The E3B Graduate Student Handbook by ps94506

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									                The E3B Graduate
                Student Handbook

                                   Please Note
                  The student handbook is always under revision.
                           This version was revised on
                                      27 August 2003
                     Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology




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                                 Table of Contents
Overview
        E3B and CERC…4
        E3B/CERC Faculty…5
        E3B and CERC Staff…7
        Post-Doctoral Research Scientists…7
        Visiting Scholars…7

General University Information
        ID Cards…8
        Libraries…8
        Places to Work…8
        Photocopying…9
        Printing…9
        International Students …9
        Student Stipends…9
        Student Fees…10
        Outside Employment for Fellowship Students…10
        Student Services Hotline…10
        Health Insurance/Immunization…10
        Credit Union…11
        Gym Membership…11
        Rape/Anti-violence crisis center hotline…11
        Security…11
        Additional General Information…11

E3B and CERC Facilities
        Hours…12
        Security and Access to the 10th Floor, Schermerhorn Extension…12
        Graduate Student Computing Center…12
        CERC/E3B class and conference rooms…12
        Student Desk Space...12
        Mail …13
        Obtaining Forms…13
        CERC copy machine…13
        Kitchen Area…13
        Restrooms…13

General Academic Information
        Orientation …14
        Residency, Extended Residence and Advanced Standing…14
        Course Schedule/Call Numbers …15
        Registration procedure…15
        Summer registration …16
        Awarding of degrees…17
        Graduate student meetings …17
        E3B Graduate Student Council…17
        Student-Faculty Representative…17
        Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC)…18
        Who to See for What…18
        Grades and Satisfactory Progress…19
        Incompletes…19
        Seminars…20

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        Directed Research: Registration and Grading Procedures …20
        Directed Reading …21
        Grant Proposals…22

M.A. Program
        Academic vs professional tracks…23
        Course-based versus thesis -based options…23
        Advisors and committees…23
        Course requirements…24
                 Academic track…24
                 Professional track …25
        Scheduling fieldwork for the thesis -based program…25
        Summary of requirements…25
                 Thesis -based option…25
                 Course-based option…25
        Possible Electives …26
        Internships for M.A. students …28
        Directed Readings as substitute for courses…29
        The M.A.thesis…29
        Progress Reports…29
        Travel to meetings…30
        Detailed instructions for getting travel reimbursement …30

Ph.D. Program
        General requirements…32
        Funding: general model…32
        Committees…32
        Core courses…34
        Electives…34
        Internships for Ph.D. Students…35
                  Biology internships…35
                  Policy internships …36
        Language requirements…36
        Teaching assistantships…36
        Advanced Examinations …37
        Literature Review…38
        Proposal defense…39
        Advancing to Candidacy…40
        Dissertation Defense…40
        Public presentation…40
        Degree requirements and research scheduling …41
        Schedule for Ph.D. Progress…41
                  Standard Track…41
                  Fast Track …43
        Progress Report…44
        Outstanding questions …44
        Courses…45
        Non-Columbia courses…45
        Environmental Policy Certificate …46
        Environmental Policy Certificate Internship Form …48
        Conference/Research financial assistance package for Ph.D. students …49

Grant and Award Opportunities …53

Appendix 1: E3B Graduate Student Teaching Guidelines …55

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                                      E3B and CERC

The administrative offices of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
(E3B) and the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) are located on the
10th floor of Schermerhorn Extension. Faculty offices, student spaces, laboratories and
classrooms can be found on the 8th , 10th 11th , and 12th floors.

At Columbia University, education degree programs are housed in departments. The graduate
programs described in this handbook began before the department of E3B existed, and were
initially administered by CERC. Now, however, the Columbia University degree programs,
whose adjunct and affiliate faculty come from Columbia, the American Museum of
Natural History, The New York Botanical Garden, The Wildlife Conservation Society, and
Wildlife Trust, are administered by E3B. All instructional faculty, therefore, hold appointments
in E3B or another University department. Graduate students are appointed as fellows in E3B.

This handbook was compiled in an effort to provide E3B students and faculty with an easily
accessible reference to answer many of the questions that routinely come up. Additional
information pertinent to your studentship at E3B and Columbia University may be found in the
GSAS Bulletin (online at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsas/bulletin/bulletin/html), FACETS
(Facts About Columbia Essential to Students, online at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/facets/), or
on the E3B department webpage, www.columbia.edu/cu/e3b.




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                                    E3B/CERC FACULTY
Core Faculty
Dr. Marina Cords                    Associate Professor of E3B and Anthropology; Chair, E3B
Dr. James Danoff-Burg               Associate Research Scientist, CERC and E3B
Dr. Don Melnick                     Professor, E3B, Anthropology and Biological Sciences;
Dr. Juan Carlos Morales             Associate Research Scientist, CERC and E3B
Dr. Shahid Naeem                    Professor, E3B
Dr. Alexander Pfaff                 Associate Professor, DIPA
Dr. Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez           Associate Research Scientist, CERC and E3B
Dr. Gareth Russell                  Lecturer, E3B

Adjunct and Affiliate Faculty (Columbia)
Dr. Philip V. Ammirato         CU (Barnard Biology)
Dr. Walter J. Bock             CU (Biology)
Dr. Brian Boom                 CU (CERC)
Dr. Hilary Callahan            CU (Barnard Biology)
Dr. Joel E. Cohen              CU (SIPA)
Dr. David L. Downie            CU (SIPA)
Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando       CU (CERC)
Dr. John Glendinning           CU (Barnard Biology)
Dr. Kevin Griffin              CU (DEES)
Dr. James P. Gibbs             SUNY Syracuse, College of Environmental Science & Forestry.
Dr. Francesca Grifo            CU (adjunct, E3B)
Dr. Paul E. Hertz              CU (Barnard Biology)
Dr. Ralph L. Holloway          CU (Anthropology)
Dr. Darcy B. Kelley            CU (Biology)
Dr. Fredi Kronenberg           CU (Medicine)
Dr. Marc Levy                  CU (CIESIN)
Dr. Ruth E. McChesney          CU (Barnard Biology)
Dr. Brian Morton               CU (Barnard Biology)
Dr. Paul E. Olsen              CU (DEES)
Dr. Dorothy Peteet             CU (DEES, Lamont)
Dr. Jeanne Poindexter          CU (Barnard Biology)
Dr. Robert E. Pollack          CU (Biology)
Dr. William Schuster           CU (Black Rock Forest)

CU = Columbia University (DEES = Department of Earth and Environmental Science, SIPA = School of International
and Public Affairs, CIESIN = Center for International Earth Science Information Network)

Adjunct and Affiliate Faculty (Non-Columbia)
Dr. A. Alonso Aguirre         WT
Dr. George Amato              WCS
Dr. Andrew Baker              WCS
Dr. Michael Balick            NYBG
Dr. Dan Brumbaugh             AMNH
Dr. Norah Bynum               AMNH
Dr. Kenneth Cameron           NYBG
Dr. James Carpenter           AMNH
Dr. Joel Cracraft             AMNH
Dr. Peter Daszak              WT
Dr. Rob DeSalle               AMNH

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Dr. Ernesto Enkerlin Hoeflich    WT
Dr. Darrel Frost                 AMNH
Dr. Joshua Ginsberg              WCS
Dr. Rosemarie Gnam               AMNH
Dr. David Grimaldi               AMNH
Dr. Jeffrey G. Groth             AMNH
Dr. Roy Halling                  NYBG
Dr. Ian Harrison                 AMNH
Dr. Michael Klemens              WCS
Dr. Fred Koontz                  WT
Dr. Ross MacPhee                 AMNH
Dr. Rodrigo Medellin             WT
Dr. Scott A. Mori                NYBG
Dr. Timothy Motley               NYBG
Dr. Scott Newman                 WT
Dr. Michael Novacek              AMNH
Dr. Christine Padoch             NYBG
Dr. Claudio Padua                WT
Dr. Mary Pearl                   WT
Dr. Charles Peters               NYBG
Dr. Ellen Pikitch                WCS
Dr. Norman Platnick              AMNH
Dr. Julie Pomerantz              WT
Dr. Christopher Raxworthy        AMNH
Dr. Kent Redford                 WCS
Dr. Diana Reiss                  WCS
Dr. John Robinson                WCS
Dr. Robert Rockwell              AMNH
Dr. Howard Rosenbaum             WCS
Dr. John Rowden                  WCS
Dr. Eric Sanderson               WCS
Dr. Scott Schaefer               AMNH
Dr. Randall Schuh                AMNH
Dr. Christine Sheppard           WCS
Dr. Mark Siddall                 AMNH
Dr. Scott Silver                 WCS
Dr. Nancy Simmons                AMNH
Dr. John Steven Sparks           AMNH
Dr. Sacha Spector                AMNH
Dr. Charles Spencer              AMNH
Dr. Eleanor Sterling             AMNH
Dr. Dennis Stevenson             NYBG
Dr. Melanie Stiassny             AMNH
Dr. Raman Sukumar                WT
Dr. William Wayt Thomas          NYBG
Dr. John Thorbjarnarson          WCS
Dr. Robert Voss                  AMNH
Dr. Dan C. Wharton               WCS
Dr. Ward Wheeler                 AMNH
Ø AMNH = American Museum of Natural History, NYBG = The New York Botanical Ga rden, WCS =
   Wildlife Conservation Society, WT = Wildlife Trust


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Ø Note: Not all non-Columbia faculty on this list currently have GSAS status that allows them to head a
        thesis committee. See “Committees” for further explanation of this status and committee membership.
Ø For further information about the faculty and the consortium, see www.columbia.edu/cu/e3b




                                     E3B and CERC Staff
                           (Located on 10th Floor Schermerhorn Extension)

E3B
Marina Cords                       Chairperson
Lourdes Gautier                    Departmental Administrator (DA)
Eleanor Sterling                   Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)
James Danoff-Burg                  MA Program Advisor (MAPA)
Alex Pfaff                         Director of Environmental Policy Certificate (DEPC)
Gareth Russell                     Advisor for the Post-Bac program
Maria Meade                        Administrative Assistant

CERC
Don Melnick                        Executive Director
Robert DeMicco                     Deputy Director
Brian Boom                         Associate Director for Research
Marina Cords                       Associate Director for Education
Wayne Belcher                      Financial Assistant
Stephanie Taubman                  Development Officer
James Danoff-Burg                  Program Manager, SEE-U (Summer Ecosystem Experience for
                                   Undergraduates)
Evelyn Luciano                     Assistant to the Executive Director
Katy Lopez                         Faculty Assistant
Rebecca Johnson                    Program Coordinator (Certificate Program)
Suzi Zetkus                        Program Coordinator (Certificate Program)
Angela Barranco                    Program Coordinator (Summer Internships)
Malanding Jaiteh                   GIS Specialist

Post-Doctoral Research Scientists
Ben Evans                          Genetics Lab
Pruthu Fernando                    Genetics Lab
Robin Sears                        UN Millenium Project

Visiting Scholars
TBA



Please note:
DGS – Director of Graduate Studies, DEPC – Director of Environmental Policy
Certificate, DA – Departmental Administrator, and MAPA—MA Program Advisor, will be
used throughout the Handbook


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                  GENERAL UNIVERSITY INFORMATION

Columbia University Identification Cards (CUID)
New students may obtain a photo-identification card at the University ID Center in 204 Kent
Hall. The office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm -- expect long lines at the
beginning of the semester.

A valid CUID is required to enter Butler Library and most other campus libraries; it is needed
for checking out books at all libraries. You will also need your CUID to enter the 10th floor
space after 5:00 pm and on weekends via the south stairwell using the card reader. There is a
card reader in front of Schermerhorn for nights and weekends. If you have trouble getting into
the building, go to Security in 111 Low Library. CUIDs are also checked at the
119th Street/Amsterdam gate, (a handy direct entrance to Schermerhorn Extension) thus
restricting access to those with valid identification in an effort to improve security.

Libraries
You will need your CUID to gain access to the Columbia libraries. If you want to use the
libraries at other universities, please make sure you have a sticker on your CUID indicating your
enrollment for the semester. You can obtain this sticker, as long as you are registered, at the
University ID Center at Kent Hall. If you need library access at other universities during the
summer, you may need to see the DA (depending on circumstances).

Ph.D. students are eligible, upon application at Butler Library, to have semester-long loan
privileges. You may also renew books on the Columbia library web page provided you do so
before 3 pm on the day the book is due.

You also have access to a large number of electronic journals through the Columbia Libraries
website (http://www.columbia.edu/libraries) and the American Museum of Natural History
website (http://www.nimidi.amnh.org/).

Places to Work on Campus
         Our department, like every other department at Columbia, is strapped for space. (See
Student Desk Space in the next section for details.) Because of limits on local space, you should
know about other options in and around the Morningside Campus. The spaces below are listed
more or less in terms of how far they are from Schermerhorn Extension – they are not the only
possibilities, but are provided here for convenience.

    ü   Psychology Library, ROOM#, Schermerhorn
    ü   Earth Sciences Library, ROOM#, Schermerhorn
    ü   Biology Library, ROOM# Fairchild
    ü   Business School Library, Uris ground floor
    ü   Lehman Social Science Library, IAB
    ü   Math/Science Library, Mathematics Building
    ü   Graduate Student Lounge (more comfortable seating), 301 Philosophy
          Afternoon Tea is served Mondays through Fridays, 3-5 pm.



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Photocopying
A copy machine for graduate student use is located in the computer lab on the 11th floor. This
machine operates on an at-cost basis (i.e. students will be charged the cost of making copies
only). The Graduate Student Council is responsible for setting the policy and procedures for the
use of this machine. Each graduate student will be assigned a personal code, and will be asked by
the Administrative Assistant to pay his/her bill periodically. It is important that you keep current
with your payments as codes will be deleted if outstanding balances are not paid. We can only
maintain this service for our students if everyone pays his/her share of usage. Unlike outside
copy machines, this one is available for students 24/7.

There are also copy machines that use copy cards in each of the libraries. You can purchase copy
cards at Butler library and at some of the other libraries. Copy facilities that offer a full set of
services are available in the School of Journalism building in the basement (854-3233) and the
School of International Affairs (854-3797). Another copy facility that is actually open on
weekends (unlike those above) and offers limited services is located at Lerner Hall, room w301
(in the computer center). These copy facilities are less expensive than the libraries. For more
information you can telephone them, or check FACETS or the Columbia home page.

Printing
Students enrolled at Columbia University have an ACIS printing account that allows them to
print 22 pages per week at any of the campus printers connected to the JAKE system. For more
details, please refer to the website: http://www.columbia.edu/acis/facilities/printers/jake.html.
A printer specifically for E3B graduate student use is connected to the computers in the 11th floor
computer la b. The Graduate Student Council is responsible for setting the policy and
procedures for the use of this machine. Like the copy machine in the same room, students
themselves bear the cost of operating the printer, and are responsible for its maintenance.
Students are not permitted to print to the faculty or staff printers on the 10th floor.

International Students
If you are an international student, one of your first stops at Columbia should be the
International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) (behind International House, 525 Riverside
Drive – near 123rd Street) to get international student clearance, Social Security numbers (this is
very important if you are expecting stipends), etc. In addition, you can acquire a useful form there
that will make it easier for you to set up a bank account in the U.S. Ask for it.

You must also fill out employment forms at the ISSO to get paid. Make sure you have filled out
the appropriate tax form if your home country has a tax treaty with the U.S. This will save you
a lot of money in taxes. Please inform the DA of your Social Security number once you know
it.

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 tragedy, INS rules and rule enforcement applying to
foreign students have changed. Be sure that you understand your status and what is expected and
permitted by the US government. The ISSO is the best source of answers to questions you may
have.

Student Stipends
If you are receiving a stipend, you will need to pick up your check at Student Financial Services
in 210 Kent Hall. Stipends are disbursed at the beginning of September, November, January, and
March. The fifth and final check for the academic year will be distributed at the start of May.
For international students, 14% tax is taken automatically out of the check if your country of
citizenship does not have a tax treaty with the United States. For more information on tax treaties,

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you should contact the ISSO. All other students may have to file taxes on your stipend during tax
time. Since each student's situation is different, you should consult with a proper tax accountant
regarding your taxes.

Student Fees
For those on fellowship, your award covers only the Columbia University Basic Health
Insurance and Health Service Fee, for the Fall and Spring only (see “Health
Insurance/Immunization). Students are responsible for all other fees.

