Director's Weekly Reports

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... 
 

Lamont Weekly Report, April 11, 2014

At midday on Wednesday this week, at one of the picnic tables on the deck outside the Lamont Café, Madeleine Thomson arrived and declared the day to be the start of spring. Madeleine marks the annual milestone, she explained, by switching her regular lunchtime meal from soup to salad. So if the days seem to have turned markedly more clement, and daffodils are now evident on campus, now you know why.
 
On Tuesday, Julius Busecke received the good news from the American Geophysical Union that he has received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award for a paper he gave at the......
 

Lamont Weekly Report, April 4, 2014

The Earth has been much in the news this week. From the front page Justin Gillis article in Monday’s New York Times on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on likely climate change impacts over the coming decades, to ongoing stories of casualties from last week’s devastating landslide in the state of Washington, to reports of widespread damage yet comparatively few fatalities from the magnitude 8.2 earthquake in Chile on Tuesday, our planet continues to demonstrate the wisdom of continuing the quest to improve our knowledge of Earth’s dynamical processes. ........
 

Lamont Weekly Report, March 28, 2014

It’s the first full week of spring, but the change of seasons has been difficult to discern on the Lamont campus.

Last Friday and Saturday, the Observatory hosted the second annual Seismology Student Workshop, an event run by and designed for graduate students. This year’s participants included 38 students from 12 different universities. The workshop featured 16 talks on a wide range of geophysical topics, from adjoint tomography, to noise minimization on ocean-bottom seismometers, to triggered Andean earthquakes (http://eesc.columbia.edu/student-life/graduate-student-life/graduate-student-symposium2/agenda). The organizing committee – Natalie....
 

Lamont Weekly Report, March 21, 2014

This week has been Spring Recess, with no classes at Columbia and no colloquium at the Observatory. The week has also been one for remembering colleagues recently lost.

A service for Gerry Iturrino was held on Tuesday at Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack. Lamont was well represented in the service and the choir, and many of Gerry’s campus friends were able to attend. An obituary posted that same day on our website (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/gerry-iturrino-oceanographer-engineer-friend.......

Lamont Weekly Report, March 14, 2014

For a second week in the last three, our campus grieves over the loss of a long-time friend and respected colleague, after Gerry Iturrino suffered a fatal heart attack on Tuesday night. A fixture in the Borehole Research Group, Gerry had worked at the Observatory for 18 years. Our condolences go out to Gerry’s family, even as we remember with fondness his time in the extended family that is Lamont.

And notwithstanding our collective sense of sudden loss, we continue the pursuit that binds...us together, the search for a deeper understanding of our planet....  

Lamont Weekly Report, March 7, 2014

The week began with what The Weather Channel called winter storm Titan, but to those in the New York area the name seemed oversized. This was also the week when President Obama released his budget for the next federal fiscal year. Although the scientific community is understandably interested in what that budget might foretell for the major science agencies, there are many steps ahead before the details of those budgets will be known.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences announced the good news this week that Bärbel Hönisch has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure.....

Lamont Weekly Report, February 28, 2014

It has been a bittersweet week. The campus was shocked and grieved by the tragic news that CIESIN’s Mark Becker, en route to teach a class at Bard College, was killed in a multiple-vehicle accident on the New York State Thruway on Wednesday morning. Our deepest sympathies go out to Mark’s family and friends in mourning for a life of accomplishment and promise abruptly ended in mid-stride. 

Even as we pause to celebrate the lifetime contributions of a colleague, the pace of our science continues. A colorful glimpse of fieldwork planned by Lamont scientists in the yea....

Lamont Weekly Report, February 21, 2014

On winter workdays I often take the 8 am shuttle to Lamont, and if I arrive at 120th Street sufficiently early I buy a cup of coffee from the street vendor and head up to Joe Coffee in the Northwest Corner Building. (I have not learned why the coffeehouse does not begin serving its own coffee until 8 am.) Larry Rosen is usually there ahead of me and, if so, can be found reading his morning copy of The New York Times. On seeing me arrive on Monday, Larry put down his paper and announced, “This is a two-Seager Monday.” Richard was quoted at two....

Lamont Weekly Report, February 14, 2014

For yet another week, Lamont was closed by a snowstorm. And once again, Lamont’s snow removal crew worked around the clock, this week from Wednesday night to this morning, to make it possible to reopen the campus today. Our thanks are due once more to Lenny Sullivan and his crew of Bruce Baez, Tom Burke, Carmine Caviliere, Bob Daly, Tony DeLoatch, Joe Giebelhouse, Kelley Jones, Mike McHugh, Glenn Pforte, Ray Slavin, Eric Soto, Kevin Sullivan, and Rick Trubiroha. We all owe these colleagues an accumulating debt of gratitude....

Lamont Weekly Report, February 7, 2014

This week has been unusually weather challenged, with major snowstorms on Monday and Wednesday and the possibility of additional snow showers this weekend. White is the new green.

The R/V Langseth departed Newport, Rhode Island, on Tuesday and headed to Charleston, South Carolina, for long-planned shipyard work. The work will include painting of the hull and main deck, pulling tail shafts, replacing shaft seals, and performing other repairs to rudders, steering gear, and propellers. The first phase of planned winch upgrades will be completed with the installation of a new hydrographic winch and new winch booth, and other structura......
 

Lamont Weekly Report, January 31, 2014

For a second week in a row, we owe a shared debt of gratitude to key staff members for responding to a campus emergency. On Saturday afternoon, the campus lost power, a switch to an emergency generator failed, and the campus computer network lost connectivity. Lenny Sullivan and a Buildings and Grounds crew that included Mike McHugh, Bruce Baez, Ray Slavin, and Kevin Sullivan restored power in little more than an hour and returned on Sunday to work on the transfer switch with technicians from the manufacturer. Mahdad Parsi and.....

Lamont Weekly Report, January 24, 2014

Lamont’s campus has been draped in white since Tuesday afternoon and evening, when a major snowstorm left up to 10 inches of snow in Rockland County. That we were able to open and operate normally on Wednesday morning was the result of nightlong efforts by members of Lamont’s Buildings & Grounds and Traffic Departments. Please join me in thanking Bruce Baez, Tom Burke, Carmine Cavaliere, Tony DeLoatch, Glenn Forte, Joe Giebelhouse, Charles Jones, Kelly Jones, Mike McHugh, Ray Slavin, Eric Soto, Kevin Sullivan, Lenny Sullivan, and Rick Trubiroha for their extraordinary efforts to ensure that scientific activities could proceed apace after the storm. Pat O’Reilly told me that this week marked the third time this winter that....