Hostos celebrated Earth Week 2021 April 19-23, offering an array of virtual immersive and interactive events, including a special virtual keynote presentation on carbon sequestration from Peter Kelemen, Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor and Chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.
Interim President Daisy Cocco De Filippis kicked off the event, held Tuesday, April 20, offering opening remarks and reading the poem “Don’t Bother The Earth Spirit” by Joy Harjo, 23rd Poet Lau­re­ate of the Unit­ed States.
During his presentation, Dr. Kelemen discussed the natural and engineered systems for removing CO2 from air and permanent, geological storage, and he discussed the importance of decreasing the emissions of carbon to mitigate the effects on global warming. “The year 2021 is a special, as the United States has rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement,” shared Carmen Inda Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Hostos’ Biology Unit and Co-Chair of the College’s Earth Week 2021 Committee. “Dr. Kelemen’s presentation on carbon sequestration further reinforced with scientific data the importance of achieving the international Climate Agreement goal: keeping the rise in global temperature below 2 Celsius degrees (3.6 °F), understanding that this would reduce the risks of climate change.”
Dr. Kelemen is a member of the U.S. Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Mineralogical Society of America, and the Geochemical Society, a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and a recipient of the AGU Bowen Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the fields of volcanology, geochemistry, and petrology. In addition to his primary research position in the Geochemistry Division at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Dr. Kelemen is an adjunct Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and a Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History. His is currently researching carbon dioxide removal from air and, separately, on permanent, geological storage of carbon dioxide via the reaction of CO2 with calcium and magnesium-rich rocks to form solid carbonate minerals.
Hostos’ Earth Week 2021 celebration included numerous presentations, a virtual visit from the elders of indigenous communities from around the world, teach-in event, science art contest, and more. See the full calendar of events here.