Earth Institute Student Research Showcase 2011

The Earth Institute, Columbia University is committed to showcasing student research in the areas of environment and sustainable development. This Spring, the Earth Institute will bring together student interns, research assistants and travel grant recipients at the annual Earth Institute Student Research Conference. Students will present their unique research experiences of working to understand and solve pressing environmental and sustainable development issues in a series of one minute presentations which are open to the public. You can also read the final reports and papers in the Student Research Compilation.

All of the projects are conducted by students who are researching these pressing environmental and sustainable development issues in programs across the campus or have received support, guidance or funding through and Earth Institute affiliated education or student program including a travel grant, internship, or research assistantship from the institute.

Earth Institute Student Research Showcase 2011

Undergraduate Student Research

Development

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Akua Nketia

Akua Nketia graduates from Columbia College in May 2011 with a bachelor's in urban studies. Her presentation is based on field research that she completed in late 2010 and early 2011, supported by an Earth Institute travel grant. Her project is titled The Impact of the Legal Pluralism of Property Rights on Private Sector Development in Accra, Ghana.
Advisor: Susan Gladstone

 

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Leo Goldberg

Leo Goldberg is a Columbia College student, Class of 2011, majoring in urban studies. His presentation, The Politics of Informal Settlement Development in Cape Town, South Africa, was researched with the support of a 2011 Earth Institute travel grant.
Advisor: Susan Gladstone

 

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Rebecca Alexandre

Rebecca Alexandre studies earth and environmental engineering at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She graduates in 2011. Her project is, Sustainable Planning for Haiti.
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Rebecca Rohrer

Rebecca Rohrer is a student in the Columbia College Class of 2012. She is majoring in ecology, evolution and environmental biology and with a concentration in sustainable development. Her presentation, Urban Agriculture in New York City: Potential Environmental Benefits, developed out of her research assistantship during the spring of 2011 at the Urban Agriculture Project of the Urban Design Lab at the Earth Institute.
Advisor: Kubi Ackerman

 

Earth Science

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Joanna Farley

Joanna Farley will be graduating in May 2011 from Columbia College where she is majoring in urban studies. Her presentation, Earthquake Vulnerabilities and the Istanbul Earthquake Master Plan in Istanbul, Turkey, resulted from a fall 2010 Earth Institute travel grant.
Advisor: Susan Gladstone

 

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Ellen Ward

Ellen Ward is a physics major at Columbia who will be graduating in 2013. She had a research assistantship at the Earth Institute in 2010. Her project is titled Reconstructing the History of the North African Monsoon Over the Last 15,000 Years Using Marine Sediments.
Advisor: David McGee

 

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Julianne Quinn

Julianne Quinn is an environmental engineering undergraduate at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Henry Krumb School of Mines. She graduates in spring 2011. Her project, Sustainable Hurricane Protection Design, was completed with a fall 2010 travel grant.
Advisor: Upmanu Lall

 

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Ashley Ellenson

Ashley Ellenson is an undergraduate at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Earth and Environmental Engineering program. Her project, Sustainable Hurricane Protection Design, was completed with a fall 2010 travel grant.
Advisor: Upmanu Lall

 

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Jennifer Vettel

Jennifer Vettel is in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. She graduates in 2011. In 2010 she received an Earth Institute travel grant to pursue research for her presentation, Sustainable Hurricane Protection Design.
Advisor: Upmanu Lall

 

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Sarah Schiller

Sarah Schiller graduates from the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering in May 2011. She was the recipient of a fall 2010 travel grant for her project, Sustainable Hurricane Protection Design.
Advisor: Upmanu Lall

 

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Vincent Repucci

Vincent Repucci is an undergraduate in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The research for his presentation, Sustainable Hurricane Protection Design, was completed with a fall 2010 travel grant.
Advisor: Upmanu Lall

 

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Rebecca Alexandre

Rebecca Alexandre studies earth and environmental engineering at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She graduates in 2011. Her project, Sustainable Hurricane Protection Design, was completed with a fall 2010 travel grant.
Advisor: Upmanu Lall

 

Soil

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Heather D'Angelo

Heather D'Angelo graduates from the School of General Studies, Columbia University, in May 2012. Her major is environmental biology in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology. She produced her presentation, Assessing the Impact of Palm Oil Cultivation on Soil Microbial Diversity and Function in Malaysian Tropical Rain Forest, during a fall 2010 research assistantship.
Advisor: Krista McGuire

 

