News Archive

posted 08/31/04

Ethiopian Meteorologist Wins Prestigious Scholarship to Attend Columbia's New Master's Program in Climate and Society

frost rings

Asefaw Getachew of Ethiopia, Akong Charles Ndika of Cameroon, and Diriba Korecha Dadi of Ethiopia (above, left to right) are part of the first entering class of M.A. in Climate and Society students on full scholarship. The fourth scholarship student, Kareff May Rafisura of the Philippines, is not pictured.

August 31, 2004 (New York)— Diriba Korecha Dadi, team leader of the weather forecast and early warning unit at the National Meteorological Services Agency in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, arrived at Columbia this week to take part in the first class of Columbia University's new M.A. Program in Climate and Society on a Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship.

In Ethiopia, Dadi is part of a network of scientific professionals who advise government agencies on climate-related risks and mitigation strategies. After completing the 12-month M.A. Program in Climate and Society, an interdisciplinary curriculum combining studies in climate, environment, policy, and development, he plans to focus on improving the network of meteorological information in Ethiopia, a country with high vulnerability to malaria, drought, soil degradation, and tenuous food security. Dadi’s work serves the ultimate goal of contributing to Ethiopia’s long-term food security and self-sufficiency.

The first entering class of the new M.A. Program in Climate and Society contains 18 students from six countries, including Ethiopia, Cameroon, Philippines, India, Ghana, and the US. Four students from developing countries will be attending the 12-month program on full scholarship, including Dadi.

Founded by Program Director Mark Cane, who is the G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences, this is the first graduate degree program to focus on training professionals and academics to understand and cope with the impacts of climate variability and climate change on society and the environment. The International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) at Columbia University has provided much of the intellectual basis for the program, and is also sponsoring three students from Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Philippines. The IRI is a global leader in research on climate variability and its impacts, with a mission to “enhance society’s ability to understand, anticipate, and manage the impacts of seasonal climate fluctuations, especially in developing countries.”

Drawing on Columbia’s strengths in teaching and research, the specially tailored curriculum of the M.A. Program in Climate and Society introduces students to a comprehensive way of thinking about the challenges of coping with the impacts of climate variability and climate change. Core courses cover the dynamics of climate variability and climate change; regional impacts; quantitative methods for assessing social and natural phenomena; and an in-depth look at applied policy scenarios. Students will be able to explore real-world options in the third and final term of the 12-month program, during the summer session, when an internship or research thesis is required for academic credit.

The program leads to the M.A. degree from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University, home to the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, which is ranked among the world’s leading earth science departments. The Earth Institute at Columbia University has provided support for this and other new interdisciplinary educational programs. For more information about the program, please contact Abigail Schade at 212-854-9896.

The Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world’s leading academic center for the integrated study of Earth, its environment, and society. The Earth Institute builds upon excellence in the core disciplines–earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences–and stresses cross-disciplinary approaches to complex problems. Through its research, training, and global partnerships, it mobilizes science and technology to advance sustainable development, while placing special emphasis on the needs of the world’s poor.

For more information:

Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program Overview http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/scholarships/scholarshipsEnglish/about/overview.html

M.A. Program in Climate and Society at Columbia University:
http://www.columbia.edu/climatesociety

The Earth Institute at Columbia University
http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu

The International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) at Columbia University
http://iri.columbia.edu

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University
http://eesc.columbia.edu

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at Columbia University
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsas