Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is renowned for its 70-year history of scientific leadership and discoveries. With more than 300 scientists and students, Lamont-Doherty researchers seek fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution, and future of the natural world, from the Earth’s deepest interior to the outermost reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean.

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory holds the world's largest collection of deep-sea sediment cores, many of them collected by our scientists.

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory holds the world’s largest collection of deep-sea sediment cores, many of them collected by our scientists.

Our scientists were the first to map the ocean floor, provided the first definitive evidence for the theory of plate tectonics, documented the ocean’s role in initiating abrupt climate change, discovered that the ice ages were paced by Earth orbital changes, and developed models to predict El Niño.

As the highest-ranked Earth Science graduate education program in the nation, we attract top talent from around the world. As the largest research unit of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Lamont-Doherty also draws on intellectual assets in related fields such as agriculture, remote sensing, public health, climate policy and law, and water resources.

The Center for Climate and Life is an institutional commitment to capitalize on our strengths and lead a novel and important area of research. With its focus on life systems and their responses to climate change, the Center can address issues and find solutions to the most important challenges facing global societies today. A new $15 million biogeosciences laboratory houses research groups breaking new ground in marine genomics, ocean ecosystems, molecular biomarkers, organic geochemistry, terrestrial ecosystems, and ocean microbe culture research.