ABOUT US

Directors

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Don Melnick, PhD
Director | Center for Environment, Economy, and Society
Thomas Hunt Morgan Professor | Conservation Biology
Don Melnick is a magna cum laude graduate in anthropology and history from New York University, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his doctorate in physical anthropology, focusing on molecular genetics, from Yale University, and then joined the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. He was subsequently jointly appointed to the Department of Biological Sciences, and currently holds his primary appointment in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.

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.

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Geoffrey Heal, PhD
Co-Director | Center for Environment, Economy, and Society
Paul Garrett Professor | Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility
Dr. Heal studied Physics and Economics at Cambridge, from which he obtained a first class honors B.A. and a doctorate, and then taught at Cambridge, Sussex, Essex, Stanford, Yale and Princeton, and held a Fullbright Professorship at the University of Siena. Dr. Heal has acted as Managing Editor of the Review of Economic Studies and has acted on the Editorial Boards of many other journals. In the 1970s he founded a London-based consulting firm, and in the 1980s a firm providing systems for telecommunications and data processing to the international securities business. He was a Commissioner of the Pew Oceans Commission and a Director of the Beijer Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, is a Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists , a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and a member of President Sarkozy’s Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. He is Past President of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, a life Fellow and recipient of that organization’s 2004 Award for Publication of Enduring Quality for his 1979 book (with Dasgupta) "Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources."

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

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James J. Warfield, JD, PhD
Columbia University
Center for Environment, Economy, and Society (CEES)
Deputy Director
CEES’s motto of “in it together” recognizes the inextricable link among economic, environmental, and social well-being – that’s a perfect match for Jim’s multi-faceted business, environmental, social behavior, and legal education, experience, study, and teaching.  Growing up in the construction and real estate development business, Jim worked as a laborer, construction superintendent, project manager, managing partner, and general counsel.  While at the University of Chicago Law School Jim contributed to the first Comprehensive Zoning Plan as assistant to the general counsel of NYC Planning Commission; upon graduating he became a Teaching Fellow at Boston College Law School.  As a vice-president of Bedford-Stuyvesant Development & Services Corporation, Jim was a member of a team that guided the planning and redevelopment of the Commercial Center of Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration.  Jim served as chair of the Sierra Club’s Long Island chapter and as president of a Westchester neighborhood association.  Most recently Jim earned a Ph.D. at Columbia in biological anthropology studying primate behavior in Kenya, Gibraltar, and Cayo Santiago, PR with a focus on infant-mother attachment behavior.  Until recently, Jim was a volunteer assistant professor at the Institute for the Study of Child Development at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, UMDNJ, having published on primate attachment behavior in the American Journal of Primatology and appearing in an American Museum of Natural History documentary video on the same topic. He taught Behavioral Biology of the Living Primates for four years at Columbia as well as courses on conservation in the CERC Certificate Program.  Jim applied this diverse experience as a lead author of The Rainforest Standard and its RFS Protected Area Credit protocol, one of CEES’s important contributions to forest conservation and climate change mitigation. Currently Jim is active in the Forest Carbon Initiative, helping to implement RFS demonstration projects and updating RFS protocols based on demonstration feedback.  Formerly Executive Director of CEES, Jim currently continues his administrative role as Deputy Director.


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Rebecca Johnson
Director | Education, Professional Development, and Outreach
Rebecca Johnson holds a B.A. in European History and an M.A. in Conservation Biology, both from Columbia University. She currently directs education and training initiatives at CEES, ranging from secondary school programs through graduate level training and professional development. Ms. Johnson spent over 6 years developing, coordinating, and managing continuing education and non-degree programs at the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) at Columbia University. She also has several years experience in educational media, both in the US and in France. Ms. Johnson comes to CEES from her previous position as Director of Continuing Education at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She has been fortunate to build unique offerings that serve a diverse and motivated range of students, and that promote conservation values to the broader public.


Thomson Batidzirai
Business Officer | Center for Environment, Economy, and Society
Thomson Batidzirai holds a MS in Operations Research and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe. He assists CEES in meeting its overall objective of reconciling economic and environmental goals by coordinating financial operations. Prior to joining CEES, Mr Batidzirai worked as a Survey Administrator at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa, and as Operations Manager at the Univeristy of Cape Town, South Africa, where he focused and developed his analytical and organizational skills. 

