Director's Weekly Reports

Lamont Weekly Report, November 5, 2010

November 5th is an important date in England - Bonfire Night - an odd tradition recognizing the night in 1605 when an extremist by the name of Guy Fawkes succeeded in loading lots of gunpowder into the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with the intent of doing away with a large part of the government. For reasons I have always failed to understand it is celebrated nationwide in England to this day with bonfires and fireworks - burning effigies of poor old Guy - quite bizarre really. Not sure what made me think of this - maybe it was the election results on Tuesday...

Lamont Weekly Report, October 22, 2010

I got back from San Diego on Wednesday night after three days of Langseth meetings with NSF and UNOLS.  It was great to be on board the ship again -  though only very briefly. She was in good shape, and will be even better after the planned shipyard and maintenance period. On Monday evening NSF ran the first of a number of public hearings on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement that they are preparing (jointly with USGS) - dealing with the issues surrounding the interactions between marine mammals and the various types of sound used in marine geophysical surveys.  It was poorly attended by genuine members of the general public (I think there were two!) but the room was
filled with participating government officials and other interested parties (like me!)...

Lamont Weekly Report, October 22, 2010

Another meeting-filled week - 8-10 per day Monday through Wednesday - highlights running the gamut between finalizing decisions about the science writer to replace Kim Martineau, to entertaining the new Executive Director of AGU Chris McEntee on Wednesday afternoon.  Ms McEntee is impressive - it will be interesting to see how her leadership will reshape AGU going forward...

Lamont Weekly Report, October 15, 2010

We fulfilled our neighborly responsibilities and hosted the Nyack Hospital for a wonderful event last Saturday night - a very plush evening - and I made one new contact that may be helpful to us. The whole thing was far more opulent than we are used to: valet parking, catered by Restaurant X, two (very loud) bands and luxurious bathrooms on a semi trailer like I have never seen before!  But it is always disquieting to be recognized by nurses in evening gowns who last saw you in less, how shall I say, 'elegant' situations...

Lamont Weekly Report, October 8, 2010

Open House last Saturday was an unparalleled success. We were, of course, incredibly lucky with the weather - a beautiful cool sunny day, after days of torrential rain. The head count, which this year I am assured is precise and reliable, was 3104.  And one of those folks was our Congressman  - Eliot Engel - who stayed for about an hour and has since followed up with us with questions about some of the exhibits that he visited...

Lamont Weekly Report, October 1, 2010

The big news this week is that on Tuesday the National Research Council (NRC) released its decadal assessment of the 140 Earth Science Ph.D. programs in the US - and we came out at the top!  What could be better than that?  Especially since the data used for the analysis was from 05-06 and there is no question that we are stronger today than we were back then. We have always said that we are one of the best in the nation, and now the National Research Council is saying so as well! If you want to see more details, go to :

http://graduate-school.phds.org/rankings/earth-sciences?missing_data=3Du...)

and click on "larger programs" and then on "Rank Programs"...

Lamont Weekly Report, September 24, 2010

t will be a short report today, because I am focused on the event this afternoon to honor our great friend John Diebold.  I am gladdened by the outpouring of love and respect from his friends from all over the world - we are still receiving fabulous accounts of his exploits and achievements from friends and colleagues. I hope that what we have planned  honors him as he deserves. We co-ordinated the spreading of his ashes in the middle of the Pacific from our research vessel, Langseth, with the start of the event this afternoon. (Langseth is on her way to San Diego from Honolulu). With great help from Rose Anne Weissel we have plotted a great track chart showing all the research cruises in which
John participated  - 79 voyages in every ocean on the planet on 19 different ships from 7 nations - an incredible career...

Lamont Weekly Report, September 17, 2010

I attended John Diebold's Memorial service organized by his family in Nyack on Sunday afternoon.  It was an event befitting John's greatness of character - with wonderful remembrances, incredible photographs and beautiful music. It was very moving - in fact tough to get through with composure - I had to leave quickly at the end - just too much hurt.  As I hope you all know we will have our own John Diebold event this coming Friday - September 24th 1:30pm in the Monell Building - the program is on our web page.  We will celebrate his science and his many irreplaceable contributions to Lamont.  A fund has been established in his name - to support students going to sea on research cruises- if you would like to contribute please contact Barb Charbonnet in the Development Office...

Lamont Weekly Report, September 10, 2010

There were just too many things all happening at once this week.  We had a good telephone conference call with ten members of our Advisory Board on Tuesday, refining our planning for the forthcoming (and 'new') Director's Circle Development event on September 25th as well as discussing plans and opportunities for our Open House the following week on October 2nd.  A large part of Wednesday was also spent on Development activities - we went up to Greenwich CT where post doc Tim Creyts gave a great presentation to a large group of local retirees before 'retiring' to the yacht Club for a very pleasant lunch, but more importantly, lots of interesting and provocative conversation that I hope has won some new friends for the Observatory...