In the fifth year of the PhD program (fourth, for those with advanced standing), when students
undertake dissertation research and do not receive stipends, Columbia still levies fees.
The department will make every effort to cover health insurance costs and “Matriculation and
Fees” for students in good standing for two semesters. In this regard, please think ahead, and
discuss your situation with the DA well in advance.

Outside Employment for Fellowship Students
GSAS (the graduate school) has established the following policy regarding outside employment
for students on fellowships: Students who receive fellowship funds administered by GSAS as
teaching, research or dissertation fellows must obtain permission from their departments to work
part-time up to ten hours per week. Part-time employment in excess of ten hours per week also
requires approval of one of the Deans of the GSAS. Under no circumstances may a student who
has been awarded a GSAS fellowship work more than twenty hours per week. Students who hold
fellowships from an outside source, whether or not administered by GSAS, may be subject to
more restrictive policies. For further clarification in particular cases, students should speak to the
appropriate Financial Aid Officer at GSAS.

Student Services Hotline
If you would like to know more about what Columbia University can do for you or have
questions about billing, registration, health services, residence halls, ID office, etc., the Office of
Student Services has instituted a free hotline phone number: 854-4400 (dial 4-4400 on campus
phones).


Health Insurance/Immunization
Please make sure all necessary immunization records are submitted to Columbia Health Services
in John Jay Hall. Missing records can lead to a block on your registration, transcripts, and degree
conferral.

Most full-time students will be automatically enrolled in Columbia Health Services and
Columbia Health Insurance (Chickering). A charge on your account statement will confirm that
you are enrolled. If you have other health insurance, you can request a waiver. There are
deadlines for enrollment and for waiving enrollment.

Please note that the Columbia Health Service Fee and Columbia Health Insurance are two
different things, but they are charged together. As mentioned above, health insurance may be
waived with proof of other coverage, but all students registered for full-time units will be
charged the Health Service Fee.

The Columbia Health Insurance charge is for the Fall and Spring, but the insurance policy for the
Spring extends until the end of August so that you are covered for a calendar year. The Columbia
Health Service Fee allows you to use the Student Health Services in John Jay Hall. The charges

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are for the Fall and Spring academic semesters. The summer semester is charged separately. It
may be optional or automatic depending on whether you register in the summer for a certain
number of courses. Please contact Student Health Services for further information.

If you will be going to the field and need immunizations from Columbia Health Services, you
should plan ahead. Not all immunizations are covered by Health Services, and they will probably
cost money. You may want to budget these costs into grant proposals.


Credit Union/Bank Services
Columbia University has a credit union that offers checking accounts. It is located on the fifth
floor of Lerner (503B). Call x4-8228 for more information. There is also a Citibank branch
(limited service) in Lerner Hall, and ATM machines in Lerner and the School of International
and Public Affairs. A full Citibank branch is on Broadway and West 111th St. and it offers
student discounts.


Columbia University Gym Membership
Gym lockers can be obtained (with valid ID) from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm at the Athletic Ticket
Office (Room 439 Dodge Physical Fitness Center). Semester lockers go quickly, so get there as
soon as you can. Student family memberships are available for the gym. Cost: variable,
depending on number of people in family (two people = about $100). Sign up in Room 439 at
Dodge Physical Fitness Center. (Students must bring valid ID).


Rape/anti-violence crisis center hotline
The hotline is 854-HELP.


Security
The Security Office is located in 111 Low Library. The number is 854-2796 (x4-2796). A late
night shuttle bus is available to the Columbia Community for service between 110th Street and
125th Street, between Morningside Drive and Riverside Drive. The bus runs only until 2
am. You may request an escort (usually means that a security officer drives you home) to take
you home from 2 am until sunrise. Request shuttle bus or escort service by calling 854-SAFE.


Additional General Information is available in the publication FACETS – Facts About
Columbia Essential to Students and on the following websites:

                                 www.columbia.edu/cu/facets/

                                www.columbia.edu/cu/students/

                                   www.columbia.edu/cu/gsas




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                              E3B & CERC FACILITIES
Hours
Regular business hours for E3B and CERC are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


Security and Access to the 10th floor, Schermerhorn Extension
Keep in mind that you will need a current CUID to enter the building during off-hours.
Schermerhorn hours generally follow the hours of the Psychology Library (located on the fourth
floor). If you have trouble getting into the building, go to Security in 111 Low Library.

During non-business hours, the elevators will be locked for access to the tenth floor, except
when evening classes are being held, at which time elevator access to the tenth floor is available
until 7:00 pm. When the elevators are locked, you can enter the tenth floor from the south
stairwell, but at this door you always need to use a current CUID.

A security system is used on the tenth floor after regular business hours and during non-class
hours. Motion detectors monitor the offices, classrooms, and administrative areas. Access to
the 11th floor computer center and student mailboxes in the computer center is possible via the
stairways even when the system is armed.

Please be aware of your surroundings at all times and do not leave laptops, other valuables or
bags unattended. Notify a staff member if you see any strangers wandering on the 10th or 11th
floors.

Graduate Student Computing Center
The CERC/E3B student computer center is located in Room 1105. E3B students access the
room by using the card reader (CUID) on the door. There are additional computers in the
multimedia room located at Schermerhorn Extension Room 558.

For safety and security reasons, if you are the LAST student to leave the room regardless of
time of day or night, please:

        1.      Close and lock all the windows
        2.      Turn off the lights
        3.      Close the door

CERC/E3B Class and Conference Rooms
The schedules for the classroom (1015) and conference room (1016) are located at the reception
area. If you need to reserve a room or audiovisual equipment for a meeting, please see the
CERC Faculty Assistant as far in advance as possible. The meeting, time slot, and your name
will be entered in the room schedule by the Faculty Assistant. These rooms can accommodate
Powerpoint presentations as well as regular photographic slides. [PowerPoint presentations
are highly encouraged!] Please be considerate: keep the rooms clean and neat and do not
leave any trash behind.


Student Desk Space
The department will attempt to give desk space to all Ph.D. students whose primary workplace is
at Columbia in a given semester. Desk and room assignments are made by the DGS and DA.
Students should not make their own arrangements to ‘sublet’ their space. Because space is


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limited (and will become more limited when the 11th floor is eventually renovated), students
cannot claim a particular spot for the duration of their studentship. Assignments of desk space
will be made taking various factors into account: e.g. whether the student has alternative space
available (such as in the advisor’s lab), whether the student is a TA (and needs a place to meet
undergraduates), and general equity among students. Students may need to share a desk with one
other person, and should be prepared to change their desk space arrangements from semester to
semester if necessary.


Mail
Student mail folders are located in room 1105. The out-box for inter-office and out-going mail is
behind the reception area. CERC and E3B staff and faculty mailboxes are also located in this
area. You must put your own postage on any outgoing mail. Please be aware that the office staff
cannot handle the mailing of packages, even with postage prepaid. The nearest post office is on
112th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Stamps are available at vending
machines around campus.


Obtaining Forms
Forms needed for Directed Research and Directed Reading registration, TA preferences, E3B
Summer Session Course Approval, Application for Summer Tuition Credit, Application for
Environmental Policy Certificate, Application for Degrees and Proposal Defense, Travel
Advance requests, and Travel and Business Expense reimbursements may be obtained from the
Departmental Administrator or the Administrative Assistant. Grant proposal coversheets may be
obtained from CERC’s Deputy Director or the Assistant to the Executive Director.


CERC copy machine
The copy machine on the 10th floor is for CERC/E3B staff and faculty only. See “General
University Information” for copy-machine options for graduate students.


Kitchen Area
A small kitchen with a coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave oven, and sink is
available. Use these facilities considerately; as there are no staff members assigned to clean
this area: please clean up after yourself. This includes not leaving dirty dishes in the sink or
spoiled food in the refrigerator. CERC/E3B is happy to provide this convenience for our students,
but individuals must be responsible for leaving the facilities clean and neat.


Restrooms
The women’s room is located just outside the reception area, to the left. The key for the
women’s room is kept in the door, or at the reception desk. There are two men’s rooms (no key
is necessary); one is located on the 8th floor in Schermerhorn Extension and the other on the 9th
floor in Schermerhorn Main.




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                   GENERAL ACADEMIC INFORMATION
Orientation
Orientation for incoming graduate students is held several days before the beginning of the Fall
Semester. All graduate students are encouraged to attend the welcome session and to meet
entering students. A notice with the specific date is sent out by August 1st each year.


Residency, Extended Residence, and Advanced Standing
Residence at the University is required for each advanced degree and is completed by registering
for Residence Units (RU) during the academic year. A Residence Unit is full-time registration for
one semester, and provides the basis for tuition charges.

Two Residence Units are required for the Master of Arts degree. Six Residence Units, which
include the two for the sequential M.A. degree and the two for the Environmental Policy
Certificate, are required for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Note that Residence Units are really units of tuition dollars, and do not equate automatically to a
certain number of points or courses. However, 9-12 points is generally considered a full-time
load for one RU, and students should not register for few than this number when completing one
RU. Given that each degree program requires a certain number of completed points (40 for the
PhD, 24 for the EPC, 48-51 for the MA depending on whether it’s course- or thesis-based), and
when students sign up for 9-12 points per term (even if some of these points are Independent
Readings or Research) they should be able to complete the required number of points in the time
frame expected. Students may sign up for more than 12 points if they can do the work.

Continuous registration until completion of all requirements is obligatory for each degree. Please
refer to the GSAS Bulletin for information on Leaves of Absence. After completing the
appropriate number of residence units (2 for M.A. students, 6 for Ph.D. students), students
are required to register for Extended Residence (ER) or Matriculation and Fees (M&F),
whichever applies. Students must register for Extended Residence in any semester in which they
hold a University appointment (e.g. as a TA or fellow) or are completing work towards a degree
requirement (e.g. submitting a literature review, taking qualifying exams, doing a proposal
defense, etc.). Registration for Matriculation and Facilities Fees is required during semesters
when students are in the field or conducting research. M & F registration for Ph.D. students is
required for the semester in which the student defends and submits his/her thesis. Some
exceptions do apply, so please refer to the GSAS bulletin and if you have further questions,
consult with the DGS or the DA.

For part-time M.A. students, please refer to the GSAS Bulletin for quarter-residence and half-
residence unit information. The total, whether it is 4 half-residence units or a combination of
full, half, and quarter RU’s, must add up to 2 whole residence units. GSAS allows 4 years to
complete part-time study.

Advanced standing is available to Ph.D. students who, upon entrance to the Graduate School,
have already completed the requirements for either an appropriate M.A. degree (or the
international equivalent), or an appropriate professional degree, at Columbia or elsewhere. On the
basis of such work, a maximum of two Residence Units may be accepted for credit toward the
Ph.D. degree, thus reducing the number of RU’s that the student must complete in this program.
Students granted advanced standing under the foregoing provisions are not eligible to receive

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                 - 14 -
the sequential M.A. degree (the M.A. that Ph.D. students without advanced standing receive
after one year of coursework) from Columbia.

Students transferring from institutions outside of Columbia, who have not completed an
appropriate M.A. degree program (or the foreign equivalent), or an appropriate professional
degree, are not eligible for advanced standing.

In a departure from previous procedure, students are no longer directly involved in applying for
advanced standing. Instead, GSAS will forward relevant information about students who may be
eligible for advanced standing to the department. The DGS will decide on the number of
residence units to grant (zero, one, or two, depending on the extent and nature of prior work). It is
not an option for qualified students to refuse advanced standing. Indeed, fellowship packages are
usually based on certain assumptions regarding the student’s likelihood of achieving advanced
standing.


Course Schedule/Call Numbers
An up-to-date course schedule and call numbers for registration can be located on the web at
www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/. E3B courses are under “E” for Ecology, Evolution, and
Environmental Biology. SIPA courses are under “I” for International Affairs. Law School
courses may not be on the web. Please contact the Law School directly. The ‘pencil book’ (a
printed publication available on campus) also has the course schedules and call numbers, but last
minute changes are not included in the pencil book, whereas the web is updated daily.

Registration procedure
Registration dates for the various schools in the University can be located in the pencil book or
at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/registrar. The first day of classes for SIPA, Law, and Business
schools may be different from Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and from each other. You can also
register during the pre-registration period (which occurs during the semester prior to the courses
being registered). This is the best option for those who know they will be away in the field
during the registration period.

For registration process details, please refer to the GSAS Bulletin (it is also entirely online at
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsas/and http://www.columbia.edu/cu/registrar/RegInfo).
Almost everything you need to know about academic matters can be found in this publication.
You should activate your registration, even if you are not certain about your course schedule, to
avoid a late registration fee. To do so, you may register for one class or for a status (Residence
Unit or Extended Residence). If you are not sure about your registration status please speak to the
DGS or DA.

Don’t forget to register for a status (see “Residency, Extended Residence and Advanced
Standing” above for explanations). First year M.A. students should register for one
Residence Unit (RU) each semester and second year M.A. students should register for Extended
Residence (ER). If you are a part-time M.A. student, please refer to the “Residency…” section
above. You can also speak to the DGS or DA if you are still unsure of your status.

All Ph.D. students in their first and second years should register for one Residence Unit in each
semester. Third-year Ph.D. students also register for one Residence Unit (RU) in each semester
if they do not have advanced standing. Thus most students will register for 6 residence units
over the course of 3 years; students with advanced standing will register for only 4 or 5. In the
semesters after completing your residence units, you will register either for Extended Residence

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 15 -
(ER) or Matriculation and Fees (M&F) status. If you are fulfilling a degree requirement (such as
taking classes or qualifying exams, turning in a literature review, or defending a proposal), you
will need to register for Extended Residence. Matriculation and Fees status is mainly for
students who are off campus doing their research. Keep in mind your fellowship is provided for a
certain number of years, and covers your fees accordingly. You should therefore fulfill any
degree requirements within the semesters/years in which you are supported (see the
“Schedule for Ph.D. progress”). Otherwise, you may need to find other financial resources to
cover fees and living expenses for the additional semesters. Note that registering for ER is
considerably more expensive than registering for M&F.

The Inter-University Doctoral Consortium allows Columbia Ph.D. students (not M.A. students)
to take classes at certain other institutions in and around New York. The GSAS Bulletin provides
details. The GSAS Student Services in 109 Low Library, handles consortium administration,
including registration and grades.

You can NOT drop a course without the approval of your advisor and/or committee (once
the class has started). To approve dropping a course, your advisor should e-mail the DGS and
DA to indicate that you are allowed to drop a specific course.


Summer Registration
(See also “Directed Research: Registration and Grading Procedures” for summer internships.)

Ph.D. fellowships do not cover summer classes and are based on your registration status (i.e.
RU, ER, etc.) for the Fall and Spring semesters only. However, if a fellowship student needs
to register for a summer course through Continuing Education and Special Programs’
Summer Session, s/he can do so without having to pay any tuition by filling out an
APPLICATION FOR SUMMER TUITION CREDIT from GSAS. The course(s) must be
listed in the Summer Session bulletin produced by (and available from) the Office of Continuing
Education, 203 Lewisohn Hall.

This arrangement works as follows: if a student is on fellowship, the summer tuition credit is
taken out of the subsequent Fall fellowship, and the Fall tuition is accordingly reduced.
However, you are responsible for any Summer fees, such as summer Health Service Fee
(depending on how many credits you register for). According to the GSAS Summer policy, you
must be in RU or ER registration status (see above) in the Fall to qualify for the summer tuition
credit. Further details are indicated on the GSAS form. To obtain the required approval from
E3B, you will need your advisor/committee’s signatures. Forms are available from the DA.

Please note that these financial arrangements are external to E3B. The department is involved
only in approving the GSAS form. You will need to make sure the debits and credits are accurate
when processed. If you choose to enroll in Summer Session, you will have to handle the financial
details with GSAS and possibly Student Financial Services. Please read all directions and
information carefully, since Summer Session is part of Continuing Education and Special
Programs, a separate division of the university from GSAS.

The summer tuition discount credit may also apply to those not on fellowship, including M.A.
students. Please check with GSAS at 107 Low to see if you qualify.




