The Climate and Society Alumni Board consists of members who work to provide opportunities for Climate and Society students and alumni to connect with each other and the broader climate community.
Yue is a 2015 C+S graduate and heads EcoAct’s advisory services in North America. Yue has worked with Fortune 500 companies in the retail, IT, consumer packaged goods (CPG), and chemicals sectors, supporting clients with their transition to a net-zero world. Prior to this, Yue was an Account Manager at CDP, formerly known as Carbon Disclosure Project, where she led the organization’s disclosure engagement with financial and CPG companies in North America.
Greer is a 2016 C+S graduate with over fourteen years of business development and structured origination experience in the renewable energy sector. He currently serves as the Chief Commercial Officer for Arevon Energy, a company focused on utility-scale solar, battery storage, and other sustainable energy applications.
Somayya is a 2009 C+S graduate and former Associate Director of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) at Columbia University/NASA GISS. She has worked closely with urban climate scientists, Mayors’ offices, and stakeholders across the globe, helping provide climate risk information to key city decision-makers. Somayya is Co-Editor of the Second UCCRN Assessment Report (ARC3.2), a global, interdisciplinary, science-based assessment that examines climate risk, adaptation, and mitigation efforts in cities.
Simon Mason has been involved in seasonal climate forecasting research and operations since the early 1990s. He has published numerous papers on seasonal climate forecasting and verification, climate change, and southern African climate variability. He has extensive experience in the production of seasonal climate forecasts in contexts such as the Regional Climate Outlook Forums, and works closely with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to promote the definition and adoption of forecasting and verification standards through engagement in relevant WMO Expert Teams and through the WMO CLIPS Capacity Building Workshops. Mason joined the IRI in 1997, working initially at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and moving to Columbia University in 2003. Prior to joining the IRI, Mason was deputy director of the Climatology Research Group at the University of the Witwatersrand, in South Africa, where he developed empirical models for predicting southern African rainfall variability. Mason is a Visiting Senior Fellow in the Centre for Analysis of Time Series at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Mason is chief climate scientist, taking a lead role in international outreach from the IRI’s Climate Program, and leading the IRI’s disaster work. He was a member of the drafting team for the High-Level Task Force on the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), is an overall author for the GFCS Implementation Plan, and is a focal point for the IRI’s Partnership to Save Lives with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). He has been heavily involved in capacity building activities, including leading the development and support of the Climate Predictability Tool (CPT).
Roop is a Climate Risk Adviser at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre where she provides technical support to disaster managers to access, interpret and use climate risk information for decision-making. She leads the Centre's Heat Theme, advancing heat research and action planning in countries in Africa and Asia. Roop also works with the World Weather Attribution partnership on real-time extreme weather event attribution, contributing to recent studies on drought in Madagascar, heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest, and Hurricane Harvey. She is the host of the Can't Take the Heat podcast on how people can adapt to a changing climate.
Roop holds an MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University and a BSc. in Atmospheric Science from Cornell University.
Mingfang Ting joined Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in August 2003 from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she worked for ten years as Assistant and Associate Professor. She has taught many undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Illinois, ranging from introduction to meteorology to advanced atmospheric dynamics. Dr. Ting’s main research interests include the impact of global climate change on regional scales and teleconnection dynamics, modeling and diagnostics of the climatological and anomalous stationary waves and the impact of sea surface temperatures on global climate, as well as the dynamics of the droughts and floods circulation due to both natural and anthropogenic causes. She received her Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University in 1990
Biasutti graduated with a "laurea" diploma in physics from the University of Trieste (Italy) in 1995. After short stints at COLA (Calverton, MD) and IMGA (Modena, Italy, now INVG), she went to Seattle for graduate school. Biasutti received an MS (2000) and PhD (2003) from the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Washington.
Since January 2004 Biasutti has work at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, first as a post-doc under the supervision of Adam Sobel and Yochanan Kushnir, and from 2007 as a Doherty Associate Research Scientist and Lamont Associate Research Professor.
Manishka is a 2013 C+S graduate and former C+S Alumni Board Lead. She has over 15 years of professional experience and is currently based at the Earth Institute's Center for Climate Systems Research/NASA GISS, where she provides technical input, research, program development, and capacity building for international and U.S. projects.
Lumari is a 2009 C+S graduate and a PhD in Geography from UC Santa Barbara, with experience in both academia and the private sector. She has worked on fieldwork campaigns relating to the food-water-energy nexus, as well as climate change vulnerability. She is currently working with unregulated companies in the mining, agriculture, chemical, and forestry industries to generate voluntary emission reductions.
Karoline is a 2015 C+S graduate who specializes in sustainable finance, with a focus on climate. She currently works PwC, where she advises asset managers, banks, and insurance companies on net zero strategies and climate risk. Prior to this, she worked at KPMG, where she authored a whitepaper on green and digital start-ups in Europe for the World Economic Forum. She started her career at Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), where she developed financial instruments with the aim to catalyze adaptation and mitigation finance in developing markets.
