Lamont Weekly Report, May 27, 2011

Hope springs eternal:

Won-Young Kim was cleaning up his space in seismology and found a brochure for a new "Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics Building"to accommodate "a pressing need to bring together the over 100 scientists, engineers, graduate students and technicians" needed for a new earthquake engineering research center.  That center was NCEER (now
MCEER), which dates the brochure to ca. 1986. The building was to be built on the site where the OBS lab is now, and was designed to complement the Geoscience building, creating a "quad" on that part of the campus. As we ponder what might have been, it's worth noting that the Seismology/Marine Biology Building is approaching its 50th anniversary, not bad for a temporary structure.


At this morning's Excom we had a long discussion about Lamont communications, both external and internal. Dove Pedlosky, Kim Martineau, David Funkhouser and several others have put together a draft plan outlining a broad set of goals and objectives, which when coupled with an effective management structure, might enable us to be more effective in reaching our desired audiences. This is just the beginning of a process that I hope will lead to a more comprehensive communications program.

Space, the endless frontier:

Earlier this week, I had a chance to meet with Arlene Fiore and Tiffany Shaw, new faculty in atmospheric sciences, mainly to chat about - what else - space. This is not about the final frontier kind. The Observatory is not that much larger than we used to be, but our need for lab, conference, student and staff space is outstripping the internal configuration of most of our buildings. There's room to maneuver, and we should be able to get by over the next few years with carefully considered renovations in existing buildings. But surely the time has come to dust off some of those old brochures and think about a more integrated campus-wide plan. I hope we can find the time to start that process this fall; it will be useful as we tour the campus with director

Search Update:

The Lamont Director search committee has been meeting roughly every two weeks; its next meeting is June 7th. One result of that meeting will be a "long short list" and the beginning of interactions with candidates that have expressed their interest in the position. We remain on schedule.

Name that nunatak:

My request last week to send in geographic features with a name connection to Lamont triggered several responses, and a few forehead-slapping moments for yours truly. Here's the list so far (including last week's mentions):


Martinson Island

Diebold Knoll

Bell Buttress

Pitman Fracture Zone

Peggy Ridge (after Peggy Larson)

Heezen, Tharp and Hollister Fracture Zones, part of the Eltanin at 55 deg S (slap)

Lamont Seamounts (double slap)

Gordon Nunataks


RV Ewing

RV Langseth

Press-Ewing seismometer

Worzel Room

..and from Dee Breger (after whom Big Dee Volvo in Elmsford, NY, is named):

..waiting for someone to name the Trills Fracture Zone "so a future marine geologist can write a paper on 'The Trills and Romanche of the Equatorial Atlantic'

A few groaners are always welcome, Dee, but don't forget that old California law and order commercial: use a pun, go to prison.

Finally, I can't resist this: Today's Scripps LOG announces a contest to name a deep-sea worm. There must be a few critters named after Lamont scientists (I can think of one), but which is better: having your name on a nunatak, or on a worm?