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Will Big Data Save the World from Climate Change and Resource Exhaustion?

by | August 27, 2015
Category: Student Voices
The summer school attendees, with Laurence Tubiana, Alessia Lefebure, and Claude Henry

Owning data is a form of power, and data publication rules should be primarily driven by the general interest. We do not have the luxury of time, and regulators need to act fast.

An Empire State of (Solar) Mind: How New York Has Become a Leader in the Solar Industry

by | August 27, 2015
Category: Student Voices
Solar installation in progress on a public school in Brooklyn. 
Credit: Department of Energy Management

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “solar?” Sunshine, bright, warm? What places then typically come to mind to fit this description? Florida, Los Angeles, Arizona. But how about New York City?

Building the Road For a Sustainable Future

by | August 26, 2015
Category: Student Voices
Midtown Manhattan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

I live in a city. In a typical day, I wake up in the morning and I take a shower, I eat some toast, I drink some coffee, I grab my phone and head out. A normal city life, I guess. What could possibly be uncommon about it?

Intergovernmental Negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals from the Sideline

by | August 26, 2015
Category: Student Voices
Delegates convene at the follow-up and review session of the post-2015 development agenda, at UN Headquarters.

I was sitting across from various diplomats of the United Nations (UN) member states in conference room 4 at the UN Headquarters in New York. With interpreters speaking rapidly in the background and everyone scanning through the volumes of notes sitting in front of them, the atmosphere was electric with buzz of policy ideas and back and forth discussions about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets.

It’s the Indicators, Stupid: A Simplistic Overview of the Sustainable Development Goals

by | August 26, 2015
Category: Student Voices
Simmons_SDGs

In some ways, the world is getting better. It’s something that I tend to forget sometimes. Amid all the doom-ridden headlines and the pictures of polar bears treading water, literacy rates are improving, people are escaping extreme poverty and our path as a society has continually become more equal and less violent with an improved quality of life.

Ignorance is Not Bliss: What Everyone Needs to Know About Our Lifestyle and Greenhouse Gases Emissions

by | August 26, 2015
Category: Student Voices
Interviewing Alexander Frantzen. Credit: Kuntian Yu for City Atlas

Even those who are not interested in climate change and in the well-being of the environment usually know that using inefficient light bulbs rather than efficient ones, eating meat rather than vegetables and traveling by car rather than by public transportation result in higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. What they probably do not know is that if you live in a Western country, many of the simple daily actions you do are a major source of emissions. What if I told you that the Western lifestyle is highly unsustainable?

Glacial Moraines Influence New Techniques in Micro Biomedicine

by | August 25, 2015
Category: Student Voices
Glacial moraines are created from the shear tension of the huge moving mass of ice. Moraines that form from the pile of sediment built up in front of the glacier are called terminal moraines, moraines formed from sediment left on the sides are called lateral moraines, and sediments piled together from two glaciers pushing together is called a medial moraine. Credit: Wikipedia Commons

A recent piece of biomedical research has drawn extensively from an unexpected source: glacial moraines.

Educating Our Planet’s Future

by | August 22, 2015
Category: Student Voices
Bronx Zoo Asia Gate Entrance Credit: Jenna Famular

Throughout my academic career, professors have pointed the proverbial finger at my fellow classmates and me saying, “it’s up to you to fix this mess.” We are the bright young minds of tomorrow who will create solar panels half the size with three times the efficiency, harness the power of the waves, find better ways to manage our trash and waste, change the conversation on climate change and, ultimately, save the planet.

A Solution to Flooding: Climate Risk Assessment

by | August 18, 2015
Category: Student Voices
Evacuation of Florida residents by national guardsmen during tropical storm Fay in 2008 Credit: DVIDSHUB/Flickr

Florida is the top state in U.S. most at-risk of flooding due to both climatic and geographic reasons. Florida suffers from both river and coastal floods. And being located in the subtropics makes Florida vulnerable to tropical and subtropical cyclones, also known as hurricanes. From 2000 to 2013, 63 hurricanes or tropical storms have struck Florida and caused over $64 billion in damage collectively. Florida’s terrain is also relatively flat so it’s harder for water to drain.

Helping Farmers From Space

by | August 18, 2015
Category: Student Voices
NASA's Global Precipitation Monitoring constellation of satellites. Credit: NASA

Imagine a drought year for a small farmer. Crops, the money he invested and his yearly source of income is lost. How can he be helped? Maybe he could ask his family or neighbors, but what if his community depends on agriculture and has the same problem. Is there a way to help from space? It might sound weird, but yes.