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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                - 16 -
Awarding of Degrees
Degree Conferrals for the Certificate, M.A., and Ph.D. are in October, February, and May. The
application deadlines for the M.A. degree are August 1, November 1, and December 1 (or the
next business day if these dates fall on a weekend or holiday), respectively. Applications must
be submitted to the DA who will forward all applications to the Registrar’s office, 205 Kent Hall.
For the Ph.D., the application procedure (for dissertation defense) set by the dissertation office,
107 Low, must be carefully followed and the dissertation must be deposited by 5:00 pm on the
Friday before the conferral dates.

Students in the Ph.D. program are eligible for the sequential M.A. degree after successful
completion of 2 semesters of coursework, with the recommendation of the DGS. Ph.D. students
are eligible for the M. Phil. after completion of all the requirements (except the dissertation),
including the advanced written exams, literature review, and oral defense of the research
proposal. Forms must be processed by the department to notify the graduate school to confer
the M. Phil.; these forms are normally part of the package of materials that the committee
receives when a student defends the dissertation proposal (since this is usually the last
requirement to be fulfilled for the M. Phil.), and will be forwarded to GSAS by the DA without
the student needing to be directly involved.

Ph.D. students may participate in the May Commencement if they have successfully defended
the dissertation. Please obtain information packets on degree conferrals at the GSAS office.
Forms are to be filled out and returned to the DA.


Graduate Student Meetings
The Chair of E3B, the DGS, and the MAPA are available to meet with graduate students as
issues arise and will schedule periodic meetings.

E3B Graduate Student Council
The E3B Graduate Student Council was created to make the Student Meetings more frequent
and productive. The 5-member council represents the students at the meetings. However, all
students are welcome to participate in the meeting. For further information, please contact the
current members: Angelica Cibrian-Jaramillo (ac2052@columbia.edu), Anders Gonçalves da
Silva (ag2057@columbia.edu), Stergio-Orestis Kolokotronis (sk2059@columbia.edu), Kate
McFadden (kwm6@columbia.edu) GSAC Rep, Andrea Putnam (ap2044@columbia.edu).
Elections for membership are held at the beginning of each academic year.


Student-Faculty Representative
Graduate students may elect a representative to sit in on E3B faculty meetings. This gives
students an opportunity to be aware of decisions, issues, and opportunities discussed during
faculty meetings. The representative is there as an observer, not to raise issues. If students wish to
bring up issues, they should do so at student meetings (see above). The student representative is
welcome during any part of the Faculty Meeting during which general issues related to E3B and
the graduate programs will be discussed. The student representative will be asked to leave for any
part of the meeting during which time more confidential items are discussed (e.g. the progress of
individual students and financial matters).




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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 17 -
Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC)
GSAC was created in Fall 1987 to serve as a consultative student group to the Dean of GSAS.
 this group has become an important means of communication between students and the GSAS
central administration. Through administering the student activities fees, students gain
first hand experience in planning academic and social programs to enrich their time at
Columbia. GSAC's primary functions are special events (both educational and social), funding
for student events and educational initiatives, and ensuring graduate student representation in
University policy making. Through the Student Issues Inquiry Forum, students have set up
constructive dialogues with the central administration on housing, fellowships, health insurance,
libraries and gymnasium use, as well as other student services. Along with ensuring direct and
routine communication with the Dean and staff, GSAC elects from its members the student
representatives to the University Senate, the GSAS Executive Committee, and other University
committees on which GSAS students are eligible to serve and should have a voice. GSAC is the
only existing body that represents Ph.D. students at Columbia. It is therefore an important
forum for the expression of their opinions and a place for them to raise issues critical to their
education and lives at Columbia.

A GSAC Rep from E3B is to be elected every year in May. Candidates can be re-elected.
Students should notify the DA of the election results, so that the name can be reported to
GSAS. Keep in mind that this person is not only representing you, but E3B and CERC as well.
GSAC will show funding priority for departmental events and student group initiatives to those
Ph.D. programs with active GSAC representatives (i.e. attendance at 3 out of 4 meetings per
semester).

Whom to See for What
While students may consult with any E3B faculty member for advice, there are certain faculty
members and departmental staff members with official dutie s in this regard that you should know
about.

The Director of Graduate Studies oversees the progress of all students through the graduate
programs. S/he keeps records on student progress, processes special requests (e.g. registration
for independent study, committee membership), and provides advice on all academic matters.
Your own advisor may also provide such advice, but sometimes it is useful to have another
person to talk to. You should go to the DGS for any academic matters concerning your
studentship. Academic matters concern things like courses, degree requirements, and research
plans, and are to be distinguished from logistical or administrative matters. We expect you to be
in regular contact with the DGS: be proactive, drop in and let us know how things are going!

The MA Program Advisor works with the DGS to oversee the progress of MA students. For MA
students, the MAPA is the first point of contact, but s/he may consult with the DGS when matters
arise that relate to general policy issues. MA students should contact the MAPA for all academic
matters, which concern things like courses, degree requirements and research plans (and as such
are distinguished from logistical or administrative matters). If you are an MA student, you
should be in regular contact with the MAPA, even when all is going well.

The Departmental Administrator is the person responsible for overseeing the execution of
departmental and university policies, including those related to students. S/he is the person to see
for logistical or administrative matters, but not the person to ask for academic advice. Logistical
issues include things like registration, stipends, grad school forms, letters verifying status,
scheduling defenses, financial issues including obtaining reimbursement for conference expenses,
and disbursement of the pre-dissertation feasibility study grant. The DA has an administrative

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 18 -
assistant who helps with some student services at the DA’s instruction; however, your first point
of contact for logistical and administrative issues should be the DA her/himself.

The Department Chair is responsible for general management of the department, including hiring
of faculty, setting budgetary priorities, and communicating with the departmental faculty at large
and the higher-level university administrators. This is the person to come see if there are general
departmental issues that concern you, such as matters of overall policy or general faculty concern.
The Chair is always in close communication with the DGS, MAPA, and DA, so (depending on
the nature of the issue) these individuals can also be consulted regarding such issues: chances are
that they will pass them on to the Chair for action. The Chair welcomes student input in our
growing department, but is generally not well placed to handle specific issues related to specific
students.


Grades and Satisfactory Progress
Please refer to the GSAS Bulletin for the grading system at Columbia. General GSAS policy for
all graduate students stipulates that grades of “B+” or higher are considered to be the university’s
standards. E3B generally holds to this university-wide policy, but considers the grade of B to be
minimally acceptable for M.A. students in all of their courses, and for Ph.D. students in courses
that count for the Environmental Policy Certificate.

So what happens if you receive less than the minimally acceptable grade? As long as the grade
is not an F, you do get credit for the course. However, that credit cannot satisfy a specific course
or elective requirement. If the instructor is willing, you may have the opportunity to do extra
work to raise your grade to the minimum acceptable grade. For E3B core courses (Ecology,
Evolution, Conservation Biology), this option is routine; but for elective courses, it is up to the
instructor to decide if s/he will accept additional work, and what the terms might be (e.g. type of
work, deadline, whether extra work has the potential to decrease as well as increase your grade).
If an instructor does not wish to accept additional work, you will have to take another course to
satisfy the requirement. Any such additional work must be completed by the end of the summer
after the course in question.

PhD students should consult the Environmental Policy Certificate section for further information
regarding EPC courses.

Incompletes
In consultation with the instructor, students may receive a temporary grade of Incomplete if they
have not completed the requirements of the course for which they are registered by the end of the
semester. When the grade of Incomplete is assigned, the student and instructor should come to a
specific understanding about deadlines for completing the work, normally sometime in the Spring
semester for Fall courses, or by the end of the summer for Spring courses. The graduate school
automatically turns grades of Incomplete into R-credit (no letter grade) after 12 months; this
change cannot be reverted. Courses with R-credit do not count toward the point-totals required
for each degree. This GSAS policy is another reason to resolve Incompletes promptly.

You should be aware of another type of grade that can be used for unfinished work. The grade of
“CP” (credit pending) can be given when a student plans in advance to continue work in
a registered course beyond the semester of registration. In such a case, the student can get a
temporary grade of CP until the work is completed. The grade of CP is appropriate for research
type courses only; it would not apply to lecture or seminar type courses. It is also likely to apply


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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                 - 19 -
only rarely to research courses, since usually one designs a Directed Research or Directed
Readings course to fit into one semester.

Seminars
Seminars are run throughout the year and include internationally known researchers, policy
makers, and environmentalists as well as Ph.D. students at E3B or in other departments and
institutions. Ph.D. students are required to register and attend the CERC Seminar (EEEB G6300)
series each semester during their first 3 years (2 years for those with advanced standing) and
attendance is expected thereafter. M.A. students must register and attend the seminar series
during every semester of the 2-year Master’s program, unless they are away in the field.

The seminars provide an opportunity for students to meet people from beyond Columbia and
the CERC Consortium, to gain insights into novel techniques and cutting edge theory, and to see
first hand how to give a good talk (the latter is extremely important – jobs usually require a
presentation of the applicant’s research). Students are encouraged and welcome to meet or
have lunch/dinner with the speaker: please contact the host or the CERC Seminar
coordinator, Dr. Brian Boom (bmb19@columbia.edu) to make arrangements. Coffee and
cookies before the talk, and a reception (and sometimes dinner) afterward, are also venues
intended to facilitate students’ interacting with the speaker, with faculty, and with each other.


Directed Research: Registration and Grading Procedures

Registering for “Directed Research” (EEEB 9501 (Fall) and EEEB 9502 (Spring)) is the way
for Ph.D. students to get academic credit for biology internships, and for M.A. students to get
credit for their M.A. thesis research.

To register:
    • Fill-out a Directed Research form (available from the DA). Have it approved by either
        the DGS (Ph.D. students) or the MAPA (M.A. students) and then submit the form to the
        DA.
    • Register for Section 1 for 3-6 points. This is considered ONE Directed Research unit. If
                       you are approved for doing two Directed Research projects, then you will
                       register for Section 2 for the second Directed Research unit.
    • For summer Directed Research, register in the subsequent Fall for EEEB 9503.
    • In addition to the form for the DA, you must register for the course through the Registrar.
        It is not sufficient to fill out only the departmental form.

Directed Research registration forms are to be submitted to the DA by the end of the ‘add/drop
courses’ period at the beginning of the semester. There is a grace period for submission of forms,
but only if you have contacted the DA by the end of the add/drop period.

To ensure submission of a grade for biology-internship Directed Research:
At the end of the semester (during finals week), Directed Research supervisors should submit
grades to the DA. An e-mail to the DA is sufficient. Please ensure that your directed research
supervisor knows this, and please take responsibility for reminding him/her of the date by which
the grade needs to reach the DA. The DA will submit all grades to the University Registrar. If
the grade is NOT submitted on time, you will receive a grade of INCOMPLETE that will have to
be removed with a Change of Grade Form.



_________________________________
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                - 20 -
Registering for “Directed Research”( EEEB 9501 (Fall) and EEEB 9502 (Spring)) is also the
way to get academic credit for policy internships.

To register:
        • Have Alex Pfaff, DEPC, approve your internship (see “Environmental Policy
                 Certificate” section of this handbook)
        • Complete a Directed Research form (available from the DA), and get approval from
             your internship supervisor and Alex Pfaff
        • Register for Section 1 for 3 points
                 If you are doing 6 points, please follow the instructions in the “Environmental
                 Policy Certificate” section. Basically, two sets of forms are to be submitted.
                 Register for Section 2 for the additional 3 points.
        • For summer Environmental Policy internships, follow the instructions above, and
             register in the subsequent Fall for EEEB 9503 for 3-6 points.
        • In addition to the form for the DA, you must register for the course through the
             Registrar. It is not sufficient to fill out only the departmental form.

        See above (Biology Internships) for registration deadlines: forms must be given to the DA by the
        end of each semester’s ‘add/drop’ period.

To ensure submission of a grade for policy-internship Directed Research:
       At the end of the semester (during finals week), Environmental Policy directed research
       supervisors are to submit grades to the DEPC, Alex Pfaff. Please ensure that your
       directed research supervisor has the necessary form, and please take responsibility for
       reminding him/her of the date by which that form needs to reach the DEPC. The DEPC
       will forward grades to the registrar.


NOTE: Any questions about registration or grade submission related to biology or policy
internships should be directed to the DA.


Directed Reading

Registration for Directed Reading (G9509) gives a student the opportunity to delve into a specific
topic one-on-one with a professor. The professor generally formulates the structure of the tutorial
course together with the student.

To register for Directed Reading, you must submit the form to the DA by the end of the add/drop
period early in each semester. There is a grace period for submission of forms, but only if you
have contacted the DA about it by the end of the add/drop period. If the forms are not
submitted on time, you will not be registered for Directed Readings. Forms can be filled-out and
submitted in advance (even before you register); it may be necessary to think ahead if people
whose signatures you’ll need will be out of town during the add/drop period. Registration
directly with the registrar is also required.

As for Directed Research, the student registered for Directed Readings must take the initiative
to remind the professor at the end of the semester to submit the grade to the DA. If no grade is
submitted, the student will receive an incomplete. The professor sponsoring the directed readings
course submits a letter grade to the DA at the end of the semester, as well as a copy of the
student’s report on the readings.

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                      - 21 -
Grant Proposals

It is university policy that graduate students submit their research grant proposals through
Columbia’s Office of Projects and Grants (OPG). Students in E3B should submit their grants
under the umbrella of CERC, and therefore they also require approval by CERC’s executive
director. OPG’s review ensures that research by University scholars is appropriately reviewed
by institutional review boards (e.g. Animal Subjects Review Committee, see below). In addition,
submission of grant proposals through OPG relieves individual scholars of the tax liability that
would accrue if grants were given to individuals, rather than the institution. CERC’s review
ensures coordination of multiple requests to single donors, should it be necessary.

Students should plan proposal submission accordingly. For CERC approval, a coversheet
(available from the Deputy Director or the Assistant to the Executive Director) must be
submitted with the proposal to the Associate Director for Research (Brian Boom). It is advisable
to speak with him as you are identifying prospective funding sources and developing your
proposal. For additional information, see www.columbia.edu/cu/cere/research/grants.html.
Other on-line forms are required (see below), and while they are not particularly onerous, it takes
some time to find out about them, to fill them out, and to get the approvals they require. You
should not expect to complete all of this on the day your proposal is due! Plan ahead!!

OPG uses Rascal, Columbia’s Research Administration System, which is online at
http://www.rascal.columbia.edu/. Rascal is home to several services, including Prop Trak, an
electronic proposal summary program containing administrative data required by OPG. It
culminates with the “finalization” (approval) by a Principal Investigator (PI). The PI is required
to answer conflict of interest questions pertinent to his/her specific research as well as to
provide other information about the proposal. In most cases, a student’s advisor is the PI on
his/her grant proposals and students are co-PI’s.

If you are working with vertebrate animals you will need approval of an animal protocol by the
Animal Subject Review Committee (this is critically important – in fact you need this even if you
are not seeking funding for a project). The Rascal homepage will direct you to Compliance and
Animal Care Protocols.

The current contact person at OPG for E3B and CERC is Michelle Steer, telephone 854-6851,
email ms2289@columbia.edu. OPG is located at 254 Engineering Terrace.




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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                 - 22 -
         MASTERS OF ARTS IN CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
            (please also see ‘General Academic Information’ and the GSAS Bulletin)


Academic vs. Professional Tracks
The M.A. student follows either the academic or the professional track. The academic track is
designed for students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in the future, and the professional track is for
students who plan to enter the conservation profession immediately after obtaining the M.A.
degree, or who are already working in this area. The requirements of the two tracks differ, as
explained below.

Students may complete both academic and professional tracks simultaneously. The actual
transcript does not distinguish between the tracks however—it will just show that you have
received the MA (as well as the specific courses taken). If students require special documentation
about which track has been completed, the MAPA can prepare a letter with appropriate
documentation.

Course-based versus Thesis-based Options
Beginning with the 2002-03 academic year, a course-based program has been introduced. This
MA program does not require a research-based MA thesis, and therefore no summer work
between the first and second years: consequently, this program requires completion of 48 points
of academic credit rather than 51. Students in the course-based option must register for two
additional classes, either in conservation science or environmental policy, beyond those required
for the thesis-based MA. Students in the course-based option will likely not register for a large
number of units of Directed Research but could still register for some Directed Research to
undertake internships or gain research experience, although a thesis is not the end-product. As a
‘leaving experience’ and an additional degree requirement, students in the course-based program
write a take-home essay over a period of 2 weeks during the Spring semester of their 2nd year. A
committee of 2-3 faculty members, rotating from year to year, sets a choice of topics, and then
reads the ~20 page papers, and grades them on a pass-fail basis. The essay tests the students’
ability to think about aspects of conservation biology in a critical and informed way.