Project Personnel

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Darien Clary
Program Officer | Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Economic Growth Program - Dominican Republic
Darien Clary holds a B.A. in biology from Southwestern University, and an M.P.H. in Behavioral Science and Health Promotion with a focus in Global Health from the University of Texas. In Miches, Darien has worked to perform water quality testing and monitoring, implement marine mammal and coral reef surveys, conduct community needs assessments, facilitate collaborations between stakeholders, and train local community members to conduct environmental studies. Prior to joining the CEES team, Ms. Clary worked in the public health field to develop programs that address childhood obesity and increase physical activity in Texas, increase childhood immunization rates in Texas, promote community sanitation and oral hygiene in Mexico, collect baseline data on family health and water quality in the Dominican Republic, and conduct research on HIV/AIDS behavioral risk factors. She also lived in Garmisch, Germany for three years while working for the U.S. Department of Defense.  Darien’s research interests include how behavioral, economic, and social factors influence a population’s health, as well as the relationships between human and environmental health. She joined the CEES field staff to gain insight into these areas, and she enjoys working at the local level in Miches to address these complex issues.

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Mary C. Pearl
Senior Research Scientist
Mary C. Pearl, Ph. D. is an internationally known conservationist, scientist, and educator who served as the first Dean and Administrative Vice President for Stony Brook University Southampton, and prior to that was president of the Wildlife Trust for 15 years.  She recently completed a year as Chief Executive Officer of The Garrison Institute, a non-sectarian organization promoting evidence-based contemplative and transformational approaches to social and environmental change, including innovative climate change leadership drawing on contemporary behavioral and social science. She is currently the provost of Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York.

At Macaulay Honors College, Dr. Pearl has created a new undergraduate program in science, “Science Forward,” which introduces students to hands-on data collection and analyses and builds critical analytical skills to develop their ability to understand science as a way of learning about the world.  Newsweek magazine described Dr. Pearl as a leading wildlife biologist who has "spearheaded the development of 'conservation medicine' – a scientific exploration of the links between the health of humans, wildlife and ecosystems." During her long tenure as President of the Ecohealth Alliance (formerly Wildlife Trust), a global organization dedicated to innovative conservation science, linking ecology and health, she helped build careers of local scientists and educators in 20 high-biodiversity countries around the world. She co-founded the Center for Conservation Medicine, a consortium of Wildlife Trust with Tufts Cummings Veterinary School; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; the National Center for Wildlife Health; the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School; and the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia University, where she also served as an adjunct research scientist. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Faculty Advisory Committee

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Peter Bearman, PhD
Jonathan R. Cole Professor of Sociology | Columbia University
Peter Bearman is Director of the Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences, the Cole Professor of Social Science, and Co-Director of the Health & Society Scholars Program. A recipient of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award in 2007, Bearman is currently investigating the social determinants of the autism epidemic. Current projects also include an ethnographic study of the funeral industry and, with support from the American Legacy Foundation, an investigation of the social and economic consequences of tobacco control policy.

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).

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Mark Cane, PhD
G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences | Columbia University
Director, Master of Arts Program in Climate and Society | Columbia University
Mark Cane holds his B.A. and M.A, from Harvard, and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With Lamont colleague Dr. Stephen Zebiak, Dr. Cane devised the first numerical model able to simulate El Niño.  In 1985 this model was used to make the first physically based forecasts of El Niño.  Over the years the Zebiak-Cane model has been the primary tool used by many investigators to enhance understanding of ENSO. Dr. Cane continues to work on El Niño prediction, and has also worked extensively on the impact of El Niño on human activity, especially agriculture and health. His efforts over many years were instrumental in the creation of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, where he is Chief Physical Scientist. In recent years Dr. Cane’s research interests have often focused on paleoclimate problems, from the Pliocene to the last millennium, and the light they shed on future climate change.  Dr. Cane has written over 200 papers on a broad range of topics and has served on numerous international and national committees. In 1992 Dr. Cane received the Sverdrup Gold Medal of the American Meteorological Society, and in 2003 he received the Cody Award in Ocean Sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society; the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

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Raymond Horton, PhD
Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Ethics and Corporate Governance | Columbia University
Raymond D. Horton received his B.A. from Grinnell College, J.D. from Harvard Law School, and Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. A member of Columbia Business School faculty since 1970, he served as Executive Director of the Temporary Commission on City Finances from 1975 to 1977. After returning to Columbia, he founded the Setting Municipal Priorities Project with Charles Brecher, and co-edited, with Brecher, the ten volumes in that series.
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.


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Darcy B. Kelley, PhD
Professor of Biological Sciences | Columbia University
Darcy B. Kelley is Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University where she co-founded the interdepartmental graduate program in Neurobiology and Behavior. Her research focuses on vocal communication in South African clawed frogs using approaches ranging from field studies in Africa to molecular genetics and neurophysiology in the laboratory at Columbia. In 2002, Professor Kelley was named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, an award that acknowledges an effort of Columbia's Science faculty to establish a new core course for all entering College students, Frontiers of Science. This award was renewed in 2006 and supports an online resource for science educators based on Frontiers. Among her awards are the Jacob Javits Award for Neuroscience Research from the National Institutes of Health (twice) and the Forbes Lectureship at the MBL. Dr. Kelley has a long-standing interest in the public perception of science through portrayal in plays, movies and television. She serves as scientific consultant for the Ensemble Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project which commissions, develops, and presents new works that delve into how we view and are affected by the scientific world.