Lamont Weekly Report, September 3, 2010

It has been a tough week - I thought it was going to be quiet - lots of folks away for the last week of summer, and that has been true - but nevertheless there has been just one crisis after another. I was going to spend a few days in the Adirondacks but had to come home early. I am very glad for the 3 day weekend before us - especially after Earle gets out of the way and the humidity drops...

Lamont Weekly Report, August 27, 2010

I was down in DC for a day, wearing my Consortium for Ocean Leadership hat, sitting in on the first NSF review of the Ocean Observatories Initiative Operations and Maintenance activity. It was really just a review of planning and budgeting since it will be a few years before any assets are actually deployed, but it was indicative of the microscopic scrutiny that large NSF projects are receiving in the current DC climate of heightened accountability and mistrust. It was depressing to see the magnitude of the effort that went into preparing for this review on the part of the Implementing Organizations, Scripps, WHOI, UW and OSU.  A sign of the times I fear...

Lamont Weekly Report, August 13, 2010

I have been out of the office all week, enjoying the sunshine, dry air and cool evenings of coastal Maine...

Lamont Weekly Report, August 6 2010

It has been a tough week. Last weekend we received the tragic news from the Langseth (working on the Shatsky Rise in the Western Pacific) that one of our Marine Mammal Observers, John Nicholas, had died of a heart attack.  A very sad day.  The vessel immediately diverted for the  closest port - a five day steam to Yokohama Japan.  Thanks to the
organizational skills of our Marine Department Langseth had a very short port stop in Yokohama yesterday and already is steaming back to her work site...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 30 2010

I spent Monday in meetings with leadership of the National Math and Science initiative (NMSI) - a very successful NGO that is committed to improving the quality of math and science education at grade school levels.  A very successful and productive day - that we hope will lead to some more tangible and significant partnerships between CU and NMSI. Considerable thanks are due to LDEO Advisory board member Frank Gumper for setting this up...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 23 2010

It feels like it has been a quiet week, but looking at my diary I see I have participated in 22 different meetings and appointments, so it could not have been that quiet.

As no doubt many of you have heard we are losing a number of very important 'Friends of Lamont' from the senior administration within CU over the coming months: David Hirsh EVP for Research, Henry Pinkham, Dean of GSAS and Richie Ruttenberg, Deputy Controller.  All have been valuable friends to us in recent years and we will miss their assistance and strong support. As their replacements are named we will, of course, work to build similarly good relations with their successors...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 16 2010

We have settled upon Friday, September 24th for the event to recognize the life and science John Diebold. We are preparing formal invitations and will circulate widely as soon as possible.  It will be in the Monell Auditorium from 1:30pm til 4:30pm with a reception to follow...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 9, 2010

I have been receiving emails all this week from all over the US and from around the world from folks expressing their feelings about the sad news of John Diebold's passing. (We are posting a small selection of these on the web). All the thoughts that we had of him being a very special man are confirmed again and again by the outpourings of warmth and
affection...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 2, 2010

I met John Diebold in the middle seventies, the time when he, along with Paul Stoffa and Peter Buhl and several others were convincing the world that all seismic structure problems could be solved with big airgun arrays, long hydrophone streamers, expanding spread profiles and tau-p space. At the time I remained conservatively entrenched in the old school of marine seismology, espousing the superior signal-to-noise ratios available when 500 pound charges of TNT were detonated. We shared a cabin for two months in 1979 aboard the Conrad in the Eastern Pacific during the ill-fated ROSE experiment and had many discussions about the pros and cons of various approaches to marine seismics.

Lamont Weekly Report, June 25 2010

We were visited by the CU Treasurer and more than ten of her staff onTuesday afternoon - thanks to all who helped host this group.  Theylook after all of CU's "treasure" and therefore are an importantgroup with whom to be friends!  As is so often the case, many of thefolks had never been out to Lamont before so it was an importantopportunity for us to impress them with the importance of the work thatwe do here...

Lamont Weekly Report, June 18 2010

If there is one problem that never goes away - it is the problem of space. There is never enough of it, and on the rare occasion that thereis, then it is in the wrong place.  It is very healthy that we arealways feeling space pressure because it means that we are growing - bringing in new resources - and as the ~$16M that we (or more correctly you - the PIs) won in federal stimulus grants this year beginsto get spent (i.e. new people hired) the pressure to find space to put them grows.  I had several meetings this week focused upon trying to solve specific problems - and there will be more in the coming weeks and months. One good piece of news on this front is that the competitive process to select the architect and construction manager for the New Core Lab renovation project is complete and so, finally, we are a few weeks away from finishing off the award negotiations with NSF. In the short term, of course, this project will only add to our space woes because we shall have to find swing space to house folks temporarily as the second floor of the New Core lab gets completely taken apart and rebuilt...