Columbia Climate School Adds Four New Faculty Members

Columbia Climate School Adds Four New Faculty Members

The Columbia Climate School has added four new faculty members, said the school’s interim dean, Jeffrey Shaman. The appointees work in areas including environmental justice, urban design, conservation biology, and the history of climate science.

Leah Aronowsky, a historian of science and environmental history, has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Climate, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Aronowsky’s published research to date has focused on the history of climate science, the history of climate denialism, and the history of climate policy inaction. Most recently, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Columbia Society of Fellows in the Humanities. Before joining Columbia, she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities at the University of Illinois. She received a B.A. (with high honors) from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard University.

Leah Aronowsky

Sheila Foster, Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University, has been appointed as Visiting Professor of Climate for the 2023-24 academic year. Foster is a leading scholar of environmental and climate justice. Her research spans a broad range of topics, including innovative resource governance regimes, land use policy, and the role of subnational governments and local leaders in addressing cross-border challenges such as climate change. She obtained her undergraduate degree in English (with honors) from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Sheila Foster

Jenna Lawrence has been appointed as Lecturer in the Discipline of Climate, effective Sept. 1, 2023. Lawrence is a behavioral ecologist and conservation biologist. Since obtaining her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Columbia University, she has taught various courses on conservation biology and environmental sustainability at Columbia and other institutions within the New York City area, including New York University, City College of New York, Hunter College and the American Museum of Natural History.

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Jenna Lawrence

Kate Orff, Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, with tenure, has been jointly appointed as Professor of Climate, with tenure, effective July 1, 2023. Orff will retain her current appointment at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she is also director of the Urban Design Program. She is a highly respected practitioner of urban design and landscape architecture as well as an influential scholar with a focus on resilience and adaptation in the built environment. Her research and design practice centers on cities, nature-based infrastructure and community engagement.

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Kate Orff


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