The Goddard Institute for Space Studies is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and a unit of the Columbia University Earth Institute. The institute is located at Columbia University in New York City.Research at the GISS emphasizes a broad study of Global Change; the natural and anthropogenic changes in our environment that affect the habitability of our planet. These effects may occur on greatly differing time scales, from one-time forcings such as volcanic explosions, to seasonal/annual effects such as El Niño, and on up to the millennia of ice ages.The institute's research combines analysis of comprehensive global datasets,, with global models of atmospheric, land surface, and oceanic processes. Study of past climate change on Earth and of other planetary atmospheres provides an additional tool in assessing our general understanding of the atmosphere and its evolution.GISS was established in May 1961 by Robert Jastrow to do basic research in space sciences in support of Goddard programs. Formally it was the New York City office of the GSFC Theoretical Division but was known as the Goddard Space Flight Center Institute for Space Studies or in some publications as simply the Institute for Space Studies. Soon enough it became known as the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It was separated from the Theoretical Division in July 1962. Its offices were originally located in The Interchurch Center, and the institute moved into Columbia's Armstrong Hall in April 1966.