2020 Seed Grants

Recipients:

  • Vijay Ramesh (Graduate Student; Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology)
  • Pratik Dubal (Graduate Student; Department of Computer Science)

Description:

  • "Hiding in Plain Sight - Unlocking the Potential of Historical Data to Inform Biodiversity Conservation" will quantify the impacts of a century of landscape changes on birds in the Western Ghats of southern India. 
  • This interdisciplinary study has two aims: utilize historical maps of land cover to quantify landscape changes over time and quantify the impacts of landscape changes on bird populations over time.
  • Additionally, this project will provide improved access and sharing of historical datasets to a broader scientific and non-scientific audience.

Recipients:

  • Adam Calderon (Graduate Student; Department of Clinical Psychology at Teachers College)
  • Joseph Lap (Graduate Student; Philosophical Foundations of Physics)

Description:

  • In an age of information surplus, how are to draw the boundaries between knowledge and misinformation? What are the social factors that influence what is taken as knowledge? And what faculties do we possess to distinguish between truth and misinformation? 
  • This lecture series explores the lack of access to specialized knowledge and its social ramifications. In an age of "fake news," the question of knowledge inequality becomes all the more relevant. 
  • By address the subject through a philosophical, psychological, and sociological lens, the series hopes to bring scholars together to foster a deeper understanding of the production, evaluation, and diffusion of knowledge. 

Recipients:

  • Alfredo Spagna (Lecturer; Department of Psychology)
  • Juan Guerrero (Research Staff Assistant; Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute)
  • OH Prema (Undergraduate Student; Department of Biological Sciences)

Description:

  • Transferring Research Topics from Under the Microscope and Unto the Stage: An Exploration of Science Themes Through a Theatrical Perspective offers a multimedia workshop for students. 
  • The project promotes critical thinking, creativity, and innovation skills about how to effectively communicate scientific knowledge to the real world from a theatrical perspective.
  • Unto the Stage fosters collaborations across academic disciplines to transfer research topics from under the microscope into the spotlight, where societal implications can be more readily appreciated.

Recipients:

  • Ben Wolman (Undergraduate Student; Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences)
  • Kate Steiner (Undergraduate Student; Department of Astrophysics)

Description:

  • An interdisciplinary student-led podcast and website dedicated to investigating, sharing, and communicating science and society stories to the Columbia community and beyond.
  • Each approximately 15-25 minute episode will focus on stories broadly relating to themes of "knowledge and access" and feature discussion with experts. 
  • Students will learn to research, record, edit, and produce engaging podcast episodes.