Lamont Weekly Report, May 2, 2014

       The high point of the week was Peter Kelemen’s election on Tuesday to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors in American science. A Kim Martineau story on Peter was posted to our web site a day later (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/climate-change-innovator-elected-national-academy), and a reception to celebrate the occasion will be held at 4:30 this afternoon in the Monell Lobby.

     The Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences at which Peter was elected, held from Saturday to Tuesday in Washington, D.C., saw the formal induction of Mark Cane and Terry Plank as members who had been elected one year earlier. During the induction ceremony, Academy President Ralph Cicerone read a brief summary of the scientific accomplishments of each of them, and each signed the Great Book, a volume reported to have been signed by every Academy member since the organization’s founding 151 years ago. Terry was also one of the six inducted members (out of 84) selected to give a research briefing on her work. Elected as a new Foreign Associate of the Academy at the same meeting was Edouard Bard, a former Lamont postdoctoral fellow and Associate Research Scientist now at the Collége de France.
 
    In another milestone, Dick Ou retired Thursday from Lamont after 34 years, during which he held the positions of Associate Research Scientist, Research Scientist, Senior Research Scientist, Doherty Senior Research Scientist, and Lamont Research Professor. Please join me in wishing Dick well on his next endeavors.
 
    The Geochemistry Division welcomed the return of Rachel North as a part-time Staff Associate. Rachel is a geochemist at Cardiff University and will be at Lamont through June. Her local host is Steve Goldstein.
 
    On Thursday, Lamont Advisory Board chair Sarah Johnson and I met with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger to talk about fundraising for Earth science and raising the visibility of Columbia’s programs at the Observatory and the Earth Institute.
 
    On Thursday evening, Lamont staged a reception for the Climate and Life initiative at the Upper East Side home of Ghislaine Maxwell, founder of The TerraMar Project (https://theterramarproject.org/). I was joined by Lamont Advisory Board members Susan Holgate, Sarah Johnson, and Julian Sproule; Columbia University’s Dean of Science Amber Miller; Goddard Institute for Space Studies Deputy Director Gavin Schmidt; and Lamont scientists Peter deMenocal, Sonia Dyhrman, Bärbel Hönisch, Peter Kelemen, Peter Schlosser, and Richard Seager. Pete Sobel, Marian Mellin, and Stacey Vassallo from Lamont’s Development Office organized and participated in the event.
 
    A video and photo story by Kevin Krajick on the project by Paul Olsen, Dennis Kent, and their colleagues to drill the Triassic rocks of Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park was posted on the Lamont website this week (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/amid-fossil-bonanza-drilling-deep-pre-dinosaurian-rocks). The goal of the project is to obtain a continuous sampling of the rock record of the period from about 200 to 235 million years ago, to tie the evidence for climate change during that era to precise radiometric dates, and to apply their findings to test hypotheses for the processes that drove climate change. The project is part a grander effort by Paul and Dennis to chart the history of solar system dynamics through its influence on Earth’s climatic and geologic history.
 
    Also new to the web this week, on the Earth Institute’s State of the Planet site, is a video photo album of highlights from a field trip to Barbados by Columbia undergraduate geology majors over the spring break (http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2014/04/30/barbados-corals/). Led by Steve Goldstein, the trip featured the island’s coral reefs, both living and fossil. The video is the product of undergraduates Daniel Nothaft, Therese Chen, Rose Ramirez, Reid Jenkins, and John Cho. A musical accompaniment includes “Barbados Corals,” with new lyrics set to the tune of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and performed by Daniel, Reid, and Emilie Schattman.
 
    A news item from last week was Robin Bell’s Earth Day video appearance on an episode of “We the Geeks” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/we-the-geeks), a Google+ Hangouts series sponsored by the White House and designed to highlight the future of science, technology, and innovation in the U.S.
 
    The final lecture in this spring’s Earth Science Colloquium will be given this afternoon. To mark the occasion, alumna and former DEES faculty member Jean Lynch-Stieglitz, now a Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology (http://www.eas.gatech.edu/people/Jean_Lynch-Stieglitz), will speak on “The Antarctic circumpolar current during the last glacial maximum.” I hope that you will join me in thanking Andy Juhl, Natalie Accardo, Jonathan Gale, Gene Henry, Amelia Paukert, and Hannah Rabinowitz for two stimulating colloquium seasons.
 
                                                                                           Sean