Lamont Weekly Report, March 4, 2011

A full week, with meetings both here in Palisades and on the Morningside campus. Bev and I discovered one of the pitfalls of modern office management when we discovered that we were looking at different versions of my calendar on the server. So, if any of you expected me to show up but I was AWOL, my apologies. It's fixed now.

As we assemble the Observatory's budget for next year, we are paying particular attention to space planning. Several of our divisions are expecting significant numbers of new students and post-docs - a good thing! - and we want to make sure that we can accommodate them. I've asked several of the associate directors to put together some forward-looking space plans, and I hope to put together some of the internal resources we need to make the necessary renovations.

We are, of course, proceeding with major renovation projects in the Comer building (the Ultra-Clean Lab), and the New Core Lab (facilities for a new Center for Biogeoscience), parts of the old geochem building (new instrument labs for polar geophysics and physical oceanography), and Seismology (new labs for geodesy and rock mechanics). We're doing
this with personnel from Lamont Buildings and Grounds as well as with external contractors. I've come to learn how hard Pat O'Reilly, Dick Greco, Lenny Sullivan and the rest of our B&G crew are working to keep all of this moving along. One of the toughest things is finding swing space for people and labs - it's like a shell game - and sometimes we miss an opportunity to keep you informed about moves and schedules. Pat and I will work on that over the next several weeks.

Our annual Spring Public Lecture series kicks off this weekend with Doug Martinson "on ice." This has been a great success is past years, and we're looking forward to another full house on Sunday.

SEARCH UPDATE: The Lamont Director Search Committee held its first official meeting yesterday. Provost Steele attended and presented the charge to the committee. We then had a comprehensive scoping discussion about the state of Lamont and the skills a new director will need. We're far from finished, but we're off to a good start in my view. The
search web site is still several weeks away from being operational. In the meantime, Mahdad has set up an email alias
( to be used by anyone wishing to send comments or queries to the search committee.

One of the head-scratching conversations in the search committee: Our Biological Oceanography Group is in the Marine Biology wing of the Seismology Building.

Suze Rotolo passed away last Sunday. I have an archived, unplayed copy of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" that I managed to pick up at the MIT Coop about 25 years ago. My original is too scratched up for listening, and iPods are too handy. (Dylan sounds better on a scratchy LP in any event.) Go get a digital version to understand what a muse can