I write this week from a South Carolina beach, an apt location for quiet contemplation of coastal zone ecology, longshore currents, and sea-level rise. This week’s report is consequently somewhat shorter than usual.
I am pleased to report that Kevin Uno joined the ranks of the Lamont research faculty this week as a Lamont Assistant Research Professor in the Observatory’s Biology and Paleo Environment Division. A paleoecologist and paleoclimatologist, Kevin reconstructs ancient climates and ecosystems from measurements of the stable isotopes of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen in molecular biomarkers in sediments, fossil tooth enamel, and paleosols. He also applies radiocarbon measurements of modern animal tissue to address problems in ecology and wildlife forensics. Kevin completed his Ph.D. in 2012 at the University of Utah under the supervision of Thure Cerling, and since then he’s been a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Lamont.
From Monday through Thursday, Lamont hosted a Workshop on Internal Cycling of Trace Elements in the Ocean, jointly sponsored by the GEOTRACES Program and the Ocean Carbon and Biochemistry (OCB) activity of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program (http://web.whoi.edu/geotraces-synthesis/). The goals of the workshop were to identify a small number of high-priority synthesis objectives that can be achieved over the next decade by exploiting data from GEOTRACES and related studies, and to outline strategies to reach those objectives, which may include new modeling and observational initiatives.
On Tuesday afternoon, Lamont’s Summer Interns gave presentations on their summer research projects. Each gave a 1-minute summary of his or her project to an appreciative audience in Monell Auditorium, and then each gave a poster presentation at a two-hour session in the Comer Atrium. A reception followed for the interns, their mentors, and their guests.
Wednesday was the deadline for submitting abstracts to the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. I have not yet learned of the total number of abstracts submitted, either by Lamont or overall, but I can imagine that there is keen interest in attending the last Fall Meeting in San Francisco until at least 2019.
Dennis Kent this week passed along a copy of the latest issue of Quaternary Perspectives, the newsletter of the International Union for Quaternary Research (http://www.inqua.org/publications.html). The issue contains two stories remembering geologist and paleoclimatologist George Kukla, one each by Dennis and by Wally Broecker. George passed away last year (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/george-kukla-contrarian-climate-scientist).
In a lengthy article this past weekend in The Christian Science Monitor on the myriad new tools used to study the oceans (http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0730/20-000-discoveries-under-the-sea), Suzanne Carbotte was quoted on her work mapping the mid-ocean ridge system and David Gallo was called out for his work with manned and unmanned submersibles and deep-sea cameras. Smithsonian Magazine posted a feature story yesterday on Paul Olsen and his work on the causes of major extinction events in Earth’s history (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/paleontologist-paul-olsen-searches-truth-behind-mass-extinctions-180959976/?no-ist). Bridgit Boulahanis continued her blog (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/research/blogs/future-deep-science) from the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) Deep-Submergence Science Leadership Cruise on the R/V Atlantis, with an entry this week on cross-disciplinary collaboration in the collection of samples and data at sea.
Whether you’re working this week on a ship or in the lab, may you set aside some time to catch your breath from the sweep of the year’s activities to recharge your energies and enjoy a bit of what remains of northern summer.