Director's Weekly Reports

Lamont Weekly Report, April 24, 2015

This week included Earth Day on Wednesday (http://www.earthday.org/2015), and even the Google Doodle included an image of our planet.

The week was also one in which we marked two departures. Hélène Carton is leaving Lamont to take a junior faculty position at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris. After three years here as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist and five years as a Lamont Assistant Research Professor, including four years as Chief Scientist for our Office of........

 

Lamont Weekly Report, April 17, 2015

The spring season is eagerly awaited. Splashes of forsythia, daffodils, and tulips in the area suggest that the greening of the campus is not far off.

This is the week of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria. At that meeting, Göran Ekström was awarded the Beno Gutenberg Medal from EGU’s Seismology Division. Göran received the medal “for contributions to the understanding of the elastic (particularly anisotropic) and anelastic structure of the Earth, and for understanding and characterising seismic sources, especially unusual ones such as ‘ice-quakes’ or the Earth’s.....

Lamont Weekly Report, April 10, 2015

This time of year is always busy at Lamont, and this week has been no exception.

Maureen Raymo learned this week that she has been elected an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of London, the oldest national geological society in the world. Her citation reads, in part, as follows: “Maureen Raymo was the first female recipient of the Wollaston Medal, the Society’s most senior medal. She is an outstandingly creative scientist who has been setting the agenda in the study of the history of the ocean, and the Earth as a whole. She is a world class palaeoceanographer and one of the foremost and influential figures in the last 30 years during which time she has had a........

Lamont Weekly Report, April 3, 2015

Earth’s climate was much in the news this week. On Tuesday, the White House released President Obama’s plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent within the next decade (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/us/obama-to-offer-major-blueprint-on-c...). On Wednesday, the governor of California imposed the state’s first-ever mandatory reductions in water use in response to the region’s four-year drought and a winter of record-low snowfalls in the Sierra Nevada (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/california-imposes-first-ever-water...).

A number of our graduate students received better news this week from NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Olivia Clifton, Ethan Coffel,.......
 

Lamont Weekly Report, March 27, 2015

 Lamont ended last week by hosting the third annual Seismology Student Workshop (http://eesc.columbia.edu/student-life/graduate-student-life/seismology-student-workshop/), a one-of-its-kind event run exclusively by and for graduate students. The organizers for this year's workshop, held last Thursday and Friday, were Celia Eddy, Helen Janiszewski, Kira Olsen, and Zach Eilon. Participants included 39 students from 15 different universities in nine different states. The workshop featured 21 talks on a wide range of topics. A short piece on the workshop will be featured on the weekly......

Lamont Weekly Report, March 20, 2015

 

This past weekend began with a once-in-a-century event, a Pi Day good to five significant figures (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/14/pi-day-kids-videos/24753169/). I spent that morning traveling to and from Norwalk, Connecticut, to give a 30-minute presentation on my work and Lamont more generally to the Columbia University Trustees. On the program for the Trustee retreat, I followed the.........

Lamont Weekly Report, March 13, 2015

 

The week began with a Washington Post story on Monday reporting that state government officials in Florida, and those in the Department of Environmental Protection in particular, are prohibited from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/09/florida-state-most-affected-by-climate-change-reportedly-bans-term-climate-change/). Another perspective, by the man who coined the latter term, appeared last week (http://www.funnyordie.com/articles/44d2ccb862/the-scientist-who-named-it-global-warming-would-like-to-apologize).

 

On Tuesday, Kevin Krajick posted his annual summary of fieldwork........

Lamont Weekly Report, March 6, 2015

Despite the turn of the page on the monthly calendar this past weekend, we again began a week with snow and ice. For yet one more Sunday evening, our Buildings and Grounds crew worked until 1 am to clear roads and walkways, and they returned at 7 am Monday morning to continue the task. Yesterday, with a new snowstorm that forced an early closure of the Observatory, they were back on the job. To Lenny Sullivan, Bruce Baez, Tom Burke, Carmine Cavaliere, Bob Daly, Tony De Loatch, Charles Jones, Stevenson Louis, Mike McHugh, Ray Slavin, Eric Soto, Kevin Sullivan, and Rick Trubiroha, an entire campus is once again in your debt. Thanks, guys! 

On Sunday, even before the week’s snow, several Lamont scientists served as judges at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair, a city-wide science competition for..........

Lamont Weekly Report, February 27, 2015

The Lamont Campus was saddened to learn this week of the death of former Lamont laboratory technician and analyst Nadia Kostyk. Nadia worked at the Observatory for more than two decades, from August 1966 until September 1987, initially as a Senior Research Staff Assistant and later as a Staff Associate. A few reminiscences by Lamont alumnus and Adjunct Senior Research Scientist Richard Bopp can be found on our web site (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/files/uploaded/image/file/Nadia%20Kostyk.pdf). 

Balancing the loss was a mix of good news and reports of progress on many fronts....  

Lamont Weekly Report, February 20, 2015

One week after the Boston area set a record for snowfall within a 30-day period, record low temperatures for the date were reached this week in Chicago, New York, and other Midwestern and eastern cities. It is a winter to remember.

