Dickson Despommier

Microbiologist and Ecologist
Emeritus Professor of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University

A full-time professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Dickson Despommier, PhD, is also the director of the Vertical Farm Project which addresses issues related to urban agriculture, environmental disturbance, and the restoration of damaged ecosystems. The project was started in 1999 as a classroom activity in Dr. Despommier’s Medical Ecology course.

During the ten years that followed, numerous articles in the popular press (NY Science Times, Popular Science, New York Magazine, Time Magazine, Scientific American) and interviews on and radio and television shows (including the Colbert Report) have featured his concept of farming in buildings situated inside the city limits. So far, over 82 graduate students (mostly from the Mailman School of Public Health) have participated in generating a wealth of supportive studies that are posted on the vertical farm website.