Lamont Weekly Report, September 18, 2009

Last Saturday was the Annual Meeting of the New York Marine Sciences Consortium - Wade McGillis attended as our representative on the Board of Governors.  This is a relatively new organization that was established to increase the visibility of the importance of marine science research at the NY state level.  It is unfortunate that its formation coincided with the financial crisis so growth has been slower than we had hoped.  But it is in its early days.  Lamont/Columbia is one of the founding members and we sit on the Executive committee, so I am hoping that we can play a meaningful role going
forward.  If you would like to play a larger role, chick out the web site - - and in particular add your profile by clicking on the 'Directory' button on the Home page and downloading their form.

I attended a reception at President Bollinger's residence on Monday evening to welcome the new Dean of Engineering Feniosky Pena-Mora and Michele Moody-Adams, the new Dean of Columbia College.  Feniosky has agreed to come out to visit Lamont in the near future and we are in the processing of trying to schedule that.

We had a highly successful meeting of our Advisory Board on Wednesday - Veronica Lance did a great job reporting the results from her project that was funded by the Advisory Board Innovation Fund (entitled: How will Phytoplankton Respond to Ocean Acidification?).  The Board heartily supported the continuation of the Innovation Fund, so we are planning to reissue the call for proposals early in the New Year. Our second science speaker was Goran Ekstrom who told a great story about the detection of landslides using the Global Seismic network, and specifically of the signals from the recent devastating events in Taiwan. The Board is a growing source of  support for us and its membership is steadily increasing, both in numbers and in stature.

As you all know each year we give the Lamont Service Award to a member of the administrative or support staff who has demonstrated:
  * Extraordinary effort;
  * Exceptional work quality;
  * Capacity to anticipate and solve issues before they are problems;
  * Willingness to go "above and beyond" the call of duty, often
    without being asked; and
  * High degree of reliability and trust by supervisors, research
    staff, peers, and customers

Nominations and supporting letters are reviewed by a small committee who recommends an awardee for my approval.  As in previous years the list of nominees is an exceptional group of folks:

  Angelina Calungcagin, Finance
  Kathy Carlsen, HR
  Bonnie Deutsch, Purchasing
  Rob Kakasick, IT
  Mia Leo, DEES
  Vicky Nazario, Finance
  Tom Protus, Geochemistry

They all serve the Observatory in exceptional ways and all deserve recognition and appreciation for the dedicated work they do every day. But we have to choose an awardee.

This year this honor goes to Bonnie Deutsch.  She was nominated by a large group of scientists who praised Bonnie for her "natural willingness to go far beyond what can be expected from an administrative Lamont employee."  Congratulations Bonnie!

We are planning an awards luncheon to honor all the nominees - a group of exceptionally talented and dedicated administrators. Please join me in extending congratulations and a heartfelt thank you not only to Bonnie, but also to Angelina, Kathy, Rob, Mia, Vicky and Tom.

I am down with a bad cold (or something) right now - hoping it goes away so I can enjoy the weekend which appears to be good sailing weather...

Have a great weekend,