Program Faculty

Laia Andreu-Hayes

Laia Andreu-Hayles is a Research Associate Professor at the Tree-Ring Lab of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and a lecturer at the School of Professional Studies of Columbia University. She holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Barcelona and defended her Ph.D, which received a European Doctorate award mention, in October 2017 in Spain. Her research is focused on the study of past, current and future environmental changes, and incorporates dendrochronology and isotopic geochemistry. Her career has been focused on the assessment of vegetation responses under global climate change and on reconstructions of past climate. She seeks to understand the interactions between forests and the environment to provide a long-term context for the study of current anthropogenic change, its impacts on the terrestrial ecosystem, and the Earth’s climatic system. Her investigations are ongoing at sites located in the Mediterranean, boreal and tropical regions, which are “hot spots,” where some of the most dramatic environmental changes are already occurring.

Howard Apsan

Howard Apsan has been a member of the faculty at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs since 1986. His teaching and research focus has been on management and environmental policy. He received a B.A. and M.A. from Brooklyn College in 1979; an M.Phil. from Columbia in 1981; and a Ph.D. from Columbia in 1985.

Since 2003, he has served as the University Director of environmental, health, safety, and risk management (EHSRM) for The City University of New York, the largest urban university system in the United States. The University Director of EHSRM is responsible for environmental health and safety (EH&S) management and compliance throughout the University; serves as the University’s chief risk officer, tasked with assessing liabilities and designing systems for minimizing CUNY’s operational and reputational risks; co-chairs the University’s business continuity committee; and is the chair of the University’s emergency preparedness task force.

Before joining CUNY, he worked as an analyst, manager and consultant for most of his career. He served for several years in New York City government at the Mayor’s Office, the Board of Education, and the Sanitation Department, and he spent seventeen years in private consulting, including eight years as a principal, and ultimately national director, of a nation-wide consulting firm. He has also been president of his own firm, Apsan Consulting, Inc., since 2001. He has served clients throughout the United States and has extensive international experience.

In addition to his management and consulting activities, Apsan has also served on the United States Technical Advisory Group for ISO 14000, the American Society for Testing and Materials Environmental Committee, the Springfield (New Jersey) Environmental Commission, and chaired the New York Chamber of Commerce Environment and Energy Committee and the New York Chapter of the Environmental Auditing Roundtable. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Quality Management, and writes and lectures regularly.

Michaela Biasutti

Dr. Biasutti is a Lamont Associate Research Professor, whose research encompasses precipitation extremes, future changes to the seasonal cycle and their implications.

Ben Bostick

Dr. Bostick is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. His research and consulting interests include Soil and Aqueous Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Tropical Soils and Soil Fertility, Environmental Health, and Environmental Remediation.

Steve Chillrud

Dr. Chillrud, Senior Research Scientist, is an environmental geochemist interested in public health research. Much of his work is focused on the role of particles in the transport, behavior and fate of chemical contaminants. These particles can be fine-grained sediments in surface water bodies, such as the Hudson River, sandy particles in groundwater aquifers, or airborne particles in indoor and outdoor settings. His research on air pollution seeks to understand the sources, behavior, and exposure pathways of airborne contaminants, as well as designing and testing new air monitoring devices, either to be used at fixed indoor and outdoor locations, or to be worn by people.

Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen is the Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In addition to his role as the Director of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education, he is also Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. From 2002 to 2006, he directed education programs at the Earth Institute. From 1998 to 2001, Cohen was Vice Dean of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. From 1985 to 1998, he was the Director of Columbia’s Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration. From 1987-1998, Cohen was Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum at SIPA.

He is a graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn (1970), Franklin College of Indiana (1974) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (M.A., 1977; Ph.D., 1979). In 1976-77, Cohen was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Environmental Policy; in 1978-79, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in Public and Environmental Policy and Implementation.

Dr. Cohen served as a policy analyst in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1977 through 1978 and 1980-81, and as consultant to the agency from 1981 through 1991, from 1994 to 1996 and from 2005 to 2010. From 1979-1980 he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at West Virginia University and from1981-1987 he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. From 1990-94, Cohen served on the Board of the Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs; he has also served on the Executive Committee and Committee on Accreditation and Peer Review of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. From 2001 to 2004, he served on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Homes for the Homeless, the Board of Directors of Willdan Energy Solutions, and the Board of Directors of the Institute on the Environment.

Ben Cook

Ben Cook is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He is interested in drought, hydroclimate, and interactions between the land surface and the climate system.

Jonathan Dickinson

Jonathan Dickinson is a consultant with more than 18 years of environmental and sustainability experience in the government, not-for-profit, health care, and academic sectors. He is the Director of Sustainability Services for Cventure LLC, a consultancy, providing third-party greenhouse gas emissions verification, sustainability strategy, and greenhouse gas emissions inventory development services to corporate and public sector clients. Jonathan is also an independent sustainability consultant, and is a Lecturer at Columbia University’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, where he designed and teaches a course on greenhouse gas emissions accounting and mitigation strategies. For 12 years, he served as a sustainability policy advisor in the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City, developing and implementing the City’s carbon mitigation and climate resilience initiatives, as part of New York’s comprehensive sustainability plan, PlaNYC, and developing the methodology for and completing seven annual New York City greenhouse gas emissions inventories. Jonathan previously served as the Deputy Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination, where he focused on climate change policy, brownfields redevelopment, and environmental impact analysis, and worked for several years in the environmental education field. He holds a B.A. in English from Hobart College and a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Lex van Geen

Dr. van Geen is Lamont Research Professor, whose research interests range from chemical oceanography to paleoceanography. He has increasingly turned his focus on the interactions between the environment and human health. His ongoing projects include the study of the patterns of contamination in well water across south Asia and lead in soil contaminated with mine tailings in the Peruvean Andes.

