Director's Weekly Reports
Having ExCom and a Faculty on the same day (like today) is just not good for my constitution, so I will talk about something else... Just as LDEO led the world in bringing multichannel seismics to academic research three decades ago, so we have again attained a first (as far as I know) of being the first academic general purpose research vessel to tow multiple hydrophone streamers (enabling practical collection of 3D data sets). A couple of days ago R/V Marcus G. Langseth had three 6km long hydrophone streamers deployed, towing them successfully a few tens of meters apart, and learning the many challenges of rigging and ship handling. It will be a steep learning curve for us in the coming months as we bring this new capability to the academic community. The goal was to deploy four streamers - we did not make that - the weather in the Gulf (and the reliability of the weather forecasts) has been very poor over the last couple of weeks so we lost many days of working time.
I hope everyone saw Robin Bell and Doug Martinson on the NBC Nightly News on Monday - if you missed them, the video clip can be accessed from the front page of our (great, new) website.
We welcomed Terry Plank and Geoff Abers as our latest new recruits to the Lamont staff this week - a very happy day - two of the world's best researchers in their respective fields who will undoubtedly help us build Lamont's reputation as global leaders in the earth sciences. And as icing on the cake, it was announced that Terry has been elected as a Fellow of AGU! Congratulations Terry!
I flew out to Bermuda on Tuesday to spend three days with the leaders of ocean institutions from around the world. The unusual ten-year- old international entity hosting this meeting (Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean - POGO) is working to play a bigger role in the planning for GEOSS (Global Earth Observing). The breadth of international representation was impressive - Director-level folks from fifteen different nations, plus many government representatives. The meeting exceeded expectations (mine at least) with regard to the substance of the dialog, and was an 'eye-opener' with regard to the level of coastal and ocean observation activity world-wide. It was something of a novelty to hear the representative from the Chinese Academy of Sciences defining the direct economic benefit of multi- million dollar investments in coastal monitoring, impressive to hear the British describe the operational predictions from models assimilating observations in real time from the Irish Sea, and the six or seven decades of data from Plymouth's Continuous Plankton Recorder program, though seen before, never cease to make the case strongly for sustained programs of careful and systematic ocean observations. All this as Tony Knapp announced that NSF had decided discontinue funding for the Bermuda Test Bed mooring after 13-14 years of operation...
I expected this short three day week to be busy, and it was - but curiously it was spent not doing a single thing that I expected to be doing... so the progress I made catching up over the Holidays slipped away.
We have been making a lot of progress with effort certifications in recent days, but we still, as an institution have a way to go in order to meet our January 15th deadline. In case you think that, as Director, I escape this task, let me tell you that I have certified around forty folks so far this week...