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Michael J. Puma

Lecturer, M.S. in Sustainability Science; Director and Research Scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research, The Earth Institute

Dr. Puma is currently Director of the Center for Climate Systems Research, part of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and co-located with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The center has over 30 scientists and staff working closely with NASA on earth science and climate impacts research. Dr. Puma’s research is focused on global food security, hydroclimatology, and human migration. He is especially interested in understanding the sensitivity of complex, socioeconomic systems to non-predictable extremes including megadroughts, volcanic eruptions, wars, and trade restrictions.

Dr. Puma's research has been funded by a variety of institutions including the National Science Foundation, NASA, the US Department of Defense, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Columbia World Project "Adapting Agriculture to Climate Today for Tomorrow" (ACToday). His efforts on global food security also have been supported through a fellowship from Columbia's Center for Climate and Life. 


  • P.h.D., Princeton University
  • M.I.A., Columbia University
  • B.S., Columbia University