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 structural modifications will be made to support the next phase of general-purpose ship upgrades.
    Last week Trevor Williams began a two-month cruise on the JOIDES Resolution as part of an International Ocean Discovery Program expedition to understand the geological evolution of the crust beneath the South China Sea. On Tuesday he posted the first installment of a blog describing the cruise and his work ( We can look forward to further installments in the weeks ahead.
    Also on Tuesday, I joined about 30 of our postdoctoral scientists for a pizza lunch and a wide-ranging discussion on applying for jobs at academic and research institutions and preparing proposals to funding agencies. Arranged by Emilie Dassié, Heather Ford, and Kuheli Dutt, the lunch was one of the more informal contributions to Lamont’s continuing efforts to provide professional and career advice to our younger scientists.
    Even as we mentor, we also recruit. Next week the Observatory will host the visits of two of the individuals who’ve been given offers of Lamont Postdoctoral Fellowships for the coming academic year. Whether you have a role in hosting a visit, or you merely meet one of the visitors in passing, I hope that you will share with them a few of the reasons that persuaded you to join the Lamont community.
    Among Lamont scientists in the news, Ed Cook was cited in a story on Wunderground late last week on the record low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and the history of megadroughts in the region ( A related story posted Monday on Climate Central on the duration and severity of the current drought in California included comments from Ben Cook and Adjunct Associate Research Scientist Kevin Anchukaitis ( On Tuesday, in an article on Live Science, Richard Seager was quoted on why all Winter Olympics have been held at northern hemisphere sites to date (the answer is not subtle) (
    On Thursday next week, Rebecca Fowler will participate in a workshop on the use of social media for science communication, publication, and professional identity management. Rebecca will be speaking about Reddit and the outreach she led last year on the work of Andy Juhl and Craig Aumack. The workshop will be held from 3 to 4 pm in the Davis Auditorium of Schapiro Hall on the Morningside campus.
    On Friday next week, Art Lerner-Lam and I will host a lunch for those celebrating their 10-year anniversary at Lamont. Those who have recently passed this milestone include Andy Juhl, Wade McGillis, Susanne Straub, Ajit Subramaniam, Lenny Sullivan, Andreas Thurnherr, Mingfang Ting, Chris Zappa, Ellen Foy from CIESIN, and Simon Mason from IRI.
    Also next Friday, the Earth Science Colloquium will feature geomorphologist Joshua Roering from the University of Oregon. Today’s Colloquium is by geodesist Jeffrey Freymueller from the University of Alaska ( Jeff’s lecture is entitled “World in motion: Insights from the many modes of deformation in the Earth.” May all of you avoid sliding on the snow and ice on our grounds long enough to hear what he has to say.