Director's Weekly Reports

Lamont Weekly Report, August 29, 2014

 Our active planet was much in the news this week. The magnitude 6.0 earthquake near Napa, California, on Sunday morning damaged many of the older structures in the town center, notwithstanding a media focus on the sideshow of broken barrels and bottles of wine (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/26/us/napa-mops-wine-up-and-tallies-its-losses.html?_r=0). Our continent was bookended by hurricanes Cristobal in the Atlantic and Marie in the eastern...... 

Lamont Weekly Report, August 22, 2014

The beginning of the fall semester is around the corner, and members of the incoming class of graduate students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences have been arriving throughout the summer. All but one will be here by the new student orientation on Tuesday of next week. Please join me in welcoming our 18 (mostly) new colleagues:.......

Lamont Weekly Report, August 15, 2014

In a midweek punctuation to a period when many were in the field or enjoying vacations elsewhere, a summer storm brought heavy rain and flooding to the area, including a record-setting 13.5 inches of rain within 24 hours at Islip. For those on campus, the study of our planet continued.

On Monday afternoon, the M.A. Program in Climate and Society staged a poster session in the Monell lobby at which graduating students shared results from their summer internship and thesis experiences. The students have worked with a variety of organizations ranging from.....

Lamont Weekly Report, August 8, 2014

It was the week of the abstract submission deadline for the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting, and those who waited until Wednesday to submit their contribution learned that AGU’s servers and new abstract management software were not up to the challenge of handling as many as 10,000 submissions in the final 24 hours before the cutoff. A one-day extension may not have recovered all of the good will lost, but everyone who wanted to submit an abstract was finally given an opportunity to do so.

 On Monday, the Geochemistry Division welcomed Kelsey Dyez as a new Postdoctoral........

Lamont Weekly Report, August 1, 2014

For a second week in a row, the campus was saddened to learn of the loss of a long-time member of the Lamont family.

Joanne Domenick, who worked in Lamont’s Human Resources Office from 1986 to 2007, passed away on July 26 (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/lohud/obituary.aspx?n=joanne-e-domenick&pid=171878016&fhid=4047#sthash.TLKmqSbH.dpuf). Jennifer Verdin writes, “Joanne was dedicated to her Assistant Manager position in HR and took her responsibility seriously. She enjoyed a good laugh and often joked around with the guys from Buildings and Grounds.” Angelina Calungcagin recalls, “As a co-worker I appreciated Joanne's work ethic...
 

Lamont Weekly Report, July 25, 2014

The campus was saddened to learn this week of the loss of two members of the extended Lamont family.

 Lamont and Columbia alumnus Dann Spariosu passed away in May. Dann completed his Ph.D. here in 1984 under the supervision of Dennis Kent. Dennis writes that Dann “knew a lot of stuff, and it was fun working with him, especially on fieldwork in Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, as well as on the Glomar Challenger leg through the Panama Canal. Good times.” After leaving Lamont, Dann joined the faculty of the University of Georgia. He later took a position at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where......

Lamont Weekly Report, July 18, 2014

The international news of late has cast a discouraging pall, as the fierce but generally civil national rivalries on the soccer pitch have been eclipsed by rockets, missiles, and armies on the move. The contrasts between military conflict and the peaceful pursuit of a deeper understanding of our planet, an intrinsically global endeavor often advanced through long-term collaborations that bridge the oceans and cross political divides, were etched a little deeper this week. 

The Geochemistry Division welcomed two visitors this week who exemplify the tradition of multi-national cooperation in science. Mark Holzer, a Visiting Research Scientist arrived last........

Lamont Weekly Report, July 11, 2014

The strongest typhoon to date in the 2014 Western Pacific season and a magnitude 6.9 earthquake near the Mexico-Guatemala border reminded us once again this week that an improved understanding of our dynamic planet is amply warranted.

This week has also been a challenging one for our Office of Marine Operations. On Tuesday of last week, the R/V Langseth sailed from her berth at SUNY Maritime College to begin an NSF-sponsored cruise, led by chief scientist Greg Mountain of Rutgers University, to collect three-dimensional seismic images of the upper crust of the continental shelf off of New Jersey. The study area encompasses the three drill holes of IODP Expedition 313, and the expeditio......
 

Lamont Weekly Report, July 3, 2014

This holiday-shortened workweek features the first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. The hurricane shares its name with our Deputy Director.

 On Monday, the campus was visited by 64 students from the Master’s Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. The visit, hosted by program faculty members Ben Bostick and Jason Smerdon, included introductions to the Observatory, IRI, and CIESIN; scientific talks by Park Williams,......
 

Lamont Weekly Report, June 27, 2014

Today ends the final full week of the academic year, and the last few days have been filled with reappointment letters, personnel actions, and year-end budget issues.
 