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Harry Liu

Harry Liu is a chemical engineering major in the Class of 2013 at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. The title of his project, which grew out of his fall 2010 Earth Institute research assistantship, is Estimating Effective Soil Hydraulic Properties From Remote Sensing.
Advisor: Amor Ines

 

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Dieu-Nhu Susan Phan

Dieu-Nhu Susan Phan is an economics major at Columbia College in the Class of 2012. Her presentation, Studying the Sediment Concentration in the Hudson River Using Remote Sensing, was completed through an internship during the summer of 2010.
Advisor: Ajit Subramaniam

 

Water

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Marina Del Cassio

Marina Del Cassio graduates from Columbia College in May 2011 with a B.A. in astrophysics and political science. Her project is titled Mapping and Characterizing Plastic Debris in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. Her research was conducted with the Sea Education Association during the summers of 2009 and 2010.
Advisor: Giora Proskurowski

 

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Allyza Lustig

Allyza Lustig graduates from Barnard College in May 2011 with a bachelor's in environmental policy. She received an Earth Institute travel grant in 2010. Her presentation is titled The Effects of Climate Change and Variability: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Management of Water Resources in the Elqui River Valley, Chile.
Advisor: Satyajit Bose

 

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Stephanie Jurburg

Stephanie Jurburg, Columbia College Class of 2012, had an Earth Institute research assistantship in spring 2011. The title of her presentation is Anthropogenic CO2 Record of Urban Forests.
Advisor: Kevin Griffin, Diana Hsueh

 

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Kelsey Umemoto

Kelsey Umemoto is an environmental science major, graduating in spring 2013. She had an Earth Institute research assistantship in spring 2010 and worked under the guidance of Professor Bower on the Enterococci Testing in the Hudson at 125th Street Combined Sewer Overflow OutFall project, on which she will present at the student showcase.
Advisor: Peter Bower

 

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Janelle Batta

Janelle Batta is an environmental policy major graduating from Barnard College in May 2011. She began working in Peter Bower's lab during an Earth Institute research assistantship in the Spring of 2008, and has been a part of Bower's lab team ever since. Her talk is titled Enterococci Testing in the Hudson at 125th Combined Sewer Overflow OutFall.
Advisor: Peter Bower

 

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Rose Donlon

Rose Donlon is an environmental science major at Barnard College, graduating in 2013. She completed an Earth Institute internship in Spring 2011. Her presentation is titled Enterococci Testing in the Hudson at 125th Street Combined Sewer Overflow OutFall.
Advisor: Peter Bower

 

Biodiversity

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Stephen Gaughran

Stephen Gaughran graduates from Columbia College in May 2011. His major is ecology, evolution and environmental biology. His presentation, based on a fall 2010 Earth Institute research assistantship, is titled IdentifyingMorphological Patterns of the Sea Turtles of Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
Advisor: Eleanor Sterling

 

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Emlyn Reseteris

Emlyn Reseteris is in the Columbia College Class of 2012. She is an ecology, evolution and environment (E3B) major with a concentration in mathematics. Her project, The Importance of Subtle Morphological Differences to the Adaptive Ability of Chameleons in Madagascar, was funded by a 2010 Earth Institute travel grant.
Advisor: Dr. Chris Raxworthy

 

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Martha Villalba-Guerra

Martha Villalba-Guerra graduates from Barnard College in 2012 with a bachelor's in environmental biology. Her presentation, Population Assessment and Viability Analysis of Painted Turtles in Ponds at Black Rock Forest, was supported by a 2010 Earth Institute travel grant.
Advisor: Peter Bower

 

Community Development

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Pooja Reddy

Pooja Reddy is an economics-mathematics major in the School of General Studies, graduating in 2011. The title of her presentation is Optimizing Water and Weather: A Model for Sustainable Cropping Patterns in India, based on work she completed during an Earth Institute research assistantship at the Columbia Water Center in fall 2010.
Advisor: Shama Perveen

 

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Bianca Rahill-Marier

Bianca Rahill-Marier is an undergraduate in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science Class of 2012. She is majoring in earth and environmental engineering. Her presentation, Climate Information Based Design of Low-Cost Rain Water Harvest Systems for Rural Communities of India, is the result of her work during an Earth Institute research assistantship in the spring of 2011.
Advisor: Naresh Devieni

 

