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Steven Holl, a professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, has won the inaugural Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Art from BBVA, a financial services group, and Spain's National Research Council. The Arts Award honors creative works of excellence in areas that help define the cultural identity of a given year.

Karin Landgren, adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs, has been appointed Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Nepal and Head of the United Nations Mission in Nepal.

Trevor W. Morrison, Columbia Law School professor and alumnus, has been appointed as Associate Counsel to President Barack Obama. Morrison is a leading expert on separation of powers, federalism and executive branch legal interpretation.

Columbia Community Service
Alumni News

Read the February 2009 Columbia Alumni
Association Newsletter


This month's edition includes information about Columbia Community Outreach projects, Salmon River rafting and the Presidential Teaching Awards.

Three Columbia professors have been named fellows of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a global scientific society with a membership of more than 50,000 researchers, teachers and students.

The new fellows join 52 additional inductees from across three continents—each of whom has made significant contributions to the understanding and advancement of the geophysical sciences. The designation of fellow is conferred upon not more than 0.1 percent of all AGU members in a given year. Candidates are nominated by colleagues and chosen by a committee of fellows.

The AGU's stated mission is to advance the understanding of earth and space for the benefit of humanity through cooperation in research.

The faculty selected as 2009 AGU fellows include:

W. Roger Buck

W. Roger Buck is the associate director of marine geology and geophysics and adjunct professor of earth and environmental sciences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Buck's research interests lie in developing theoretical models for processes that affect the solid earth. He is currently creating computer models with his students of mantle upwelling in the region of melting below a mid-ocean ridge and investigating how it leads to the structural and topographic features observed on these ridges.

Ruth S. Defries

Ruth S. Defries is the University's first Denning Professor of Sustainable Development in the department of ecology, evolution and environmental biology. DeFries' research examines human transformation of the landscape and its consequences for climate, biogeochemical cycling, biodiversity and other ecosystem services that make our planet habitable. Her work is based on the premise that land use change involves tradeoffs between human necessities such as food and unintended environmental consequences such as greenhouse gas emissions and habitat loss.

Steven L. Goldstein

Steven L. Goldstein is chair of the department of earth and environmental sciences and a professor of geochemistry at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. In addition to his teaching, Goldstein is also the lead principal investigator of the Isotope Geochemistry Lab at Lamont-Doherty Earth Science Observatory. His current research interests include magmatic processes, chemical oceanography and recent climate changes.

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