Lamont Weekly Report, June 13, 2014
This Lamont Weekly Report is the 100th I’ve written since my arrival nearly two years ago. The time has passed quickly, in large part because of the collective accomplishments of everyone at the Observatory, even though many of our community’s shared goals for the future of our campus still lie ahead.
I am pleased to announce that Hélène Carton, Tim Crone, Pratigya Polissar, and Heather Savage will be promoted to Lamont Associate Research Professor (Junior Staff) as of 1 July. Please join me in congratulating our four colleagues on their new and well-earned positions.
Sunday was World Oceans Day (http://worldoceansday.org/). I hope that you each found a way to give thanks for the role of the oceans in sustaining our planet, its climate, and its biosphere.
The Marine Geology and Geophysics Division this week welcomed Priscilla Venâncio Ikefuti from the Universidade de Sâo Paulo. Priscilla, who will be on campus until December, will be working with Chris Small on an analysis of urban land cover, topography, and the incidence of stroke and other diseases of the circulatory system.
Lamont’s Advisory Board met on Wednesday afternoon. Following meetings of the Board’s committees on Membership, Marketing, Risk, and Education, the full Board met to hear reports on scientific progress and fundraising at the Observatory. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Robin Bell on Lamont’s “Changing ice, changing coastlines” initiative. The Board meeting was followed by a Director’s Circle lecture by Christine McCarthy, who continued the cryospheric theme by speaking on “Through rise and fall: Tidal effects on ice friction and flow.”
In last week’s issue of Nature, Trevor Williams published an invited News and Views commentary on sedimentary evidence from the Scotia Sea for multiple episodes of ice loss from Antarctica between 20,000 and 9000 years ago. Improved information on the timing of these episodes informs our understanding of the interactions among atmospheric temperature, ice loss, and the water masses of the Southern Ocean, which are central to the global carbon cycle and to climate change since the Last Glacial Maximum.
On The Lamont Log (http://lamontlog.tumblr.com/) this week, today’s Field Photo Friday features George Kukla and his wife Helena on a field trip nearly 60 years ago. Also posted on The Lamont Log this week is a photo of Mo Raymo receiving the Wollaston Medal at last week’s meeting of the Geological Society of London. There are notices, too, of a campus blood drive to be held on Wednesday next week in honor of our late colleague Gerry Iturrino and a save-the-date announcement for Lamont’s next Open House, scheduled for Saturday, 11 October.
Max Cunningham and Mike Kaplan have started a new blog to document their fieldwork in Costa Rica (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/research/blogs/sculpting-tropical-peaks). Max and Mike are sampling glacial debris from Mount Chirripó to test the idea that mountain glaciers have strongly influenced the morphology of the region’s volcanic mountains, which are marked by steep, rugged slopes and broad, flat summits.
Denis-Didier Rousseau, currently a Visiting Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and a long-term Adjunct Research Scientist at Lamont, was interviewed by a writer for Eos about his new appointment as chair of AGU’s Fall Meeting Program Committee (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EO230007/pdf). His answers provide even more reasons to plan to attend the AGU Fall Meeting this year.
On Friday next week, there will be meeting of the Lamont scientific staff in the Monell Auditorium from 1 to 3 pm. Topics of discussion will include Lamont's operating budget, the status of recent and ongoing searches, the status of Lamont's strategic planning process, and revisions completed this year to the procedures and timelines governing reviews of Lamont research faculty. Some of these topics will be occupying our attention 100 weekly reports from now, but at least the meeting will provide a current snapshot and an opportunity for broad feedback. I hope that most of our scientific staff will be able to attend.