Welcome to Eco-Matters – State of the Planet – Columbia University

News from the Columbia Climate School
Brian Kateman
Welcome to Eco-Matters, a new blog born out of the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation from the Earth Institute, Columbia University.
The name of the blog, Eco-Matters, was chosen because the unification of the words “Ecology” and Matter,” hold three subtle, but very important and different meanings.  Eco literally means “home.”  We hope to study our home, this biosphere, through the lens of the three different meanings of Eco-Matters. By learning about the matter, or the biological substances, that support the ecology of a particular environment, we can better understand the science behind large-scale matters, or issues, that concern the sustainability of the entire planet.  Through this discussion, we hope to answer the following question:  Why does ecology matter?
During the last century, the exponential growth of human societies, increasing consumption of resources, and the expansion of industrial and agricultural activities have led to greater impact on natural ecosystems. While marine, coastal, and terrestrial ecosystems are capable of adapting and responding to environmental changes, the celerity at which these alterations are occurring may inhibit their ability to function and be resilient.
Eco-Matters will draw upon information that surrounds the topics of ecology and biodiversity. The blog’s contributors will summarize important research findings, present items in the news that pertain to conservation and environmental sustainability and development, and highlight relevant information released by influential organizations around the world.  The blog will also have a special column devoted to sharing the research, insights, and experiences of the students, educators, and researchers who are a part of select programs belonging to the CERC consortium.  These include the Certificate in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability, the Summer Eco-System Experiences for Undergraduates, and the Inquire Institute:  A Program for Integrated Graduate Field Studies.
We look forward to your general participation, comments, and suggestions!

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