Lamont Weekly Report, April 26, 2019

    Monday was Earth Day (, and for the occasion Marie Aronsohn prepared and narrated a video vignette ( If, like me, you think that she did a wonderful job evoking Lamont’s scientific mission, please let her know!

    Our hats should also go off to Maureen Raymo for anchoring a CBS News segment for Earth Day shot on the international drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution, now in “Iceberg Alley” in the Southern Ocean to acquire sediment cores that contain records of the climate history of Antarctica ( Two days later, Facebook posted a longer and more extensive interview of Mo on the drillship (

    Also on Earth Day, Radley Horton was the guest of AllianceBernstein for an event entitled “The Ripple Effect: Climate Crisis, Strategies for the Future.” Radley spoke on a panel along with members of AllianceBernstein’s equity and fixed-income team focused on impact investing to an audience of about 70 wealth-management clients. Marie Aronsohn, Susan Holgate, and Art Lerner-Lam also participated.

    In recognition of Earth Day, our Campus Life Committee has scheduled several special events. Andrew Goodwillie and Yael Kiro have organized two bike-to-work events for next Friday, one from Nyack and Piermont and the other from Manhattan. All cyclists that day will be treated to free breakfast in the Lamont Café. One week from next Tuesday, on May 7, a special charity yoga class will be given from noon to 1 pm in the Monell Lower Lobby. All donations will be given to the NYC Fresh Air Fund, and Andrew promises that no prior yoga experience is required.

    On Earth Day, Eos published “A Tribute to Wally Broecker” by former Lamont postdoctoral scientist Stephen Barker ( Barker, who is now editor of Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology and a Professor in Earth Science at Cardiff University (, worked with Wally at Lamont from 2004 to 2005.

    David Walker writes that he has been “embroiled recently in the fight to keep a toxic ash dump out of [the Town of] Catskill.” On Tuesday, Dave spoke as a geological expert at a public forum held in the town to disseminate information on the proposed ash dump, as reported Wednesday in HudsonValley360 ( A video of Dave’s clear and logical presentation, laced with his usual humor, has been posted on YouTube (; his introduction begins just before minute 39 on the video). 

    On Wednesday, Margie Turrin was honored by the Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources and the County Executive’s office with the 22nd County Executive Outstanding Environmental Volunteer Award. The award “recognizes environmental volunteers who care for our parks, champion our watersheds, encourage recycling, build a sense of stewardship, and enhance the beauty of our natural environment.” The Award Review Committee wrote, “Ms. Turrin has been a dedicated steward of the environment for decades now. By trade Margie is the Director of Education Field Programs at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Her volunteer work includes serving as a board member on the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance since 2010, leading Creekside education initiatives, and participating in water quality research. Margie also serves as the Chairperson for the Conservation Committee of the Rockland County Task Force on Water Resources Management. Her role on the Conservation Committee has been to host quarterly meetings, create water conservation outreach materials, and collaborate on conservation projects with the Task Force Chair and Coordinator.” Margie received the award at a tree dedication ceremony at Kennedy Dells Park.

    Also on Wednesday, the Lamont Campus was visited by Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, along with Jean Magnano Bollinger, Senior Executive Vice President Gerry Rosberg, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs Shailagh Murray, and Executive Vice President for University Development and Alumni Relations Amelia Alverson. The group toured several Lamont buildings and labs and met with groups of campus scientists to discuss three broad questions. The first discussion, on the topic of “How can we enhance our understanding of the future oceans, atmosphere, and climate?,” was held in the Visualization Lab in the Oceanography Building. The second discussion, on the question of “How can we improve the scientific understanding of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to better inform forecasts?,” was held over lunch in the Comer Geochemistry Building. The third and final discussion, held in the Lamont Core Repository, was on the question of “How will Earth science underpin solutions to climate change?” Among the highlights of the second and third discussions, respectively, were conversations via video links with Donna Shillington, now on the R/V Marcus Langseth in transit to the northern Emperor Seamount chain for a study of the deep seismic structure of one of the older segments of this classic hotspot track (, and Maureen Raymo and Sid Hemming, now on the JOIDES Resolution as part of International Ocean Discovery Program expedition 382 (

    On Wednesday evening, Peter de Menocal was the keynote speaker at an event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greenwich, Connecticut. His talk on “Climate Risk and Climate Action” was well received by an audience of 160, according to John Halpin and Stacey Vassallo, who also attended.

    Among media stories over the past week that mentioned Lamont scientists was an LAist article last Friday ( that quoted Park Williams on the increasing threat of southern California wildfires in a warming climate, even after a rainy winter, given that grasses and other plants nourished by rains can be quickly dried over a hot summer. Marco Tedesco was quoted in a Washington Post story Monday by Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis on a report by others that the rate of ice loss from Greenland increased by nearly a factor of six between the 1980s and the past eight years (

    There’s no colloquium this afternoon, “due to a fairly late-breaking speaker cancellation,” according to Radley. May you instead celebrate the end of the week of Earth Day with a walk through our newly greening campus in appreciation of the spring weekend to come.