Spring 2008 Public Lectures



Sunday, March 30

Click to watch lecture

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Terry Plank, Ph.D.


Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Is the Ocean Shrinking?


The Earth's Biggest Water Cycle

Subduction zones swallow the seafloor at deep sea trenches, starting a water cycle that involves the interior of the Earth. Take a tour through the subduction factory, from black smokers on the seafloor, to the world’s largest earthquakes and most explosive volcanic eruptions, following the water that links all of these processes. The ultimate fate of the oceans hangs in the balance of this deep earth water cycle.




Sunday, April 13

Lava flow

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Greg Mountain, Ph.D.

Rutgers University
Ajunct Senior Research Scientist

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

The Ocean Floor: What We Know and How We Know It 

Immense pressure, near-freezing temperatures, no light, no air -- the ocean floor is an alien and hostile world to us surface-dwelling creatures. But we’re curious, enterprising and bold. For 200 years we’ve measured the ocean’s depth to reveal seascapes that become more intriguing with each advance in technology. This lecture will trace the how-and-why of our quest for knowledge of the ocean floor, and will showcase images and facts from the latest in mapping and sampling of the 70% of Earth that is covered by water.


This lecture is sponsored by the Lamont-Doherty Alumni Association.


Sunday, May 4

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Robin Bell, Ph.D.

Doherty Senior Research Scientist

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

A Slippery Slope? The Water World Beneath the Changing Ice Sheets.

The polar ice sheets are changing. If the land-based ice sheets of Greenland or Antarctica melt or fall into the sea, global sea levels will rise calamitously. Liquid water forms at the base of the ice sheets, where it “greases” their slide toward the sea. Robin Bell will talk about newly discovered lakes and rivers beneath the thick Antarctic ice sheet. As part of the International Polar Year, a team of Lamont scientists including Dr. Bell, will travel to the middle of Antarctica to unlock these mysteries.


Sunday, May 18

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Kevin L. Griffin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Climate is Changing Our Forests and Plants: New Evidence from Alaska and Our Own Backyard

Take a walk in the woods. Do the plants and trees look the same as years ago? Kevin Griffin is a biologist who studies the physiology (such as photosynthesis and respiration) of plants, especially as they respond to environmental change. He works both in a Lamont laboratory and at field sites worldwide. Dr. Griffin will describe his research on plant and ecosystem responses to climate change, including results from two of his current field sites: the tundra of Alaska, and forests from New York City to the Catskill Mountains.


61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964
Monell Building Auditorium

All lectures 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Admission is $5.00 at the door  - Light reception to follow  - Wheelchair-accessible

Due to space limitations, registration is recommended

For registration and more information, contact: (845) 365-8998 or events@ldeo.columbia.edu