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The M.S. in Sustainability Science program’s students represent a cross-section of the industries and organizations currently incorporating sustainable initiatives into their day-to-day operations as well as those who are looking to make a career switch. The program’s students are dedicated not only to mastering the theory and science of sustainability, they are passionate about putting their education into practice.


Student Groups

Sustainability Management Student Association (SUMASA)

The Sustainability Management Student Association (SUMASA) is a student organization elected to represent the student body of the Columbia University M.S. in Sustainability Management program.

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Build It Green (BIG)

A group of graduate students at Columbia University advocating for sustainability in the built environment.

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Columbia Sustainable Finance Professionals Network (CSFPN)

Columbia Sustainable Finance Professionals Network (CSFPN) is an association of experienced finance professionals with an interest in Sustainable Finance and Investing.

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Student Spotlights

Olivia Colton, a Master’s student in Sustainability Science at Columbia University, transitioned from active-duty U.S. Army officer to academia. Inspired by low veteran enrollment, she applied to Columbia. Colton’s military leadership now enhances her roles in student life and the Tree Ring Lab. With a conservation biology background from LSU, she aims for a career in environmental conservation.

Army Veteran and Environmental Advocate: A Sustainability Science Student’s Journey to Columbia


Tyler Zorn was already working in environmental consulting firms before he enrolled in the Master of Science in Sustainability Science (SUSCI) program at Columbia. But even while he found his job worthwhile and necessary, Zorn had a realization: He wanted to focus on preventing environmental degradation rather than stepping in to deal with the aftermath.

As Zorn prepares to graduate from the SUSCI program in the spring, he plans to use the tools and experience gained from his time at Columbia to achieve his aim of working for a climate technology startup that centers sustainability to accomplish ambitious carbon removal goals.

Shifting Gears From Mitigation to Prevention


Born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Fia moved to the U.S. in 2016 to complete her bachelor's in chemistry from the University of Washington. She is specifically interested in data analysis and management with the ultimate goal of helping companies and non-profits adapt to more sustainable practices and engaging in global climate change.

Learning New Scientific Methods and Tools to Monitor Company Climate Impacts


Chandler Precht, a program manager, uniquely blends her roles as a Columbia graduate and current MS Sustainability Science student, facilitating a connection between student aspirations and institutional objectives. She prioritizes recruiting diverse sustainability practitioners and enhancing program visibility, leveraging her background to strengthen recruitment strategies and organize impactful sustainability webinars. Transitioning from intern to mentor, Precht values Columbia's campus as an oasis within NYC's hustle, anticipating a flexible "new normal" post-COVID-19. Despite pandemic challenges, she finds solace in family time, outdoor pursuits, and home workouts. Chandler's journey exemplifies a commitment to sustainability advocacy, embodying the Earth Institute's mission of guiding the world towards more sustainable pathways.

Nurturing Sustainability Leaders: Chandler Precht's Journey at the Earth Institute


This article presents findings from a Sustainability Science Capstone project focused on studying microplastic pollution in the Hudson River. Led by a team of students, the study aimed to address critical data gaps regarding the prevalence, sources, and potential impacts of microplastics in the river ecosystem. Collaborating with Riverkeeper, the team identified New York City's combined sewage overflows and wastewater treatment plants as significant sources of microplastic pollution. Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the team developed accessible methodologies for citizen scientists to collect and analyze microplastic samples. Their work underscores the importance of community engagement in addressing environmental challenges and invites further participation in ongoing research efforts to mitigate microplastic pollution in the Hudson River.

Sustainability Science Capstone Workshop Investigates Microplastics in the Hudson River


Convinced that science should be the basis for major decision and policy making, Jeffrey Fralick spends his time researching how to better address climate challenges.

Before joining the Sustainability Science program, Fralick graduated from Cornell University. In the past, he has conducted research on water quality of streams and rivers across the Delaware-River Watershed, helped to organize a state-wide environmental lobby day at the Pennsylvania capital, and served as a research assistant for Steven Cohen, director of the Earth Institute's Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management.

Chasing Storms and Change


Kevin Webb comes from a career of more than 8 years in early-stage venture capital and is now an alumnus of the Sustainability Science Program. He moved to New York with his dog Chewie, having lived in San Francisco and the broader Bay Area most of his life. Kevin is the founder of Sustainability Science's student organization, RESCUE.

Student Kevin Webb Connects His Venture Capital Experience to Sustainability


Tyler Ellis graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2008 with a degree in environmental science. He researched in an analytical mercury laboratory during his undergraduate career and learned invaluable lab skills from his mentors. After college, he held numerous jobs ranging from environmental consulting to instrument manufacturing.

Sustainability Science Student Learns To Be a More Versatile Researcher


Isabela Brown has a background in mathematics and environmental modeling. She spent the past few years building a national ship emissions model for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Isabela is interested in the way in which model construction itself determines who has agency to make sustainable change. She sought out a graduate program that would assist her in intentionally integrating social, political, and scientific frameworks into environmental models and consultations.

M.S. Sustainability Science Student Aims To Make Scientific Models Accessible For Communities


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