Rick Horsch

Richard Horsch is a recently retired as a partner at the international law firm of White & Case LLP, where his practice focused on domestic and international environmental matters, including environmental litigation. In the international area, Mr. Horsch addressed environmental issues arising in such countries as Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea. He frequently advised clients on international conventions and treaties, multilateral development bank standards (e.g., World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, IFC), and evolving international environmental and sustainable development standards and norms, including the Equator Principles.

While at White & Case, Mr. Horsch, among other things, served as legal advisor to a sovereign nation in its establishment and start-up of a Designated National Authority to review and approve proposed projects developed under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, including advising on the development and implementation of sustainable development principles to guide the DNA in its decisions on whether to approve proposed projects. He was an advisor to an international oil company in identifying and implementing projects to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. He advised a sovereign nation on its negotiation of the regulatory framework for carbon capture and sequestration projects under the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr. Horsch has written and lectured frequently on international environmental law and climate change issues. He is an annual contributor (since 2005) to the Environmental Section of Year-in-Review, an annual publication of the American Bar Association Section of International Law. (He authors the section discussing developments regarding the Basel Convention on Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal).

Mr. Horsch was Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law in 2008 and Vice Chair from 2005-2007.He serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a non-profit public interest law organization. He is on the Board of Advisors to New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

Prior to joining White & Case, Mr. Horsch clerked for the Hon. Frederick B. Lacey, U.S. District Judge, District of New Jersey, Judge, Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, from 1980-1981. He holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and a B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of New Hampshire. Since 2007 Mr. Horsch has been an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law and International Environmental Law at Seton Hall Law School.

Andy Juhl

Dr. Juhl. Lamont Research Professor, is an aquatic ecologist and oceanographer, whose research and teaching focus on how aquatic microorganisms and their predators interact with each other and their physical/chemical environment. He  emphasize a holistic perspective encompassing the range of planktonic organisms found in coastal marine systems, estuaries, rivers and lakes, including: planktonic algae, protist microzooplankton, invertebrate zooplankton, and bacteria.

Einat Lev

Dr. Lev is an Assistant Research Professor at the Seismology, Geodynamics and Tectonics group of the Lamont -Doherty earth Observatory. His research focuses on numerical modeling, geologic fluid mechanics, field work at active volcanoes, and image and video analysis.

Braddock Linsley

Dr. Linsley is a Lamont Research Professor, who studies coral-based paleoclimatology in the Indo-Pacific, sediment records of the Western Pacific Warm pool, and Indonesian Throughflow variability.

Wade McGillis

Wade McGillis is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont Doherty Observatory and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. He is also the Director of the Center for Rivers and Estuaries at Columbia University, where he and other university scientists conduct research activities using the environment of the Hudson River Estuary to learn more about global biogeochemical processes. His research interests include ocean-atmosphere-land-urban interactions as well as biogeochemical, water, heat, and pollutant cycling in urban and natural environments. Previously, he was an Associate Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of marine science and engineering. In addition, McGillis has published articles in numerous publications, the most recent of which was entitled “Sea surface and pCO2 and O2 in the Southern Ocean during the austral fall, 2008″ (Journal of Geophysical Research, 2011). He also served as the editor of the book, Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces (Kyoto University Press, 2011).

Christoph Meinrenken

Christoph Meinrenken is an associate research scientist at the Climate Center, a research unit of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and an affiliate of the Foundations of Data Science Center at the Data Science Institute, Columbia University. His research focuses on computer modeling to elucidate and improve the techno-economic performance of low carbon energy systems. Recent and current research projects include demand management and energy storage in smart buildings, electrification of the transportation sector, synthetic fuels, and automated product carbon footprinting. An expert in Life Cycle Assessment and enterprise-scale product analytics, Meinrenken has worked with the World Resources Institute, Carbon Disclosure Project, and The Sustainability Consortium, and consulted several globally operating consumer goods manufacturers.

Before joining Columbia, Meinrenken worked on modeling molecular spectra (Princeton University, 1996) and computational neuroscience (PhD Physics, Max Planck Institute, 2001). In addition to academic research and teaching, Meinrenken spent several years in the private sector, specializing in financial engineering and risk management.

Michael Previdi

Dr. Previdi is a Lamont Associate Research Professor, whose studies climate dynamics. His research is focused on the dynamic and thermodynamic controls of the atmospheric water cycle in present-day and future climates, and the atmosphere/ocean effects of annular mode/North Atlantic Oscillation variability.

Christopher Small

Dr. Small is a Lamont Research Professor, whose fields of interest include geophysics, land surface processes, remote sensing, and population and environment. His cross-disciplinary collaborations have ranged from tropical deforestation monitoring to urban growth mapping. His is currently focused on satellite remote sensing to quantify changes in the Earth’s surface and the consequences of these changes.