Director's Weekly Reports

Lamont Weekly Report, September 14, 2012

It was evident this week that the academic year is in full swing.

On Monday, Art Lerner-Lam and I met with about two-thirds of Lamont’s postdoctoral scientists over lunch. A free-ranging discussion covered such topics as mentoring, career trajectories, expectations for scholarly progress, and opportunities for teaching and advising of student interns. Kuheli Dutt manages a web listing of Lamont’s current postdoctoral scientists (at least those who have responded to her request for a photo and a brief summary of research interests) at http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/aad/meetpostdocs. Kuheli also maintains a website that collects topics of specific interest to our postdoctoral scientists at http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/aad/postdoc...

Lamont Weekly Report, September 7, 2012

It has been a week of new faces and new connections.

This week Lamont welcomed the arrival of Solange Duhamel, our newest Lamont Assistant Research Professor. A marine biologist, biogeochemist, and microbial ecologist, Solange received her Ph.D. in marine environmental science from the University of Aix-Marseille II in 2007, and she completed postdoctoral appointments at the University of Hawaii and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research directions address the role of microorganisms as agents of biogeochemical change and the complementary role of nutrient availability in the distribution and productivity of microplankton... 

Lamont Weekly Report, August 31, 2012

The seasons are changing. Even as many on the Lamont staff are exploiting the final days of August for the rejuvenation and renewal of late-summer vacations, the Morningside campus is awash with the fresh
faces of new students.

On Sunday, the Langseth completed her most recent cruise, which included four dives by the ROV Jason, and returned to Astoria, Oregon. The successful completion of all of the planned work on that cruise owes much to the considerable efforts by the ship's officers and crew, and by Lamont's Office of Marine Operations, to adapt the Langseth to be able to support Jason operations...
 

Lamont Weekly Report, August 24, 2012

It has been a week when a tropical storm has captured more than the usual attention by the media and at least one of this country’s two major political parties.

On Monday, the campus welcomed the arrival of Minosca Alcantara, Lamont’s new Education and Outreach Coordinator. We look forward to seeing the Observatory’s programs in education and public awareness expand in coherence and impact under Minosca’s guidance...

Lamont Weekly Report, August 17, 2012

Even after seven weeks at Lamont, my list of new experiences continues to grow.

It is with pleasure that I make my first announcement of a promotion, that of Vicki Ferrini to Research Scientist (from Associate Research Scientist), effective 1 August. Vicki’s myriad contributions to marine geology and geoinformatics provide ample rationale for this well-deserved promotion...

Lamont Weekly Report, August 10, 2012

One of the small pleasures from my early scientific career was the episodic arrival, by regular mail, of a postcard-sized list of the most recent publications by scientists at Lamont. Each publication carried a number, and if I circled the numbers of the papers with titles I found interesting and returned the card to the Lamont librarian, a package of reprints of those papers would arrive a few weeks later. The lists constituted a handy record of all Lamont publications, and for those of us at other institutions the reprint mailing service provided a welcome shortcut to the common practice of mailing reprint requests (also typically post cards) to individual lead authors...

Lamont Weekly Report, August 3, 2012

When the calendar page turns to August, the passage of summer seems to accelerate, this year pushed forward by the Summer Olympics and the upcoming major political conventions.

The highlight of the week on our campus, even if yet another sign of summer’s approaching end, was a research symposium given on Tuesday afternoon by the Lamont Summer Interns. In a remarkable half-hour session in the Comer Seminar Room, each of 27 poised and eloquent undergraduates delivered a 1-minute oral summary of the research that he or she had conducted over the past nine weeks. The summaries were “commercials” for poster presentations given during a two-hour session that followed in the Comer atrium. The interns, mentors, parents, friends, and colleagues adjourned the session for a catered barbecue on the deck and lawn behind the building. Dallas Abbott, who directs the program, and all who served as mentors are to be congratulated on the manifest accomplishments of these enthusiastic young researchers...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 27, 2012

Notwithstanding that my first four weeks have seemed as if at light speed, I am gradually feeling that more of the faces on campus are recognizable as colleagues. That said, there are always new arrivals.

On Tuesday, Sonya Dyhrman formally accepted the offer from Columbia University of a tenured associate professorship in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Trained as a marine biologist, Sonya currently heads a laboratory at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution devoted to the study of phytoplankton ecology and associated biogeochemical cycles. Her research combines physiological, chemical, and genomic approaches with a strong field program. Sonya will be moving to the Lamont campus this winter once her laboratories are ready for their new occupants...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 20, 2012

The past week has been one of comings and goings.

The week began with the wonderful news that a new honor has come to Daehyun Kim, who is to receive the 2012 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award from the Atmospheric Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union. The Holton Award is given once a year to recognize outstanding research accomplishments by an early-career scientist. Daehyun joins Arlene Fiore and Tiffany Shaw among the nine winners of this award since its establishment. The award will be given at the AGU Fall Meeting, and I hope that everyone will join me in congratulating Daehyun for this recognition of the impact and promise of his work...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 13, 2012

Notwithstanding that the mid-summer doldrums are upon us, the week has been an interesting and varied one at Lamont.

