Laurel Zaima-Sheehy

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Assistant Director, K12 and Continuing Education, Columbia Climate School

Co-Director, Climate Education for a Resilient Future Earth Network,

601 West 125th Street
New York, New York 10027
United States


Laurel Zaima is the Assistant Director, K12 and Continuing Education at the Columbia Climate School. Laurel has substantial experience working with youth, teaching students through informal education about the natural environment through hands-on experiences.

At the Climate School, she coordinates professional learning workshops for learners who are interested in advancing their knowledge and skills in the areas of climate and sustainability, pre-college place-based programs that dive into climate science, impacts, and solutions to empower young people to shape a more just and resilient future, and K12 and educator offerings.

As an educator, Laurel works on education initiatives that communicate topics of sustainability, climate change, sea level rise, and climate action to the general public, K12 and undergraduate students, and formal and informal educators. Laurel has led and advised high school and undergraduate students through Lamont's summer research opportunities including the Secondary School Field Research Program (SSFRP), Next Generation of Hudson River Educators Program, and the Columbia Climate School in the Green Mountains Pre-College Program.

In addition, Laurel is a Co-Director of the Climate Education for a Resilient Future Earth Network that aims to address the urgent need for climate education and empowerment through education co-development and partnerships across Columbia University and beyond. Laurel also served as the U.S. Board President and instructor of the Terranaut Club from 2020-2024, a non-profit organization that is committed to providing science and environmental education opportunities for young women and gender minorities through immersive experiences in STEM and nature.

Laurel has a BS in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami and a MS in Sustainability Science from Columbia University.


Only select projects listed below
Name Start Date End Date
REU Site: Beyond Basic Science – Connecting Climate to Communities 4/1/21 3/31/24
A Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor 2021-2023 (extended 2024-2025) 6/1/21 12/31/25


Turrin, M., L. Zaima-Sheehy, M. Annunziato (2024). Eyes in the Sky: Using Remote Sensing to Explore Climate Change Through the Polar Region. The Earth Scientist, 40(4), 28-38.

Pedra Nobre, R., E. Caref, E. Balladares, and L. Zaima-Sheehy. 2023. Safe space commitment. Oceanography 36(4),

Tanenbaum, J., J. Fenton, C. Knudson, N. Laible, B. Rosamilia, M. Turrin, L. Zaima (2021). Earth Day at Cottage Lane: A Local, Affordable, Outdoor-Education- Day Model for Your School or Setting. The Earth Scientist, 37(1), 4-9.

Turrin, M., E. Allan, J. Stock, L. Zaima (2020). It Takes a ‘Superhero’ to Uncover the Climate Secrets in Fossilized Arctic Ocean Dinocysts. The Journal of Marine Education, 34(1).