Don Melnick, PhD
Professor Melnick designed and spearheaded the formation of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B), thus creating in 2001 the first truly new Columbia Arts and Sciences department in over half a century. Professor Melnick is founding Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC), a position he held from 1994-2006. CERC is a biodiversity conservation education, training, and research consortium that includes Columbia University, the American Museum of Natural History, The New York Botanical Garden, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Wildlife Trust. More recently, Professor Melnick held the position of co-Chair of the U.N. Millennium Task Force on Environmental Sustainability, and was lead author of the Task Force report, Environment and Human Well-being: a practical strategy for achieving environmental sustainability.
Professor Melnick also maintains an active scientific research career. For over 30 years, he has used molecular genetics to explain aspects of the ecology, behavior, evolution and conservation of vertebrates. This research has spanned organisms from frogs to elephants, and continents from Central and South America to Asia and Africa. He has published over 120 articles, book chapters, abstracts and reports that describe the results of research on (1) the impact of social organization on the level and distribution of genetic variation in wild populations of primates and other mammals; (2) the degree to which different portions of a species’ genome track different aspects of its evolutionary history; and (3) the ways in which genetic data can be used to assess the current demographic and genetic health of a species and its populations, as well as develop management plans to ensure its future existence.
Professor Melnick is a popular teacher, having created one of Columbia's largest science courses for non-science majors. He was chosen as one of the first four professors to lead Columbia’s new science core course, “The Frontiers of Science.” He received Columbia's Hettleman Award for Outstanding Teaching and Service, was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
In addition to his work published in numerous technical journals and books, he has been covered by such popular media as The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Time Magazine, the Discovery Channel, CBS Radio, and National Public Radio.
In the public policy arena, Professor Melnick has advised several heads of state and has presented his vision for environmentally and socially sustainable economic growth to the UN Forum on Forests, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the World Bank, the foreign ministers and secretaries of state of the 79 member countries of the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Alliance, and most recently to a special joint session of Congress of the Dominican Republic. A summary of this vision as it relates specifically to forests was published as a New York Times Op Ed article for Earth Day 2006.
Geoffrey Heal, PhD
Dr. Heal has made many contributions to economic theory and the application of mathematical techniques in economics. One of Dr. Heal’s current research interests is the interaction between society and its natural resource base. Dr. Heal has been working to formalize and operationalize the concept of sustainability and develop an interdisciplinary group of social and biological scientists committed to research on the interface between the biological and social sciences. Recent books on this include “Valuing the Future” and “Nature and the Marketplace.” Dr. Heal’s other research fields include the management of risks by financial markets, and especially the securitization of catastrophic risks and analysis of the systemic risks associated with the growth of derivative markets. Recently Dr. Heal has worked on airline security and on corporate social responsibility, and has developed a course on CSR entitled “Business and Society: Doing Well by Doing Good?” His latest book, “When Principles Pay: CSR and the Bottom Line” is published by Columbia Business School Press.
Geoffrey Heal is Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is also Professor of International and Public Affairs in the School of International Affairs and Director of the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development of Columbia’s Earth Institute. He has served as Senior Vice Dean of Columbia Business School.
New York Office
James J. Warfield, JD, PhD
Mary C. Pearl
Faculty Advisory Committee
Peter Bearman, PhD
A specialist in network analysis, he co-designed the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and has used the data extensively for research on topics including adolescent sexual networks, networks of disease transmission, and genetic influences on same-sex preference. He has also conducted research in historical sociology, including Relations into Rhetorics: Local Elite Social Structure in Norfolk, England, 1540-1640 (Rutgers, 1993). He is the author of Doormen
(University of Chicago Press, 2005).
Mark Cane, PhD
Raymond Horton, PhD
Between 1980 and 1998, Horton held the positions of Research Director and President with the Citizens Budget Commission. The Commission is a public advocate of responsible financial management in New York City and New York State. Dr. Horton’s writings include numerous books, articles, and reports in the field of State and local finance and politics. His most recent book, Power Failure: New York City Government in the Post-1960 Era, was published by Oxford University Press in 1993.
Dr. Horton is the Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Ethics and Corporate Governance at the Columbia Business School, where he also serves as Director of the Social Enterprise Program. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Horton has served on a number of private and nonprofit boards.
Darcy B. Kelley, PhD
Upmanu Lall, PhD
João Paulo Ribeiro Capobianco
Ralph Ashton holds his B.A. and B. Law from the University of Melbourne, and Financial Analysis & Valuation and Applied Valuation diplomas from the Securities Institute in Australia. Between late 2004 and 2007, he took the lead in coordinating WWF's global response to the Indian Ocean earthquakes and tsunami and then co-founded its Humanitarian Partnerships Program, which he ran from Banda Aceh. Mr. Ashton contributed to WWF-Indonesia's "Green Reconstruction Policy Guidelines for Aceh"; conceived, gained multi-institutional support for, and organized a Marketplace for Sustainable Timber held in Medan, Indonesia; managed a regional partnership with American Red Cross; and sought and established a regional collaboration with World Vision. Mr. Ashton co-authored and successfully advocated "A Blueprint for the Forest Industry and Vegetation Management in Tasmania" - a new policy for forest and grassland management in Tasmania. He is editor of and contributor to "Tarkine", a photographic book published in 2004 to raise awareness of the plight of this unique Tasmanian rainforest wilderness. Mr. Ashton convened the Terrestrial Carbon Group in 2007 while Leader of the Climate Change Program at the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists in Sydney. He is now Program Director, Terrestrial Carbon Group at the Heinz Center in Washington, DC. During 2008, he was a Visiting Fellow in the Climate and Energy Program at The Australian National University.