Director's Weekly Reports

Lamont Weekly Report, September 25, 2015

A week punctuated by the autumnal equinox was an extraordinarily busy one for New York City, with a visit by Pope Francis, the confluence of more than a hundred world leaders, a United National General Assembly session, Climate Week NYC, and the beginning today of the UN Sustainable Development Summit (

There are advantages to being tucked away on a bucolic campus in......

Lamont Weekly Report, September 18, 2015

This week was punctuated by the magnitude 8.3 earthquake and associated tsunami in Chile on Wednesday evening. According to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, stringent building codes and the timely evacuation of more than a million residents saved many lives (

For those at Lamont, the week was calm by comparison.

The R/V Langseth arrived at Woods Hole on Sunday, after completing.....

Lamont Weekly Report, September 11, 2015

A week shortened by a holiday seemed long nonetheless, perhaps because of the start of classes and a change in weather appropriate to the impending change in season. News of the discovery of a new branch in the family tree of our species hit the front pages (, but stories sharing those pages on the refugee crisis in Europe, the debate on the Iran nuclear deal, and today’s anniversary suggest that our evolution may not have progressed as far as we generally prefer to imagine. News from our campus, at least, has been more positive...

Lamont Weekly Report, September 4, 2015

Climate change was much in the news this week, during President Obama’s visit to Alaska and his speech Monday in Anchorage stressing the urgency of the issue and the need for global action ( In one of his remarks, the President indirectly quoted Meredith Nettles in a comment on the rate of loss of glacial ice in Alaska and how to visualize most readily a gigaton of ice, as reported Tuesday (

Lamont Weekly Report, August 21, 2015

After two weeks away from the Lamont Campus, I find that much has happened in the intervening time.

A feature article remembering Denny Hayes was added to Lamont’s website last week ( Written by Kevin Krajick, the article chronicles Denny’s more than half century of research at Lamont and is filled with stories of his considerable efforts devoted to conducting marine geological and geophysical surveys at sea.

Steve Pica, Chief Engineer on the R/V Langseth, retired this month after devoting 34.......

Lamont Weekly Report, August 7, 2015

The Lamont campus was deeply saddened this week by the news that Dennis Hayes passed away on Thursday morning. A fixture in the Lamont family for more than half a century and a marine geophysicist whose work took him to all the world’s oceans, Denny held important leadership positions both at the Observatory and in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Denny first arrived at Lamont in 1961, with a fresh B.S.E. degree in geological engineering from the University of Kansas. With the help of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, he completed his Ph.D. in 1966. He remained at .......

Lamont Weekly Report, July 31, 2015


This week has been as rare as a blue moon, the term sometimes used to describe the second of two occurrences of a full moon within a single month. The blue moon this month was this morning at 10:43 UTC (6:43 EDT). The last blue moon was in 2012, and the next will not be until 2018. 

The American Geophysical Union announced this week that Suzanne Carbotte has been named a Fellow ( AGU’s Fellows are arguably rarer than a blue moon, given that no more than 0.1% of the........

Lamont Weekly Report, July 24, 2015

     NASA followed last week’s Pluto flyby with an announcement this week of the discovery by the Kepler spacecraft of a super-Earth in an Earth-like orbit around a Sun-like star ( The planet (Kepler-452b) is 60% larger in diameter than Earth and has an orbital period of 385 days (but its mass is unknown).

Lamont Weekly Report, July 17, 2015

This week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued their State of the Climate for calendar 2014. The year set many records, according to the report, including average surface temperature, average sea surface temperature, and mean sea level ( Suzana Camargo was a contributing author to the NOAA report.

 This was also the last week at Lamont for Rachel Roberts, who leaves Lamont after nearly three years as Senior Program Analyst in the Observatory’s Research Management..........

Lamont Weekly Report, July 10, 2015

The summer is nearly half over. Whether you measure the season’s midpoint by Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game or the day halfway between Columbia University’s Commencement Day and Labor Day, both metrics give the same answer: next Tuesday. Nonetheless, the pace of scientific progress on our campus showed no evidence of mid-summer doldrums.

On Monday, Stacy Morford joined the Observatory as our new Senior Communications Officer in the office of Development, Communications, and Strategic Initiatives. With degrees in journalism and education, Stacy spent 10 years as a reporter and wire editor for Associated Press in New York City. After editorial posts at Current Events MagazineInsideClimate News, and Education Week, Stacy served for three years as Senior Online Communications Officer for the World Bank with a portfolio that included sustainable development, climate change, and disaster risk management. Please join me in welcoming Stacy to Lamont!...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 10, 2015

   The summer is nearly half over. Whether you measure the season’s midpoint by Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game or the day halfway between Columbia University’s Commencement Day and Labor Day, both metrics give the same answer: next Tuesday. Nonetheless, the pace of scientific progress on our campus showed no evidence of mid-summer doldrums. 

Lamont Weekly Report, June 26, 2015

     The highlight of this week was the awarding of the 2015 Vetlesen Prize to Stephen Sparks of the University of Bristol at a black-tie dinner ceremony in Low Library on Wednesday evening. One of the world’s foremost volcanologists, Steve visited Lamont on Monday to deliver a lecture on “How volcanoes work” to a full house in the Monell Auditorium.

Lamont Weekly Report, June 12, 2015

This week began Monday with World Oceans Day, a day recognized by the United Nations to celebrate the importance of Earth’s oceans. This year’s appropriate theme is “Healthy oceans, healthy planet” (

Newly published by the American Geophysical Union and John Wiley & Sons is a book on gender equity in Earth science co-edited by Kuheli Dutt and entitled Women in the Geosciences: Practical, Positive Practices toward Parity. The other two editors are Mary Anne Holmes from the University of Nebraska and Suzanne OConnell from........

Lamont Weekly Report, June 5, 2015

The news this week from Washington has been discouraging. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the FY 2016 Commerce-Science-Justice Appropriations bill that funds NSF, NOAA, NASA, and several other agencies and departments. The bill includes substantial cuts to the budgets for the Geosciences Directorate at NSF, the Earth Science Division at NASA, and climate research programs at NOAA relative to current-year levels. The White House issued a Statement of Administration Position (SAP) in opposition to the House bill and threatened that the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto such legislation were it presented to him for signature in that form. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee handling the appropriations bill for the.....

Lamont Weekly Report, May 29, 2015

This week marked the arrival of the Lamont Summer Interns, undergraduate students selected for an intensive 10-week research experience conducted on our campus under the supervision of a scientific mentor. A welcoming reception for the new interns was held yesterday on the lawn between the Seismology and Geoscience Buildings. 

A total of 26 interns hail from 15 colleges and universities from around the country. In the hope that you will find the opportunity this summer to meet as many of this year’s interns......