Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Get To Know

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

“I have spent my professional career, 40 years, studying the history of climate change in Earth’s past. Everything I’ve learned is consistent with the view that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere warms the planet.   Folks, we have got to figure this out—continued warming will have increasingly disastrous consequences for communities and economies around the globe.”

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory seeks fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. Its scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean, providing a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humanity.

Lamont is a core component of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. Nearly 200 Ph.D. level researchers work and teach there, and 80-90 graduate students are involved in research. Lamont also operates a research ship, the Marcus G. Langseth, which uses seismic data to map the sub-seafloor, highlighting hidden faults and other earthquake hazards.


The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory sits on a high, forested bluff on the Palisades overlooking the Hudson River, about fifteen miles north of Manhattan.

Mission & Vision

Since its founding in 1949, Lamont-Doherty has been a leader in the earth sciences. Its scientists were the first to map the seafloor and develop a computer model that could predict an El Nino weather event, the first to provide concrete proof for the theory of plate tectonics and to reveal the oceans’ role in triggering abrupt climate change. With each year, our understanding of earth improves. Yet, new discoveries await us. It is that next insight on the horizon that keeps our researchers excited to learn more about how and why earth changes as it does.

Columbia University Earth Institute K-12 Education

Increasing public awareness and knowledge of humanity’s relationship to the environment through education and outreach is a core part of Lamont’s mission. Continuing advances in the understanding of our planet and the impacts of Earth processes on human society gained through Earth science research are communicated through both formal and informal programs to students and educators. Our education programs bring together frontier science and technology to inform the development of educational materials underlying improvements in science education and they help integrate research and education at every academic level in order to make long-lasting contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning in classrooms, schools, museums and other teaching and learning communities.

Recordings of sessions aimed at K12 students and educators can be found at the following link:

Visit the k-12 Education page at:

Center for Sustainable Development | Earth Institute, Columbia University

Our mission is to help countries and communities achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions – economic, social, and environmental – by translating the Sustainable Development Goals into meaningful policies and solutions. Our research projects, policy work, and convening initiatives span across SDGs including environment, education, gender, and health and well-being.


Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory seeks fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world – and are bringing that research and knowledge straight to you! Please visit the following links for their published research, events, recordings and more.

Whether you’re an aspiring young scientist or a long-time science enthusiast, you’re sure to enjoy Lamont-Doherty’s Open House. Join them for virtual lab tours, participate in hands-on earth science activities with our scientists from home, and learn from world-renowned researchers about their latest discoveries.

Hudson River Field Station
For over 20 years our education and outreach programs have operated, the Piermont Pier location has introduced thousands of local students to the Hudson River ecosystem.

Sustainability Education for Children


Louise McMath

Development and Community Relations Officer
E: [email protected]
P: (845) 365-8643

Maureen Raymo

Interim Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory,  Adjunct Professor, 
Earth and Environmental Sciences,  Director - Core Repository, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
E: [email protected]
P: (845) 365-8643


She’s an Authority on Earth’s Past. Now, Her Focus Is the Planet’s Future.

July, 2020 | The New York Times

Columbia University is taking new steps to make climate change, which has been studied there for decades, an even more prominent part of the school’s mission. And Maureen Raymo is a big part of that.The climate scientist Maureen Raymo is leading the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia. She has big plans for science, and diversity, too.

Read the NY times article here  

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