Lamont Weekly Report, December 27, 2013

   The last full week of the year came gift-wrapped with two weekends, and many from the Lamont community took advantage of the holidays to spend time with families and friends.
   Another late-year gift was the announcement by the American Geophysical Union at the end of last week that three of our graduate students received Outstanding Student Paper Awards for their presentations at the AGU Fall Meeting earlier this month. Sloan Coats, Celia Eddy, and Zach Eilon received awards in the categories of Global Environmental Change, Seismology, and Tectonophysics, respectively ( Congratulations, Sloan, Celia, and Zach!
   On Monday, the staff of the Lamont café graciously offered a complimentary holiday breakfast to the campus, and many responded in grateful appreciation. The café closed on Tuesday for annual maintenance and will reopen on Thursday of next week, the first workday of the New Year.
   The beginning of the calendar year, of course, is traditionally a time to lay out goals for the year ahead in the form of New Year’s resolutions. Revisiting one’s resolutions from the previous year can provide a sobering lesson on the trade-off between ambition and feasibility. Twelve months ago, I offered the following resolutions:
     • To continue the development of a strategic plan for LDEO and the campus that will identify the most promising
           directions of future research and the improvements needed in the areas of instrumentation, technical support,
          laboratory and office space, and infrastructure to be able to accomplish that research.
     • To continue the recruitment of the most outstanding candidates for Lamont postdoctoral fellow and Lamont Research
            Professor positions to work among us as colleagues and broaden the sweep of Observatory research.
     • To continue to streamline and clarify the processes of scientific staff review and promotion to ensure that our younger
             scientists are encouraged and guided in their professional growth and can expect timely opportunities for
     • To continue to provide opportunities for creativity and advancement for our technical and administrative staff.
     • To strengthen Lamont’s efforts in communication, education, and development with the hiring of a new Director for
             Strategic Initiatives, Development, and External Relations and the reorganization of the Observatory’s programs
             within that new office.
   Progress has been made this past year in each of the above areas, but it is fair to say that none of the broad goals for which these resolutions were aimed have yet been fully met. Indeed, it would be difficult to craft a more appropriate set of resolutions for the year ahead. So I suggest that we let these resolutions stand for another year, in recognition of their continuing relevance, as we seek to build on the developments of the last twelve months.
   May the coming year on this campus be marked by new discoveries, new milestones in education, sustained intellectual excitement, and professional growth for all.