Research & Publications

CIESIN conducts a range of basic and applied research. CIESIN’s basic research aims at better understanding and predicting the behavior of socio-ecological systems and developing data to support research by others.  CIESIN staff have served as principal investigators and senior research personnel on research projects supported by a range of funders (see Programs & Projects) in areas such as environmental security, climate migration, natural hazards, indicator development from remote sensing data, experimental uses of device location and nighttime lights data, and population-environment interactions. 

CIESIN’s research has resulted in peer-reviewed publications and a range of reports.

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    CIESIN’s applied research efforts are aligned with Columbia’s Fourth Purpose, which leverages the university’s scholarly knowledge to create societal and global impact, in close partnership with organizations outside academia. The goal of this research is to advance human welfare and environmental sustainability by applying the university’s distinct intellectual capacities to practical problem solving and policy development, thereby bringing about meaningful changes. Examples include helping to identify locations for solar desalination, policy-relevant research on climate-related migration, and scientifically robust  environmental indicator development for policy audiences. Clients have included USAID, The World Bank, and state agencies.