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Climate Careers Symposium Introduces Columbia's New Climate School 

The School of Professional Studies is convening the Climate Careers Symposium, a series of talks and panels offering diverse perspectives on the ways in which the careers of the future will be influenced by global-scale challenges. The first session, held on 10/29, explored the impact of a changing climate on the shifting landscape for careers in urban planning, public health and social equity. 

Steven Cohen, Ph.D., Senior Vice Dean of SPS and Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs, gave the introduction, and Sir Alex Halliday, Ph.D., Director of the Earth Institute, gave the keynote. Sir Halliday introduced Columbia's new Climate School and its mission to teach the next generation of leaders new scientific fields and knowledge, and how to transfer that knowledge to a workforce faced with the complex global challenges of today.

"Climate is probably society's biggest inter-generational human rights concern. Together with water and food security, biodiversity loss, and disasters, it will disproportionately impact people who are already severely disadvantaged," Sir Halliday said. Solving these issues will require innovative technologies as well as innovative thinking. 

The keynote was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Arthur Lerner-Lam, Ph.D., Academic Director of the M.S. in Sustainability Science program and Deputy Director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) at the Earth Institute. Radley Horton, Ph.D., the Lamont Research Professor at LDEO, discussed planetary health; Patrick Askew, MBA, a Lecturer in the M.S. in Construction Administration program and Executive Vice President at McKissack & McKissack, discussed issues in sustainable urbanization; Robert Klitzman, M.D., Academic Director of the M.S. in Bioethics program and Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center discussed health and well-being; and Cindy Lott, Esq., the Academic Director of the M.S. Nonprofit Management program, discussed access, justice and equality. 

Watch the full event below. 

The Q&A was moderated by Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Ph.D., Academic Director of the M.S. in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program and Vice Chair of Faculty at SPS. Columbia students and alumni were then given a chance to engage with the speakers and ask the panel questions.

The Climate Careers Symposium continues on December 2nd with a session on Overcoming Obstacles.