From master classes with world-renowned climate scientists and marine geologists to tours of the laboratories in which their discoveries are made, members of the Director’s Circle gain exclusive access to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and stay informed about groundbreaking advances in Earth and environmental science.
 
Throughout the year, members receive invitations to events with Lamont-Doherty experts, including an annual Afternoon of Science Master Classes at the Observatory where members and their guests enjoy the rare opportunity to visit labs and join conversations with world-renowned researchers.
 
The Director’s Circle recognizes supporters of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who contribute annual gifts of $2,000 or more. These gifts include support for an Innovation Fund, which awards annual grants to researchers at the Observatory who are pursuing new areas of scientific investigation.
 
Director’s Circle events are by invitation only. For more information about becoming a member,
please contact Stacey Vassallo at staceyv@ldeo.columbia.edu, or call 845-365-8634.
 

 
  
Previous Director’s Circle Events
 
The Disappearing Cryosphere and Antarctica's Changing Ecosystems
June 12, 2013 at Lamont-Doherty
 
Hugh Ducklow, Professor, Division of Biology and Paleo Environment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
 
Our biosphere, or biological component of Earth systems, is a tapestry of ecosystems that supports diverse forms of life. These ecosystems are changing -- often in unexpected ways -- in response to rates of warming unprecedented over the past few million years.  Climates and ecosystems are changing most rapidly in the cold regions of the planet: the Cryosphere. And among polar ecosystems, no place is being altered faster than the marine ecosystem of the Antarctic Peninsula. Our research documents these changes, suggests mechanisms of change and provides clues to help predict changes throughout the world.

 

March 12, 2013 in New York City

 
Climate Clues from the Silk Road to Shangri La: Uncovering links between water and climate in Asia's deepest deserts and highest mountains
 
Aaron Putnam, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Geochemistry Research Division, Lamont-Doherty
 
Nearly half of the world's population depends on water derived from glacier melt and rainfall in the highest of Asia's mountain ranges. And yet how these water resources will respond to ongoing climate change is uncertain. Clues unearthed from beneath the shifting sands of the deep Chinese deserts, as well as at the margins of receding glaciers in the high Bhutan Himalaya, afford insights into the relationships among climate, water, and societal change in this key part of the planet. These clues from the past presage the fate of Asia's water resources in a warming world.
  

 

October 27, 2012 at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
 
Our annual Director's Circle luncheon and Afternoon of Science Master Classes began with a presentation by Sean Solomon about NASA's ongoing mission to the planet Mercury. Master Classes included the following options:

Visit a 1,500-ft deep drilling site on our campus where we study carbon capture and storage.
Explore the laboratory where engineers design and build seafloor seismometers.
Tour academia's largest and most comprehensive collection of ocean sediment cores.
Learn how we use satellite images and seismology to detect landslides.

In the final session, a panel honored Marie Tharp, one of the Observatory's pioneers, recognizing the ways in which researchers today are carrying on her tradition of innovation and discovery.

 
 
September 12, 2012 in New York City
 
Floods, droughts, extreme temperatures, and severe storms are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity, breaking records and forming trends that raise urgent new questions about climate change. At this special panel discussion, climate scientists cut through common misconceptions to lay out the facts about climate change and talk about how we can prepare for a future of weather weirdness.
 
Moderated by Heidi Cullen, Lamont-Doherty alumna and chief climatologist with Climate Central, the panel included: Lisa Goddard, Director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI); Peter B. Kelemen, Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor; Richard Seager, Palisades Geophysical Institute/Lamont Research Professor; and Jason E. Smerdon, Lamont Associate Research Professor
 
 
 
March 14, 2012 in New York City
 
Participants learned from Jim Davis about the field of geodesy, which studies the Earth's gravitational field to understand changes in our planet's size, shape, rotation and more. This was followed by a panel, Drilling and Quakes: A Timely Discussion. Arthur Lerner-Lam moderated a discussion with Alberto Malinverno of Lamont's Borehole Research Group, Heather Savage of the Seismology division, and energy specialist Roger Anderson. 
 
 
 
October 22, 2011 at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
 
Attendees enjoyed lunch and an opening conversation with geochemist Peter Kelemen titled Peak Earth: Population, Climate and Energy in the 21st Century. Afternoon Master Classes covered topics ranging from assessing rates of change in Antarctica’s vast ice sheets to the long-term ecological impacts of oil plumes in the Gulf of Mexico.