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Gelseigh Karl-Cannon

Gelseigh Karl-Cannon graduates from Columbia College with a B.A. in environmental science in May 2011. Her presentation, The Agronomic Value of Hardwood Biochar: A Greenhouse Trial at Stone Barns, was based on research funded by a fall 2010 Earth Institute travel grant.
Advisor: Angela Kong, Cynthia Rosenzweig

 

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Arielle Radin

Arielle Radin is a psychology major at Columbia College in the Class of 2013. Her presentation, Malaria Interventions: Confidence Over Time, is based on a 2011 Earth Institute research assistantship.
Advisor: Derek Willis

 

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Jasmine Alves

Jasmine Alves is an anthropology major graduating from Columbia College in 2013. Her presentation, Malaria Interventions: Confidence Over Time, is based on a research assistantship at the Earth Institute Center for Research on Environmental Decisions in 2011.
Advisor: Derek Willis

 

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Isabelle Fisher

Isabelle Fisher graduates in 2014 from Columbia College where she is majoring in environmental biology and concentrating in sustainable development. Her presentation, Malaria Interventions: Confidence Over Time, is the result of an Earth Institute internship.
Advisor: Derek Willis

 

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Kate Clairmont

Kate Clairmont is majoring in English and comparative literature at Columbia College. She graduates in 2011. The title of her presentation is The Haiti Regeneration Initiative. She completed a research assistantship at the Earth Institute in 2011.
Advisor: Paola Kim Blanco, Marc Levy

 

Graduate Student Research

Health

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Angelie Singh

Angelie Singh graduates in May 2011 with a Master's of Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Global Health Track. She was awarded a Millennium Villages Project internship in spring 2010. Her presentation is titled Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition: What It Looks Like and How to Evaluate It.
Advisor: Yanis Ben Amor, Abdoulaye Ba, Mouctar Coulibaly

 

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Jaeseung Kim

Jaeseung Kim is at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs in a dual degree program in public administration and social work. He received an Earth Institute internship in the summer of 2010 during which he worked in Mblola village in Tanzania as part of the Millennium Villages Project. His presentation is titled Underweight Children in Mbloa Village.
Advisor: Gerson Nyadzi

 

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Allison Greenberg

Allison Greenberg is in the Master of Public Administration in Development Practice program at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. She will be graduating in 2011. Her project, School Meals Program Analysis: Mbola, Tanzania, was completed in 2011, as part of an M.D.P. field training, which is part of the M.D.P. core curriculum.
Advisor: Glenn Denning

 

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Lauren Richards

Lauren Richards is in the Master of Public Affairs in Development Practice program at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. She graduates in 2011, as part of an M.D.P. field training, which is part of the M.D.P. core curriculum.
Advisor: Glenn Denning

 

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Sarah Curran

Sarah Curran is in the Master of Public Affairs in Development Practice program at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. She graduates in 2011. Her project, School Meals Program Analysis: Mbola, Tanzania, was completed in 2011 as part of an M.D.P. field training, which is part of the M.D.P. core curriculum.
Advisor: Glenn Denning

 

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Jessica Garrels

Jessica Garrels is in the Master of International Affairs program in the School of International and Public Affairs. Her concentration is in economic and political development, African specialization. She graduates in May 2011. The title of her presentation is Interdisciplinary Study on Cooking Practices—Pampaida, Nigeria, based on research she conducted during a Millennium Villages internship in the summer of 2010.
Advisor: Clare Sullivan

 

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Nana Ama Adom-Boakye

Nana Ama Adom-Boakye is a Master of Public Health student at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology. In the summer of 2010, she was a summer intern for the Millennium Villages Project. The title of her presentation is Adolescent Pregnancy in Bonsaaso Cluster of Villages, Ghana: Drivers and Outcomes.
Advisor: Yanis Ben Amor, Scott Breitinger

 

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Olivia Velez

Olivia Velez is currently in the Ph.D. program at the Columbia School of Nursing, expecting to graduate in August 2011. She has been working with the Millennium Villages Project at the Earth Institute since May 2010. The topic of her presentation, which is also her thesis topic, is An Evaluation of the Information and Decision-support Needs of Nurses and Midwives Working in Millennium Village Health Facilities Using Socio-technical Methods
Advisor: Patricia Mechael, Andrew S. Kanter, Suzanne Bakken

 

Community & Sustainable Development

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Mitsue Yamamoto

Mitsue Yamamoto graduates in May 2011 with an M.S. in advanced generalist practice and programming with a minor in international social welfare from Columbia's School of Social Work. Her presentation, which grew out of research performed with an Earth Institute travel grant, is called Community Development in Gumulira Millennium Village.
Advisor: Alison Rose

