CIESIN bids farewell to Kira Topik, senior research staff assistant, who has moved to the West Coast to pursue other opportunities. Topik began at CIESIN in the summer of 2017 as an intern while pursuing her MA in Columbia University’s Climate and Society program. Previously, she earned a BA in international and intercultural studies, and Spanish, from Pitzer College. Topik supported the communications and coordination needs of the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program, helping to establish and operationalize relationships with various partners and stakeholders around the world.
Tiago Nascimento, a doctoral student hosted by CIESIN since June 2018, has completed his visit, returning to the Center for Development and Regional Planning (Cedeplar) at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil. While at CIESIN, Nascimento conducted research on the spatial mobility of the population in response to the incidence of droughts in Brazil’s Northeast. He has a bachelor’s degree in geography and a master’s degree in demography from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, also in Brazil. CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo served as his host supervisor.
Prof. Sophie Vanwambeke of the Department of Geography at the UCLouvain in Belgium is finishing her 9-month appointment as a visiting senior research scientist at the end of June. While at Columbia, she worked with Maria Diuk-Wasser of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) on the ecology and epidemiology of vector-borne diseases and with CIESIN scientists on spatial heterogeneity of population exposure to hazards. She gave an informal talk about her work June 18 at the Lamont campus.
CIESIN has also gained three interns for the summer. Mairead Milán has returned to CIESIN after working as an Earth Institute intern during the spring 2019 semester. She graduated in May with a BA in sustainable development from Columbia College. Milán is working with senior systems analyst/programmer Kytt MacManus, continuing her work on the fifth version of the Gridded Population of the World (GPW) to be developed and released by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Dorothee Grant is also working with MacManus, helping to integrate population data with night time lights data collected by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite. Grant is a Columbia College undergraduate majoring in computer science. Sarah Smith, a graduate student in the Climate and Society program, is working with associate director for science applications Alex de Sherbinin on the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WABiCC) project, which is funded by the US Agency for International Development. She is putting together a manual for adaptation practitioners on incorporating climate information into management strategies. Smith has a BA from Lehigh University in anthropology, with a concentration in physical anthropology.