining the Science and Uncertainty of the Paleoclimatic Record, Environmental Protection Agency Region 2, May 20, 2010


Why should science matter to our presidential candidates?

The Science Coalition

April 19th, 2016