Students must declare which of each of the two sets of MA degree options they wish to
pursue by the end of the Spring semester of their first year. After this point, it will not be
possible to change from one track or option to the other. Please notify the MA Program Advisor
and DA of your choice.

How does the course- vs. thesis-based choice relate to the academic vs. professional track
choice? In principle, these are independent dimensions of the master’s program, and any of 4
combinations would be possible. However, we generally advise students interested in pursuing a
Ph.D. (i.e. those in the academic track) to undertake a serious research project (i.e. a thesis).


Advisors and Committees
Students in the course-based M.A. program will be advised mainly by the MAPA and the DGS.
Students in the thesis-based M.A. program need to find a research advisor, and to set up a
committee as follows:

• Advisors need to be selected in the first semester of study. Advisors need to be E3B/CERC

_________________________________
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                 - 23 -
   Faculty members. See the faculty list in the GSAS Bulletin for the names of potential
   advisors. This list undergoes periodic adjustment (new people come, others leave). If you
   are uncertain of a faculty member’s status, check with the DA, DGS, or the MAPA.
• A committee with 3 members (including your advisor) needs to be formed before you
   seriously plan for and conduct your research, usually in the second semester. At least 2
   members must be affiliated with CERC. You must have one CU/E3B faculty member
   (Profs. Cords, Danoff-Burg, Melnick, Morales, Naeem, Pinedo-Vasquez, Russell) on your
   committee, unless otherwise approved by the E3B chair and MAPA after special
   consideration. One of the 2 CERC members must be listed in the GSAS Bulletin,
   (again, keep in mind that the list changes a bit over time). Note that not all staff of CERC
   institutions have adjunct status at Columbia, and therefore they may not appear on this list.
   In all cases, your committee needs final approval by the MAPA.

        Examples of Committee Composition
               1) CERC [CU GSAS]
                  CERC [non-CU GSAS]
                  non-CERC
               2) CERC [CU GSAS]
                  CERC [non-CU GSAS]
                  CERC [non-CU GSAS]
               3) CERC [non-CU GSAS; approved by E3B Chair and DGS]
                  CERC [non-CU GSAS]
                  non-CERC


M.A. Course Requirements
Academic track
Core Courses
      First Year
      1) 2 semesters of graduate level Conservation Biology (EEEB 6905, 6990)
      2) Environmental Politics, Policy and Management, (SIPA U6241)
      3) CERC Seminar (EEEB G6300), Fall and Spring terms (unless the student is in the field
          during the Spring term)

        Second Year
        1) Evolution (EEEB G6110), Fall term
        2) Ecology (EEEB G6112), Fall term
        3) CERC Seminar (EEEB G6300), Fall and Spring terms (unless the student is in the field
            during the Fall term)

Electives (a list of courses that count as electives follows)
There are two categories of electives:
        1. Conservation science (3 electives in this category are required*)
        2. Environmental policy (3 electives in this category are required*)

* A student pursuing a course-based Academic -Track Master’s would be required to take two
additional electives, in either the Conservation Science or Environmental Policy categories.)




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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                 - 24 -
Professional Track
Core Courses
       First Year
       1) 2 semesters of graduate level Conservation Biology (EEEB 6905, 6990)
       2) Environmental Politics, Policy and Management, (SIPA U6241)
       3) CERC Seminar (EEEB G6300), Fall and Spring terms

        Second Year
        1) Economics of the Environment (ECON W4625)
        2) Additional policy/economic law elective
        3) CERC Seminar (EEEB G6300), Fall and Spring terms

Electives (a list of courses that count as electives follows)
There are two categories of electives:
        1) Conservation science (3 electives in this category are required*)
        2) Environmental policy (3 electives in this category are required*)

* A student pursuing a course-based Professional-Track Master’s would be required to take two
additional electives, in either the Conservation Science or Environmental Policy categories.)

Scheduling Fieldwork for the Thesis-based MA Program
The faculty recognizes that it is sometimes difficult for students to complete all of their field
research for the MA thesis in just one summer. Therefore, thesis-based MA students are allowed
to spend one of their four semesters (either Spring of year one or Fall of year two) in the field
conducting research, in addition to the summer period that is currently available. During this
period students would register for directed research for up to 12 points. Whether it is wise for a
student to extend fieldwork in this manner is a decision to be taken carefully in consultation with
the student’s entire committee, the E3B chair, and the MAPA. Those who remain in the field in
the Fall of their second year will miss the Ecology and Evolution core courses: this may be
possible for some students, unwise for others. Students who begin fieldwork in the Spring of
their first year will miss the second term of the Conservation Biology sequence and would have to
postpone taking it to the second semester of their second year in the program. Students who
spend one semester in the field will not be expected to register for the CERC seminar during that
semester.

Summary of the Requirements for the Thesis-based MA Program
             2 semesters of graduate level Conservation Biology (EEEB 6905, 6990)
             SIPA U6241 Environmental Politics, Polic y, and Management
             2 specific advanced courses (EEEB 6110, 6112 for academic track, or
             ECON 4625 and a 2nd policy course for professional track)
             3-4 semesters registration in the CERC seminar (EEEB 6300)
             3 electives in conservation science
             3 electives in environmental policy
             MA Thesis
             Total Points: 51

Summary of the Requirements for the Course-based MA Program
             2 semesters of graduate level Conservation Biology (EEEB 6905, 6990)
             SIPA U6241 Environmental Politics, Policy, and Management
             2 specific advanced courses (EEEB6110, 6112 for academic track, or
             ECON 4625 and a 2nd policy course for professional track)

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                - 25 -
                 4 semesters registration in the CERC seminar (EEEB 6300)
                 3 electives in conservation science
                 3 electives in environmental policy
                 2 additional electives (in either conservation science, or environmental policy or
                 a combination)
                 MA Essay (passing grade)
                 Total points: 48


Possible Electives (this is not a complete list)

                   Course Name                           Department        Course #     Conservation Biology (CB)
                                                                                         or Environmental Policy
                                                                                                   (EP)
 Applied Remote Sensing - Image Processing                  DEES             W4051                    CB
 Behavioral Ecology & Conservation                          EEEB             G6125                    CB
 Biogeography                                               EEEB             W4789                    CB
 Biological Systematics                                     EEEB             W4601                    CB
 Biometry                                                   PUBH             P8110                    CB
 Biotic Surveys and Inventories                             EEEB             W4790                    CB
 Case Studies in Conservation Genetics                      EEEB             G6900                    CB
 Disease Ecology & Conservation                             EEEB             G4127                    CB
 Ecological Studies in Anthropology                         ANTH             W4236                    CB
 Ecology                                                    EEEB             G6112                    CB
 Ecotoxicology                                              EEEB             W4200                    CB
 Evolution                                                  EEEB             G6110                    CB
 Field Botany                                               EEEB             G4910                    CB
 Fundamentals of GIS in Ecology & Conservation
     Biology                                               EEEB              G6020                    CB
 Genetics                                                   BIO               4032                    CB
 Global Assessment - Remote Sensing                        DEES              W4050                    CB
 Graduate Seminar in Conservation Biology                  EEEB              G6905                    CB
 Herpetology                                               EEEB              W4210                    CB
 History of Amphibians and Reptiles                        DEES              G8666                    CB
 History of Mammals                                        DEES              G8667                    CB
 Human Skeletal Biology I                                  ANEB              G4147                    CB
 Human Skeletal Biology II                              ANTH / EEEB          G4148                    CB
 Insect Diversity                                          EEEB              W4666                    CB
 Introduction to Biostatistical Methods - for stats
     majors                                                PUBH              P6104                    CB
 Introduction to Biostatistics                             PUBH              P6103                    CB
 Introduction to Probability & Statistics                  SIEO              W4150                    CB
 Introductory Statistics                                  SOCW               T8501                    CB
 Invasion Biology                                          EEEB              W4060                    CB
 Measuring Biological Diversity                            EEEB              G6185                    CB
 Modeling, Populations, and Communities                    EEEB              G4150                    CB
 Natural History of the Mammals                            EEEB              G4200                    CB
 Origins of Life                                            BIO              W4205                    CB
 Ornithology                                               EEEB              G6140                    CB
 Patterns / Processes of Biological Diversity              EEEB              G6040                    CB
 People and Their Environment                           ANTH / PUBH          G4124                    CB

_________________________________
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 26 -
 Plant Ecophysiology                              DEES   W4550             CB
 Population Genetics                              EEEB   W4020             CB
 PreColumbian New World Ecosystems                EEEB   W4126             CB
 Primate Behavior & Ecology                       EEEB   V6148             CB
 Probability                                      SIEO   W4105             CB
 Probability & Statistical Inference              STAT   W4109             CB
 Quantitative Methods of Data Analysis            DEES   G6908             CB
 Research Methods in Animal Behavior              EEEB   G8416             CB
 Research Methods Seminar (CERC seminar)          EEEB   G6300             CB
 Seminar in Plant Physiology and Ecology          DEES   G9500             CB
 Special Topics in Primate Behavior and Ecology   EEEB   G8418             CB
 Statistical Inference                            STAT   W4107             CB
 The Biology of Small Populations                 EEEB   W4051             CB
 Topics in Conservation Biology                   EEEB   G6990             CB
 Tropical Field Ecology                           EEEB   W4100             CB
 Tropical Oceanography                            DEES   G6927             CB
 Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution            DEES   G9668             CB
 Wetlands & Climate Change                        DEES   W4835             CB
 Directed Readings                                EEEB   G9509    CB / EP (depending)
 Directed Research                                EEEB   G9501    CB / EP (depending)
 Directed Research                                EEEB   G9502    CB / EP (depending)
 Directed Research                                EEEB   G9503    CB / EP (depending)
 Amazonia Seminar                                 EEEB   G6400    CB / EP (your choice)
 Conservation Biology: Hudson Valley
     Ecosystem                                    EEEB   W4610    CB / EP (your choice)
 Ethnobotany                                      EEEB   W4086    CB / EP (your choice)
 Case Studies in Conservation Biology             EEEB   W4610             EP
 Case Studies in Earth & Environmental Science
     Journalism                                   DEES    G6005            EP
 Climatic Change I                                DEES   W4030             EP
 Cost-Benefit Analysis                            SIPA    U6016            EP
 Culture, Tourism and Development                        S4420Q            EP
 Earth / Human System                             EESC   W4917             EP
 Economic Botany                                  ANTH    G6900            EP
 Economics of Sustainable Development             ECON   W4329             EP
 Economics of the Environment                     ECON   W4625             EP
 Environment and Development                      ANTH    V3973            EP
 Environmental Collaborative Decision-making
     Project (2 semesters, 2 credits/term)        LAW    L6668             EP
 Environmental Finance                            ECON   U6238             EP
 Environmental Health Sciences                    PUBH   P6300             EP
 Environmental Law                                LAW    L6242             EP
 Environmental Policy Workshop                    EEEB   G6130             EP
 Environmental Politics, Policy and Management    SIPA   U6241             EP
 European Union Environmental Law                 LAW    L6042             EP
 Game Theory                                      ECON   W4415             EP
 Game Theory & Political Theory                   POLI   W4209             EP
 Industrial Ecology, Business Strategy & Govt
     Policy                                              U4330             EP
 International Energy & Environmental Policy
     Practicum (only 1 credit)                    SIPA   U4728             EP

_________________________________
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                        - 27 -
 International Environmental Institutions                                 U8907                    EP
 International Environmental Law (only 2
     credits)+A79                                        LAW             L6240                     EP
 International Land Resources Management                 INAF            U8830                     EP
 International Relations of the Environment              SIPA            U6243                     EP
 Intro to Environ. Policy and Politics                   EEEB            G6002                     EP
 Intro to Environmental Sociology                        SOCI            U4740                     EP
 Land-Use Controls                                       LAW             L6272                     EP
 Natural Resource & Environmental Economics              ECON            G6450                     EP
 Policy Analysis of Development                          SIPA            U6246                     EP
 Political Ecology                                       ANTH            W4022                     EP
 Quantitative Environmental Risk Analysis                EAEE            E6210                     EP
 Sem: Environmental Litigation (only 2 credits)          LAW             L9155                     EP
 Sem: Hazardous Waste Law (only 2 credits)               LAW             L9056                     EP
 Sem: International Environmental Law (only 2
     credits)                                             LAW             L9379                    EP
 Sem: Land Use Regulation and Development
     (only 2 credits)                                     LAW             L9315                    EP
 Sem: Protection of Natural Resources (only 2
     credits)                                             LAW             L8036                    EP
 Sem: Public Lands and Natural Resources
     (only 2 credits)                                     LAW             L9038                    EP
 Sem: Toxics and Society (only 2 credits)                 LAW             L9050                    EP
 Seminar: Hazardous Waste Law                             LAW             L9056                    EP
 Seminar: International Environmental Law                 LAW             L9379                    EP
 Smallholder management of ecosystems and
     landscapes                                       EEEB/ANTH          W4128                     EP
 Stakeholder Environmental Decisionmaking (2
     semesters, 2 credits/term)                           LAW             L6668                    EP
 Urban Economic Development and the
     Environment                                         ECON             U8152                    EP
 Workshop in cross-national environmental
     problems                                                             U8903                    EP
 Worldview and the Environment                            SIPA            V4732                    EP




Internships for M.A. students
The GSAS Bulletin’s claim that MA students ‘must complete an internship’ is unintentionally
confusing. In fact, for students in the thesis-based MA program, that internship equates to the
student’s thesis research, and is thus not a degree requirement in addition to completion of the
thesis – rather, it is part of completing the thesis. Pending approval by the MAPA, students may
opt to enroll for “Directed Research” (see General Academic Information) to get some credit for
the hours they spend on their thesis research. The GSAS Bulletin was printed before the course-
based MA program became an option: students in the course-based MA program are not required
to complete an internship.

MA students in both the thesis-based and course-based MA programs may, pending consultation
with and approval of the MAPA, use internships as substitutions for elective coursework. In this
case, registration for Directed Research is mandatory (since otherwise no credit would be
assigned).

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                              - 28 -
Directed Readings as a Substitute for Required Courses
If the MAPA approves, an appropriate Directed Readings course may be substituted for one of
the 3 required electives in the biology category, and another appropriate Directed Readings
course may be used for one of the 3 required electives in the environmental policy category. In
other words, there is a limit on the number of required courses in the biology and policy
categories that can be satisfied through Directed Readings: that limit is one course in each
category. Students must secure approval of such a substitution in advance, using the Directed
Readings form. Such substitutions will be approved only if it can be demonstrated that Directed
Readings provides a learning experience that is not available in course format. (Directed
Readings used for working on the thesis are not acceptable as a substitute for an elective course.)


The M.A. Thesis (for students in the Thesis-based MA Program)
The M.A. thesis is traditionally shorter than the Ph.D. dissertation, but should still be of
publishable quality. The general requirements for formatting are the same as those of the Ph.D.
dissertation , which are posted online
(http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsas/dissertationinstructions.html - Section_II). Your thesis
should contain chapters that follow a journal manuscript format. That is, the chapters should
be self-contained, each with an introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion and
conclusion sections. A general introductory and concluding chapter are usually a good idea.

The thesis is due on the first Monday of May. You will receive a form in April to have your
advisor and committee members approve your thesis and recommend you for degree conferral.
This form is also due the first Monday of May. All the committee members must sign the form.
If a member will be out of the country, please make appropriate arrangements in advance. You
should submit a copy (final) of your thesis to your committee at least two weeks prior to its May
due date (i.e. about mid-April). This will give committee members time to review the final
version of your thesis, which incorporates their suggestions from previous drafts. You cannot
assume that committee members will be able to review this final draft in less than two weeks: as
readers, they must have 14 days. If your readers are all willing to take less time than 14 days, this
may give you a little more time. However, faculty tend to be very busy reading at the end of the
term, and they may not be able to be so flexible (nor are they in any way expected to be).

IMPORTANT: Writing a thesis takes longer than every student thinks. You will have made
several revisions and had several meetings with your committee or individual committee
members before producing the polished final version. Considering that each of these cycles of
review and revision may take 2-3 weeks, and working backward from the mid-April deadline for
submission of the final version, you should be planning to submit a first draft to your committee
(which is likely to be a second or third draft for you!) in mid-March.

