Lamont Weekly Report, February 19, 2016

    The Weekly Report this week is shorter than usual because I spent much of the week off campus. From Wednesday to Friday I attended a meeting of the GRAIL Science Team hosted by the University of Hawai’i. The highpoint of the meeting was a daylong field trip, led by Jeff Taylor and Peter Mouginis-Mark of the university’s Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, of the deposits and structures of the Ko’olau volcano in southeastern Oahu.

    Pat O’Reilly announced this week that Mike McHugh has been named Lamont’s Manager of Facilities. Mike joined the Observatory as Assistant Manager of Facilities in 2013, and he stepped up to serve as interim manager after the death of Lenny Sullivan last November. A formal search was conducted to find the best candidate for the manager position, and Mike was identified as the top applicant, on the basis not only of his work while at Lamont but also his extensive experience with the management of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning projects, as well as the installation and maintenance of building management control systems, gained in his previous position as Assistant Manager and Facilities Engineer at New York University.

    Another upward move this week, announced by Edie Miller, is the promotion of Wanda Espinal to Lamont’s Labor Accounting position. Wanda will now handle salary assignments, effort reporting, and Lamont Research  Professor incentive accounts.

    To both Mike and Wanda, congratulations from all of your colleagues!

    Early this week, the R/V Langseth completed all of the seismic data acquisition planned for its current South Atlantic cruise to image the seismic structure of the oceanic crust from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to 70-million-year-old seafloor. The goal of the cruise, led by Gail Christeson from the University of Texas at Austin and Bobby Reece from Texas A&M University, has been to gain an improved understanding of the off-axis evolution of oceanic crust and the stability of spreading center segments over timescales of tens of millions of years. On Saturday, the ship headed for port in the Cape Verde Islands and is scheduled to arrive in about six days.                                          

    The Earth Science Colloquium speaker this afternoon will be seismologist Bill Ellsworth, an expert in earthquake physics and seismic hazards. Bill spent most of his career as a research geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey before moving to Stanford University’s Department of Geophysics last year as a Research Professor ( His seminar – to be held at the usual time but in the Comer Seminar Room rather than the Monell Auditorium – will be on “Managing the hazard of induced earthquakes in a changing world.” I hope that you will be able to attend.