The Earth Institute's overarching goal is to help achieve sustainable development primarily by expanding the world's understanding of Earth as one integrated system. We work toward this goal through scientific research, education and the practical application of research for solving real-world challenges. With 850 scientists, postdoctoral fellows and students working in and across more than 20 Columbia University research centers, The Earth Institute is helping to advance nine interconnected global issues: climate and society, water, energy, poverty, ecosystems, public health, food and nutrition, hazards and urbanization. With Columbia University as its foundation, The Earth Institute draws upon the scientific rigor, technological innovation and academic leadership for which the University is known. The Earth Institute encompasses centers of excellence with an established reputation for groundbreaking research, including the renowned Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, home to some of the world's leading scientists pursuing the study of Earth and its systems. The Earth Institute is implementing solutions to global challenges; pioneering research; advising national governments, the United Nations and other international agencies; and educating the next generation of leaders in sustainable development. While Earth is indeed at a critical crossroads, our work reflects the fundamental belief that the world has within its possession the tools needed to effectively mitigate climate change, poverty and other critical issues.