You will need to submit a bound hard copy and an electronic version of your thesis to the E3B
DA by the first Monday of May. You can get a black thesis/dissertation binder from the
Columbia bookstore. In addition, you should also provide an electronic version, preferably on
CD as your thesis may eventually be put on the E3B website for public access. You must turn in
the signed approval form along with the final bound and e-versions of the thesis, all at one time,
on the first Monday in May.

Progress Reports/Academic Review
Once a semester, normally at the end of each of the first three terms, M.A. students will be sent a
progress report form that they are expected to complete and return promptly to the MAPA. The

_________________________________
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                 - 29 -
purpose of the report is to keep our records up-to-date on your coursework, committee
membership, research planning and progress, etc. This information allows the faculty to assess a
student’s progress at regular intervals, and to intervene for both the students’ and the graduate
programs’ benefit when conflicts or problems arise.


Travel to Meetings
M.A. students can receive up to $300 from the department in support of travel to a scientific
meeting (approved by the MAPA) any time during their 2-year studentship. In most cases,
students are likely to attend meetings in their second year, when they have the greatest chance
of presenting their own research (which is strongly encouraged!).

Reimbursements for travel and business expenses will be made AFTER the trip has occurred.
Lodging, travel expenses and registration fees can be reimbursed. To receive reimbursement,
you must:
       i. provide documentation that you actually attended the conference (e.g. a registration
            receipt).
       ii. submit Travel & Expense report (forms available from the DA) within 2 weeks of
            your return from the conference.
       iii. submit original receipts. If you pay with a credit card, you will also need to submit a
            credit card statement showing the expense(s) in question.

Some general words of advice regarding reimbursement procedures:

        • Advance planning is critical: inform yourself in advance about the kinds of expenses
        that can be covered, and how to process the paperwork to get a reimbursement. The
        DA can help you here. If established procedures are not followed, your account with the
        University may be jeopardized (you may not get reimbursed), especially since these
        transactions may be audited by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

        • It takes about two weeks for the University to process payments after submission of
        documentation. During the Summer, be aware that June 30 is the end of the fiscal year.
        If you attended a conference before June 10, be sure to present your paperwork for
        reimbursement by June 10 at the latest.

        • When you travel, always keep all your original receipts. They are essential.

Detailed instructions for getting travel reimbursement
Columbia has specific rules for filing Travel & Expense reports to ensure compliance with IRS
regulations. For timely reimbursement, you will need to review and adhere to these
requirements. T&E reports are audited by both Columbia’s Internal Audit department and
the IRS.

• A T&E report must be completed by a fellow as soon as s/he returns from a University trip.
The form must be signed by the traveler as well as by the DA. Per diem can be paid only if
stipulated in a grant or contract.

• Original receipts need to be submitted with all T&E reports. They need to be taped to an
8 x 11 white piece of paper in sequential order by date. You should tape as many receipts
as can fit on the piece of paper. Write your name and social security number at the top of each
page. You should number your receipts (on the side) according to how you numbered your

_________________________________
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 30 -
expense in the “Expense No.” column of the “Description of Expenses” on the T&E. You should
try to tape the receipts in numerical order according to the Expense No. If necessary and when
only part of the receipt is to be accounted for (instead of the whole receipt), circle the value. If
you are requesting a reimbursement from another institution for another amount on the
same receipt, and need to submit a copy to Columbia or the other institution, please discuss
this with the DA well in advance before submitting anything.

• A copy of the flyer or registration for a conference is to be included with the T&E report.
• The reimbursable amount for automobile travel is $0.325/mile.
• Meal expenses reimbursed by government funds may not exceed $50 per day. Meal expenses
  supported by other gifts or grants may not exceed $75 per day per traveler. Federal
  regulations require that expenses that exceed $15 breakfast, $25 lunch, and $40 dinner, be
  segregated. These expenses would be listed in the segregated column. Reimbursements
  cannot be guaranteed for meals in excess of the limits set.
• Any alcoholic beverages on the T&E report must be segregated.
• Any fundraising activities/development activities must be segregated.
• All travel must be at the lowest available commercial rate.
• The reimbursable lodging expense has a maximum limit of $300/night.
        Form
        1. Fill-in SS#, Your Name, Date of Last Expense (date of last receipt), your address, Date Trip
           Began/Ended, Date of Earliest Expense (date of first receipt), Departure & Arrival Points,
           Currency Exchange Rate
        2. Overall Purpose: write “Pre-Dis sertation Fieldwork:” and a brief description, OR “Year 1,
           2, etc. Conference with/without Presentation” and the title of the conference. If it’s for
           Directed Research with a E3B faculty, write “Directed Research (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) with Dr.
           XXXXXXX”, title of project, and any other necessary description
        3. Payee’s Signature: Sign your name and date (Month/Day/Year)
        4. Fill in Description of Expenses according to the instructions on the back of the T&E. (also
           see the T&E example)
        5. Fill in Total Expenses
        6. Less Prepaid Expense: If the total is $350 (more than what you are allotted for) and you are
           only getting $300 for a conference, write the $50 difference here.
        7. Subtotal: Total Expense minus any Less Prepaid Expenses (i.e. $300)
        8. Less Travel Advance: Enter the amount of your travel advance (i.e. $300)
        9. Amount Due University: If you were given a travel advance and the entire amount is
           accounted for, then you can put $0. If there is any money remaining, write the amount that
           you will be returning to the University.
        10. Amount Due Traveler: If you did not request a travel advance, write the total amount of the
           expenses here, up to the maximum amount allowed.
        11. Leave everything else blank.

NOTE: If a form/request is incomplete or is not filled-out appropriately, it will be returned
      to you to be corrected. This can delay processing.




_________________________________
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                        - 31 -
        PH.D. IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
            (please also see ‘General Academic Information’ and the GSAS Bulletin)

General Requirements
The Ph.D. program is designed as a 6 year program, one year of which is devoted to completing a
linked but separate degree, the Environmental Policy Certificate. The requirements for the
Certificate are detailed in the section “Environmental Policy Certificate” below. Additional
requirements for the Ph.D. include core courses, elective courses, biology internships, experience
as a teaching assistant, 2 advanced exams, a literature review, an oral proposal defense, a
dissertation (orally defended), and a public presentation of the dissertation. In 2002-2003, the
faculty reviewed and made some modifications to the specifics of these requirements. The
description of the program given here reflects these modifications, which hold for all students
entering the program in Fall 2002. Previous cohorts of students are generally held to the
requirements for the degree that were in place at the time of their admission: any exceptions are
noted here.


Funding: general mode l
Most Ph.D. students are funded according to the following model. Funding for tuition and fees,
as well as stipend, is provided for 4 pre-research years (3 to 3.5 for students with advanced
standing). Students are expected to find their own funding for their research year (5th year for
most, 4th for those with advanced standing); such funding usually comes from grants made to the
student or to his/her advisor. Research funding must cover research costs and stipend. The
department makes every effort to cover the Matriculation and Fees charges for students during
their research year. A final year of full funding (stipend and fees) is provided to support the
student during the write-up of the dissertation. Students who deviate from the schedule of
completion of various degree ‘milestones’ (see below) may find themselves in a disadvantageous
position with respect to funding.


Committees

Students complete the Ph.D. program under the guidance of a series of committees, which usually
overlap substantially, if not completely, in terms of membership. An entering Ph.D. student has a
mentor/advisor, and, in consultation with the mentor, develops a 3-member advisory committee
over the course of the first year of study. The advisory committee gives advice related to course
and internship selection, the scheduling of early degree requirements, and early research plans.
Typically members of this committee become readers of the student’s advanced exams and
literature review, and then become the dissertation committee. The dissertation committee
consists of exactly 5 members, and must be constituted before the student begins any serious
research. Its role is to guide the student in developing a research project, to evaluate the research
proposal formally and collectively during the oral proposal defense, and to evaluate the finished
dissertation formally and collectively during an oral dissertation defense. It is important to have
the 5-member committee in place before the proposal defense: this allows all members of the
dissertation committee to become involved in the student’s research at an early stage when they
can be most helpful. Faculty members may be reluctant to join dissertation committees at the last
minute, since they are likely then to have had relatively little input. However, it is sometimes
necessary to change committee members between the proposal and dissertation defenses due to

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 32 -
changes in faculty availability or research emphasis. In addition, it is technically acceptable, if not
advisable, for a student to have the proposal defense with as few as 3 members of the dissertation
committee present (this is a GSAS rule: at least 3 must be there including the sponsor, and these
three must be GSAS members, listed as such in the GSAS handbook). Any changes in committee
membership must be formally approved by the department chair and DGS.

Each Ph.D. STUDENT SHOULD OBTAIN “THE PH.D. DISSERTATION: RESEARCH
PROPOSAL, SPONSORSHIP, DEFENSE AND DEPOSIT” INFORMATION PACKAGE from
107 Low Library. The packet is also available from the DA. It contains GSAS forms and
information on the Dissertation Committee, Proposal Defense, and Dissertation Defense. The
detailed regulations and policies of the Ph.D. Dissertation for Columbia University Graduate
School of Arts and Sciences are thoroughly described here. Relevant information can also be
found in the GSAS Bulletin and on the web at:
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsas/dissertationoffice.html. After consulting these sources, direct
any residual questions to the DGS or the DA.

The advisor, not the student, extends the invitation to faculty to serve on a committee. The
advisor may discuss committee membership with the student in advance, but students are not to
be burdened with setting up their own committees (this is a GSAS rule). The advisor also chooses
the Chair of the Committee (whose job is to preside at the proposal and thesis defenses). The
Chair should be a CU/E3B tenured faculty member that is not the student’s advisor (this is a
university rule). An advisor may, with compelling reasons, petition the Department Chair to allow
a Dissertation Committee Chair who is either untenured or non-CU/E3B. These procedures
follow Columbia’s Ph.D. dissertation guidelines, which state that “the responsibility for selecting
and recommending defense committee members rests with the Dissertation Sponsor, Department
Chair, and the Director of Graduate Studies. Students may not select their own defense
committees….”

The 5 members of the Ph.D. dissertation committee include the advisor/sponsor, and a mixture of
‘inside’ (i.e. E3B GSAS) and ‘outside’ committee members in the following way:

        1) 1st E3B GSAS Reader - Advisor/Sponsor
        2) 2nd E3B GSAS Reader - Chair of the Committee (tenured CU/E3B)
        3) 3rd E3B GSAS Reader
        4) 1st Outside Reader
        5) 2nd Outside Reader

An E3B GSAS (‘inside’) reviewer is a faculty member who is listed under E3B GSAS (see the
GSAS Bulletin – note that this list is printed only every 2 years, and may not be completely
accurate – check with the DA for any recent changes). Anyone else is considered an ‘outside
reader’. Usually dissertation committees consist of 3 E3B-GSAS reviewers and 2
outsiders, but it may be possible to include more E3B-GSAS faculty members from the list in the
GSAS Bulletin under special circumstances. All dissertation committees must include at least
one member of E3B's core (Columbia) faculty (Profs. Cords, Danoff-Burg, Melnick, Morales,
Naeem, Pinedo-Vasquez, Russell) as one of the ‘ insiders’. There may be cases in which a
committee member is currently not listed under E3B, but has a strong affiliation to CERC and/or
has a GSAS appointment; such a committee member is likely to be considered an 'outside reader'.
In general, the committee should not include more than three members from any one non-
Columbia CERC institution.

In any case, your committee composition needs to be approved by the E3B chair in consultation

_________________________________
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                   - 33 -
with the DGS for appropriateness and adherence to GSAS guidelines. The DGS will consult with
you regarding the roles of each committee member; this consultation is needed because
committee memberships need to be justified in writing to GSAS, after the advisor’s, DGS’s and
department chair’s approval (this is not your job, but your input will be solicited!). Outside
members who are not on the GSAS list will need to submit a CV. Final approval of the members
of a dissertation defense committee rests with the Dean of the Faculty of the Graduate School of
Arts and Sciences.

Keep in mind that time is required to nominate and have the committee approved by GSAS. If
you propose a committee that differs greatly from the guidelines, please speak to your advisor as
soon as possible. Your advisor can then consult with the Chair of E3B and the DGS.


Core Courses
Core courses prepare students to function as professionals in their field by (i) bringing them all up
to a similar, advanced level, and (ii) introducing students to the latest developments in the field.
Core courses are not ‘special topics’ courses covering only the latest developments, to the
exclusion of a background body of knowledge. The format of core courses is expected to include
        (i) provision of background reading (textbooks) for those students who need to catch up,
                even if the main readings come from the literature;
        (ii) formal and objective evaluation mechanisms, that occur throughout the semester; and
        (iii) a sufficiently long meeting time (3 hrs per week) to allow for substantial lecture time
                as well as student participation/discussion.


All first-year students, even if admitted to advanced standing, are required to take three core
courses. In the Fall semester, EEEB G6110 ‘Evolution’ covers evolution, genetics, and
systematics while EEEB G6112 ‘Ecology’ covers population biology, ecology and behavior. In
the Spring semester, Conservation Biology (G6990) covers advanced conservation biology.
Students receiving a grade of less than B+ in core courses are required to take a written exam at
the end of the first summer based on assigned readings, and must pass this exam to claim
successful completion of the core course requirement.

In addition to the above core courses, all students must take the CERC Seminar (EEEB G6300)
for the first 4 years (3 years for those with advanced standing), and attendance is expected
thereafter whenever a student is in residence in New York City. For students who entered the
program in 2001 and earlier, we welcome, encourage and indeed expect attendance (to build a
community of interest), but enrollment is not required.


Electives
We refer here to elective courses in biology. Elective courses related to the EPC are discussed in
a later section of this handbook (“Environmental Policy Certificate”).

Elective courses provide highly specialized training in one or more of the areas of program
specialization: e.g. evolution, ecology, population biology, systematics, ethnoscience, and
behavior. A list of approved elective courses appears at the end of the M.A. Program section and
of this section (“PhD Program”) of the Handbook. While no particular number of elective
courses is required, a general recommendation is 5-6 electives total (3-4 for students with
advanced standing). Students’ mentors and committees should advise on the number and content
of elective courses; the DGS may also be consulted.

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 34 -
Keep in mind that courses at other selected universities in the area, those that are part of the inter-
doctoral consortium (CUNY, NYU, Stony Brook, Princeton, etc.), can be used as electives. You
will need to consult those universities’ websites for information on current course offerings, and
complete the appropriate paperwork (available from GSAS, not the department).



Internships for Ph.D. students

Biology Internships

Ph.D. students are required to complete 2 biology internships, neither with the student’s advisor,
and in different areas. Sponsors should be from different institutions. Students who entered in
2001 and earlier may adopt this internship requirement if they combine it with taking a semester
of graduate-level Conservation Biology. To obtain academic credit for internships, students must
register for them as ‘directed research ’ (see General Academic Information). The DGS must
approve the two internships.

The purpose of the biology internship program is to train students in research methods through
participation in specific faculty research projects, or through collaboration with faculty on new
projects. Internships are expected to produce students with practical research experience. In
addition to collecting data, students are trained in data analysis, and (for at least one of the
internships) the production of a manuscript ready for scientific review. Internships also provide
students an opportunity to generate preliminary data that can be included when submitting grant
proposals. While all biology internships involve biological data in some way, some of them may
include applications of those data to more applied questions or problems.


Specific Requirements of the E3B Biology Internship Program for Ph.D. students:

    1. Internship topics and supervisors are chosen by the student in consultation with his/her
       Advisory Committee. The internships must be in different areas, and neither must be with
       the advisor. The DGS must approve the plans.
    2. Each internship must be supervised by an E3B/CERC faculty member (note that Post-
       Doc’s cannot serve as a sponsor) who is not the student’s advisor. The supervisor grades
       and summarizes the research project. Under compelling circumstances and with the
       DGS’s approval (of both the internship proposal and its final results), an internship
       supervisor may be someone outside the CERC faculty, as long as a CERC/E3B faculty
       member takes official and serious responsibility for approving the internship proposal
       and overseeing its successful completion.
    3. Each internship must represent at least one semester’s work, with 3-6 credit hrs / week.
    4. Each of the internships will be eligible for $500 in support. This support is intended to
       cover supplies and equipment that are essential to the internship. Any equipment
       purchased on behalf of an intern becomes the property of E3B. See the section of this
       handbook called “Conference/Research Financial Assistance” for further details on how
       to procure this support. (Note that requests should come from intern supervisors, not
       students.)
    5. Joint internships are OK, but separate written work and final projects are required.
    6. Publications are a worthy goal, but not required.