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Upmanu Lall, PhD
Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering and of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics | Columbia University
Upmanu Lall holds his B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas. Professor Lall has over 20 years of experience as a hydrologist and has been the principal investigator on a number of research projects funded by the USGS, the NSF, the USAF, NOAA, USBR, DOE and State of Utah and Florida agencies. These projects have covered water quantity and quality and energy resource management, flood analysis, groundwater modeling and subsurface characterization, climate modeling, and the development of statistical and mathematical modeling methods. Before joining Columbia University, he was a professor at the University of Utah and Utah State University. At Columbia University, he was the first recipient of the Alan and Carol Silberstein Chair, and is now an Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering, and Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

Visiting Scholar

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João Paulo Ribeiro Capobianco
Visiting Scholar | 2008 - 2009
João Paulo Ribeiro Capobianco is a biologist specialized in Environmental Education at the University of Brasília and Associate Researcher at the Amazon Institute of Environmental Research (IPAM). He has served as the National Secretary for Biodiversity and Forests of the Ministry of the Environment of Brazil and Deputy Minister of the Environment of Brazil. He also served as Coordinator of the Permanent Federal Government Working Group on Deforestation in the Amazon, as president of the Brazilian Council for Genetic Resources and the Brazilian Commission on Forests and as deputy president of the National Council of the Environment. Capobianco's research currently focuses on evaluating and identifying processes able to curb deforestation in developing countries and create significant new revenue streams to addresses poverty in rural areas and to reduce biodiversity loss. Specifically, he is evaluating the results of the Plan to Control and Prevent Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon and the real potential of the Brazilian Positive Incentives to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and the Reduction Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). Capobianco has founded and directed several relevant nongovernmental organizations in Brazil, including the Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica, the Instituto Socioambiental and the Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements. Capobianco is a member of the Consultative Council of the Ethos Institute of Business and Social Responsibility and of the Administrative Council of Environmental and Social Investment Exchange - (BVS&A) by Bovespa -- São Paulo Stock Exchange. He is the author of several publications on environmental issues and has received several awards for its work. In 2003 the book Biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon, which he organized, received the awards for best publication in Natural Sciences and Health and Book of the Year, both awarded by the Brazilian Chamber of Books, considered the most important awards of the Brazilian literature.

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Ralph Ashton
Visiting Scholar | 2009 - 2010

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.


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Peter May, PhD
Visiting Scholar | 2010 - 2011
Peter H. May received his PhD in Resource Economics from Cornell University in 1986. Professor of the Department of Development, Agriculture and Society of the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil since 1991, he is now also an Associate Director of Friends of the Earth-Brazilian Amazon. Author and editor of 12 books in the areas of ecological economics, agroecology and environmental policy, including The Subsidy from Nature, Pricing the Planet and Natural Resource Valuation and Policy in Brazil (all published by Columbia UP), Professor May is current President of the International Society for Ecological Economics. He previously served as program officer at the Ford Foundation’s Brazil office and as Forestry Officer (Non-wood forest products) at the FAO in Rome. 

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Laury Cullen Jr.,PhD
Visiting Scholar | 2012 - 2013
Research Coordinator
Laury is a Forestry Engineer graduate of Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz. He has a Master’s Degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Florida (USA), a Ph.D. from the University of Kent (UK), and is currently a Post-Doctoral Scientist in CEES at Columbia University. He has concentrated his research on large mammal ecology, conservation and restoration of fragmented landscapes, community empowerment and best agroforestry practices, and policies for landscape restoration with community involvement. He has published more than 40 articles in national and international publications. He is an Ashoka fellow for social empowerment and has received several awards, including the Rolex Conservation Award and the Whitley Gold Award from England’s Princess Anne, a prize considered the Oscar for conservation. 

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Walter Behr
Visiting Scholar | 2013 - 2014
Environmental Analyst
Walter is an environmental analyst at the Brazilian Environmental Institute (ICMBio), with a degree in business administration.  Before joining the government, he worked for Greenpeace and was a co-founder of the Brazilian environmental NGO - Pró Bocaina.  Subsequently, he spent 10 years managing Federal Protected Areas in the Amazon and in the Atlantic Forest.  From 2005 until 2012 he was the manager of Itatiaia National Park, the first national park created in Brazil.  His most recent efforts are focused on applying new and sustainable alternatives to managing Protected Areas that simultaneously protect forests and biodiversity and improve the livelihoods of people living in and around the protected areas. He was recently designated to coordinate a REDD+ working group responsible for implementing REDD+ pilot projects inside the Protected Areas of Brazil.

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