Program Faculty

Rohit T. Aggarwala
Professor of Practice in International and Public Affairs
Principal, Bloomberg Associates
Chief of Staff to the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Cities and Climate Change

BA, Columbia University, 1993; MA, Queen’s University (Ontario), 1996; MBA, Columbia Business School, 2000; PhD, Columbia University, 2002.

Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability for the City of New York, 2006-2010; Special Advisor to the Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and Environmental Program Lead at Bloomberg Philanthropies, 2010-2013.  Research interests include cities and climate change policy; transportation policy; and the history of New York City.  Rohit is a board member of the Regional Plan Association (where he is also co-chair of the Fourth Regional Plan) and the Urban Green Council; and an advisory board member of the Eno Transportation Foundation and New World Capital, a private equity firm.  He has taught at Columbia, Barnard, and Stanford University.

Fall – ENVP u6239 The Politics and Policy of Urban Sustainability, ENVP u9230 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management II


Howard N. Apsan
Adjunct Professor of Public Affairs
University Director, Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management, The City University of New York

BA, MA, Brooklyn College, 1979; M.Phil., Columbia University, 1981; PhD, 1985.

Adjunct Professor of Public Affairs at SIPA since 1986; University Director, Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management, at CUNY since 2003; environmental and management consulting for commercial, industrial, and government clients, since 1986; policy and management positions at New York City’s Department of Sanitation, Board of Education, and Mayor’s Office, prior to 1986. His research and consulting interests include Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management and Business Continuity, Sustainability and LEED, and Management and Organizational leadership. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Quality Management, and writes and lectures regularly..

Summer – ENVP U9229 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management I
Fall – ENVP U6234 Sustainability Management


Benjamin C. Bostick
Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Affairs
Lamont Associate Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University

BA, MA, University of Idaho, 1995; M.S. University of Idaho, 1997; PhD Stanford University, 2002.

Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Affairs at SIPA since 2013; Lamont Associate Research Professor at LDEO since 2009, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences and Chemistry at Dartmouth College prior to 2009. Representative to National User Facility Organization (NUFO) for Synchrotron-Related Research since 2012. His research and consulting interests include Soil and Aqueous Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Tropical Soils and Soil Fertility, Environmental Health, and Environmental Remediation.

Summer – ENVP u6220 Environmental Chemistry


Kathleen Callahan
Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs
Deputy Director for Research Management Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory

BA, Hunter College, City University of New York, 1971; Harvard’s Environmental Policy Program (residential) 1980; Washington Executive Seminar 1987; Risk and Decision Making, 1988; Certified Total Quality Management Executive Facilitator, 1992. Candidate CERC Certificate in Conservation Biology.

Consultant, Energy Efficiency  and Environment (current),US EPA Deputy Regional Administrator (Retired), 2003-2008; Adjunct Lecturer Columbia University School of Public and International Affairs, 2006-2009; Associate Regional Administrator for New York City Response and Recovery Operations, 2001-2003; Director, Division of Environmental Planning and Protection, 1996-2001; Director, Emergency and Remedial Response Division, 1991-1996 and August 2001-December 2001; Deputy Director, Emergency and Remedial Response Division, 1989-1991; Deputy Director, Division of Planning and Management, 1979-1989; Chief of the Planning and Evaluation Branch, Office of Policy and Management, 1977-1979; Program Analyst, 1973-1977; Enforcement Analyst, 1971.

Summer – ENVP U9229 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management I
Fall – ENVP U9230 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management II
Spring – ENVP U9232 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Policy Analysis


Robert A. Cook, V.M.D., M.P.A.
Lecturer, School of Continuing Education Columbia University
Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of International and Public Affairs
Program Director, Conservation & Medical Research, Helmsley Charitable Trust

BS, Microbiology and Public Health, Michigan State University 1976; VMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine 1980, Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Animal Medical Center 1981; Residency in Zoological Medicine, Wildlife Conservation Society 1987; MPA, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University 2002.

