African American Scholar is the First Faculty Hire for the Columbia Climate School

Kristina G. Douglass has been appointed as an associate professor of climate at Columbia University in New York City. She was the Joyce and Doug Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and assistant professor of anthropology and African studies at Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Douglass is the first faculty hire for the Columbia Climate School. Faculty from other departments are already teaching in the first-in-the-nation graduate program focused on training the next generation of leaders addressing climate change. Whereas those faculty are housed in other centers and departments, Dr. Douglass is the first faculty member hired directly into the Climate School.

Dr. Douglass’ research focuses on investigating human-environment interaction in Madagascar. For the last eleven years she has directed the Morombe Archaeological Project in southwest Madagascar. Through collaborations with local communities, conservationists and an interdisciplinary team of scientists, the project reconstructs the region’s historical ecology, offering a long-term view of changing climate, human-environment dynamics, migration, settlement, and faunal extinctions.

“I’m excited to be joining Columbia’s Climate School and hope to provide students with a critical lens for understanding the social, ecological and political dimensions of human-environment interaction while serving as a mentor and role model for these impressive students,” Dr. Douglass said.

Dr. Douglass holds a bachelor’s degree in classical archaeology from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in anthropology at Yale University.


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