 

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Ryan Marriott

Ryan Marriott is in the Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy program in the School of International and Public Affairs. He graduates in May 2011. The title of his presentation, which resulted from a Millennium Villages Internship in 2010, is Improving Market Survey Techniques: MV Ikaram, Nigeria.
Advisor: Maria Muniz, Cheryl Palm

 

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Melissa Barandiarán

Melissa Barandiarán is a student at the School of International and Public Affairs. Her presentation is titled Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development. She completed an Earth Institute internship in fall 2011.
Advisor: Lisa Sachs

 

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Dina Mustafa

Dina Mustafa is a student in the School of Continuing Education's Master of Science in Sustainability Management program (M.S.S.M.). She graduates in spring 2012. Her presentation, which is the outgrowth of a term paper she wrote for a class, is called The Devastating Effect of War on the Environment in Iraq.
Advisor: Claudia Dreifus

 

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Julian Haimovich

Julian Haimovich is an undergraduate in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science majoring in applied mathematics. He graduates in 2013. His presentation is called MATLAB-based Curricular Materials Used for Wind Farm Placement Optimization.
Advisor: Vijay Modi

 

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Josh Browne

Josh Browne is in the Master of Arts in Climate and Society program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia. He graduates in May 2011. His presentation is titled MATLAB-based Curricular Materials Used for Wind Farm Placement Optimization.
Advisor: Vijay Modi

 

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Christopher Alley

Christopher Alley is a Ph.D. candidate in medical anthropology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Sociomedical Sciences. He plans to graduate in 2013. His presentation is titled Dengue Fever and Trash Collection in Brazil: Politics of Responsibility in Favelas of Rio de Janeiro, which is also the provisional topic for his dissertation. He received a 2011 travel grant to collect preliminary data for this research.
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Biodiversity

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Megan Fleming

Megan Fleming graduates in 2011 with a Master of Arts in climate and society from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She received an Earth Institute travel grant in 2010, which allowed her to work with the NGO "As Green As it Gets" in Guatemala. Her presentation is called Contributions to Sustainability and Biodiversity in Rural Guatemala.
Advisor: Andrea Basche, Kate McFadden

 

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Julie Shershavin

Julie Shershavin is in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management Program (M.S.S.M.) and expects to graduate in May 2012. She received a travel grant from the Earth Institute in 2010, which enabled her to complete her project, Contributions to Sustainability and Biodiversity in Rural Guatemala.
Advisor: Andrea Basche, Kate McFadden

 

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Sweta Jhunjhunwala

Sweta Jhunjhunwala is in the School of Continuing Education's Master of Science in Sustainability Management program (M.S.S.M.), and expects to graduate in May 2012. She received a travel grant from the Earth Institute in 2010, which enabled her to complete her project, titled Contributions to Sustainability and Biodiversity in Rural Guatemala.

Advisor: Andrea Basche, Kate McFadden

 

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Alexander White

Alexander White graduates in May 2011 from the Master of Arts Program in Climate and Society in Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. His presentation, Climate and Coral Reef Ecosystems in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic, was funded by a 2010 Earth Institute travel grant.
Advisor: James Danoff-Burg

 

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Eugene Yevgeniy

Eugene Yevgeniy Viderman is in the Master of Arts Program in Climate and Society in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia. He graduates in May 2011. His presentation, Climate and Coral Reef Ecosystems in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic, was funded by an Earth Institute travel grant in 2010.
Advisor: James Danoff-Burg

 

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Yelizaveta Protas

Yelizaveta Protas studies conservation biology in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology. She graduates in May 2011 with a Master of Arts in conservation. Her presentation, which is based on work she completed with an Earth Institute travel grant in 2011, is called Scentmarking Behavior of Siberian Tigers in the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve.
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Katie Conrad

Katie Conrad will be graduating in May 2011 with a Master of Arts in conservation biology. Her presentation, A Model for a Sustainable Lobster House Fishery, is based on her thesis research, which she conducted in 2010 under the Center for the Environment, Economy and Society's Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Economic Growth Program (ESSEG).
Advisor: James Danoff-Burg

 

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Natalia Rossi

Natalia Rossi is a graduate student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B). She graduates in 2014. The title of her presentation is Assessing the Impacts of American Crocodile Reproductive Dynamics on Population Persistence and Inter-specific Coexistence With Cuban Crocodiles in Cuba.
Advisor: Josh Ginsburg