Ross to Host Sustainability Dialogue

Layout 1 As faculty and staff prepare to welcome students to a new year at Ross School, they are renewing their focus on global and local sustainability. To address these important issues, Ross Institute will host an evening with Dr. Steven Cohen, executive director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, which is one of the world’s largest and most distinguished organizations dedicated to the study of Earth science and climate change. The event will be held in the Ross Senior Building on August 27 at 6pm and is free and open to the community.

In his role at the Institute, Dr. Cohen oversees over a dozen research units and key partnerships with renowned international collaborators, and is an expert on complex issues facing our planet and its inhabitants.

Dr. Cohen’s talk, titled “A Positive Vision of the Transition to Sustainability: The Role of Research, Education, Communities, and Institutions,” will address current trends in sustainability and the need to devote resources to Earth observation, research and development of sustainability technology, and environmental education programs. He will also discuss the impact of climate change on New York’s coastal ecosystems and the need to build resilience in communities, such as those affected locally by Hurricane Sandy.

“I know that many projections of our environmental future seem bleak, but these projections do not account for the brainpower, creativity, and ingenuity of the next generation of sustainability professionals. They are the future, and, in my view, the best guarantee of a sustainable global economy,” Dr. Cohen said.

Dr. Cohen will also share the latest initiatives under way in the Earth Institute’s many research units, including the Center for Environmental Sustainability, the Center in Globalization and Sustainable Development, the Center for Sustainable Urban Development, and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

Jennifer Chidsey, chief education officer at Ross Institute, noted how well Dr. Cohen’s work fits with sustainability education initiatives being undertaken by Ross Institute and Ross School. “We share Dr. Cohen’s commitment to educating and inspiring students and members of our communities to take action to support global sustainability.”