Dr. Cook is the Program Director for Conservation and Medical Research at the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.  Prior to that he worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society for over two decades serving as the Chief Veterinarian and Vice President and then as the General Director and Executive Vice President of Living Institutions.  In this role he led a team responsible for the operations of 5 New York zoological parks including the Central Park, Queens and Prospect Parks Zoos, the New York Aquarium and the flagship Bronx Zoo.   Together these parks house some 1300 species of wild animals and are visited by over 4 million guests per year.  He was also responsible for programs in global wildlife health, education, curatorial and species conservation and exhibit design.  As a wildlife veterinarian and then as head of the health programs he worked extensively in rural international settings and on global policy issues focusing on the health of people, domestic animals and wildlife.  In addition, Dr. Cook serves as Science Advisor to the Mayday Fund, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to the alleviation of physical pain in people.

Summer – ENVP u9229 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management I


Nancy Degnan
Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC)
Lecturer, School of International and Public Affairs

MPA, Columbia University; Ph.D., Urban Planning, Columbia University.

Nancy served as Assistant Dean at SIPA and as the Associate Director at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.  She is currently the Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC).  At CERC, Dr. Degnan spearheads initiatives and programming in education, training and applied research STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Her research and writing has focused on community-based initiatives in education, sustainable development and redevelopment, as well as microfinance and enterprise development. She is also a member of Columbia Business School’s Deming Board, Chazen Institute.

Spring -  ENVP U9232 Workshop in Applied Earth System Policy


David Downie
Director, Environmental Studies, Fairfield University
Adjunct Research Scholar, The Earth Institute at Columbia University

B.A., Duke University (Philosophy);  M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Political Science; primary field, International Relations); Ph.D.,   University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Political Science; primary field, International Relations).

David is the  Director of Environmental Studies and Associate Professor of Politics at Fairfield University and  serves as an Adjunct Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Prior to joining Fairfield University in 2008, Dr. Downie taught courses in environmental politics at Columbia University from 1994-2008. While at Columbia he also served as Director of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change (2004-2008), Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Climate and Society (2004-2008), Director of the Earth Institute Fellows Program (2002-2004), and Director of Environmental Policy Studies (MIA program) at the School of International and Public Affairs (1994-2000).

Summer – ENVP U6241 Earth Systems and Environmental Politics, Policy, and Management


Adela J. Gondek
Lecturer in the Discipline of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology

BA, Goucher College, 1970; Ph.D, Harvard University, 1981

Consulting in public and environmental ethics for political and educational institutions, 2006-present; Lecturer of Discipline in Public Affairs, previously Adjunct Professor of Public Affairs, 1991-present, and  Political Science, 1989-2003, Columbia University; Visiting Scholar in Ethics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2012; Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 1984-1988; Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rider College, 1980-1984; Legislative Aide, Massachusetts State Senate, 1972-1978..

Fall -  ENVP U6225 Ethics, Values, and Justice


Dong Guo
Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Earth Institute

BS, Economics University College London 2005; MPA, Columbia University 2007; Ph.D. Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2013

Dong is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. Dr. Guo’s expertise lies in impact and evaluation methods and his dissertation focused on the labor market returns to public education spending in China. He has conducted significant research on China, including on the reform and practice of the Chinese rural taxation system.  Guo is working on the Earth Institute Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management focusing on the evaluation of sustainability programs and expanding the Research Program’s work into China.

Fall – ENVP U6310 Quantitative Techniques and Systems Analysis in Policymaking and Management I


Lloyd Kass, MPA, CEM
Adjunct Associate Professor

BS, Brandeis University 1992; MPA, Columbia University 1998.