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Policy Internships

Internships in environmental policy may be undertaken by Ph.D. students who may use them for
course credit (counting as an ‘elective’) in the policy certificate program. Policy
internships cannot be used to fulfill the biological internship requirements. If a student
undertakes a biological internship with applications to policy issues, that internship cannot also
be used to satisfy the policy requirement. In other words, a single internship cannot satisfy both
biology and policy requirements. For more detailed information on the policy internship program,
and policy internship form, see “Environmental Policy Certificate” section.


Language Requirements
The official policy regarding language proficiency is as follows:
        Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in foreign languages as needed for
        their specific fieldwork locations. Proficiency is assessed by university examination or
        the program.

For each student, language requirements are determined by the student’s committee, which
consults with the Chair of E3B and the DGS as needed. Imposition of a language requirement
depends on whether the student will conduct research (i.e. field work) in a location in which a
foreign language is the primary means of dialogue. If an exam is taken, the results are to be
recorded on the Grade Form by the examiner and submitted to the DA.

Teaching Assistantships
Graduate students planning a career in academia often underestimate the importance of
teaching experience in getting a job offer. Job candidates for college or university-level positions
are often judged on their potential to fill a particular teaching niche (e.g. “We need a behavioral
ecologist”), their breadth of knowledge and potential to teach a variety of courses (e.g. “We
need someone to teach behavioral ecology, vertebrate morphology, biometry, and introductory
biology”), and the quality of their teaching (judged from student evaluations, letters of
reference, presentation style during a job seminar, and sometimes a separate teaching seminar).
It is rare not to be asked to include a statement on your teaching experience, objectives, style,
and goals in your job application.

With these demands in mind, all Ph.D. students are required to teach for 2-4 semesters.
Teaching duties normally fall between the second semester of the first year and the second
semester of the third year of study, depending on the availability of teaching opportunities.
There is no additional monetary compensation provided to the TAs since teaching obligations
are a component of all fellowships and are a requirement for the degree.

Teaching assignments will be made by the Chair and the Director of Graduate Studies. Students
may submit their preferences for TAing particular courses (it is optimal to do this at least half a
semester in advance) and efforts will be made to match the TA to the course s/he desires.
However, a perfect match is not always possible. In making TA assignments, we take into
account student and faculty preferences, special skills, and previous assignments, in the context of
the needs of the student’s educational program and the department’s instructional program. The
number of TA’s assigned to a course is based on anticipated enrollment together with the
demands of the course and the teaching style of the instructor. TA’s and instructors will be
notified of assignments by the beginning of each semester at the latest.



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Please note that:
    • you cannot be a TA for a course to which the department has not officially allocated a TA
        position. ( If you TA a course that was not assigned/approved, it will not count towards
        the requirement.)
    • you cannot enroll in a course for which you are the TA.

The departmental teaching guidelines provide useful information about the TA experience, and
are included as an Appendix to this handbook.

Advanced Comprehensive Examinations

The purpose of the ACE is to test a student's ability to think like a professional in his/her field.
"Thinking professionally” means being master of information, being able to develop well-
grounded critical analyses, and being able to communicate this mastery clearly to others.

New format as of Fall 2002:
Through Spring 2002, the format for each of the two required advanced exams (ACE’s) was an
in-house closed-book 8 hour exam in which the student answered 3 questions from a menu of no
more than 5 (details of this old format are printed at the end of this section). In the Spring
semester 2002, the E3B faculty voted to change the format of ACE exams. For students entering
the program in Fall 2002, this new format will be required. For those who entered previously, the
new format is an option. These latter students can alternatively continue with the older format.

The new format is a 72 hour take-home open-book exam, in which the student prepares one paper
in the style of a TREE (Trends in Ecology and Evolution) article. This should be a well
organized, well argued essay on a question driven topic. It should not simply be a review of the
literature. The answer is limited to 15 pages (double space, 12 point font). The faculty voted in
this option feeling the exercise was much more like the work the student would actually
undertake as a professional.

The overall topic of the exam will be agreed upon by student and readers as the student prepares
his/her bibliography. The bibliography usually encompasses 100-200 references. The breadth of
the topic should be similar to what has been used previously in the in-house format: however,
while in that case the student might be presented with 3 separate questions with rather little
connection between them, with the present format (only one paper) it will be necessary to think
about reasonable connections, or to have more than one coherent area represented in the
bibliography, but only one represented as the subject of written work. It is up to the student and
readers to decide on an appropriate strategy.

As previously, the student may suggest actual specific exam questions, which the readers are not
obligated to use. The specific question on whic h the student will write his/her essay will not be
known by the student in advance of the exam. The readers set this question in consultation with
each other, after the student has submitted suggestions. The readers should communicate their
exam question to the DA, who will transmit it to the student at the start of the exam.

In setting the question, readers may provide more or less direction. Too little may result in
students taking a direction in their essay that was unanticipated (and perhaps not what the readers
had in mind). Too much, however, might rob the student of the opportunity to develop his/her
own coherent organizational or analytical scheme, which is a critical part of the exercise. This
format is not simply an extended take-home version of the former ACE's, in which students


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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                     - 37 -
answered questions. We are looking here for students to pull together a larger body of thought in
an informed, critical and organized way. The nature and amount of their synthesis is different
than what it was for a single question in the previous in-house format.

The expectation for the written answer is naturally that it will be of significantly higher quality
than in-house exams. Students are expected to provide references, to check their document for
proper spelling and formatting and to write well. As before, readers give the exam one of the
following grades: fail, low pass, pass and high pass. Low pass and high pass are relatively rare
grades, meant to acknowledge particular weakness or strength. Most students who pass their
exam receive a simple pass. Graders are not required to provide extensive written or oral
feedback on the exams to the student; however, they are welcome to give feedback to whatever
extent is comfortable. They may choose to communicate through the student's advisor, or
directly with the student. It is up to the graders to initiate any communication of this sort.

When the exam is graded, readers transmit their grade to the DA. They should each do this
individually after consultation with one another. They need not submit the same grade if both are
within the passing range. However, if one grader feels the student should fail and the other does
not, their different opinions need to be resolved.

Older format for in-house exam:
In preparation for the exam, students are required to compile a bibliography (typically 100-200
references) in consultation with their examiners. Once a mutually agreeable list is formed, it
serves as the basis for the exam. The exam lasts 8 hours. For the exam, the student will answer
three questions. There may or may not be a choice of questions to answer; examiners may pose
up to 5 questions, and structure choice among them as they like (e.g. student must answer Q1,
chooses between Q2 and Q3, and chooses between Q4 and Q5, or students chooses 2 questions
from Q1-Q3, and 1 question from Q4 and Q5). The student provides a list of suggested exam
questions well before the exam, which the examiners can use, modify or ignore as they like.
Students are advised to practice answering questions (in writing, on a computer, without books or
papers, in a time-constrained fashion) before the exam.

Practical information for either ACE format:
   • Bibliographies for the exams are prepared in the semester before the exam is taken.
       Bibliographies typically include 100-200 references, and form the basis of literature for
       which the student is responsible. Student and readers must agree on the bibliographies.
   • Students should inform the DA at least 2 weeks prior to the date on which they plan to
       take the exam. The examiners are to provide the exam question(s) to the DA at least a
       week in advance.
   • Students entering 2002 and after (or prior cohorts who choose the new format) should get
       the question(s) from the DA and return the document 72 hours later.
   • Cohorts 2001 and prior who opt for the in-house exam will receive the questions the
       morning of the exam. Exams typically begin at 9 am and last for 8 hours. The student is
       provided with a room and a computer on which to work. S/he is not allowed to bring
       anything into the room except lunch/snack.
   • Exam answers are submitted on disk to the DA.


Literature Review
The literature review, which is a degree requirement, is meant to fulfill two goals. First, research
and writing the review requires the student to become familiar with the literature relevant to

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 38 -
his/her dissertation research. Second, the review acts as the first chapter of the student’s
dissertation. The following are guidelines for the literature review requirement:

        1. Decide upon subject area of literature review in consultation with your advisory
           committee. The subject area should parallel your dissertation research.

        2. Choose two readers. At least one of the readers must be on your dissertation
           committee. The other may be an outside reader if he or she can provide a valuable
           perspective. Your committee must approve any outside readers.

        3. Prepare a final bibliography and write the literature review. It should be written in the
           format of a literature review publishable in a professional journal and will eventually
           form the basis of the first chapter of your dissertation. Submission of the review for
           publication is encouraged.

        4. Submit a draft to readers for comments. Revise if necessary.

        5. Submit final version for a grade (fail, low pass, pass, high pass) to both readers at a
        mutually agreed upon time. The grades are to be reported on a form to the DGS and the
        DA. As for ACE’s, low-pass and high-pass are typically rare grades, meant to
        acknowledge unusual weakness or strength. (Fortunately fail is also a rare grade!)

        6. A copy of the Literature Review is to be submitted to the DA, and copies should also
        be given to your advisor and readers if they are requested.


Proposal Defense
In the third year (second for students with advanced standing), PhD students prepare a research
proposal in a form that would be submitted to a major funding source (e.g. NSF, EPA, USDA).
This proposal is given to the dissertation committee members 4 weeks before the oral proposal
defense. The final proposal needs to be filed at GSAS.

Contrary to the GSAS instructions in “The Ph.D. Dissertation” information package, the
Proposal Defense occurs before the awarding of an M.Phil., not after. The Proposal Defense is
the oral examination, and is thus part of the requirement for the M. Phil. degree (see GSAS
Bulletin). It is expected that all members of the dissertation committee will be present at the
proposal defense, though if there are highly unusual circumstances, it may be possible to schedule
a proposal defense in the absence of one ‘outside’ committee member. Should such a situation
arise, please consult the DA well in advance.

You are strongly advised not to wait to the end of the semester to schedule the proposal
defense. If the proposal is not approved, or if a committee member is away at the end of the
semester, you will be forced to register for ER in the subsequent semester (since you will be
completing a degree requirement at that time). An additional semester of ER may have
unanticipated (and negative!) financial implications: you need to consider how many funded
semesters you have left in your fellowship package.

The committee will determine the format of the proposal defense. The first part of the defense
may be a presentation of your proposal that is open to the public. The remainder of the defense
is closed to the public.


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Students should not submit proposals for dissertation research to funding agencies before a
successful proposal defense has taken place. It is in the student’s best interests to have as much
feedback on the proposal as possible before such submission.

Advancing to Candidacy and Grant Proposal Submission
When you have successfully defended your proposal, and have completed all other requirements
(ACE’s, literature review, required courses and internships, 40 points) for the PhD program, you
will advance to candidacy and receive the M. Phil. degree. Forms for advancement to candidacy
are filled out by your committee after the proposal defense. Although most students will have
completed the EPC at the time they advance to candidacy, the M.Phil. and EPC are separate
degrees, and it is not technically necessary for you to have finished the EPC to advance to
candidacy. Students are generally expected to have completed all TA-ships before advancing to
candidacy, as TA-ships are a (Ph.D.) degree requirement.

Note that you cannot apply to NSF (Biology) for a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant until
you have advanced to candidacy (this is an NSF rule). Applications to NSF for the DDIG occurs
once a year (in November), so keep this deadline in mind as you make your schedule.


Dissertation Defense
Students writing their dissertation normally circulate drafts to their committee members in
advance of the dissertation defense. The research advisor normally reads all drafts, sometimes
several times if needed, while arrangements with other committee members reflect negotiations
with the student, research advisor and other committee members. As these preliminary readings
and revisions suggest that the dissertation is reaching its final state, the student makes concrete
plans for the dissertation defense (i.e. finds a date that suits all committee members).

Keep in mind that all committee members must receive a copy of the defendable dissertation not
less than four weeks before the planned defense. Two of the committee members must vouch to
the DA that the thesis is indeed defendable not less than two weeks before the planned defense. It
is only with these two vouchers that the DA can schedule the defense formally with the Graduate
School.

The defense itself is chaired by the Chairperson of your committee, following guidelines provided
by the graduate school, and usually lasts at least 2 hours. You should discuss the format of your
defense with your chair in advance. Normally, students present an overview of their thesis
research, but it is typically brief (10-15 minutes), and serves mainly to focus everyone’s attention
and to relax the student. The rest of the defense typically involves the committee members
asking questions about the research and about the thesis. The student is normally asked to step
out of the room twice during the proceedings: at the beginning, as the committee discusses the
format of the defense and any other organizational matters, and at the end, when the committee
makes its collective judgment. Be aware that it is normal for the student to have additional
revisions to make before filing – but these can be major or minor. The committee will decide
whether parts or all of the thesis need to be seen again by any or all of its members before filing.



Public Presentation of Dissertation Research
All students who graduate after September 1, 2002 are required to prepare and present a full
length seminar to the department. This seminar will take place around the time of dissertation
defense (ideally just after the defense), but not before a student has submitted the defendable

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 40 -
dissertation to the committee. You should schedule the seminar no later than the time you
schedule the defense – earlier is better, if you can be reasonably sure of your dates.


Degree Requirements and Research Scheduling
Two Advanced Written Exams, the Literature Review, successful thesis Proposal Defense,
and 40 credits of coursework for the M.Phil. are required before a Ph.D. student begins
substantial work on dissertation research. Substantial work includes fieldwork and lab work
that is no longer preliminary or pilot work. Students should not submit proposals for
dissertation research before the proposal defense.



Schedule for Ph.D. Progress
The schedule below is, of course, not personalized. Options may change depending on the
student’s background prior to entering the program and the rate at which required coursework is
completed.

OVERVIEW
Registration and 5 year Fellowship Summary (Standard Track):

        Year 1            2 Residence Units – courses, teaching
        Year 2            2 Residence Units – courses, teaching
        Year 3            2 Residence Units – courses, 2 Advanced Exams, Lit Review, Proposal
                          Defense (M.Phil.), teaching
        Year 4            Extended Residence – (policy) courses if necessary
        Year 5            Matriculation & Fees – Research Year/out in the field [non-fellowship
                          year]
        Year 6            Extended Residence/Dissertation Defense (May Commencement)
                          – finish any EP Certificate requirements, defend dissertation in
                          Spring (registration status may vary)

        Note: Those with four-year fellowships and advanced standing, will start at the Year 2
        level. Years 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 of the full six-year model are fellowship years, in which
        tuition, CU health coverage, and stipends are provided. Year 5 is a non-fellowship year.
        M&F is a registration status.

Here is the same model in greater detail:
A.) STANDARD TRACK MODEL:

YEAR 1
Semester 1 (Fall)
        Ecology and Evolution core courses
        1 elective
        1 policy course
        CERC Seminar

Towards the end of the semester the student should have consulted with his/her advisor about research
plans, coursework, committee make-up, etc.

Semester 2 (Spring)
        1-2 electives

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                     - 41 -
         Conservation Biology
         1-2 policy courses
         CERC Seminar
         1 Biology Internship (1st; perhaps in preparation for work to be commenced over the summer)
         possibly one TA-ship

By the end of the semester the student should have consulted with the advisor/DGS to assemble an advisory
committee.

Summer
This is an opportunity to commence research – whether it is on dissertation work or for a smaller
unrelated project. These projects may be internships.


YEAR 2
Semester 3 (Fall)
        1-2 electives
        1 language course if needed
        1-2 policy courses
        1 Biology Internship (2 , could be done either Fall or Spring term)
                                 nd


        CERC seminar
        TA-ship

Semester 4 (Spring)
        1-2 electives
        1 language course if needed
        1-2 policy courses, perhaps including the workshop.
        1 Biology Internship (could be done either Fall or Spring term)
        CERC seminar
        TA-ship

By the end of year 2, the student should have been the TA for at least one course. The student should
also be giving serious consideration to how he or she will fund his/her research as well as the fifth
year fees. Remember, there is often a long lag time from the time you apply for a grant to the time you
are notified of an award.

Summer
Again, the summer is an opportunity to do research. Don’t let it slip away. Begin collecting
preliminary data for your dissertation project – you’ll need the data to secure funding for year 5 as well as
research expenses.

