AP Environmental Science class visits university observatory

Maya Nornberg and Chloe Choi

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The AP Environmental Science class went on a field trip to the Lamonte-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of Columbia University, on Tuesday to further their study of environmental policy, legislation, and the impact of human activities.

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory researches “fundamental knowledge about the creation, evolution, and future of the natural world,” according to its website.

Science teacher Camilla Nivison, who teaches the class, chose to take her students on the trip because she feels that “climate change is an extremely important and current topic, and a great way to solidify that understanding, is for students to see that science in action,” she said.

Ashna Jain (12) believed that the field trip would be extremely informative and relate to their current unit on land use and climate change, she said.

Gavin Delanty (12) was excited to learn more about climate change and the research surrounding it, he said.

Silvia Wang (12) was eager for the trip. “I haven’t visited many environmental research centers before, and Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is one of the best in the country,” she said.

“I hope to learn more about the fieldwork and research being conducted there, and gain a deeper understanding of current climate science and issues,” Wang said.

Nivison hopes that her students will gain perspective and insight into the life of a scientist, she said. “The trip gives view into the possible fields of career– not everyone has to be a doctor or a lawyer,” she said.

The trip also gave Nivison numerous tools that she will be able to use in her class in the future, she said.

“There’s so much science happening beyond the walls of Horace Mann, so it’s very important to take field trips. This is a world-class institution only 20 minutes away, so of course, we had to go,” Nivison said. “During the trip, we learned about the Antarctic ice sheet, and sea ice vs. land ice,” she said.

“We got to use this really cool data analysis app and look at different temperatures to see how things were changing,” Jain said. “It really put everything we’ve been learning into perspective.”