Lamont Weekly Report, August 2, 2019

    I am pleased to report that Arnold Gordon is to receive the 2020 Henry Stommel Research Medal from the American Meteorological Society. According to AMS, the medal is given “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of the understanding of the dynamics and physics of the ocean. It represents the highest award the Society can bestow upon an oceanographer” ( Arnold – who was cited “for pioneering observational studies that have fundamentally advanced our understanding of Southern Ocean and inter-basin circulation” – will receive his award at the AMS Annual Meeting, to be held in Boston in January. A Marie Aronsohn story about Arnold and his many contributions to our understanding of the oceans was posted today ( Congratulations, Arnold!

    In more good news, the American Geophysical Union announced on Wednesday ( that Jacky Austermann is to receive the 2019 Jason Morgan Early Career Award from the Union’s Tectonophysics Section. The award “is given annually to one early career scientist (no more than six years post-terminal degree by the nomination deadline) in recognition of outstanding and significant early career contributions to tectonophysics through a combination of research, education, and outreach activities.” Kudos to Jacky!

    To fill a gap in the information available on our web pages, Miriam Cinquegrana this week unveiled new pages on External Awards to Lamont Scientists, with annual lists of major awards and accompanying photos ( Results for the last seven years are posted, including the latest news from this week.

    On Tuesday, Franziska Landes successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on “Engaging communities to reduce toxic exposures with a field kit for mapping soil lead in Peru and New York.” Franziska’s thesis committee included her supervisor, Lex van Geen, as well as Jerry McManus, Brian Mailloux from Barnard College, Joe Graziano from the Mailman School, and Gabriel Filippelli from the Department of Earth Sciences at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. Congratulations, Dr. Landes!

    The Lamont Summer Intern Program has been drawing to this season’s close this week. Yesterday afternoon, each intern gave a one-slide summary of their summer project during a ceremony in Monell Auditorium, followed by a poster presentation in the Atrium of the Comer Building. A picnic followed for all interns and their mentors and guests outside the Lamont Café. Thanks to program organizers Dallas Abbott and Mike Kaplan, and to all of the Lamont staff members and postdoctoral scientists who served as mentors!

    In other education news, the Rockland County Times ran a feature-length story Tuesday on Lamont’s partnership with Dominican College and their Research Immersion in Science and Ecology (RISE) program (

    Einat Lev participated in two outreach activities this week. On Wednesday she was a panelist at a discussion about diversity and inclusion in science, hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences and organized by Lamont’s INCLUDES alliance partners at Hudson River Park ( Yesterday she was a guest speaker and judge at a the culminating event of CryptoBot camp at Pace University ( Schoolchildren at the week-long, tuition-free camp designed and built drones and remotely operated vehicles that completed tasks in water and in the air. Einat wrote, “Seeing this next generation, and how, regardless of what they look like or what their background is, they are just as excited and enthusiastic about these activities as I was in my Lego robotics class 25 years ago, was super fun!”

    Yesterday, the August issue of Lamont’s electronic newsletter was distributed to our subscribers. The issue includes eight science stories from the month of July, an education story, and links to 23 media stories from the month that featured Lamont science or scientists (

    Also yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed the budget bill that would increase limits on the federal debt, increase spending caps for defense and non-defense spending for federal fiscal years 2020 and 2021, and enable timely passage of appropriations bills for fiscal year 2020 ( The House passed the same bill last week, and the President is expected to sign the bill into law.

    Lamont’s web pages saw the addition of several blog entries this week. Mike Steckler posted two entries from Bangladesh, where he is continuing fieldwork in support of his project to measure subsidence, sedimentation rate, and shifting river patterns in the region: a post last Friday described some of the logistical challenges (, and another on Tuesday continued the saga, both entries replete with multiple photos ( Elizabeth Case and Jonny Kingslake added a photo essay and video on their fieldwork last summer on the Juneau Icefield in Alaska (

    Other stories added to our web pages over the past week included Yochanan Kushnir’s answer to a question submitted by a reader on why an atmospheric gas present in only trace amounts can drive global warming ( and a summary of the visit to Lamont in June of a cohort of students in Columbia’s Master of Public Administration program in Environmental Science and Policy (

    In the news this past week have been several stories citing Lamont scientists on the impact of climate change on extreme summertime weather. A story in Esquire Friday on the recent heat waves in New York and western Europe quoted Adam Sobel and Klaus Jacob ( An e-mail comment by Radley Horton was quoted in two stories in The Washington Post on how climate change is affecting the severity of heat extremes, one last Friday (, and the other on Tuesday ( On Wednesday, The Washington Post quoted Marco Tedesco on the contribution of this week’s heat wave in Greenland to unusually high – and potentially record-breaking – rates of surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet (, as did an Ale Borunda story yesterday ( in National Geographic.  In a different vein, Jason Smerdon was featured in a Barron’s story Wednesday on how a climate scientist invests his retirement funds (

    The change in month this week means that summer’s end is drawing near. May you enjoy the first weekend of August.