I am pleased to announce that Alberto Malinverno has been appointed a Lamont Research Professor, effective 1 July. Alberto has held a Senior Research Scientist position at Lamont since 2005.
 

I am delighted to add that five members of our research faculty have been promoted to......

Lamont Weekly Report, June 20, 2014

Tomorrow’s summer solstice marks the annual maximum in the daily minutes of sunlight for the northern hemisphere. It seems ironic that the path toward fall and winter begins just as the uptick in air conditioning costs tracks the arrival of summer heat and humidity.   

An article posted online in Nature Geoscience on Sunday by Robin Bell, Kirsty Tinto, Indrani Das, Mike Wolovick, Winnie Chu, Tim Creyts, Nick Frearson, Abdulhakim Abdi, and John Paden from the University of Kansas reports the discovery from ice-penetrating radar of large structures within the Greenland ice sheet interpreted to consist of refrozen basal meltwater..... 

Lamont Weekly Report, June 13, 2014

This Lamont Weekly Report is the 100th I’ve written since my arrival nearly two years ago. The time has passed quickly, in large part because of the collective accomplishments of everyone at the Observatory, even though many of our community’s shared goals for the future of our campus still lie ahead. 

I am pleased to announce that Hélène Carton, Tim Crone, Pratigya Polissar, and Heather Savage will be promoted to Lamont Associate Research Professor (Junior Staff) as of 1 July. Please join me in congratulating our four colleagues on their new and well-earned positions..........  

Lamont Weekly Report, June 6, 2014

This week began with a sudden sense of loss as we absorbed the news that George Kukla passed away on Saturday. George joined Lamont’s Senior Staff in 1973 and had been a Special Research Scientist since 2001. A geologist and paleoclimatologist, George was an expert on the climate variations of the Quaternary and their causes, having extracted important information from loess sequences in Europe, North America, and East Asia. On the basis of his early work on the European sequences, George became a pioneering proponent of the orbital theory.....

Lamont Weekly Report, May 30, 2014

Although the week had fewer workdays than normal, there was no shortage of good news regarding recognition of the accomplishments of several of our colleagues.

Adam Sobel learned this week that he is to receive the 2014 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award by the American Geophysical Union’s Atmospheric Sciences Section. Established in 2012, the award recognizes “exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of the atmospheric.... 

Lamont Weekly Report, May 23, 2014

This week, of course, was Commencement Week at Columbia University. One of the notable events amid the gown-filled ceremonies was the presentation of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Achievement to Wally Broecker at the Convocation Ceremony of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences on Sunday (http://eesc.columbia.edu/news-events/news/broecker-deans-award-distinguished-achievement).

 On Monday, Art Lerner-Lam was the featured speaker at the graduation ceremony of the...... 
 

Lamont Weekly Report, May 16, 2014

The end of the academic year feels closer this week. Final examinations were held, and preparations for next week’s commencement activities neared completion. An item of particularly good news for Lamont is that Wally Broecker will receive the Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award this coming Sunday at the Convocation Ceremony of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (http://gsas.columbia.edu/news/wallace-s.-broecker%2C-ph.d.-%2758%2C-to-r...).

The end of the academic year will bring other transitions. Arnold Gordon will step down as Associate Director for Lamont’s Ocean and Climate Physics Division at the end of next.....                                                                  

Lamont Weekly Report, May 9, 2014

This week’s release of the third National Climate Assessment drew widespread media attention, including a Justin Gillis story on the front page of Wednesday’s New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/07/science/earth/climate-change-report.html?_r=0), but the pace of activities at Lamont followed its usual rhythm.

The final Lamont Public Lecture in this spring’s series was given by David Goldberg on....... 
                                                                   

Lamont Weekly Report, May 2, 2014

The high point of the week was Peter Kelemen’s election on Tuesday to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors in American science. A Kim Martineau story on Peter was posted to our web site a day later (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/climate-change-innovator-elected-national-academy), and a reception to celebrate the occasion will be held at 4:30 this afternoon in the Monell Lobby...                                                                   

Lamont Weekly Report, April 25, 2014

This week included Earth Day (http://www.earthday.org/), and many of us on campus tipped our collective hats in celebration of our planet. For the occasion, our Campus and Life Committee organized a weeklong office cleaning and recycling program, a yoga class on Tuesday to collect donations to the New York Fresh Air Fund, and bike-to-work events from Nyack and Manhattan this morning that ended in breakfas.....

Lamont Weekly Report, April 18, 2014

On Wednesday morning, the campus awoke to freezing temperatures and a new blanket of snow and ice. Madeleine Thomson’s lunchtime salads were not a reliable harbinger of spring after all.

The Geochemistry Division this week welcomed Guillem Gisbert Pinto, who will be visiting Lamont until July. An Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona, Guillem is being hosted by Steve Goldstein...