On Wednesday, Lisa Goddard was named Director of IRI. Please join me in welcoming Lisa to her new leadership role and to the continuation of strong intellectual and programmatic links between IRI and the Observatory...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 6, 2012

Every institution has its traditions, and one of the better ones at Lamont is the weekly report from the Director, a practice in open communication initiated by Mike Purdy and continued by Art Lerner-Lam. That tradition is one I plan to continue as well...

Lamont Weekly Report, June 15, 2012

Forehead slap! I neglected to note in last week's report that Bill Menke was also inducted into Columbia's 25-year club. And that doesn't include the time he spent at Lamont as a graduate student. My first sighting of Bill was probably at a fall AGU, around 1980, back when sessions were held in the basement of the Holiday Inn on Van Ness. He was wearing one of those fake fur-lined hooded parkas that when zipped up makes one look like a large Muppet. (We all had our conceits.) Bill and Dallas' arrival in 1986 signaled a new growth spurt at Lamont, and it's been a great ride. And it's only for the most obscure bureaucratic reasons that Columbia doesn't recognize Dallas' 25 years. But we do. Congratulations to both of you!...

Lamont Weekly Report, June 8, 2012

The Columbia 25-year Club has two new members from the Lamont Campus, Marty Fleisher and Benno Blumenthal. Benno has been a mainstay in the IRI, and has implemented a widely used, sophisticated data management system and digital library. Marty has been front and center in the geochem labs, working with Bob Anderson. Congratulations to both!...

Lamont Weekly Report, June 1, 2012

Here we are in June, with the spring semester behind and the solstice ahead. The interns and other summer guests have arrived, and are being introduced gently, no doubt, to shuttle bus etiquette. Many of our colleagues are preparing for their summer field seasons and will be leaving steamy NY for perhaps even more tropical environs. Nevertheless, it never ceases to amaze how energized and packed the Lamont Campus becomes during the summer. Notwithstanding long lines in the cafeteria, it's a great time of year...

Lamont Weekly Report, May 18, 2012

Tomorrow, May 19th, 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, the Lamont - Bright Horizons Child Development Center will be celebrating ten years of service to our community. The center opened in 2000 after an internal study by the Lamont Executive Committee. It was operated by the YMCA for about a year, and has been operated by Bright Horizons since January 2002. Bright Horizons has been lauded as one of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" and our center has achieved the prestigious accreditation of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)...

Lamont Weekly Report, May 4, 2012

There's more good news on the awards front this week. Pedro Sanchez was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Kaori Tsukui received an Outstanding Student Paper Award for her presentation at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting. This is Kaori's second award! Also receiving an Outstanding Student Paper Award was Tiffany Rivera, who works with our
Geoinformatics for Geochemistry group...

Lamont Weekly Report, April 27, 2012

Excom this morning: discussion of Columbia's new accounting and reporting system led by Anne Sullivan, Executive VP for Finance (lots of work, lots of staff training, will make things better, please be patient); final iterations on our By-Laws (for discussion in May and voting in June); discussion of our Post-Doc mentoring Plan and its effectiveness in preparing post-docs for career choices (Kuheli will draft some modifications for discussion); various compliance issues (more patience required, some input from Columbia needed). We missed the Enterprise flyover...

Lamont Weekly Report, April 20, 2012

News came this week that Dennis Kent has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Congratulations, Dennis!

Our last public lecture of the 2012 season will be given on Sunday (Earth Day) by Peter Kelemen. Peter's talk is appropriately titled, "Peak Earth: Population, Climate and Energy in the 21st Century." Let me take this opportunity to thank each of this year's speakers - Heather Savage, Pratigya Polissar, Greg Mountain, Donna Shillington, and Peter - for an engaging and well-targeted series of presentations. And special thanks to our Development/Events team - Barb Charbonnet, Erika Freimuth, Stacey Vassallo, and Ronnie Anderson - for making it happen...

Lamont Weekly Report, April 13, 2012

Columbia's Morningside Heights campus is one of the great urban spaces, and the first few weeks of spring illustrate the genius of McKim, Mead and White to full effect (if you forget about the 120th street canyon). The Lamont campus, as well, is glorious in the spring; the trees are about to pop, Buildings and Grounds is getting some new plants in the ground, our resident wildlife is doing what wildlife will do at this time of year, and our buildings... well, let's talk about space...

Lamont Weekly Report, April 6, 2012

The letter from President Bollinger and Provost Coatsworth announcing the appointment of Sean Solomon as Lamont's next Director signals a new era at the Observatory. We have been fortunate throughout our 63-year history to be led by a succession of outstanding and canonical directors. Under Mike Purdy's directorship, the Observatory achieved new heights of accomplishment and stability, from the successful acquisition of a new ship, to the construction of a world-class
geochemistry building, to the hiring of peerless scientists, to, finally, the establishment of the Lamont Research Professors. We are in the perfect position for new achievements with Sean as our colleague and our Director. The years to come will be exciting, challenging, and fun...