Happy New Year - a year that I hope will mark the beginning of a new era for the nation. It will undoubtedly be a tough year for us at Lamont. The global financial crisis will result in reductions in gifts, and at best we expect income from our endowment to be flat at 08 levels. But the Federal scene looks good, and providing the new administration does indeed sign off on the pending NSF appropriations bill as approved by the House and Senate - that will result in a double digit percentage increase - then some of the immediate pressures on our key programs should be relieved. Certainly 09 will be a year of important change, and although I am optimistic that most of this change will be for the good, the reality is that whenever a massive bureaucracy like the Federal Government changes its priorities then some turmoil will result - we must be agile in recognizing the new opportunities and adjusting to them quickly. (What new programs will Jane Lubchenko start at NOAA in 2010? How will DoE reshape its basic research agenda in energy and the environment? How (and/or when) will NSF implement its new emphasis on Economics, Energy and the Environment?) We have the talent and the ability to take advantage of all these possible new programs, which perhaps will more than compensate for possible reductions in private income.
While we have been relaxing at home over the Holidays (or at least for a day or two here and there!) our colleagues on the Langseth have been steaming westward across the Pacific, having departed from Astoria Oregon before Christmas and as I write this, they are approaching their next port stop in Pago Pago. If you ever want to know where the Langseth is in the world, then I recommend the website: http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/researchships.phtml
It gives you a simple global view of the location of many of the world's research vessel's as well as our own Langseth.
I fly off to Chile on Sunday for the annual meeting of the Partnership for Observations of the Global Ocean - it is the one
forum that brings the Directors of most of the world's oceanographic institutions together in one room (there will be around 40-50 Directors there) - and it has always in the past been a useful and productive 2-3 days. It is unfortunate that this year's meeting is so far away. This will be the first time I have flown for twenty odd hours, and upon arrival (in Concepcion) found myself in the same time zone as the East Coast! I get back on
Have a great first week of 2009,