Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) Columbia University
Home PageContact Info

About Us
Programs and Projects
Data & Information Resources
Education & Outreach


The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) is a center within the Earth Institute at Columbia University. CIESIN works at the intersection of the social, natural, and information sciences, and specializes in on-line data and information management, spatial data integration and training, and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment.

Selected Blog Posts
Global COVID-19 Map Viewer Shows Case Data, Age/Sex Features of At-Risk Populations
A new tool provides data that can help identify populations most at risk from coronavirus, around the world and down to the U.S. county level.

More Blog Posts
In the Spotlight

CIESIN Teams with Yale to Produce 2020 Environmental Performance Index

Screenshot from EPI report cover showing global world map with country rankings

CIESIN has again collaborated with the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy to release the bi-annual Environmental Performance Index (EPI), which ranks countries on environmental health and ecosystem vitality. The 2020 EPI uses 32 performance indicators across 11 issue categories to compare 180 countries. Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for science applications, is one of the lead authors; Tricia Chai-Onn, senior geographic information specialist, and Jane Mills, geographic information specialist, provided geospatial expertise.

The latest EPI rated Denmark #1 in country performance in nearly all areas that are measured. Other top nations include Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and France. Nations that are struggling to reach established environmental policy targets include Bahrain, Argentina, and Australia. In general, the 2020 EPI found that fisheries are in decline around the world, and that protection of marine ecosystems was insufficient in every region. For the first time, rankings include a waste management metric and a pilot indicator on CO2 emissions from land cover change. Other new indicators permit a deeper analysis of air quality, biodiversity and habitat, fisheries, ecosystem services, and climate change.

Because the metrics on which the 2020 analysis is based come from a variety of sources and represent the most recent published data, the analysis does not reflect recent developments, such as the dramatic drop in air pollution in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, or greenhouse gas emissions from the extensive Amazonian fires in 2019.

See: 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI)
News & Events Subscribe to CIESIN News
In the Media