As part of Climate Week 2023, Columbia Journalism School announces Climate Scientist in Residence

September 22, 2023

Columbia Journalism School announced this week that Gisela Winckler will serve as its inaugural Climate Scientist in Residence for fall 2023. A member of Columbia’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Winckler studies ice cores and marine sediment cores to understand the history of the earth’s climate — and how it is rapidly changing now.  

Winckler has worked closely with CJS students in the past: she teaches in the M.A. science program and has been in residence for several M.S. Covering Climate classes, held in the spring.  She will be holding open office hours as well as conducting thematic sessions. 

“Journalists have the unique opportunity to not only cover one of the most pressing issues of our time, but influence how we respond to it.” said Dean and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism Jelani Cobb. “For this reason, the Journalism School is dedicated to training reporters that can not only communicate with scientists about complex research topics, but report about those subjects in ways that lead to action.”

Winckler has been a leader in paleoceanography and the interplay of climate change, the carbon cycle and aerosols since 2003. As an environmental physicist and isotope geochemist, she unravels the process of environmental change on timescales ranging from decades to tens of millions of years. Her focus is primarily on the Southern Ocean and Pacific, two regions that are seeing significant effects from the warming earth. 

Her reconstructions of past climates are key to understanding the climate system’s sensitivity to natural variability and anthropogenic perturbations. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, including in Nature, Science, Nature Geoscience, Science Advances and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Winckler is deeply engaged in the Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion space. She served as the co-chair of the Lamont Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force, and has taught a seminar on Race, Climate Change and Environmental Justice.