Lamont Weekly Report, July 19, 2013

     Local heat index values above 100 F and half-empty parking lots are hallmarks of the middle of summer. Another sign of the season is this week's All-Star break for major league baseball. For baseball fans, today marks the anniversary of Cy Young's 500th win, Ty Cobb's 4000th hit, and Cal Ripken's 1500th consecutive game.
     The R/V Langseth completed all needed engine repairs and sailed from Vigo, Spain, on Monday morning with a crew of 20 and a scientific party of 26. The ship has resumed her investigation of the three-dimensional seismic structure of the Galicia Rift, work that had been interrupted by the engine failure. As of yesterday, three of the 25 seismic lines planned for the second half of the expedition had been completed, according to the experiment blog reactivated by James Gibson and others ( This cruise leg is scheduled to end on August 2.
     On Tuesday evening, Art Lerner-Lam, Pat O’Reilly, and I attended a meeting of the Piermont Board of Directors to discuss Lamont’s continued partnership with the village on the use of the Observatory’s building at the end of the Piermont Pier for scientific research, education, and public outreach. The agreement between the village and Columbia University granting Lamont an easement and right of access to the pier building expired this spring, and a temporary agreement has been drafted. Our discussion with the Board found broad agreement for completing that agreement and for follow-on talks regarding a new long-term agreement tied to an expansion of Lamont’s education and outreach efforts on the pier focused on the Hudson River estuary and watershed as well as the history of Lamont’s involvement with the village and the region (
     From Monday through Wednesday this week, Kerstin Lehnert, Suzanne Carbotte, and their colleagues from the Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA) group hosted overlapping meetings of IEDA’s User Committee and Policy Committee. IEDA manages a community-based, NSF-funded facility for the preservation, discovery, retrieval, and analysis of a wide range of observational field and analytical data in global geochemistry and marine geoscience ( Committee members were treated to presentations on progress made on data management efforts to date, opportunities for new and expanded roles for the facility, and preparation for a review of the project that NSF will conduct in the coming year.
     Art Lerner-Lam and Xiaojun Yuan are in China this week for meetings hosted by Columbia's Global Center for East Asia to discuss common interests in research in Antarctica and the southern oceans. The Antarctic Forum, a Chinese non-governmental organization, is a participant in these discussions. That group hosted earlier discussions with Lamont scientists, and further interactions are planned.
     In the news this week is an article by Andy Juhl, Greg O’Mullan, and Suzanne Young from Queens College in theJournal of Water and Health documenting locations of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria in the Hudson River and the correlation of those locations with sites having the greatest flux of untreated sewage. A press release on the article’s findings by Kim Martineau ( led to several stories in the media, including one in The Huffington Post(
     The MESSENGER spacecraft is also in the news this week, although not for any new scientific findings. MESSENGER will be imaging Earth today in the course of camera searches for moons of Mercury, and at nearly the same time the Cassini spacecraft in orbit about Saturn will be looking sunward at a backlit view of the rings that will also include Earth in the imaging scene (

     So whether you’re headed to a ballgame or a destination that is cooler than Rockland County and Manhattan, look up and smile as you head outside.