YEAR 3
Semester 5 (Fall)
        1 electives (if necessary)
        1-2 policy courses
        Advanced Exams 1 (and 2?)
        CERC seminar
        TA-ship

Semester 6 (Spring)
        1-2 policy courses
        Advanced Exam 2 (if not completed in Fall term)
        Literature Review
        Proposal Defense
        CERC seminar


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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                            - 42 -
By the end of year 3, the student should have served as a TA for 2-4 courses. Advanced Exams and
Literature Review should be completed. Required coursework should be complete, although some policy
coursework for the EPC may remain to be completed in years 4 and 6. Students are advised to do their
proposal defense by the end of Semester 6, so that they can submit the finalized proposal to funding
agencies in a timely way.

Summer
Begin dissertation research (or pilot work if proposal will be defended in Semester 7)

YEAR 4
Semester 7 (Fall)
        1-2 electives (Directed Research/Readings)
        1-2 policy courses
        CERC seminar

Semester 8 (Spring)
        1-2 electives (Directed Research/Readings)
        1-2 policy courses
        CERC seminar

Although in some cases, it is appropriate to push the proposal defense to the beginning of the 7th semester;
greater delay is likely to be problematical, as there is a lag time between proposal submission and receipt of
funding. You want to have your funding in hand in time to begin your research in Year 5! After your
proposal defense, you will probably have many ideas for revising your proposal, and executing these ideas
will take time as well. Note that course work for the Environmental Policy Certificate can be finished after
the M.Phil. and upon return from the field (research year). However, you have to be registered for Extended
Residence to take courses, so please correlate this status with your funding (consult the DA with questions).
It is best to finish all or most of the EP courses prior to your research year.

YEAR 5
Research
Funding for your dissertation research should come from some external granting agency (e.g. NSF, EPA,
USGS, USDA, Environmental Research and Education Foundation, Sweitzer Fellowship, Fulbright
Fellowship, Smithsonian, Hudson River Foundation, National Geographic, etc.). Again, you need to plan
well in advance so that this funding is in hand to support you during this year (see Notes to Year 4, just
above).

YEAR 6
Year 6 is the time for you to write up your dissertation, complete any remaining EP Certificate requirement
(hopefully, none), present your dissertation work as a seminar (this will likely become your job seminar, or
the seminar you’ll be asked to give at institutions you visit), and defend the dissertation before your
committee. Dissertation write-up usually takes longer than students initially imagine: in microplanning
your schedule for this year, it would be wise to build in some ‘contingency’ time.


Here is a somewhat accelerated model:
B.) FAST TRACK MODEL: [Credits in parentheses]
Semester 1 (Fall)
Ecology Core (3); Evolution Core (3); Policy course (e.g. Env. Law, 3); EEEB elective (e.g. Systematics,
3), CERC Seminar (1)

Semester 2 (Spring)
Policy course (e.g. Env. Econ, 3); Policy elective (e.g. Env. Litigation, 2); Conservation Biology, 3; 3);
Biology Internship #1 (3), CERC Seminar (1)

Semester 3 (Fall)

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                                - 43 -
Policy course (e.g. Amazonia Seminar, 3), Policy elective (e.g. Human Systems/Planet, 3); CERC policy
workshop + Directed Readings (6 credit total); CERC Seminar (1)

Semester 4 (Spring)
Biology Internship #2 (3), EEEB Elective (3), Policy course (Env.
Policy + Env. Policy Seminar; 4 credit total), CERC Seminar (1)

Thus, by end of Semester 4 all specific course work requirements are completed for the EEEB core courses
(n=3, with the exception of the CERC Seminar,), EEEB internships (n=2), and the Environmental Policy
Certificate (24 credits), as well as two EEEB electives.

Additional credit and residence unit requirements can be fulfilled by additional electives, or Directed
Research, and Directed Readings, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisory committee. This time
can also be used by a student to complete his or her Advanced Certification Exams, Literature Review, and
Proposal Defense. Once these latter requirements are complete, a student can submit proposals for
external research funding. Registration for the CERC seminar is expected if you’re pre-research.

This fast track approach to the program should result in the completion of both the EEB Ph.D. and the
EP Certificate in five years.

Finally, please note that in each of the first three years, even though you are fulfilling your requirements,
you have an opportunity to engage in at least 8 months of research (research internships or Directed
Research, plus summer research).

Progress Reports/Academic Review
Once a year, normally in late April, students will be sent a progress report form that they are
expected to complete and return promptly to the DA. Research mentors are asked to look over
these forms and make comments as well. The purpose of the report is to keep our records up-to-
date on your coursework, committee membership, research planning and progress, internships,
funding, etc. This information allows the faculty to assess a student’s progress at regular
intervals, and to intervene for both the students’ and the graduate programs’ benefit when
conflicts or problems arise.

Once a year, in May, the faculty collectively reviews each student’s progress. Students receive a
letter from the chair; research sponsors receive a copy of the letter.


Questions About the Program
For questions about the program, start with the DGS. For administrative questions, see the
DA.




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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                             - 44 -
COURSES
Please consult the list of courses within the M.A. Program section, p.26 of this Handbook, for a
listing of electives. Graduate credits are normally available only for 4000 or higher level courses.
Check the Columbia University website and/or ask your advisor.


NON-COLUMBIA COURSES OF INTEREST
NYU – ANTHROPOLOGY
G14.3391 Topical Seminar: Human Genetics & Biology
NYU – BASIC MEDICAL SCIENCE
G16.2014/2051 Gross Anatomy
NYU – BIOLOGY
G23.1073 Plant Resources Core II
G23.1074 Neotropical Field Botany
G23.1075 Economic Botany
G23.2219 Vertebrate Physiology
G23.2303 Intro to Biostatistics
NYU – SYST
G23.2269 Plant Systematics
CUNY – BIOPSYCHOLOGY
U716 Animal Behavior I (Hunter)
CUNY – BIOLOGY
U700.05 Genetics
U705.03 Evolution
U706.01 Plant Systematics
U706.06 Taxonomy of Vascular Plants
U709.01 Population Genetics
U710.13 Molecular Biology
U723.01 Neuroscience I
U768.3 World Vegetation
U764.05 Economic Botany (Lehman)
U781.01 Advanced Mathematical Biology
U782.01 Biometry I
U790.06 Issues in Conservation Biology
U790.13 Issues in Phytogeography
U793.04 Hot Topics in Developmental Neurobiology – Seminar
U792.01 Pteridology
HUNTER Evolutionary Theory and Systematics
Call (212) 772-5415 or email fszalay@shiva.hunter.cuny.edu for further
information.




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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                   - 45 -
             ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CERTIFICATE (updated 10/12/01)

Inquiries should be directed to the Certificate Advisor, Alex Pfaff (854-4190; Email:
ap196@columbia.edu). Completing these requirements means you get an actual New York State-
approved certificate degree. Please do think relatively early in your tenure about fitting these courses
into your plans (and perhaps focus on them even more quickly if you have Advanced Standing).

General The EPC is a separate degree from the Ph.D., but it is linked in that all Ph.D. students must fulfill
the requirements for the EPC as well as those for the Ph.D. At least two residence units (which are part of
the 6 required for our Ph.D. -- i.e. it’s really 4 for the Ph.D. and 2 for the EPC) and 24 points (which are
separate from the 40 required for the Ph.D.) taken for E credit are required. With approval by the
Certificate advisor, up to 6 points of advanced standing credit for similar courses taken at another
university may be accepted towards these 24 points (and can fulfill the “area” requirements, but not the
workshop requirement (see below)).

Course Requirements (areas established so that students are exposed to a certain set of conceptual
approaches)

1. One course is required in the area Environmental Politics/Policy (consult this area’s courses list )
2. One course is required in the area Environmental Law (consult this area’s courses list)
3. One course is required in the area Environmental Economics (consult this area’s courses list)
4. One course is required in the areas Anthropology or Public Health (consult this area’s courses list)
5. Workshop in Environmental Policy (3 points, but 6 points with the additional, linked Directed Reading
course) Students may enroll in the SIPA U8905 workshop course or in similar workshop courses developed
by CERC/E3B (such as G6130, next in Fall 2002). In either case, a linked Directed Reading will be offered
(with Pfaff, if you take U8905, or with the E3B course instructor), which like the workshops will earn 3
points. If in some years the topic of U8905 does not work for E3B students, and a course like G6130 is not
offered by the department that year, then it is possible that another substitute for U8905 would be
designated for that year (but, if that’s a 3-point course, then another elective will be necessary to reach 24
points). Students who do not complete all the requirements for the Policy Workshop in the semester it’s
offered (including those for the linked Directed Readings course) must resolve their ‘Incomplete’ by the
end of the following Summer.
6,7. Two elective courses are required in any area (see the electives courses list and all of the areas’
courses lists).
NOTE: an eighth course (i.e., third elective) will be necessary under the last workshop scenario (see
above).
NOTE: an internship can substitute for an elective course (but the same work can not double count both as
a policy internship and as directed research work) (you can do multiple internships, even breaking up one
experience into parts; sign up for Directed Research and fill out an Internship form for each one). An
internship proposal for each course must be signed in advance of initiation (although this is simply setting
up an acceptable contract; the work must be done to get credit). Also, just spending time working in some
capacity for a policy-oriented institution or project is not sufficient. At least one of two types of content is
required. The first is analogous to any directed research course: a student must cover selected literature to
acquire a set of knowledge or a technique, and then perform an analysis or evaluation in which knowledge,
approach or technique is applied. The second type is harder to define. Its inclusion is an attempt to
recognize that policy is neither your PhD area nor an academic area. Thus, different standards apply. The
content required is learning about how a given policy process works, i.e. knowledge which would make it
easier for you to effectively inject insights from your academic work into actual policy process. Finally,
“policy relevant” research that is not part of your thesis does not automatically qualify for either of these.
However, if your research does not qualify, it may fit within the client-team framework, e.g. in the G6130
course.

Specific Courses Approved for Area and/or Elective Requirements (see the notes here, and below for
lists)

Note: Please do suggest policy-relevant courses from any area, including:

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                             - 46 -
         Anthropology, Business, E3B, Economics, History, Journalism, Law, Political Science, and Public
         Policy. Courses are evaluated in consultation with faculty in that area. To this point, the majority
         of the courses suggested have been approved for credit.

Note: All 'Area' courses can also be used to meet the electives requirement, but
       ‘Elective’ courses cannot fulfill area requirements. The same course cannot be used to fulfill both
       an area and an elective requirement.

Note: Courses below the 4000 level can’t be taken for graduate credit, and thus can’t
       be used for this Certificate.

Note: U4731 Proposal Writing in Environmental Policy does not count but may be
       useful for writing or funding.

Note: U4733 Environmental Policy Practicum (1 point) counts only if you take a
       qualifying 2-point course (e.g., in Law) and need a point. There may also be qualifying 4-point
       courses (e.g., in Law) to make a point up.


Credit for Courses Taken Previously
If students have taken appropriate graduate-level policy courses at other institutions (or
previously at CU), they may be able to reduce the number of courses required for the EPC by up
to 6 credits. In every case, the DEPC must approve any such substitutions, after review of the
course sylla bi and content, and you are encouraged to solicit such approval as early as possible.

There are a few students who have moved from our own M.A. program to the Ph.D. program.
These students may have taken course that would satisfy the Ph.D. policy requirement while they
were still in the M.A. program. Such courses can be counted toward the Ph.D. requirements, and
thus they may reduce the load of policy courses needed to complete the EPC. Again, such
‘substitutions’ should be discussed explicitly with the DEPC and DGS, early in your academic
planning.

In even rarer cases, a student may qualify BOTH for credits for graduate-level policy courses
from another institution (up to 6 credits) AND for policy courses taken while doing the
Conservation Biology M.A. at Columbia. Such a student can get credit both for the CU courses,
and for up to 6 credit-hours at another institution.

Acceptable Progress in the EPC courses
For core policy courses, including the workshop, students receiving less than a "B" are required
to take a written exam or do a supplementary project by the end of the following summer. The
instructor for the course in question would have to decide what additional work the student
undertakes and will assign a final grade for this additional work. Students must earn a passing
grade on the exam or project to claim successful completion of the core course requirement.

For elective policy courses, the minimal acceptable grade is also a B. If a student does not
achieve this grade, s/he has the option of taking a different course and counting that for the
elective, assuming the grade is at least a B.

Areas/sample courses                                                      Dept.    Instruct.
Environmental Politics and Policy:
U6243 International Relations of the Environment                          SIPA     Downie



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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                           - 47 -
Environmental Law:
(http://www.law.columbia.edu/academics/upperclass_curr/environmental.htm)
L6040 International Environmental Law [2]                    Law     Karkkainen
L6242 Environmental Law [4]                                  Law Karkkainen
L6272 Land-Use Controls [3]                                  Law
L6668 Collaborative Decision-making Project [2]              Law TBA
L8036 Sem: The Protection of Natural Resources [2]           Law Lehner
L9056 Sem: Hazardous Waste Law                               Law
L9315 Sem: Land Use Regulation and Development [2]           Law TBA
L9379 Sem: International Environmental Law                   Law
L9155 Sem: Environmental Litigation [2]                      Law      Riesel
L9038 Sem: Public Lands and Natural Resources                Law
L9050 Sem: Toxics and Society [2]                            Law

Environmental Economics:
W4329 Economics of Sustainable Development                           Econ     Pfaff
W4625 Economics of the Environment                                   Econ     Small
(natural resource classes, e.g. G6450, require pre-approval)

Cultural Anthropology or Public Health:
G4124 People and Their Environment                                   Anth
G6400 Amazonia Seminar (pending syllabus)                            E3B      Pinedo,Padoch
S4420Q Culture, Tourism and Development                              Anth     Weisgrau
U6245 Issues in Development                                          Anth
W4086 Ethnobotany                                                    E3B       Balick, Peters
W4236 Ecological Studies in Anthropology                             Anth
W4640 Indigenous Peoples and States                                  Anth



Electives

U6016   Cost-Benefit Analysis                                        SIPA     Small
U6238   Environmental Finance                                        SIPA     Small
U6241   Environmental Politics, Policy and Management                SIPA     Gilbert
U6246   Policy Analysis of Development                               SIPA     Hershberg
U8152   Urban Economic Development and the Environment               SIPA
U8830   International Land Resource Management                       SIPA
U8907   International Environmental Institutions                     SIPA     Carpenter
W4209   Game Theory & Political Theory                               Poli     Epstein
W4415   Game Theory                                                  Econ     Kockesen1
CUNY    Issues in African Conservation                               Biol     Cracraft


Students are encouraged to suggest a wide range of courses that would be of interest. Thinking
of applied work, NGOs etc., e.g., anyone for Business School courses such as entrepreneurial
and/or management perspectives, even accounting?


        ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CERTIFICATE INTERNSHIP FORM
Inquiries should be directed to the DEPC, Alex Pfaff (854-4190 or ap196@columbia.edu)

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                   - 48 -
As mentioned above, you must register for Directed Research (EEEB 9501/9502) to receive
academic credit for a policy internship, and please indicate to the DA that this particular Directed
Research is for a policy (not a biology) internship. For each “class” (3 points) of internship, you
must do a separate Directed Research and Internship Form; thus, for a single big (e.g., 2 class/6-
point) project, you must show two components each worth a full class.

Given the flexibility in the ‘Elective Course’ requirement (see the certificate requirements list
above), this form will standardize the demonstration of either of the types of content discussed
above. The idea is to substitute, with equivalent alternative learning, for a course. Learning can be
about ‘a socioeconomic perspective’ and/or ‘an institutional/implementational reality’. It will not
be sufficient, though, to simply learn a set of facts about a given situation. We want you to
acquire an analytical tool, or an understanding of a particular policy process.

For either type of internship elective, you must provide a one -page response clearly
addressing the following questions.

I) “Directed Research” Type – the internship sponsor should answer all of the following
questions and sign/e-mail the answers to the DEPC. Here the sponsor is most likely to be an
adjunct faculty member with an advanced degree.
a) What perspectives on conservation policy will be learned (e.g., in an area of anthropology)?
Please be specific – e.g. exactly what analytical perspective within what discipline/area?
b) How will this perspective be acquired (e.g., weekly discussions, or list of assigned readings)?
c) How will the learning of this perspective be tested? e.g., exams? If not, then at least a paper.


