Celebrating the 2024 International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Every year on February 11, the United Nations–designated International Day of Women and Girls in Science raises awareness about the significant barriers many women and girls around the world face within the science fields—as well as the countless ways they continue to rise above challenges and excel in their disciplines.

In honor of this year’s theme, “Women in Science Leadership: A New Era for Sustainability,” we’d like to highlight just a few examples of the outstanding women scientists from the Columbia Climate School.

Check out the stories below to learn more about how these women are leading the charge toward a more sustainable future, and keep reading State of the Planet for ongoing coverage of exceptional women scientists year-round.

Botanist and climatologist Dorothy Peteet collects sediment cores from a New York City coastal marsh and explains how such ecosystems store massive amounts of carbon and why they are under threat from sea-level rise.

Inside New York’s Concrete Jungle with Amy Karpati: Ecologist and environmental educator Amy Karpati discusses urban ecosystems and paths to restoration in New York City and beyond.

A New System Can Help Global Food Production Adapt to Climate Change. Jessica Fanzo (right) discusses a new monitoring system for countries to measure how well their food systems are performing in the face of climate change.

Meet Dasom Shi From the Climate and Society Class of 2024. A student in the Climate and Society program, Shi continues to pursue her passion for improving corporate impact and climate action.

Faculty Spotlight: Einat Lev, Volcanologist and Lava-Chaser. When she’s not visiting active volcano sites or working in her “plumber’s shop” of a lab, Lev is teaching Sustainability in the Face of Natural Disasters for the Sustainability Science program.

Climate and Society Alumni Work Together to Build Coastal Resilience. Working in the same think tank but in different roles, Madeleine Traynor and Shangtong Li (MA in Climate and Society ’22) show how the Climate and Society program prepares students for a variety of career paths.

Shubhi Kesarwani: Studying Sustainability Management to Advance Water Solutions in India. She’s the founder of a company that devises water management solutions in India, and was a student in Columbia’s Sustainability Management program.

Cheryl Palm, an agricultural scientist who was at Columbia from 2003 to 2016, died last month at the age of 70. Her pioneering research focused on ecosystem processes in tropical agricultural landscapes under land-use change, degradation and rehabilitation, and she mentored countless young scientists and aspiring STEM researchers. Read more about Palm’s remarkable life here.

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