Director of “Build Smart NY” for New York Power Authority’s (NYPA’s) initiative to accelerate energy efficiency in buildings operated by the State of New York, with a 20% energy use reduction mandated by 2020. Vice President, Willdan Energy Solutions (2009-2013); Energy Director, New York City Housing Authority (2005-2009); Capital Budget Director and other managerial roles, New York City Housing Authority, Department of Budget & Financial Planning (2000-2005) ; Quality Assurance Associate, City of New York Department of Social Services (1998-2000).  Certified Energy Manager, Association of Energy Engineers, 2007.

Fall – ENVP u9230 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management II


Kytt MacManus
Adjunct Professor, School of International and Public Affairs
Senior Research Associate/Geographic Information Specialist
Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)

BA, Political Science, Northeastern University; MS in Environmental Policy, Bard Center for Environmental Policy. The Australian National Internship Program, 2005.

Kytt has substantial experience with global dataset development for the NASA Socio-economic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Experienced web-GIS application developer. Python programmer. His research interests include the development of data driven web applications for decision support; the use of global population and housing census; and the use of Python for Scientific Computing.

Spring – ENVP U6224 Environmental Data Analysis


Michael P. Musso
Adjunct Lecturer, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health

BS, Civil Engineering, Villanova University, 1991; M.S., Environmental Engineering Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 1996; M.P.H., Environmental Health Science, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 2007

Lecturer, Mailman School of Public Health (Risk Assessment) 2009 – present; Lecturer, for topic’s course at MSPH: Arsenic’s cost-benefit of treatment and risk reduction (2001, 2002, 2009); Licensed Professional Engineer, State of New York; Senior Project Engineer, HDR Engineering, Inc. 1999 to present. Main areas of expertise include the assessment and characterization of contaminated sites and chemical impacts; regulatory compliance; assessing chemical exposures and risks to human health and the environment; and developing approaches for risk reduction and clean-ups at contaminated, Brownfields, hazardous waste and other site settings. Previous work experience includes: Intern – NYCDOH (Lead Poisoning and Prevention, 1997; Disease Surveillance, 1998); Environmental Engineer, Dresdner Robin Environmental Management, Inc. 1994-1997; Engineering Associate, Environ Corporation, 1991 – 1994.

Summer – ENVP u6221 Risk Assessment and Environmental Toxicology


Suresh Naidu
Assistant Professor, School of International and Public Affairs

Ph.D., University of Berkeley, Economics; MA, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Economics, 2004; B. Math (With Distinction), University of Waterloo, 2001. Suresh has had work published in the Journal of Labor Economics, Science, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and the Industrial and Labor Relations Review. He was awarded the Harvard Academy Scholar Post-Doctoral Fellowship for 2008-2010, and has received numerous other awards such as the Journal of Development Economics Award, UC Berkeley Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Graduate Fellowship. Suresh focuses primarily on the fields of political economy, economic history, and development economics, and has presented his research at colleges and conferences nationwide.  Suresh has designed and taught his own course on political economy of the 20th century at UC Berkeley in 2008.

Fall – ENVP U8213 Microeconomics and Policy Analysis I


Matthew I. Palmer
Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University

BS, Cornell University 1996; PhD Rutgers University 2005.

In addition to teaching, research, and advising at Columbia, Dr. Palmer advises the US Fish and Wildlife Service, NYC Parks, NY State DEC, NJ DEP, and several NGOs on conservation, restoration, and ecological management issues. His research interests are primarily in plant community ecology, with emphases on conservation, restoration, and ecosystem function.

Summer – ENVP u6111 Principles of Ecology, ENVP u6112 Urban Ecology, ENVP u9229 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management I
Fall – ENVP u9230 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management II


Michael J. Puma
Associate Research Scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University
Technical Advisor on Climate Change Information, United Nations Development Programme
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University

BS, Columbia University (SEAS), 1998; MIA, Columbia University (SIPA), 1999; MA, Princeton University, 2003; PhD, Princeton University, 2006.

