Lamont Weekly Report, July 2, 2021

     Hello Friends,  Wow, has the last year flown by!  After nearly fifty newsletters, untold Zoom meetings, and more than a few gray hairs, my greatest desire is to see us all back on campus in September.  As fun as it has been watching baby woodchucks cavorting outside my office window all day, all week, I would trade that for the hustle and bustle of colleagues in a New York minute.  So many changes and even more to announce this week.  We officially welcomed Dave Goldberg into his new role as Deputy Director and I am greatly appreciative of the time he has taken over the last month to thoughtfully transition into his new role.  Art Lerner-Lam has moved up in the world and is expanding his leadership of educational and executive programming in the new Climate School.  Art, we wish you the best and thank you for your many years of service to Lamont.  Kuheli Dutt is wrapping up her legion of projects as she prepares to move on to MIT and I want to remind everyone that there will be a special going away party for her next Wednesday at 3pm in the Cafeteria. There will be sweets, drinks, and good company.

     I would also like to introduce a new member of my leadership team, Josh Wolfe, who will be working part-time with me with a special focus on the Climate School.  I know many of you know Josh from his years working freelance around Columbia and the Earth Institute.  Among other things, Josh is also President and co-founder of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, an advisory board member for 500 Women Scientists, and a nationally recognized expert on energy and communications.  He can be reached at

     Finally, thank you to Andy Juhl and Robin Bell for stepping into the Associate Director jobs in BPE and MGG respectively.  These are hugely important roles on campus that provide a critical link and guidance between the central administration and the scientists on the ground, so to speak.  They have the sometimes-conflicting roles of being advocates for divisional needs and individuals while also embodying the leadership of the Observatory and its accompanying responsibility to fiscal oversight and the highest standards of scholarly excellence.  It is not an easy job.  My favorite standing meeting is the fortnightly Associate Directors Council where we wrassle with the issues and problems of the moment and the ADs act as a vital sounding board and source of advice for the Directorate.  And of course, I have to close this loop by giving my deep thanks to Rosanne D’Arrigo and Roger Buck who served their divisions so exceptionally for so many years.  This rotation reminds me of an old Girl Scout song (substituting “ADs” for “friends” ;-):

     Make new ADs, but keep the old,

     One is silver, and the other’s gold.

     The campus continues to get busier.  On Tuesday a news crew from Fox 5 NY came to campus to shoot a profile on Terry Plank and her ground-breaking work in volcanology. The story is the second in a series on women in science inspired by our "Extraordinary Women" e-newsletter.  It is so great to be getting this level of exposure out in the world!  Today, NOVA (PBS) is working on an episode about “Turning CO2 into Stone” for a new digital PBS Terra Science series, Out of Our Elements. This episode will highlight Lamont’s path-breaking research on carbon storage in oceanic basalt and their crew will be filming with Research Scientist Angela Slagle in the Core Repository and Comer building.

     This week Science magazine featured a major article about the ongoing cruise of the R/V Marcus Langseth in the northeast Pacific.  As the title says, “A Megaquake Will Someday Strike the Pacific Northwest. This Ship Could Figure Out How Bad It Will Be.”  LRP Suzanne Carbotte and her colleagues discuss risk, the mysteries of subduction zones, and the challenges of working at sea.  Another article in this month’s July Newsletter, “Earth, Wind, and Fire: Summer Extremes Ahead”, focuses on Lamont scientists’ research on how climate change is increasing the odds for a severe life-threatening summer, accompanied by an active hurricane season, and potentially devastating wildfires.  This research could not be more timely with the “heat dome” settled over the west.  The world is waking up to the reality of a warmer world and it is critical that we continue  to get the science out there to the public.  Thank you Marie DeNoia Aronsohn for such a great article in such a great issue.

     I’m very proud to announce that DEES Professor Sid Hemming was named the 2021 recipient of the Geological Society of America’s Laurence L. Sloss Award. The award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to the interdisciplinary field of sedimentary geology.  Congrats Sid! 

     And Sid’s intellective accomplishment reminds me of the multitude of reasons and people we have to celebrate when we come back together in September (remember, unless you have Dean’s level approval, you must live within two-hour radius of campus at that time).  Please save the date, Wednesday September 15th, for a blow-out Lamont barbeque of unimaginable proportions!  Bruce Springsteen has agreed to play!  Just kidding.  But we will have music, we will have speeches, we will have food and beer by the gallons.  Come one, come all!  Bring the wee ones too.  And if you are interested in bringing your musical talents to bear on the festivities, please contact Lamont’s concert promoter Billy D’Andrea.  All other questions, suggestions, and requests can be routed through our events maven, Miriam Cinquegrana.

     With yet another three-day weekend ahead it’s starting to feel a bit like I’m back in Australia—universal 4-day work week for all!  Have a fireworks and potato salad filled weekend and throw a few shrimp on the barbie.

     Best, Mo








A Megaquake Will Someday Strike the Pacific Northwest. This Ship Could Figure Out How Bad It Will Be


June 30, 2021

Article on research led by Lamont marine geophysicist Suzanne Carbotte aboard R/V Marcus G. Langseth.


Scientists Warn of Climate Change Intensifying Heat Waves

The Hill

June 30, 2021

Article quotes Lamont postdoc Jane W. Baldwin.


Sudden Disappearance of Giant Antarctic Lake Leaves Massive Crater – 200 Billion Gallons of Water Gone

SciTech Daily

June 29, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.


Everything We Know About the Huge Lake that Suddenly Disappeared in Antarctica

La Vanguardia

June 28, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.


A Huge Ice-Covered Lake Has Suddenly Disappeared in Antarctica


June 28, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.


Rare Winter Event Makes Lake Disappear in Antarctica

Olhar Digital

June 28, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.


A Conversation on Building Safe Spaces for the LGBTQ+ Community in the Geosciences

Nature Communications

June 25, 2021

Interview with Lamont postdoc Benjamin Keisling.


Why This Drought Scientist Has Packed Her ‘Runaway Bag’

Daily Beast

June 25, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jane W. Baldwin.


Half the Country Is Facing an Apocalyptic Summer

Live Science

June 25, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook and bioclimatologist Park Williams.


The 44 Percent: New Baldwin Interview, Climate Gentrification and Trick Daddy

Miami Herald

June 25, 2021

Article quotes and cites research led by Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.




Observations While on Quarantine in Newport, Oregon

June 30, 2021

Before embarking on a 6-week voyage to scan for Cascadia’s megathrust fault, the research team had to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel.


Searching for the Megathrust Fault at Cascadia

June 29, 2021

Researchers have set sail to find and map a fault that causes giant earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.


Summer Forecast: Dangerous Heat, Fire, and an Active Hurricane Season

June 28, 2021

Climate change may be loading the dice for a tough summer.


Scientists Track the Sudden Disappearance of an Antarctic Ice-Shelf Lake

June 24, 2021

A rarely seen phenomenon may not bode well for the future survival of the ice.