Director's Weekly Reports

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).......

Lamont Weekly Report, November 26, 2014

For a second week in a row, the extended Lamont family has reason to grieve over the loss of a long-time member. We learned late last week, from Joyce Gavin, that micropaleontologist and climatologist Lloyd Burckle passed away two weeks ago in Falmouth, Maine (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/lohud/obituary.aspx?n=lloyd-burckle&pid=173220298&fhid=11167#sthash.TuoRxoJJ.dpuf). Lloyd....

Lamont Weekly Report, November 21, 2014

The extended Lamont community was saddened this past weekend with news of the death of Columbia University and Lamont alumnus Gary Boucher (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dailycamera/obituary.aspx?pid=173168031). Gary obtained his Ph.D. in seismology in 1969 after successfully defending his thesis on “Three studies of microearthquakes.”

 Nano Seeber overlapped with Gary in graduate school and remembers him well. Nano writes, “Back in 1966-67, Gary and I were graduate students under Jack Oliver. We took on the task of developing one of the first portable seismometers. Gary was.....

Lamont Weekly Report, November 14, 2014

This week was notable for two major milestones. On Wednesday, the United States and China announced a joint plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the two countries (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/12/world/asia/china-us-xi-obama-apec.html). That same day, a spacecraft successfully landed on a comet nucleus for the first time (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/13/science/space/european-space-agencys-spacecraft-lands-on-comets-surface.html?rref=science/space&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Space%20%26%20Cosmos&pgtype=article). (The........

Lamont Weekly Report, November 7, 2014

This week was notable for mid-term elections that left maps of Congressional and Senate districts with a substantially redder appearance. The implications of these election results for the budgets of federal science agencies this year and next will play out over the next several months. 

I spent Monday and Tuesday at Purdue University as a member of the External Review..........

Lamont Weekly Report, October 31, 2014

This week included the second anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, and the media responded with stories that recalled the storm and looked ahead to how the region may better prepare for such storms in the future. Adam Sobel, for instance, appeared on The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC on Wednesday......

Lamont Weekly Report, October 24, 2014

This week began on a high note, with a symposium Monday and Tuesday celebrating Mark Cane’s 70th birthday by honoring his four decades of seminal contributions to climate science (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~virginia/Mark70thSymposium/). Among the distinguished group of speakers from around the world were Richard Seager, IRI’s Lisa Goddard and Steve Zebiak, the Mailman School’s Jeffrey Shaman, and Columbia alumni John Chiang, Amy.....

Lamont Weekly Report, October 17, 2014

This week kicked off with Lamont’s Open House on Saturday. Despite a rainy morning, interest ran high among the students, neighbors, and curious members of the public who contributed to the final attendance total of 2770. In tents and in our buildings, visitors experienced hands-on science, toured laboratories and exhibits, and enjoyed a diverse menu of talks and panel discussions. Thanks to the considerable creative efforts of hundreds of Lamont and Earth Institute volunteers, our guests had a memorably.....

Lamont Weekly Report, October 10, 2014

The high point of the week is still to come. Tomorrow the Lamont Campus will open its doors to as many as 4000 visitors for the Lamont Open House (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/events/open-house. From exhibits in our laboratories and facilities (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/files/uploaded/image/Lamont%20Open%20House%202014%20Online%20Program_100614.pdf) to hands-on science experiences in our city of white tents and four parallel sets of lectures and panel discussions (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/files/uploaded/image/14%20LDEO_OH_program_rev9.pdf), the breadth and excitement of the science conducted on this campus will be evident to all in attendance. On-campus parking will be extremely limited, but complimentary parking and a shuttle to Lamont are available at the Dolce Palisades Conference Center, and shuttle buses will run from Morningside to Lamont and back at 15-minute intervals starting at 9:15 am....  

Lamont Weekly Report, October 3, 2014

The Lamont community was saddened Wednesday by the news that Gordon Jacoby, a member of the scientific staff at the Observatory for more than a quarter of a century, passed away following a stroke. Gordon obtained his Ph.D. in hydrogeology at Columbia in 1971. Following a four-year appointment as a research hydrologist at UCLA, he returned to Lamont to co-found, with Ed Cook, the Observatory’s Tree-Ring Laboratory (TRL). Gordon was promoted to Lamont’s Senior Staff in 1984, he advanced to Senior Research Scientist in 1987, and he retired formally in 2001. He received Lamont's Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2002 and was........

Lamont Weekly Report, September 26, 2014

This week was notable for several reasons. The autumnal equinox marked a change in seasons. Two spacecraft, one launched earlier by the U.S. and one by India, were independently inserted into orbit about Mars on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively. But the central topic of the week was climate change.

Climate Week NYC was kicked off Sunday by the People’s Climate March, which included many from Lamont. Robin Bell, Etienne Dunn-Sigouin, Allison Jacobel, and Franziska Landes, as well as IRI’s Alessandra Giannini appeared in photos in the coverage of the march by Popular........

Lamont Weekly Report, September 19, 2014

The Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles were the first teams in Major League Baseball to clinch their divisions this week, leading the media to begin writing about the possibility of a Beltway World Series. In the last 25 years only two series have featured opposing teams located more closely to each other, and in one of those the third game was delayed for 10 days by one of the largest California earthquakes of the last half century....