Lamont Weekly Report, June 17, 2011

I spent a couple of days this week in Amsterdam attending meetings of several IODP governing committees, along with Dave Goldberg and Mo Raymo (whose official starting date at Lamont was Wednesday). The meetings ended with a press conference highlighting the release of the IODP Science plan for 2013-2023, available at and worth reading. The breadth of science dependent on a robust ocean drilling program is significant, notwithstanding the challenges inherent in keeping two drill ships and other platforms at sea. The overlap with the science done at Lamont is substantial, and future NSF support is essential. We are paying very close attention to the ongoing discussions with NSF program managers.

Wednesday also marked Wally Broecker's 59 years at Lamont. Tracing Wally's contributions provides a history of modern geochemistry as illuminating as any institution or individual is likely to offer. Just as illuminating has been Wally's support of young postdocs and junior scientists; some stay and some move on, but the flux of new ideas continues to be an essential part of our culture.

Many of you were probably surprised, as was I, that Claude Steele, Columbia's Provost, is returning to Stanford this fall to become Dean of the School of Education. Claude has been very supportive of Lamont, of broad diversity initiatives, and, not least, of the search for our next director. I expect that this support will continue as the University moves to fill the position.

Next week I'll be in Hong Kong for a couple of lectures and some alumni and development meetings. For various reasons, I've traveled frequently to HK since the late seventies, including a visit in '97 for the handover to China. HK, like Beijing, Shanghai, and most of the cities in Asia, is growing unbelievably, a signal of the strength of the economies and the aspirations of Asian societies. One trend is the increased interest academic institutions in HK and the PRC are showing
for collaborations in environmental sciences, including marine sciences and deep sea research. This is something I think we can discuss in the months ahead.

I thought you might be interested in seeing Lamont-Doherty's spring appeal, which was sent out last week to raise funds for the NIST ultra clean lab challenge grant. The development office produced a nice slide show featuring the scientists who will use the lab. I'm grateful to those of you who have collaborated with the development team in this campaign. No one is more effective at communicating the excitement of science than scientists themselves. Our supporters, including our Board, and many of our prospects love hearing from you. I hope we can make effective use of your time for future development efforts.

Best wishes to Bernie Gallagher, who will be undergoing surgery on Monday. Our thoughts are with you.