Dr. Michael Puma is a hydrologist at the Center for Climate Systems Research (part of the the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies).  Dr. Puma is also practitioner, which is realized through his work with the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).  His UNDP work involves advising the its Energy and Environment Group on the integration of climate information for low-emission and climate-resilient development strategies.  Dr. Puma’s previous experience includes work and research in numerous institutions. Prior to obtaining his doctoral degree, Dr. Puma was an intern at the UNSO Office to Combat Desertification and Drought (now the Drylands Development Centre) at the UNDP and later at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He also has engineering experience through his work at two environmental consulting companies (URS Corporation and Dvirka and Bartilucci Consulting Engineers).

Summer – ENVP u6116 Hydrology


Louise Rosen
Deputy Vice President of Alumni Relations at Columbia University
Lecturer of International and Public Affairs

B.S. in Economic and Political Geography, the London School of Economics;  M.S. in Journalism, Columbia University

Louise serves as the Deputy Vice President of Alumni Relations at Columbia University. Working closely with the Vice President of Alumni she is responsible for alumni relations, and school based initiatives, regional and affinity programming, marketing and digital media. Prior to joining Alumni Relations, she spent eleven years at Columbia’s Earth Institute; most recently as Director of the Office of Academic and Research Programs responsible for incubating new education and research programs wherein she assisted with the development of seven new environmental and sustainable development degree programs overseeing all areas of their marketing and communications. She has written for several publications including, Forbes magazine, Upside Today, Fortune Small Business, Vogue and The New York Times.

Summer – ENVP u9229 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management I
Fall – ENVP u9230 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management I
Spring – ENVP u9232 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Policy Analysis


Jason E. Smerdon
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs
Storke-Doherty Lecturer, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University

BA Physics, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1998; MS Physics, University of Michigan, 2000; PhD Applied Physics, University of Michigan, 2004; Lamont-Doherty Postdoctoral Fellow, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Columbia University, 2005-2007; Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Barnard College, 2007-2008

Smerdon’s research focuses on the climate of the last two thousand years and understanding the dynamics of climate variability on decades to centuries. His specific areas of study focus on refining the statistical methods used to perform global and hemispheric reconstructions of past climate fields, dynamical analyses of climate model simulations that span the last several thousand years,  and model-data comparisons for evaluation of models on decadal to centennial time scales.

Summer – ENVP u6115 Climatology


Martha E. Stark
Adjunct Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

B.A., Political Science, New York University; J.D., New York University School of Law

Stark served as an Associate at the Brooklyn-based law firm Cullen and Dykman. Driven by her passion for government service and dedication to her New York City home, she served as Special Counsel and Assistant Commissioner at the New York City Department of Finance in the administration of Mayor David Dinkins. Martha served as a White House Fellow in the United States Department of State during the administration of President Bill Clinton. From 2002 until 2009 she returned to the New York City Department of Finance as the first African American woman to serve as Commissioner. During her tenure the agency developed a reputation as customer-friendly and innovative implementing programs to benefit taxpayers and to make it easier to access government services. Dr. Stark also serves as a Distinguished Lecturer at the City University, Baruch College School of Public Affairs.

Spring – ENVP u8201 Financial Management


Sara Tjossem
Associate Director for Curriculum, MPA in Environmental Science and Policy
Senior Lecturer, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

BA Biology, Swarthmore College, 1983; MS Ecology Cornell University, 1990; Ph.D., History of Science, Cornell University, 1994. Senior Lecturer & Researcher, Columbia University, 2003-present; Lecturer, University of Washington, 1998-2003; Assistant Director, Institute for Social, Economic, and Ecological Sustainability, University of Minnesota, 1996-1998; Lecture, University of Minnesota, 1995-1998. Tjossem’s teaching and research interests are on the intersection of science and society, the history of biology, particularly 20th century; history of ecology and agriculture; marine science, and development of environmental movements.

Spring – ENVP u9232 Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Policy Analysis