II) “Institutional” Type – the internship sponsor(s) should answer all of the following and
sign/Email the answers to the DEPC. Here the sponsor is most likely to be the relevant member of
the policy institution’s staff.
a) What conservation-policy institutions’ processes will be learned? Please be specific – e.g.
exactly what policies and within what policy processes/institutions?
b) How will knowledge of these processes be acquired (e.g., weekly interactions, project work)?
c) How will learning these policy processes be tested? Again, if no substitute, at least a paper,
e.g., has the student’s learning/efforts entered into the actual policy/action-setting process?

The Conference/Research Financial Assistance Package for Ph.D. Students

Funds available to Ph.D. students include the following:

1) A maximum of $300.00 in travel funds is available per conference (approved by the DGS)
to cover travel expenses, lodging and registration fees. Only one conference is permitted
per academic year (July to June). Funds will be provided for up to two conferences without
presentations. To obtain funding for more than two conferences, presentations are required.
To receive reimbursement from conferences where presentation is required, you need to
provide proof that you presented (e.g. an abstract or program page). If this information is on
a website, you may submit a printout. Without appropriate documentation, the forms for
reimbursement will not be processed. Any unused funds cannot be accrued or used for
another year, nor diverted to another purpose.

Payments to students are in the form of reimbursements after you return from the
conference. To receive your reimbursement for any conference you attend (whether you are

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                  - 49 -
presenting or not), you will need to fill out a Travel & Expense report (which you can obtain
from the DA), and include all your original receipts. If you paid for anything with a credit
card, you will also need to submit a credit card statement showing the expense(s) in
question. Detailed instructions on T&E reports are provided below.

GSAS provides additional conference travel funds for M. Phil. students. Further
information can found at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsas/travelgrants.


2) $500.00 per biology internship project (unless the internship itself is paid), for a
maximum total of $1500.00 over the course of three such projects. This payment
will be made directly to the faculty member sponsoring the internship, or to his/her
institution, upon receipt of bills that are directly associated with the work. It will be
possible to accrue unused funds from one internship for use in a subsequent one, but
internship money will not be transferable for any other purpose. The sponsoring faculty
member or student needs to fill out a Check Request for the issuance of a check to cover
legitimate expenses. If your supervisor is at Columbia, a T&E report should be filled
instead of a Check Request. The T&E is to be signed by the advisor. If any supplies or
equipment are to be ordered through Columbia, please speak to the DA beforehand. Note
that any non-expendable items (such as equipment) purchased with these funds become the
property of the E3B department.

Detailed instructions regarding forms are provided below.

3) A maximum of $2,500.00 for one field trip as a feasibility study to plan one’s dissertation
research. Your advisor must authorize this allotment by e-mailing the DA with a brief
description of what the money will be used for. Departmental authorization to release the
funds will be made only if the student has not already commenced dissertation research:
these funds are for planning that research, not for executing it!

For this expense, it is possible to request a Travel Advance. Please submit the forms to the
DA at least 2 weeks in advance (and more if it is near closing of the fiscal year), and be sure
you are informed about what kinds of expenses are allowed. After your trip, a Travel and
Expense report must be made, along with supporting documentation (original receipts!) for
how the advance was spent. It is essential that you keep meticulous and accurate records,
along with original receipts, and that you turn these in within 2 weeks of your return.
Again, detailed instructions are provided below.

Some general words of advice regarding financial transactions:
•      Advance planning is critical: inform yourself in advance about the kinds of expenses
       that can be covered, and how to process the paperwork to get a reimbursement, or to
       account for an advance. The DA can help you here. If established procedures are not
       followed, your account with the university may be jeopardized (you may not get
       reimbursed, may not receive any future advances, or may be obliged to return the money
       that was advanced to you), especially since these transactions may be audited by the
       IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

•       It takes about two weeks for the University to process payments after submission. During
        the Summer, please submit any requests for advances at least 3 weeks before the end
        of the fiscal year (June 30). If you are seeking reimbursement for conference attendance
        or internship expenses, and the costs were incurred before June 10, be sure to submit

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                    - 50 -
        your forms for reimbursement or checks by June 10 latest.

•       Always keep all your original receipts. They are essential.


Detailed Instructions for Submitting Forms:

A.) Travel and Business Expense Reports (T&E)
Columbia has specific rules for filing Travel & Business Expense reports to ensure compliance
with IRS requirements. For timely reimbursement, you will need to review these requirements.
T&E reports are audited by both Columbia’s Internal Audit department and the IRS.

•       A T&E report must be completed as soon as you return from a university trip. The form
        must be signed by the traveler as well as the DA. Per diem can be paid only if
        stipulated in a grant or contract.

•       Original receipts need to be submitted with all T&E reports. They need to be taped to
        8 x 11 white piece of paper in sequential order by date. You should tape as many
        receipts as can fit on the piece of paper. Write your name at the top of each page. You
        should

Note:
   ü You should number your receipts (on the side) according to how you numbered your
      expense in the “Expense No.” column of the “Description of Expenses” on the T&E
   ü Tape the receipts in numerical order according to the Expense No.
   ü If necessary and when only part of the receipt is to be accounted for (instead of the
      whole receipt), circle the value.
   ü If you are requesting a reimbursement from another ins titution for another amount
      on the same receipt, and need to submit a copy to Columbia or the other institution,
      please discuss this with the DA well in advance before submitting anything.
   ü A copy of the flyer or registration for a conference is to be included with the T&E report.
   ü The reimbursable amount for automobile travel is $0.325 mile.
   ü Meal expenses reimbursed by government funds may not exceed $50 per day. Meal
      expenses supported by other gifts or grants may not exceed $75 per day per traveler.
   ü Federal regulations require that expenses that exceed $15 breakfast, $25 lunch, and
      $40dinner, be segregated. These expenses would be listed in the segregated column.
      Reimbursements cannot be guaranteed for meals in excess of the limits set.
   ü Any alcoholic beverages on the T&E report must be segregated.
   ü Any fundraising activities/development activities must be segregated.
   ü All travel must be at the lowest available commercial rate.
   ü The reimbursable lodging expense has a maximum limit of $300/night.


Form

12. Fill-in SS#, Your Name, Date of Last Expense (date of last receipt), your address,
    Date Trip Began/Ended, Date of Earliest Expense (date of first receipt), Departure
    & Arrival Points, Currency Exchange Rate
13. Overall Purpose: write “Pre-Dissertation Fieldwork:” and a brief description, OR
     “Year 1, 2, etc. Conference with/without Presentation” and the title of the
     conference. If it’s for Directed Research with a E3B faculty, write “Directed

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                              - 51 -
     Research (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) with Dr. XXXXXXX”, title of project, and any other
     necessary description
14. Payee’s Signature: Sign your name and date (Month/Day/Year)
15. Fill in Description of Expenses according to the instructions on the back of the T&E.
    (also see the T&E example)
16. Fill in Total Expenses
17. Less Prepaid Expense: If the total is $350 (more than what you are allotted for) and
    you are only getting $300 for a conference, write the $50 difference here.
18. Subtotal: Total Expense minus any Less Prepaid Expenses (i.e. $300)
19. Less Travel Advance: Enter the amount of your travel advance (i.e. $300)
20. Amount Due University: If you were given a travel advance and the entire amount is
    accounted for, then you can put $0. If there is any money remaining, write the
    amount that you will be returning to the University.
21. Amount Due Traveler: If you did not request a travel advance, write the total
    amount of the expenses here, up to the maximum amount allowed.
22. Leave everything else blank.

B.) Travel Advances
• Travel advances of $100 per week, up to a maximum of $300, may be obtained for domestic
business trips of more than two weeks.
• International travel advances may be obtained for the entire field trip package. However,
please remember that a T&E report must be filled out upon the traveler’s return and the
original receipts must be submitted with the T&E report. If you going to another country
and you think you will not be able to obtain receipts, you must speak to DA beforehand.
The traveler will need to keep track of all expenses while s/he is away and keep receipts in
chronological order. It is recommended that the student takes T&E reports along on the trip,
so that they can be completed weekly to keep track of expenses and receipts.
     Any unused funds, or those that cannot be properly accounted for, need to be returned
to the university. Any irregularities in this regard can seriously affect your account.


Form
1. Fill-in your SS#, Date (Month/Day/Year), payee: your name, your address, travel
   dates, destination and itinerary
2. Purpose: write “Pre-Dissertation Fieldwork:” and a brief description, OR “Year 1, 2,
   etc. Conference with/without Presentation” and the title of the conference.
3. Amount: depending on what it is for (see above)
4. Traveler’s Signature: sign your name
5. Date: Month/Day/Year
6. Traveler’s Name: print your name
7. Title: write “Ph.D. Fellow”
8. Leave everything else blank


C.) Check Request Form
1. Date (Month/Day/Year)
2. Payee: Institution (i.e. American Museum of Natural History) – also write “Attn: your
   Directed Research supervisor’s name”
3. Address: Institution
4. Tax Identification Number: Institution
5. Description of Service: write “Directed Research (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) with Dr. ____”,

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                               - 52 -
   title of project, and any other necessary description.
6. If the check is to be mailed, provide a self-addressed envelope.
7. Amount: up to $500
8. Leave everything else blank.

NOTE: If a form/request is incomplete or is not filled-out appropriately, it will be returned
       to you to be corrected. This can delay processing.




                         GRANTS & AWARDS
                (also see “Grant Proposals” in GENERAL ACADEMIC INFORMATION)

Students are expected to apply for funding to support their education (tuition, etc.) as well as
their research. A “BONUS” to one’s stipend may be added if outside funding for stipends is
obtained.

Below are some possible resources you should explore. EVERYONE WHO QUALIFIES
SHOULD APPLY FOR AN NSF GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP. This list is not comprehensive.

• OFFICE OF PROJECTS AND GRANTS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

        http://www.columbia.edu/cu/opg/

       Synopsis: The office of projects and grants (OPG) offers a list of granting agencies and
       search engines for additional funding opportunities. In addition, OPG handles
       administrative aspects of research grants. Students applying for a research grant must
       always do so through OPG and follow the specifications of OPG detailed in the above
       website.
• NSF 00-95 DOCTORAL DISSERTATION IMPROVEMENT GRANTS IN THE
DIRECTORATE FOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

        http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf0095/nsf0095.htm

        Synopsis: The National Science Foundation awards Doctoral Dissertation Improvement
        Grants in selected areas of the biological sciences. These grants provide partial support
        of doctoral dissertation research to improve the overall quality of the research, to allow
        doctoral candidates to conduct research in specialized facilities or field settings away
        from the home campus, and to provide opportunities for greater diversity in collecting
        and creativity in analyzing data than would otherwise be possible using only locally
        available resources. Approximately $750,000 per year is currently spent on doctoral
        dissertation improvement awards and this is expected to remain constant. Proposals
        whose focus falls within the scope of the Ecology, Ecosystems, Systematics, or
        Population Biology programs in the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), or the
        Animal Behavior or Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology programs in the Division of

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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                                      - 53 -
        Integrative Biology and Neuroscience (IBN) are eligible. Please note that DEB programs
        generally do not support research in marine ecology. The duration and grant amount are
        flexible but must be justified by the scope of work and documented in the proposal.
        Grants are typically awarded for 24 months and for amounts that range from $3,000 to
        $10,000

        Deadline: Third Friday in November


• NSF Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF 01-146)

        http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/DGE/programs/grf/

        Synopsis: The National Science Foundation (NSF), to ensure the “vitality of the human
        resource base of science, mathematic s, and engineering in the United States and to
        reinforce its diversity” offers approximately 900 graduate fellowships each year,
        including awards for women in engineering and computer and information science.
        Fellowships provide three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based
        master’s or doctoral degrees in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering
        supported by the NSF and are intended for students in the early stages of their graduate
        study (either first or second year students, see the guidelines for more details). A 12-
        month stipend of $27,500 (2003-04), will be paid as will a $10,500 cost of education
        allowance. The fellowship also provides a one-time travel grant for fellows who need to
        do research abroad for at least three continuous months. Additionally, NSF will consider
        further support for foreign travel and subsistence for fellows who will conduct research
        with a host country investigator. ALL STUDENTS WHO QUALIFY ARE
        EXPECTED TO APPLY FOR THESE FELLOWSHIPS, MORE THAN ONCE IF
        POSSIBLE. (You can apply in both your first and second years of graduate school in
        most cases.)

        Deadline: November 4 (for year 2004)

• Environmental Research and Education Foundation

        http://www.erefdn.org/scholar.html

        Synopsis: The environmental research and education foundation (EREF) supports Ph.D.
        students interested in environmental research. The amount of the scholarship depends
        on the cost of tuition and whether tuition is covered by other sources.
        $12,000/year/up to three years

        Deadline: July 31

•       Grants for neotropical field biologists and conservationists

        http://wildlife.wisc.edu/simbiota/s-list.htm




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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                                            - 54 -
                       APPENDIX 1:
        E3B GRADUATE STUDENT TEACHING GUIDELINES

Requirements

      In fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, all E3B
students must gain teaching experience as part of their graduate
training. It is hoped that this experience not only serves as a
foundation for graduate students who go on to careers in teaching but
is also of value in preparing students to make effective oral
presentations at professional meetings, seminars, and colloquia.
Moreover, learning to give clear explanations and to answer questions
in introductory courses contributes substantially to a graduate
student’s understanding of fundamental concepts in the field.
      To "teach" means to lead a laboratory or recitation section or to
assist in teaching a lecture course. Students are expected to start
teaching in their second year and generally complete their teaching by
the end of their third year, before advancing to candidacy. Students
with sufficient experience and maturity are allowed to start teaching
in the second term of the first year. All TAs must be in good academic
standing and registered (for residence or extended residence) during
the semester in which they teach.


Assignments

Teaching assignments are made by the Chair and the Director of Graduate
Studies. Students may submit their preferences for TAing particular
courses, and efforts will be made to match the TA to the course s/he
desires. However, a perfect match is not always possible. In making
Teaching Assistant assignments, we take into account student and
faculty preferences, special skills, and previous assignments, in the
context of the needs of the student’s educational program and the
department’s instructional program. The number of TAs assigned to each
course is based on anticipated enrollment together with the demands of
the course and the teaching style of the instructor.


Responsibilities

All teaching is overseen by a faculty member. Duties of teaching
assistants vary, depending on the course, and may include:

            •   Attending lectures and doing assigned readings
            •   Meeting with the professor
            •   Setting up electronic classrooms and laboratories
            •   Preparation of instructional aids and web pages
            •   Aiding in the preparation of exams
            •   Grading exams and papers
            •   Holding office hours for students
            •   Conducting review sections
            •   Leading discussion or lab sections



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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                       - 55 -
            •   Offering guest lectures – special occasions matching a
                student's expertise with the needs of a particular course

        Each graduate student is required to teach the equivalent of 2 to
        4 semesters in total. The variance in this number is a function
        of the availability of TAs, the courses taught (some require
        greater commitments than others), and in some occasions, the
        previous teaching experience of the student. The department
        strives for equity across students in teaching duties over their
        entire studentships. Teaching Assistants should expect to devote
        15-20 hours per week to their teaching-related duties.


Training

1.         A seminar will be held every semester at the beginning of the
           year for all students who are doing their first teaching
           assignment. Attendance is mandatory. The major purpose of this
           session is to discuss departmental support to, and duties
           required of, the student TA's. At the session various aspects
           of graduate student teaching will be discussed and suggestions
           made for improving teaching and learning (both for the benefit
           of the TAs and the undergraduate students). We also try to
           provide TAs with resources for solving problems that may arise.
2.         There are no other department wide sessions, but TAs for all
           classes should meet regularly with instructors to discuss the
           material and ways to present it.
3.         Teaching Assistants must be proficient in English or pass the
           International Teaching Fellows Course offered by the American
           Language Program.


Evaluation

      Course evaluations are given out in every course at the end of
every semester. They include an extensive section for evaluating the
TA. Some instructors conduct additional surveys and/or discussion
sessions with their TA to obtain more information. The results of all
surveys and/or evaluations are given to the TA.
      A questionnaire is filled out by each faculty member evaluating
the TA at the end of the semester. This information becomes part of the
student’s file.
      TA’s will be asked to evaluate the departmental TA-training
seminar, so that it remains responsive to their needs.


Grievance Procedure

      In the event that a TA believes that he or she is being treated
unfairly, he or she should bring the grievance to the attention of the
Director of Graduate Studies or the Chair. Should the grievance not be
resolved at this level, it may be brought to the Assistant Dean for
Graduate Teaching at GSAS.




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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology                          - 56 -

								
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