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Science-Based Solutions for Sustainability: “The Big Ratchet”

October 7, 2014 @ 4:10 pm - 6:00 pm


The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the School of Continuing Education MSSM Practicum present talk by Ruth DeFries, who “uses images from satellites to track how the world’s demands for food and other resources are changing the planet.  She has worked throughout the tropics, including the Brazilian Amazon, India and other countries, and has developed innovative educational programs in sustainable development.

Prof. DeFries will present her new book “The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Disasters.”  Her new work focuses on how humans used innovation to lead to the civilization we have today and what the lessons of our history could mean for our future.”

Ruth Defries, Author of The Big Ratchet Source: Columbia University
Speaker: Ruth DeFries, Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology and author of The Big Ratchet

“The Earth Institute Practicum is designed to be a broad survey of the applications of frontier research to the practice of sustainable development and environmental policy.

The Practicum is a dynamic forum featuring a different lecture each week by the directors or lead researchers representing various units from across the Earth Institute. Each week the guest lecturer will present the applications of their research and discuss the policy implications.” (Columbia Univeristy)

To RSVP for this event please contact Nathan Rudder at
For more information on Earth Institute education programs, please click EDUCATION.
For more information on the Earth Institute visit

The big ratchet


October 7, 2014
4:10 pm - 6:00 pm
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The Earth Institute Columbia University


Columbia University Morningside Campus Union Theological Seminary, Room 207