Notwithstanding the cold temperatures, there is good news to warm the spirit.
 
I am pleased to announce that Christine McCarthy has been named a Lamont Assistant Research Professor, effective this month. An expert in the experimental measurement........

Lamont Weekly Report, February 13, 2015

For a third week in a row, Monday brought wintry weather that kept many close to home. That the campus opened and operated as usual was once again thanks to the extra efforts of our Buildings and Grounds team.

On Monday, Lamont welcomed Laura (Lori) Nunemann as the Business Manager for the Observatory’s newly organized Marine and Large Programs Division. Lori comes to Lamont after nine years at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, where among other responsibilities she coordinated the construction on behalf of the National Science.......
 

Lamont Weekly Report, February 6, 2015

For a second week in a row, campus operations were disrupted by snow, the result this week of a storm that began Sunday night. And once again, Lenny Sullivan, Bruce Baez, Tom Burke, Carmine Cavaliere, Bob Daly, Tony De Loatch, Charles Jones, Stevenson Louis, Mike McHugh, Ray Slavin, Eric Soto, Kevin Sullivan, and Rick Trubiroha put in a long night to clear and salt campus roads and walkways. From 1:30 am on Sunday night until the middle of the next day, our 13-man crew worked to ensure that our offices and labs could open at 11 am on Monday. For another week, thank you, gentlemen!

 Two new postdoctoral scientists arrived shortly after this.....

Lamont Weekly Report, January 30, 2015

 

The highlight of the week was the “Blizzard of 2015” and the history-making shutdown of New York City on Tuesday. Adam Sobel was much in the news, both ahead of the storm’s arrival as a guest on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC (http://www.wnyc.org/story/blizzard-coming/), and commenting afterwards in The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/science/snowstorms-forecasters-were-mostly-right.html) on the general accuracy of the forecast despite the lesser snow levels in New York than the upper end of the range of predictions.

 

Even though snow accumulations in the area did not reach the early predictions of 2–3...........

Lamont Weekly Report, January 23, 2015

The week began with announcements from NASA and NOAA that the combined average land and ocean surface temperatures during 2014 were the highest on record (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/17/science/earth/2014-was-hottest-year-on...). This news item found its way into Tuesday’s State of the Union speech by President Obama, who devoted four paragraphs to the topic of climate change (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/21/us/politics/obamas-state-of-the-union-...).

Tuesday also brought the announcement that the 2015 Vetlesen Prize will go to volcanologist Stephen Sparks of the University of Bristol. Hallmarks of the extraordinarily broad contributions to volcanology by Prof. Sparks are his combination of novel ideas with fluid dynamical models thoroughly tested against.....

Lamont Weekly Report, January 16, 2015

Notwithstanding the seasonally cold weather, Lamont has warmly welcomed a number of new arrivals to the campus in the past couple of weeks.

Karen Buck joined our office of Strategic Initiatives, Development and External Relations last week as Major Gifts Officer. Karen brings two decades of experience as a senior development professional in higher education. She has worked at the City University of New York Graduate Center, New York University, and The New School....
 

Lamont Weekly Report, January 9, 2015

As befits the first full workweek of the new calendar year, the weather reminded us that winter has arrived in force (http://lamontlog.tumblr.com/post/107605745427/field-photo-friday). But we can draw warmth from several items of good news.

Mark Cane learned this week that he has been named a Fellow of The Oceanography Society. Fellows are “individuals who have attained eminence in oceanography through their outstanding contributions to the field of oceanography or its applications during ......

Lamont Weekly Report, December 31, 2014

This week and last have been relatively quiet, with two holidays and many taking time off to be with family and friends. Even Nature and Science magazines schedule breaks this time of year from their weekly pace of successive issues.

Those of us in warm and comfortable settings should pause to raise a toast to those from Lamont who are in the field over the holidays, including those featured on The.....

Lamont Weekly Report, December 19, 2014

Many from Lamont joined the annual migration this week to the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. With nearly 24,000 attendees this year, the meeting has once again drawn complaints from many that it has become far too large. Most of those complaining this week, however, are at the meeting...

 

Lamont Weekly Report, December 12, 2014

The week before the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting is always unusually busy. This week featured both the last day of fall semester classes on Monday and the start of the holiday party season at Lamont. Holiday festivities were kicked off on Thursday by the Geochemistry Division’s holiday luncheon, organized by Arlene Suriani and her colleagues and held in the Comer Café. This morning, the staff of the Lamont Café – Chef Richard, Beth, Laura, Seth, and Joe – hosted a complimentary holiday breakfast...

Lamont Weekly Report, December 5, 2014

The highlight of this week is the daylong symposium today in honor of Dave Walker and his many scientific contributions to petrology and its applications to our understanding of Earth, the Moon, and other solar system bodies. The symposium, entitled “From the core to magmas to beyond the Earth,” is ongoing in the Comer seminar room. Presenters this morning included Abby Kavner (UCLA), Jackie Li (Michigan), Raj Dasgupta (Rice), Liz Cottrell (Smithsonian).......