Lamont Weekly Report, September 12, 2008

The leadership of the US components of the Ocean Drilling program were here at Lamont Monday and Tuesday of this week - discussing how we can adjust to the new budgetary realities that have forced NSF to reduce funding below the level required to keep the drill ship JOIDES Resolution in operation for 12 months each year. The new leadership
from Texas A&M, including their Dean of Geosciences Bjorn Kjerve, along with Bob Gagosian from Ocean Leadership in Washington DC joined Dave Goldberg and I in two days of difficult but productive deliberations.  Everyone will be relieved when the Resolution gets out of the shipyard in Singapore later this year and gets back to drilling.

The happiest news of the week was that of Wally Broecker's receipt of yet another hugely prestigious international prize - again very appropriately recognizing his contributions to climate science.  It is the Balzan Prize (for details see - Wally will be traveling to Italy later this year for the ceremony.

Congratulations, Wally.

Another set of congratulations are due to Suzanne Carbotte - selected to give the highly prestigious Birch Lecture at AGU this Fall - many congratulations, Suzanne.

Ed Cook and his colleagues in the Tree Ring lab ran a very successful workshop on their major NSF project studying the East Asian monsoon - it was good to see NSF Program Manager Dave Verardo again and hear his perspectives on all the changes in leadership occurring at NSF.

I drove up to New Paltz with Wade McGillis on Thursday to meet with folks from the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation - continuing our efforts to build stronger collaborations for our Hudson watershed and estuary research efforts. This was a very successful trip that we will follow up in a few weeks with a visit up to higher levels of the food
chain in Albany.

And on Friday we had a regular meeting of our Advisory Board - that focused upon plans for use of our new promotional movie to build a larger group of friends and supporters for Lamont. Also on Friday we welcomed the new Earth Institute Post docs - providing them with an introduction to all the varied goings-on out here on the Lamont Campus. Thanks go to Michael Kaplan and Tim Crone for helping out with presentations at this event.

Unquestionably the biggest event of the week was the DEES celebration of the retirement (from DEES - NOT necessarily from Lamont!) of Denny Hayes, Jim Hays, Paul Richards, David Rind, Bill Ryan, Jim Simpson and Lynn Sykes -  group who together are responsible for a total of more than 230 years of stellar research and education at Lamont and
Columbia. This was a great event - a fitting recognition for some of the giants of earth science. But as I emphasized in my introduction at the event, most of these great researchers - although they are retiring from their teaching responsibilities within DEES - they are planning to remain active in research at Lamont - and we value that greatly.

AGU Abstract deadline passed (with some technical delays) this week, so it must be getting close to Thanksgiving... but first, lest we forget, there is Open House.

Have a great weekend,

- Mike