Jonathan is a 2012 C+S graduate and a climate change lawyer at Resilient LLP, a boutique law firm specializing exclusively in climate change, clean energy, and Indigenous law. Jonathan assists clients on climate strategy, carbon transactions, ESG, clean energy projects, cleantech development, and climate finance, and regularly attends and advises on the UNFCCC negotiations. He lives in Toronto.
Gustavo is a 2012 C+S graduate, anthropologist, sound artist, and filmmaker. He has carried out fieldwork in the Andes, collaborated in scientific expeditions to obtain ice cores from mountain glaciers, worked as a field producer for BBC’s Frozen Planet II, and participated as a chapter scientist in the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report.
Cynthia Thomson is the Director of Graduate Programs at the Columbia Climate School where she oversees the MA in Cimate and Society. She helps manage the day to day administration of the program including recruitment, student and alumni affairs, budget and admissions. She also spearheads strategic planning for the program through curriculum development and extracurricular activities.
Catherine Vaughan is a senior staff associate at the IRI, where she has worked since 2008.
As part of her responsibilities at the IRI, Cathy serves as program manager for the Climate Services Partnership, an informal interdisciplinary network working to improve the use of climate information for societal decision-making around the world. In this capacity, Cathy facilitates virtual and in-person collaboration to improve the practice and performance of climate services: leading a range of communication efforts; supporting working groups on ethics, evaluation, and research priorities; and organizing the last four International Conferences on Climate Services.
Brian is a journalist covering climate change. Brian works at Earther, a G/O Media site, where he's currently the managing editor after serving as a senior reporter for two years.
In previous lives, he was an educator at the deepest lake in the U.S., a sleigh ride naturalist giving tours through a herd of 7,000 elk and a ski bum acrossthewesternU.S. He has a BA in photography and anthropology from Hampshire College. He also hold an MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University.
As an anthropologist, Ben Orlove has conducted field work in the Peruvian Andes since the 1970s and carried out research in East Africa, the Italian Alps, and Aboriginal Australia. His early work focused on agriculture, fisheries, and rangelands. More recently, he has studied climate change and glacier retreat, with an emphasis on water, natural hazards, and the loss of iconic landscapes. In addition to numerous academic articles and books, he has published a memoir and a book of travel writing.
Orlove teaches in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Master’s Program in Climate and Society, for which he also serves as associate director. He is a senior research scientist at the IRI, and one of four co-directors of the Center for Research in Environmental Decisions.
Avalon is a 2018 C+S graduate who specializes in the intersection of equity, workforce, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. They currently work on the Labor Leading on Climate Team at Cornell University’s ILR School, where they conduct climate labor research and policy development to move forward a just transition that builds equity and uplifts working people while transitioning to a green economy.
Arpit is a 2014 C+S graduate with nearly a decade of climate policy and environmental market experience. Currently, he is part of Amazon’s central sustainable transportation team which is responsible for coordinating company-wide efforts for transportation decarbonization to help meet the Shipment Zero and the Climate Pledge goals.
After graduating from the University of Leeds, UK, with a BS in mathematics and geography, Andrew Robertson received an MS from Imperial College, London in atmospheric physics and dynamics, and a PhD in atmospheric dynamics from the University of Reading in 1984, under the supervision of Brian Hoskins. He held postdoctoral and research positions at the Universities of Paris, Munich, and UCLA prior to joining the IRI in 2001.
Robertson currently leads the IRI Climate Group. He also teaches in the Master of Arts Program in Climate and Society in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences.
Kruczkiewicz graduated from Columbia University specializing in remote sensing and mapping of atmospheric and meteorological variables. He interned for NASA and IRI developing algorithms to monitor inundation and land cover in East Africa, with a focus on applications for the health and humanitarian sectors. Before Columbia, Andrew studied finance at Fairfield University and meteorology at Western Connecticut State University.
Kruczkiewicz is part of the Environmental Monitoring Program and Disasters Team at the IRI, aiding in the development and integration of environmental remote sensing products into early warning systems for human health, agriculture and disasters. He also aids the IRI Data Library in the development of map rooms and supports the ACToday Project managing relationships with the humanitarian community, including Red Cross. Andrew is the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre focal point at the IRI.
Aisha Owusu is the Assistant Dean of Student Services in the College of Atmospheric and Geographical Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. She was previously a Career Development Advisor for NYC-based non-profit, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, helping high-performing and achieving students of color prepare for the rigor, cultural nuances, fit, competitiveness and rewards (and disappointments) of Corporate America. She also moonlights as a Health and Climate Consultant for the World Meteorological Organization and World Health Organization where she works with meteorological agencies to help improve the quality, availability, accessibility, and use of climate data (i.e. climate services) and uses these climate services, products and tools to help countries interpret and integrate climate data into sound health policy. Additionally, she creates country-specific climate and health training for various public health agencies and ministries of health.
She was formerly a Health and Climate Associate Researcher of the CIPHA (Climate Information for Public Health Action) team and the Deputy Lead of Senegal and Ethiopia of the ACToday (Adapting Agriculture to Climate Today, for Tomorrow) project for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) within Columbia University’s Earth Institute.